Skip to main content

How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

  1. blog
  2. > Skincare Products

Cream vs. powder: The definitive guide to blush

How to choose between cream vs. powder blush.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 5 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
Woman Holding a Blush
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 5 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
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.

At Curology, it’s our goal to help you feel comfortable in your skin with effective skincare treatments and expert guidance. Whether you choose to wear makeup or not is a completely personal decision—if it makes you feel good, we say go for it!

That said, a little extra guidance can help you figure out a makeup routine that works best for you. When it comes to picking out the best makeup products for you, you want to go for formulas that work with your skin, your lifestyle, and your application preferences. There’s no one way to do your makeup (that’s part of the fun of it!), but if you’ve ever wondered if you should use cream blush or powder blush to give your cheeks a pretty flush of color, we’re here to help you choose what works for you.

What is powder blush, and why should you use it?

Powder blush is exactly what it says on the label–Blush that’s in powder form. It can come in both matte and shimmery formulas. 

Powder blush tends to have a subtler look than cream blush. It builds up slower on the skin, so you can add it gradually. Powder texture also usually feels lighter on the skin. It can be an excellent option if your skin is oily, acne-prone, or has enlarged pores. 

How do you apply powder blush?

Applying powder blush is a simple process. Dip an angled fluffy makeup brush in the powder, shake off any excess, and apply it to your cheekbones. Don’t take a lot of powder on the brush at once. It’s better to start with a little and add as needed.

What is cream blush, and why should you use it?

Cream blush is—you guessed it—a cream form of blush. It provides a luminous finish.  Many cream blushes contain moisturizing ingredients that help hydrate the skin and give it a fresh and dewy finish. That’s why cream blush may be a better option for dry skin. That said, this doesn't mean that cream blush is completely out for combination or oily skin types. To play it safe, just make sure that the blush’s formula doesn't include comedogenic ingredients.

How do you apply cream blush?

Cream blush is very versatile. You can put it on your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead for a “sun-kissed” look. The best way to apply this product is with gentle bouncing movements using a blender sponge—or even clean fingers. You may want to put a small amount of blush on the back of your hand, and then transfer that blush to your face, so it’s easier to avoid applying too much. 

How to Use Cream Blush

Should you choose powder or cream blush?

Now that you know the basics of both, let's explore the differences between cream and powder blush in more detail. There are three key aspects: texture, pigmentation, and how the product is applied. 

Powder blush usually suits skin that’s oily or acne-prone. On the other hand, cream blush is generally well-suited for dry skin types. That said, oilier skin types can get great results using non-comedogenic cream blushes too.

Another difference to keep in mind is that cream blush formulas tend to have more color payoff than powder blushes. The color of the cream formula usually looks very intense. However, once it is blended, it mimics skin texture and gives a more natural finish than powder products.

Which one lasts longer depends mostly on your skin type. When using powder blush on dry skin, it may be helpful to use a makeup primer to help ensure durability. On the other hand, oily skin is prone to “dissolve'' cream blushes. In this case, applying powder blush or translucent powder over the cream blush will help set the product. 

You should apply both kinds of blush in real daylight (or, at least, in a brightly lit room) whenever possible to guarantee the best results. As a final touch, you can use some highlighter on the top of your cheekbone for a more glowing complexion.

Makeup looks better when your skin is cared for

Whether you go for cream or powder blush, the golden rule is to go with what looks and feels best for you. Picking the right product can be a game of trial and error, so don’t stress too much if it takes you a while to find the blush that’s perfect for you.

That said, one of the best ways to improve your makeup game is to make sure your skin is cared for. If you’re dealing with acne-prone skin, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, or unwanted signs of aging, Curology can help. Started in 2014 by a board-certified dermatologist, we provide personalized prescription formulas to target your skin concerns. 

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

curology bottle
curology bottle

You can get started* by simply answering a few questions about your skin and taking some selfies. Then, one of our licensed dermatology providers will help get your skincare journey started with a personalized prescription formula to help tackle your biggest skin concerns.


Which blush texture is best for summer?

Summer weather isn't the same everywhere. In places where humidity is high, makeup products with a powdery consistency are typically your best allies. Powder particles are capable of absorbing the excess water in your skin, keeping your face dry and your makeup in place. On the other hand, if summertime is very dry in your area, using a cream blush may help hydrate your skin.

Does cream blush cause acne?

The secret to making cream blush compatible with oily and acne-prone skin is to stay away from blushes containing comedogenic ingredients, which clog pores, and ingredients that cause skin irritation.

Is liquid blush better than cream blush for oily and acne-prone skin?

You can use any blush texture of your choosing if the ingredients in the formula are tailored to your own needs and do not contain pore-clogging ingredients.

• • •

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

*Cancel anytime. Subject to consultation. Results may vary

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Meredith Hartle, DO

Meredith Hartle, DO

Related Articles

Your first weeks on CurologyWrinkles and other signs you’re doing it rightWhat is micellar water and how can you use it effectively?Why Curology is cruelty-free and vegan-friendlyThe science behind our skincare quiz: why it works

Popular Articles

Ask Curology: Is my cold breaking me out?Slugging: The dermatologist-approved skincare hack going viral on TikTokTretinoin vs retinol: What’s the difference?How to create a self-care routine that actually sticksYour 2023 skincare horoscope
Try prescription skincare
30-day trial. Subject to consultation. Cancel anytime.
Get routine essentials
A display of Curology Custom Formula bottles on a white shelf.

Good skin days ahead

Join the 1M+ patients who’ve tackled everything from acne, to fine lines, to hair thinning with prescription-powered treatments, personalized by a Licensed Dermatology Provider.
Ingredients proven to tackle
  • Breakouts
  • Redness
  • Fine lines
  • Dark spots
  • Hair thinning
*Subject to consultation. Cancel anytime.
Get StartedShop ProductsWhy CurologyGuidesOur StoryCommunity
All Rights Reserved 2014-2024 Curology Inc.
Terms of ServicePrivacy Notice
Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information