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Makeup · June 12, 2017

Deciphering BB Creams, CC Creams, and Tinted Moisturizers

BB, CC"alphabet creams" have taken the beauty world by storm and it's safe to say they're here to stay. Add tinted moisturizers to the mix and the complexion category gets even more complicated. But in fact, all three have their own unique qualities and benefits that make them more than just makeup. If you don't want to take us at face value, read on. We're spelling out (get it?) what you need to know about each type of base and which one will work best for you.

Tinted Moisturizer

##What it is: True to its name, a tinted moisturizer is ideal if you want sheer coverage with hydrating benefits. Reaching for one will help cut the need for separate skincare and makeup steps. Those with less problematic pores (lucky!) will benefit from the minimal makeup look of this lightweight formula.

Our Favorite Formulas:

Best For Oily T-Zones: Jouer Matte Moisture Tint features a multimineral complex that hydrates and mattifies, leaving your skin with a velvety-smooth finish sans shine. What's more, SPF 15 protects your complexion from the sun while vitamins C and E deliver potent antioxidants to defend against environmental aggressors.

Best For Skin Fatigue: ARROW ENERGIZE Skin Tint is just what a parched or tired complexion needs. The cruelty-, paraben-, and oil-free formula skews more skincare than makeup, providing sheer coverage while also moisturizing and plumping skin with caffeine and ginseng.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen hydrates without clogging pores and also adds color and illumination to skin so it maintains a healthy glow the whole day through.

BB Cream

##What it is: When BB creams, aka Beauty Balms, made their stateside debut, we kept hearing about their incredible multitasking benefits. Now, we have fully embraced them as our morning savior for their ability to prime, moisturize, and provide coverage all in one step. They feel lighter than a foundation but offer more coverage than tinted moisturizers. Many also contain nourishing ingredients to fight signs of aging. As an added bonus, some even have SPF protection.

Our Favorite Formulas:

Best For Anti-Aging: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 acts as a four-in-one tinted primer, moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum. The formula uses adenosine to improve skin elasticity, arbutin to brighten, an antioxidant bio-peptide complex to promote collagen production, and a mineral sunscreen blend for broad spectrum protection.

Best For Minimizing: Dr. Jart+ Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm SPF 30 makes wrinkles and pores do a disappearing act. Formulated for combination skin, it hydrates and controls oil production at the same time while tightening pores and fine lines to give you a smooth, even complexion. It also protects skin from UV rays with SPF 30.

Best For Dullness: Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow moisturizes, primes, and adds light coverage with a glowtrue to its namefor an all-over luminescence. If youve had a long night or havent been keeping to your eight glasses of water a day, the formula will disguise the tell-tale signs (think: lackluster appearance and dryness) for a healthy-looking complexion.

CC Cream

##What it is: If you're concerned about hyperpigmentation or redness, CC creamsshort for "color correcting"will provide many of the same benefits as BB creams (like priming and moisturizing with skin-loving ingredients) but with a focus on evening out tone. Similar to your favorite color-correcting concealers and primers, they're designed to cancel out any discoloration, like dark spots or red patches, without needing to layer multiple products.

Our Favorite Formulas:

Best For Brightening: Marcelle CC Cream SPF 35 Complete Correction - Golden Glow promises to deliver on just what its name indicates with a formula that features tiny flecks of light-reflecting pigments. It also controls shine, lightly conceals, hydrates, and evens out tone for your most radiant complexion ever.

Best For Acne: Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35+ has a 100% mineral formula that provides proper coverage for concealing blemishes while delivering long-term anti-aging benefits (plus SPF 35). It's also infused with essential fatty acids to minimize discoloration and inflammation, so it won't aggravate your acne further.


Alexis Bridenbaugh