What *actually* is a BB cream and which are the best? Here's the lowdown if you're looking to swap out heavy foundation for summer

Here’s the thing, does anyone actually know what a BB cream is? It’s lightweight, it’s kind of like a tinted moisturiser, it’s… yep, we give up.

What is a BB Cream?

If you’re confused, you’re not the only one. It seems that even the beauty industry can’t agree what it stands for with different brands defining it as a “Blemish Balm”, a “Blemish Base” and a “Beauty Balm”.

While a tinted moisturiser is essentially a mix of foundation and moisturiser, a BB cream takes things up a notch. It’s role is to bring extra skin benefits like SPF and active ingredients to regenerate and clarify skin. Put simply, it’s a multi-tasking combination of foundation, moisturiser, SPF and skincare ingredients so it can perfect your complexion while nourishing your skin. That said, there’s a lot of overlap and many tinted moisturisers are infused with extra skin benefits, just like a BB Cream.

Why choose a BB Cream?

A BB cream is perfect for off-duty coverage or if you prefer a more natural-looking base. It’ll provide enough coverage to even out your skin tone, but not so much it’ll mask your skin entirely and because it often contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, it’ll leave skin looking extra fresh and glowy.

What are the downsides of a BB Cream?

Most BB Creams only come in only one shade, or a very limited shade range which doesn’t cater to all skin tones, therefore many brands have discontinued their BB creams in recent years for more diverse alternatives. If you want something full coverage, this probably won’t provide you with enough. Plus, it’s not thick enough to cover spots so it works best when paired with a little bit of concealer.

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How to use a BB Cream?

You apply a BB cream the same way you would your foundation or tinted moisturiser. You can tap it in with your fingers, bounce it in with a beauty blender or buff it in with a brush.

Which BB Creams are the best?

As for which work best, we’ve put together a whole gallery of our favourites (and why) below.

For more from our Deputy Beauty Editor, Elle, follow her at @elleturneruk.

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Here our round-up of the best BB creams…


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