BB Creams and CC Creams that Don’t Clog Pores

We’ve reviewed and picked our favorites.

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Curology Team
Apr 25, 2018 · 3 min read

Swatches of 5 different shades of concealer, organized from lightest to darkest.
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

You’ve probably heard of BB cream, and if you’re like us, you probably have some questions. Questions like what do BB and CC stand for? and, most importantly, will it clog my pores?

First of all, BB stands for Beauty Balm: it treats the skin, like a moisturizer, but also provides coverage, like a foundation. Typically, BB creams provide more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, but aren’t as heavy as a regular foundation. So with a BB cream, you get the benefits of a moisturizer or serum and ample coverage.

Another benefit of BB creams: they’re easier and quicker to blend in than traditional foundation. For that reason, BB cream can be a great way to streamline both your makeup and skincare routines, especially if you don’t like the heavy feeling that foundation can have on your skin. Each BB cream has different benefits designed for different skin types, and even different levels of coverage, meaning you can easily switch out your usual moisturizer, primer, and foundation routine for a single BB cream.

If you’re concerned with redness or uneven skin tone, CC cream is a great alternative (CC stands for Color Correcting). It’s very similar to BB cream, but with the added color-correcting benefit. (We just learned that there are also AA, EE, and even ZZ creams, but we’ll save the rest of the alphabet for another time.) Whether you go with BB or CC is totally up to your personal preference.

One very important thing to remember: Before you buy any BB or CC cream, look it up on to make sure it doesn’t contain acne-triggering ingredients. (All of the products we recommend here on the blog pass the CosDNA test, FYI.)

Another thing: some BB creams have SPF, which is great! But unless the SPF is 30 or higher, don’t rely only on that for your sun protection — use a stronger sunscreen underneath.

Our experts recommend:

  • Rimmel BB Cream Beauty Balm Matte — medium coverage, blends in easily, contains SPF 15, and it comes at a budget-friendly price point.

Rimmel london product

Photo Credit: Amazon

  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream — blends in easily, but provides full coverage for a CC cream. It’s made with SPF 50, so you can use just this one product after cleansing in the morning and you’re good to go! Added bonus: it’s a physical sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), which is safer for sensitive skin than chemical sunscreen.

it cosmetics product

Photo Credit: Ipsy

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Cream — medium-to-full coverage, broad spectrum SPF 20, higher price point — but a little goes a long way!

Tarte product

Photo Credit: Tarte Cosmetics

  • Maybelline DREAM PURE BB®— medium coverage. Caution: This one contains salicylic acid, so proceed with caution if you’ve got sensitive skin, or if you just recently started using Curology.

Dream Pure BB

Photo Credit: Amazon

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