What’s The Difference Between Tinted Moisturizers And BB Creams?

Every brand seems to be coming out with their own BB Cream these days, but are they worth it? Should we all throw out our tinted moisturizers and switch over to BB Creams instead? Well, it depends. Although it may seem like tinted moisturizers and BB Creams are pretty much the same thing, as they both hydrate skin and contain enough pigment to even out the skintone, they are two different products and perform differently. So, what are the differences between them and which one should we choose?

What are tinted moisturizers?

Tinted moisturizes are moisturizers with pigment. Available in several shades, they hydrate skin like a moisturizer and provide a nice sheer coverage that’s enough to even out the skin tone, but not to conceal any imperfections. If your skin isn’t almost flawless to begin with, tinted moisturizers aren’t for you. Their texture is usually lightweight too and they tend to fade quite quickly. In addition, they usually don’t contain any anti-aging or sunscreen ingredients (although you should never use any makeup product or moisturizer as a substitute for sunscreen anyway).

What are BB creams?

BB Creams, which stand for Blemish Balm Creams, were created by German dermatologists to help soothe and regenerate the skin of patients who had undergone laser skin surgery. BB Creams first became popular in Korea, from there they took the entire Asian continent by storm and are now making their way into the western markets. BB Creams have a thicker texture than tinted moisturizers, but not as thick as that of foundations. They are more pigmented than tinted moisturizers, evening out the skin tone while covering minor imperfections too. In addition, they are full of hydrating, anti-aging (and in Asia also whitening) ingredients and provide some sun protection too (although not as well as sunscreen). However, they usually come in only one or two shades so not everyone will be able to find a good match for their skintone.

There are CC Creams too!

CC Creams, or Color Control Creams, are often described as BB Creams on steroids. Developed in Korea, CC Creams are improved BB Creams, and contain more anti-aging ingredients, a higher SPF and provide more coverage, yet their texture is lighter, which allows them to go on smoother and look more natural. They usually have brightening properties as well. However, at the moment, they’re not easily available out of Asia.

Which one should you use?

That depends on what your needs are. If you just need a product that will keep your skin soft and hydrated while providing the sheerest coverage to even out the skintone, a tinted moisturizer will do. If instead, you need more coverage and would like a product that offers anti-aging benefits too, opt for a BB Cream. CC Creams are slightly better than BB Creams as their texture is lighter and less oily, and they contain even more anti-aging ingredients, but they’re not as easily available outside Asia.

Do you prefer tinted moisturizers or BB Creams? Which one do you use? Or are you sticking with foundation instead?

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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Ana, I dont believe bb creams or tinted moisturizers are better than moisturizer and foundation. I think in the end it simply comes down to what your needs are. If you want very little coverage, then a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation may be a better option for instance. Others may prefer a 2 in 1 product for lack of time and in that case these creams will come in handy. But it’s not necessary to switch to them if you don’t feel the need to.

  1. Marianthi says

    I love your explaning this whole BB/tinted moisturiser thing.
    Now that I have my skin under control, BB cream and powder is all I do as base, because I am a little bored. The correct BB cream works great to even out my face for everyday use.
    Still, if I make a more “serious” makeup or my acne gets out of control, I go back to moisturizer and foundation. So really, I do not think there is a rule we have to stick to.
    As for CC creams I do not think I can take that seriously. Not because there is something wrong with the products, no, but because it sounds so funny. It is like someone does not have the rights to do a BB cream so he makes a knock-off and calls it CC.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Marianthi, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I agree with you about there being no rules. In the end, what you use comes down to your skin needs and personal preference and it’s good that we have so many options to choose from these days.

      And lol, I hadn’t thought about it that way. I guess when someone has a good idea, there will always be someone else who comes out with an improved or knocked-off version of it.

  2. Janessa says

    Wow, I have never heard of CC creams! I wonder what’s next.. 😛 I would rather just apply my antioxident serum and other serums before my somewhat moisturizing sunscreen and then moisturizer on top of that instead of one product to do it all since I don’t wear foundation. But even then, I think the products would absorb better into my skin. I spend a good chunk of my morning with skincare but I treat it like I’m doing makeup too and as I wait for products to sink it, I do other things. :]

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, I think it’s convenient to have a one-in-all product. But even if the idea is nice, it’s hard to find a multitasking product that really does it all, like you may have a BB cream that offers great coverage but not that great sun protection. It’ll about finding the right products and if a few separate ones work best for you, then by all means use those.

  3. Lee says

    Does the CC Cream from Chanel have brightening or whitening properties too, or does it just use it’s own pigment to color correct by appearance?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Lee, I think it has some whitening properties as well, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find its ingredient list anywhere so I can’t be 100% sure. Do you happen to have it, by the way?

      • Lee says

        Unfortunately, no I do not have it currently, but am hoping to get it soon. When I do get a tube of it, I will take a picture of the ingredients and send it to you so that you’ll have it for others as well. Thank you for checking on that for me :)

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