What is the difference between BB cream, CC cream, and foundation?

Choosing the right makeup product for your face gets harder and trickier each day as brands keep pouring out onto the shelves, and new products emerge every once in a while. There are numerous skin care and beauty products, all seeking to give perfect coverage while avoiding damage to your skin. Currently, the presence of foundation, BB creams and CC creams in the market can be a little confusing. Do they all work the same way, are they completely different from each other, or are they complementary products?

A short introduction to each of these products may give insight and let you know exactly what you’re dealing with, and what sets it apart from the others.


This is the skin product that has been around for much longer than the BB and CC creams. For ages, foundation has been used to provide coverage to the skin, evening out the tone and covering blemishes such as acne and scars. It comes in a multitude of shades that are engineered towards matching as many skin tones and shades as possible. It has a higher pigment concentration and thicker consistency than the creams.

BB Cream

Meaning ‘Blemish Balm,’ this is a more recent skin product. In addition to providing coverage, it has in-built skin care benefits that moisturize, protect, and smooth out skin. It includes ingredients that help deal with various skin issues. It includes sunscreen for protection against harmful sun rays, and antioxidants that fight free radicals, giving it anti-aging properties. Basically, BB creams is a combination of foundation, concealer and moisturizer. It offers hydration, making it ideal for dry skin. It is lighter than foundation, providing a sheer coverage that is perfect if you want to avoid heavy make up. Unlike foundation, it comes in a handful of shades which do not cover all skin tones.

CC Cream

This is a cream meant to correct or control color. CC creams have a soft fluffy feel that is much lighter than both BB creams and foundation. They are meant to even out blotchiness, age spots, melasma, redness or hyper-pigmentation of the skin. Ingredients such as lycopene calm redness while vitamin C promotes radiance. CC creams use light-diffusing particles to neutralize and even out skin color and tone. They protect, restore and smooth out skin while providing very light coverage. This makes them more of a skin care product than makeup. They can also be used as a primer by applying on the skin before putting on foundation. They are ideal for oily and acne-prone skin types.

There are a few notable differences between the three products. Foundation is the heaviest and provides more coverage, while CC cream is the lightest and does not focus on coverage. This makes CC cream a great primer. BB creams can take the place of foundation while giving more skin care benefits. While foundation leans more towards aesthetics, the BB and CC creams have properties that offer skin nourishment. They may not provide such even toning as foundation due to their limited shades. The lighter creams will give a more natural look, while foundation will completely cover up any blemishes. It’s all up to you to decide what works for you and your skin.