BB cream

As if choosing the right foundation isn’t enough of a pain, we’ve had a flood of BB and CC creams entering the beauty market over the last few years. There are now even a few DD creams emerging! Is this a gimmick? Or is there really a difference between foundation, BB cream and CC cream?



The letters “BB” stand for beauty balm. This product contains a non-luminescent primer, some foundation, moisturiser, and sunscreen, with built in anti-aging properties. “CC” cream is for colour corrective. A CC cream contains a skin-illuminating primer, foundation, moisturiser, sunscreen, anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants, and sometimes collagen boosters.

The BB cream tends to be a bit richer (but still lighter than a foundation) with a focus on damage prevention and maintenance.  The CC cream can have a lighter texture with a focus on concealing any issues like acne, pigmentation or other marks.

The DD cream is a combination of the BB and the CC. “DD” is for dynamic do-all or daily defense cream. DD creams have a richer texture, similar to the BB cream but has more SPF protection with a barrier to help against moisture loss. It also includes the luminescent particles from the CC cream. There aren’t many DD creams on the market yet, but we’ll be seeing more of them emerging soon.



As you can see from the descriptions above, the building blocks of the average BB, CC and DD cream are similar.  These formulas are often enhanced versions of tinted moisturisers with some added benefits. The only real differences are the light diffusing particles that are included in the CC (and DD) cream and the consistency. A BB and DD cream is generally thicker than a CC cream, but lighter than the average foundation.

I own both a medium coverage foundation and a BB cream. For smart evenings out, or a long day where I need to look polished, I feel, my foundation is still best. It covers (most) skin imperfections and creates a good base for the rest of my makeup. But most days, when I just want a little light “enhancement”, I wear my BB cream. I have a dryer skin and I feel the BB cream, with richer texture, is right for me. You might have different skin requirements to me. Perhaps you have an oilier skin or live in an area with more humidity, which might mean that a CC cream will suit you better.



If I had to choose between a BB cream, CC cream or foundation, I’d choose the foundation. One can always add a little moisturiser to your foundation on days when you want lighter coverage, like on weekends. In my view a BB or CC cream can never replace a good skin routine of eye cream, moisturiser and sunscreen. BB and CC creams also tend to come in limited shades which can be a problem.

That said, if you can buy two products, it is convenient. As mentioned in my lipstick post, on most days I’m in a mad rush and simply apply my BB cream all over my face, concealer over my dark undereye circles, mascara and a bright lipstick. Because of its lighter texture, my BB cream goes on much quicker and easier than my foundation which means my whole routine takes only five minutes.

I’ve yet to try a DD cream but will report back as soon as I do.



It is quite a challenge to find cruelty-free BB and CC creams in SA. And even more so, one that has a scope of colours. Here are a few great cruelty-free creams to try. Please let us know if you have a favourite!

1. Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue (hybrid tinted moisturiser, BB and CC cream), in six colours, R741, BUY

2. Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35, R1355, in light/medium and medium/dark,  BUY

3. Decleor Hydra Floral BB Creme SPF15, R499, in light, medium and dark, BUY

4. Tarte Cosmetics BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer SPF 30, R1710 – R2185, in four colours,  BUY


5. 100% PURE BB Cream SPF 15, R566, 3 colours, BUY

6. e.l.f. BB Cream SPF 20, R450, in Nude, Medium and Dark,  BUY

7. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF30, R765, in 5 colours, BUY

8. NYX Professional Makeup BB Cream, R705, in Nude, Natural and Golden, BUY


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