Lightweight, complexion-smoothing creams for easy everyday coverage.

By Tanisha Pina
Nov 07, 2019 @ 9:00 pm
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Unofficially, BB creams are the hero of low-maintenance makeup. The acronym stands for beauty balm or blemish balm, depending on who you ask, and the best options on the market bottle up skin-perfecting products —  moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen — into lightweight, breathable formulas that have just as many skin benefits as they do cosmetic ones. 

Unlike tinted moisturizers that offer hydration and sheer coverage (and sometimes sun protection), BB creams will give you solid light-to-medium foundation-like coverage, skin-boosting antioxidants, and substantial SPF. They’re ideal if you’re looking for a dewy, healthy complexion without putting on a full face of makeup. The one downside? Shade ranges are limited — most products typically carry less than 10 shades — but because of the blendability factor that makes BB creams so popular, each shade can accommodate multiple skin tones.

RELATED: People Are Getting BB Cream Tattooed Onto Their Faces

Plus, thanks to the number of different BB creams available today, you’re guaranteed to find something that not only gives coverage, but also addresses your particular skin concern, whether that’s maturation, dryness, oiliness, or acne. To take out some of the guesswork, we’ve pulled together a dozen of the best BB creams that keep skin looking bright and healthy even after you’ve washed them off.

  1. Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream SPF 30
  2. Best for Oily Skin: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 
  3. Best for Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint
  4. Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40
  5. Best Korean Beauty Option: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++
  6. Best for Combination Skin: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35
  7. Best for Full Coverage: Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done SPF 20
  8. Best for Sensitive Skin: DERMADoctor BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30
  9. Best for Mature Skin: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector SPF 20
  10. Best for Sun Protection: DR. JART+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45
  11. Best Natural Option: Burt’s Bees BB Cream with SPF 15
  12. Best Blurring Option: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady BB Cream SPF 30 

Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream SPF 30

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This lightweight cream packs a punch with eight skin benefits in one tube for less than $10. It blurs imperfections, protects from harsh UV rays with SPF 30,  and provides a brighter, more even skin tone. What’s more, the formula is oil-free, so you can stress less about breakouts.

Shop now: $4 (Originally $9); amazon.com

Best for Oily Skin: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 

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This pick from Tarte will find fans in oily skin types and vegan beauty enthusiasts alike. The medium-to-full coverage BB cream features Amazonian clay, chamomile, and vitamins A, C, and E to smudge out blemishes and fill fine lines while still feeling lightweight and looking natural. According to just one of the product’s 2,000+ five-star reviews, “it blends right into skin very easily... the skin just looks brighter and more even right away.” 

Shop now: $36; sephora.com

Best for Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

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If your skin falls into the dry category or routinely looks dull, this $9 bottle from Neutrogena might do the trick. It uses hyaluronic acid and glycerin, both humectants, to draw water to the upper layers of the skin, and dimethicone to seal in moisture, leaving your face looking and feeling hydrated and plump.

Shop now: $10 (Originally $15); amazon.com 

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40

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Prone to breakouts? You’ll want an oil-free formula to prevent unforeseen clogging or irritation. This matte BB cream, combining shine control with buildable coverage and SPF 40 for a healthy, protected finish, fits that criteria. “I hate wearing anything heavy, so this BB cream provides me with enough coverage to cover up redness and blemishes,” shares one reviewer on Sephora. “It’s lightweight and perfect for my oily and acne prone skin.”

Shop now: $39; sephora.com  

Best Korean Beauty Option: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++

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This was one of the first K-beauty BB creams on the market when the category started to boom, and it is still the brand’s best-selling product to this day. The dewy formula that’s known to brighten, hydrate, and repair the skin utilizes snail mucin as its star ingredient; it allows for the cream to feel like a moisturizer while still offering full coverage, so it can be worn daily as an alternative to heavier, cakey foundation. Reviewers love how light and gentle it is on skin, with one giving it five stars for creating “a lovely glow.”

Shop now: $14; amazon.com

Best for Combination Skin: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

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As its name suggests, this multitasking BB cream gets the complexion camera-ready by merging makeup with skincare to prime, even, and hydrate. While it provides sheer coverage, the cream is builds up to a customizable finish without pilling or feeling cakey. 

Shop now: $42; nordstrom.com

Best for Full Coverage: Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done SPF 20

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Promising the healing benefits of a skin treatment with the reliable coverage of a foundation, this weightless-feeling formula from Urban Decay features nourishing peptides and vitamins along with light-diffusing spheres that work to blur the complexion. The cream claims to stay put all day without that heavy feeling, and its five-shade range works across multiple skin tones 

Shop now: $36; nordstrom.com

Best for Sensitive Skin: DERMADoctor BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30

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Offering only one shade is typically a bad thing, but this option from DERMADoctor adjusts to match its user. The white sapphire complex brings out and enhances the beauty of every unique skin tone — and because it’s hypoallergenic, non-drying, non-comedogenic, and free of fragrance, synthetic dyes, parabens, phthalates, and even gluten, it’s ideal for those with sensitive, easily irritated skin. 

Shop now: $40; nordstrom.com

Best for Mature Skin: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector SPF 20

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Using the anti-aging powers of retinol and SPF, this tube offers not just coverage, but actual skin benefits, too. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, even out skin tone, and smooth skin texture with breathable, blendable, sheer coverage that leaves the complexion fresh and dewy. 

Shop now: $9 (Originally $13); amazon.com

Best for Sun Protection: DR. JART+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45

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While most BB creams provide between 15 and 30 SPF, this hardworking balm boasts SPF 45 for long-lasting protection from the sun. The formula also tackles dark spots and discoloration with ingredients like soy, licorice, vitamin C, and arbutin (a powerful botanical extract that helps stop melanin production).

Shop now: $39; sephora.com

Best Natural Option: Burt’s Bees BB Cream with SPF 15

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Like most Burt’s Bees products, this one is made with 98.9 percent natural ingredients, so you can feel good about putting it on your face. The mineral-rich composition claims to provide nine promising benefits — sun protection,, firmed-up skin, and filled-in fine lines and wrinkles among them —   and leaves a natural, believable finish on the skin.

Shop now: $9 (Originally $15); amazon.com

Best Blurring Option: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady BB Cream SPF 30 

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For filter-level coverage that doesn’t feel heavy, look no further. This lightweight cream with SPF 30 melts into skin with blendable, buildable coverage that smoothes and blurs over imperfections, reduces the appearance of pores, and minimizes shine. 

Shop now: $17; ulta.com

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