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Question: What’s the difference between BB and CC creams?

Answer: Before many of us could even process what the heck a BB cream was, a new double-letter cream came on the scene—CC cream. It may seem as though you need to take a crash course in both of these quickly before they start making their way down the rest of the alphabet. All kidding aside, BB and CC creams are two products that are easy to use, and they deliver pretty awesome results. But if you are a crash course type of person, then check out this easy-to-follow guide explaining what these two products do, how to use them, and which creams on the market are the best:

BB (“blemish balm”) creams were popularized about two years ago after becoming a huge sensation in Asia. They’re advertised as sort of the end-all-be-all of makeup products, as they’re about six different products in one: a primer, moisturizer, sunscreen, skin treatment, concealer and foundation. Phew! That sounds like a big promise, but BB creams actually do pack the punch that they claim. So what do these creams really do for you? Well for starters, BB creams have anti-aging properties and are loaded with vitamins A, C, and E to help promote healthy, glowing complexions. Additionally, licorice and arbutin help to even out your skin tone and get rid of any skin imperfections. There are also several silicone-based ingredients to help smooth your skin for foundation-like coverage. Essentially, BB’s are like the half-way between a tinted moisturizer and a foundation. They’re especially perfect for those days where you want to beautify your skin without doing a full-face routine. BB creams are quick and easy to apply (either by hands or with a foundation brush) and help transform your skin while providing a flawless finish.

CC or “color correcting” creams are extremely similar to BB creams, but offer more extensive coverage. While BB creams are sheer, CC creams cover more like foundation. These are great for redness, discoloration, and even acne-prone skin. CC creams also have more a whipped and thicker consistency than BB creams and are better for those who want a light-weight foundation rather than a sheer skin-corrector, like their BB counterparts.

If you’re looking for a BB cream, try:

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

This BB cream helps even your skin tone and has awesome anti-aging properties. It also has an optical blurring component that helps “erase” any skin imperfections while hiding those pesky pores.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream

This cream is guaranteed to improve your skin’s moisture in 4 weeks. What’s more, it comes in 8 different shades—unlike most BB creams that are a one-shade-fits-all.

NYX BB Cream

I know that I personally always search for oil-free products and this cream is just that. Like many BB creams, this helps smooth your skin in the best way and leaves your skin looking radiant and healthy.

If CC creams are more your thing:

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream

This CC cream offers the best coverage on the market, in my opinion. You can skip your entire moisturizer, primer, and foundation routine with this one product.

Revlon Age Defying CC Cream

Revlon is always on top of their game when it comes to age-defying products, and this CC cream is no exception. Kiss fine lines and uneven pigment good-bye with this revolutionary cream.

Cargo HD Picture Perfect CC Cream

This oil-free CC cream has HD technology to reflect light and will make you photo-ready in no time.

Some people do choose to put a moisturizer on underneath their BB or CC creams, which is totally fine, especially if you’re using an oil-free cream and have super dry skin. So go ahead, give BB and CC a try and see what all the hype is about!