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Foundation vs. BB cream pros and cons: Which is right for you?

Foundation vs. BB cream pros and cons: Which is right for you?
Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 27, 2022

With the thousands of makeup products available at our fingertips, perfecting your complexion has never been easier, as long as you know what does what. Otherwise, it can feel confusing!

Creating the right look for your face starts with a base layer that smooths out your complexion and skin tone, covers flaws, and may even provide sun or moisture protection during the day. That base layer can be a foundation, a BB cream or another option.

If you’re choosing between foundation and the best BB cream, you’ll have to consider factors such as your skin type and what type of look you’re after — a matte finish or a dewy glow, perhaps? The good news is both types can be used daily to help you create a flawless face.

In some cases, you may even be able to use them together to take advantage of the skincare benefits a BB cream offers with the coverage of a foundation. However, you need to make sure your products work together well.


Foundation Pros

If coverage is what you crave, foundation is your ticket to happiness. Long gone are the heavy, caked foundations of the past. Today’s versions range from sheer to medium and full and come in a slew of shades meant to match every skin tone. You can find formulas that work for your skin type, whether dry, oily or combination.

Those with highly discolored skin who need help covering acne marks, melasma or rosacea might feel most comfortable with foundation, which can easily mask dark or red spots and provide more even-toned skin. Foundation also comes in different finishes, such as matte or dewy. It is great for everyday wear or special occasions when you want a little more coverage.

To apply, gently dot the liquid all over your face (forehead, nose, cheeks and chin) and blend with your fingers or makeup brush. Put the most foundation on problem areas first and then blend with the rest of the face.

If you’re looking for the best foundation for your skin type, you’ll want to see what our experts say about different products you can purchase now.


Foundation Cons

For people who don’t like wearing a lot of makeup, foundation might feel like too much. Additionally, while you’ll find the best selection of colors, finishes, textures and coverages with foundation, it doesn’t have some of the skincare benefits that BB creams may offer.

In some cases, the heavier application of this type of makeup may also cause skin irritation. And because there are so many options, other products may prove to be less intimidating to purchase and try out.


BB Cream Pros

BB cream stands for “beauty balm” cream and is much lighter than foundation, but it can still even out skin tone and correct blemishes. Key ingredients are usually antioxidants and if you’re looking for a combination of moisturizer, protection and sheer coverage, a BB cream is your best bet.

The best BB creams work as a three-in-one product, combining foundation, primer and moisturizer into one product. Some also provide SPF for sun protection. Because it provides a touch of color, some experts recommend it for people first starting with makeup.

When you’re searching for BB cream, you might see CC cream and DD cream options as well. CC stands for “color correcting,” which is ideal for those struggling with redness. DD stands for “daily defense” and is best for people who want a cream loaded with skin-protective ingredients. You will also encounter tinted moisturizers on the market.

Apply a BB cream just like foundation: simply dot your skin and rub it in. If using a makeup brush, gently move your brush in a circular motion for the most natural results.

If you’d like to pick up a new bottle, check out our selection of the best BB creams that have been vetted by a team of experts.


BB Cream Cons

With BB creams, the main limitation is that shades are limited to only a handful of tones. Plus, if you need a fair amount of coverage because you have acne scars, this type of makeup may not be enough.

Some experts say that while most BB creams work well for all skin types, those with oily skin may require a humectant as well. You should also note that while a BB cream can have SPF and moisturizer, the amounts aren’t necessarily going to be enough for daily protection and you shouldn’t assume you can skip other parts of your skincare routine.


Looking and feeling beautiful with the help of makeup doesn’t need to be complicated. While foundation offers the option for fuller coverage, the best BB creams will give you a heavy dose of moisture with a sheer tint. Which one is right for you?

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.