A guide to BB and CC creams for acne-prone skin

This guide to BB and CC creams will take you through the what, when, and why…

A guide to BB and CC creams for acne-prone skin

First there were BB creams, and just when we’d managed to wrap our heads around them, along came CC creams. Now we’re seriously confused. The similarities between the two has led to many people being puzzled about what the creams actually do, which they should be using, and how they're different. This guide to BB and CC creams will take you through the what, when, and why…

What is the difference between BB and CC creams?

BB creams:

The BB in BB cream stands for Blemish Balm. The BB creams we see on the shelves help to mask skin imperfections and aim to provide a small amount of coverage. The coverage a BB cream offers is best likened to that of a sheer foundation.

What makes a BB cream different to just a sheer foundation is the added benefits you can often find in them. Sun protection and anti-aging are all claims that most BB creams make. These products are mainly sold as all-in-one moisturisers, which offer some coverage and protection for your skin. Skincare experts and makeup artists mostly recommend BB creams as an alternative to heavy makeup in the summer, or for days when you want to give your skin a break.

CC creams:

The CC in CC creams stands for Colour Correct. These creams were dreamt up after BB creams and can offer confusingly similar things. CC creams also offer less coverage than foundation and are also sold with the promise of skincare benefits similar to BB creams. The main difference is that CC creams offer more coverage than BB creams as their goal is to even out skin tones and cover some flaws like redness and dark spots. CC creams are more focused on concealing issues such as blemishes and redness, whereas BB creams are focused on prevention and maintenance.

So which should I use when?

Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, generally you’re better off trying a CC cream. BB creams tend to be oilier than CC creams as they are focused more on hydrating dry skin. However La Roche-Posay have formulated Effaclar BB Blur, a BB cream specifically for oily and acne-prone skin.

CC creams have a more matte texture which won’t exacerbate your oily skin. If you suffer from acne-prone skin, the likelihood is you won’t want to be introducing more oil onto your face, but you will want to tackle the appearance of red blemishes and uneven skin tone. The matte finish of most CC creams is also great for those concerned with shiny or greasy skin.

Sensitive, dry skin and redness

It’s important to select a BB or CC cream which is hypoallergenic, so it won’t irritate your skin. A BB cream is best for those looking to re-hydrate dry and flaky skin because the formula is slightly more hydrating than a CC cream, whereas CC creams are often more matte and drying. Rosaliac CC Cream by La Roche-Posay is formulated for rosacea-prone skin, and helps cover the appearance of redness and correct colour flaws. 

A Natural look

With only slightly more coverage and than a typical BB cream, CC creams can be tempting. However BB creams often offer a much more ‘real skin’ finish. Not only do they blur imperfections whist treating your skin, but they are often much lighter in texture and allow your skin the chance to breathe.