Like many game-changing beauty innovations, BB creams began in Asia. Bridging the gap between skincare and make-up, they soon garnered a legion of loyal followers. With moisturising, blemish-banishing and healing properties, the latest crop of creams allows us to streamline our make-up bags while simultaneously looking after our skin. What's more, they're a great way to feel ready for the day and elevate your Zoom face without having to spend too much time or effort on your make-up. Simply dab a little BB cream down the centre of your face and blend it in with fingertips or a soft sponge.
Best BB Creams 2021 - Grazia
1. Shiseido, Sports SPF50+ BB Cream, £30
Summary: This two in one cream combines a medium coverage foundation with an SPF formula to get even more bang for your buck. A little goes a long way, so a couple of drops blended into skin evens skin tone without looking cakey. Details: SPF50+ provides ultra-high, broad-spectrum protection, and formula is perspiration, water & transfer resistant.
2. Smashbox, Camera Ready BB Cream, £27
Summary: If you're lucky enough to grab this before it sells out (again), the Camera Ready BB can be used alone as a cream, as a priming base for foundation or to mattify oily skin. Details: 5 shades with SPF 35 to protect against UVA/UVB rays
3. NARS, Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, £33
Summary: infused with natural botanicals and hydrating extracts, this is a light, moisturising veil for 'no make-up-make-up' fans. Hyperpigmentation and the appearance of wrinkles are reduced for your best natural skin yet. Details: An oil free formula best for combination and oily skin.
4. Trinny London BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum, £39
Summary: Stressed out skin? Trinny is here to save the day with her tinted serum laced with skincare actives to revive tired-looking skin. Incredibly lightweight, skin looks refreshed and radiant after application. Details: Available in 12 stretchable shades, formulated with NP-TriOX Technology to combat the effects of stress on the skin.
5. NYX Professional Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil BB Cream, £10
Summary: For weightless, breathable coverage that doesn't cling to try dry patches, try NYX's BB cream. The super silky formula blends in seamlessly to give you 'your skin but better' results. Details: Available in 12 shades.**
6. Pixi Beauty Balm, £22
Summary: If you prefer your coverage medium to full, this is the BB cream for you. It stays put all day long and locks in moisture with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. To take the coverage down a notch, try mixing it with your favourite moisturiser. Details: Available in five shades, lends skin medium to full coverage.
7. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, £29
Summary: This tinted cream combines the benefits of a CC cream and a BB cream to deliver a dewy, natural-looking finish. Details: SPF 30, available in 19 shades/
8. L’Oréal Paris C’est Magic BB Cream, £10.99
Summary: With SPF 20, a mix of powerful antioxidants and hydration benefits for up to 24 hours – L'Oréal's BB offering is great bang for buck. Blend in with fingertips for a natural, second skin finish. Details: Available in four shades.
9. La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Cream, £16
Summary: This French pharmacy classic is free from nasties and is hypoallergenic, making it a go-to for sensitive skins. The finely milled mineral pigments even skin while boosting radiance. Details: Available in two shades (light and medium), contains SPF 20 and UVA protection.
10. Erborian BB Crème Au Ginseng, £36
Summary: Lending skin a concoction of multi-tasking skin health benefits, supreme hydration and a flawless veil of sheer coverage - this is a total no brainer. Details: Available in four shades, wear alone for sheer coverage or it makes a brilliant base.
11. No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream, £14
Summary: A triple threat, No 7's BB cream evens skin tone, blurs imperfections and helps to banish blemishes. Choose between their BB cream for dry skin and BB cream for oily skin. Details: Hypo-allergenic, SPF 15 and available in two shades.
12. Omorovicza Complexion Perfector SPF 20, £60
Summary: It may be on the spenny side, but this creamy, dreamy formula is a concealer, foundation, SPF and age-defying cream all in one. So really, it's quite reasonable... Details: Available in three shades, hydrates skin with hyaluronic acid and protects it against harmful UV rays with SPF 20.
13. Garnier Original BB Cream, £9.99
Summary: This cult BB cream delivers post-spa glowing skin in an instance. Simply dot on and blend in with fingers and you're good to glow. Details: Blended with vitamin C to boost radiance and contains SPF 15.
14. Nude by Nature Sheer Glow BB Cream, £22
Summary: Expect 'you look healthy' compliments after applying this sheer glow BB cream that delivers a natural luminous finish.Details: Protects skin with SPF 8 and boosts glow with skin brightening vitamin C. Available in five shades.
15. REN Skincare Satin Perfection BB Cream SPF 15, £31
Summary: Silicone free, REN's BB cream melts straight into skin. It's packed with antioxidants to ward off environmental aggressors and brightens with vitamin C. Details: SPF 15, silicone-free and available in one tinted shade.
16. Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Rōsilliance BB+ Cream, £52
Summary: This lightweight complexion perfecter boosts glow whilst protecting skin from the sun's damaging rays with SPF 30. Details: Available in two shades, 'Light/Medium' and 'Medium/Dark'. SPF 30.
17. Lancome Hydra Zen Beauty Balm Neurocalm™ BB Cream, £32.50
Summary: For good coverage that stays put, try this multi-tasking wonder. It moisturises, protects, boosts glow and conceals any imperfections. Details: Available in three shades. Hydra Zen is designed to reduce the effects of environmental and emotional stress, soothe and reduce the tightness of dehydrated skin.
18. The Body Shop Fresh Nude BB Cream, £12
Summary: Blended with community Fair Trade organic Aloe Vera, this BB cream not only lends skin great, breathable coverage but it hydrates skin too. Details: Available in 5 shades.
Is BB cream good for your skin?
BB cream, which stands for ‘beauty balm’ or ‘blemish balm’, is an all-in-one product that serves as foundation, moisturiser and SPF. It first gained traction in Korea before hitting the Western market in 2012. And now, we’re completely spoilt for choice in the BB market. You can choose between a dewy finish, matte finish, a little coverage or a bit more – but whatever you go for, BB creams promise to serve up a decent dose of skincare benefits, too. Think of it as your souped-up tinted moisturiser.
The difference between a BB cream and CC cream
CC cream, like BB cream, is a multi-tasking wonder that is specifically designed to colour correct – hence the ‘CC’. They tend to give more coverage than BB creams as they work to even skin tone, disguise blemishes and conceal redness. Again, many CC creams are formulated with skin-loving ingredients to tackle fine-lines, protect skin from environmental stressors and boost hydration.
Is BB cream better than foundation?
Generally speaking, a BB cream is better for your skin than foundation. With that being said, there are a whole host of skin-savvy foundations out there that harness superstar ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C (see our edit here). To choose between the two, consider what sort of coverage you're after. If it's heavy, look for a full coverage foundation and if it's light to medium, try a BB cream from our edit above.