Breaking down the differences between BB cream and her beauty crewPosted on October 31, 2023 Written by: 100% PURE®
If you’ve heard of one, you’ve probably heard of the others. The acronym “BB” in BB Cream stands for “beauty balm” or “beauty base”, but what about those other tag-along acronyms for multipurpose beauty creams? In a world of BB, CC, DD, and EE, how’s a gal supposed to get it straight? Is it all part of one big marketing ploy to confuse shoppers into buying all 4?
We’re getting down to brass tacks on the BB cream family – plus delving into the backgrounds of her close relatives. No matter your beauty goal, one of these balms from this creamy dream team will have you mastering the perfect natural everyday look with little effort and time!
Function: “Beauty Balm”
“BB” creams are meant to create a clean, flawless base by using beneficial, skin healthy nutrients (as a ‘balm’ would do). BB stands for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm”. These formulas are meant to provide light, hydrating coverage, with a bit of radiance thrown in. BB creams are commonly designed to be a primer, moisturizer, and light foundation – while some even boast sun protection – all in one formula. They’re lighter than your average foundation, but should be thicker than a tinted
Our BB Cream has medium, buildable coverage, making it able to obscure imperfections and give a healthy, primed appearance to skin. We’ve also added soft luminosity with mica, to help give a naturally flawless and radiant glow to skin. This same luminosity helps to softly reflect light, which gives skin a soft-focused glow that blurs imperfections (a defining trait of CC cream).
PRO-TIP: To get a layer of full coverage, we recommend adding a concealer or finishing powder to fill fine lines and achieve full coverage.
Function: “Color Correcting”
The term “CC” stands for ‘color correcting’ or ‘complexion correcting’. Looking to correct uneven skin tone, dark spots, and imperfections? This would be the formula for you! A CC cream is designed with ingredients that cover redness and perfect your skin tone. They also help to blur uneven textures and wrinkles with light-diffusing particles (sound familiar, 100% PURE BB Cream?). This cream is the most visually correcting of the 4 formulas, which is why you’ll see it competing right at the top with BB cream. Most users will want either the light, skin-healthy benefits of a BB cream, or the correcting, perfecting finish of a CC cream
CC creams are also known to have a lighter body and texture than BB cream. They’re a bit more straightforward in their function, delivering more potent coverage than your typical BB cream. As where BB creams offer more behind-the-scenes skin benefits, CC creams benefits are more apparent immediately after you apply it. A proper CC cream formula should be able to correct redness, hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and dark spots with a lightweight texture and finish.
Function: “Daily Defense”
You might start losing your cool at this point in the beauty alphabet when up next is a DD cream. “What’s next, EE?” you might be wondering. Understandable, since “DD” has been a bit more relaxed in its definition. This acronym has been defined as anything from a “daily defense”, “double duty”, or even “dynamic do-all” cream. But when you get past the marketing jargon, here’s the bottom line: DD creams are designed to offer protective ingredients like SPF and antioxidants.
It’s important to note, however, that DD creams don’t normally provide the same level of coverage as a BB cream. SPF is another tricky element to BB creams and others, but it’s most commonly found in both DD and BB creams. Since DD creams are the daily-defense option, both their main purpose and first-priority are skin protection. You’ll find DDs packed with mega-doses of both SPF and antioxidants, too. You’ll often find these formulas targeted for preventing fine lines, wrinkles, and environmental damage.
Function: “Extra Exfoliation”
Ah, yes; now we have EE creams – EEk! They’re the most recent addition to the beauty alphabet cream family. Though some beauty enthusiasts have been throwing eye rolls at the term since it was coined, these creams have E-xcellent benefits for the skin! Defined as “extra exfoliation”, EE creams are designed to gently break away dead skin cells while moisturizing the skin. They’re not all-day, everyday products like your typical BB cream, and are more targeted for skincare benefits rather than cosmetic.
The idea is to add EE cream to your cleanser, for a deeply cleansing boost. Not sold? You’re not alone! Five years after their induction, only a few of these products still endure, proving that we were happy with the beauty and skin-efits of BB and CC options.
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A BB cream is the go-to product for those who want a hint of color with hydration and a natural, dewy finish. Unlike conventional foundation, which can feel heavy or look cakey, BB creams offer lighter coverage, making it perfect for daily use or for a more casual look. Follow along below while we give you a handy step-by-step on BB cream application to achieve a flawless application.
After your daily natural cleansing routine, apply a primer for the perfect makeup application base. Our Luminous Primer is a silicone-free, plant-based formula that helps the skin in two ways: it creates an instant, temporary makeup glow, and it also boosts your skin’s vibrance over time with a punch of antioxidants. Made with anti-aging resveratrol, nourishing vitamin E, and intensely hydrating aloe, this formula will take your BB cream look from dream time to prime time!
For extra stubborn large pores, or to simply add a mist of extra hydration, spritz away with our Lavender Niacinamide Pore Minimizer Tonique! This purifying tonique deep cleans and purifies facial pores while lessening their appearance without stripping or dehydrating the skin. This hydrating formula features niacinamide, which evens skin tone while firming it. The addition of lavender hydrosol refreshes and soothes, while witch hazel balances oil production and reduces inflammation. This toner is the perfect blend for achieving that flawless, glowing skin!
Apply a small amount of formula to the back of your hand; we recommend starting with a dime to nickel-size dollop. BB cream shouldn’t go on your face as a thick paste. It’s there to act as a thin veil of foundation, not feel like a thick layer of frosting.
Start by dipping your kabuki brush into the formula and lightly dot around your face. Make sure to hit all the main points like the forehead, chin, cheeks, and nose. This will help to evenly distribute your dots of BB cream.
Using your kabuki brush, gently stipple and pat your BB cream around your skin in circular motions. You’re going to tap and pat, not pull and smear. Start at the center of your face working your way outward. When you get to your chin and neck area, make sure to gently buff, blend, and buff some more to avoid leaving a hard foundation line.
Are you a fan of the ultra-dewy finish? Instead of using a brush to apply your BB cream, use a damp makeup blender and bounce over the skin until completely blended. You can still build coverage as desired, but the result will look far dewier and hydrated.
After applying and buffing in your first layer of BB cream, take a few seconds to assess. Are there any small areas that need a little more love to cover? If so, tap on a few more small dots and gently blend. Since BB creams are buildable, it’s much easier to add layers than to take them away.
If you have oily skin or are looking for a longer-lasting finish, you’ll want a setting powder that can blur fine lines, pores, and imperfections – the chief role of a great, natural finishing powder! Our Bamboo Blur Powder can pull this off without over-drying your skin or completely masking any BB-beaming glow.
Thanks to bamboo silica, this talc and preservative-free powder is designed to be the perfect, natural photo filter for your skin.
Can I use BB cream and CC cream together, or should I choose one option for my skin's needs?
The short answer is yes. Both BB and CC creams can be used together to achieve the perfect foundation finish. After doing the standard skincare routine, you can apply CC cream for color correction and leveling your skin tone. Then, apply a thin layer of BB cream to get perfect, natural, glowing skin.
Are there specific skin types or concerns that each of these creams are best suited for?
Both BB and CC creams are suitable for most skin types. However, some of these formulas might be better suited for certain skin concerns over the other option. For example, if you have a lot of facial redness, you might opt for a CC cream to color-correct and even out your skin tone.
With the variety of functions these creams offer, are they meant to replace foundation or work in tandem with it?
It really depends on the makeup look you’re after. BB cream is great for mild coverage. If you are someone who likes full coverage then you can apply another layer of foundation on the BB cream. Keep in mind that BB cream doesn't provide a matte finish so you might have to use powder if you don't like the dewy look.
How do the ingredients typically vary between BB, CC, DD, and EE creams?
Your skin will be at its best if you opt for natural ingredients in these options. A BB cream covers all the bases at being able to moisturize, protect, and add natural coverage. A CC cream might feature natural redness-reducing ingredients, such as niacinamide, while a DD is likely to have more sun protection. EE creams are more for exfoliating, and not meant for all-day use.
How do I decide between BB cream and her counterparts when aiming for natural coverage?
Most of these beauty creams or balms will have similar coverage. It really boils down to the look you’re after and if you have any skin concerns. If you’re looking for lighter coverage and a more natural, dewy finish - or for days when you want minimal makeup - then a BB cream will be your best bet. If you’re looking for the ultimate in sun protection, you might opt for a DD cream – or for color-correcting, a CC cream.
Had enough of the alphabet cream song-and-dance? We’ll do you a favor and leave out “AA” and “FF”... for now! We know BB creams have etched a distinct mark in the world and alphabet of cosmetics. Their ability to confer a radiant, natural look, combined with the health benefits they provide, signifies more than just a beauty trend – it’s a beauty staple!
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.