The Difference Between: BB + CC Cream + Tinted Moisturizers

by Molly Gardner
the difference between tinted moisturizer and bb cc creams

Anyone else wondering what the difference is between a BB cream, a CC cream, and a Tinted Moisturizer?

15-benefits-in-1!  Boosts skin glow!  Protects against environmental damage!  AGH.  The madness.  So.  Many.  Buzz.  Words.

I wanted to do a comparison as I’ve noticed, on my own skin.



Tinted moisturizer | is just like what it sounds like.  A moisturizer with a hint of color.  Hydrates skin, some provide SPF.  Gives your skin a glow, evens skin tone.  They are perfect for people without a lot of surface redness or discolorations.

BB cream | stands for “Blemish Balm” and also hydrates with a tint of color.  BB creams also have optical diffusers, which is basically a real life filter for your skin. 

They blur imperfections such as acne and redness and give your skin a youthful glow, with shimmer.  Most have more skin care ingredients than a basic moisturizer, so over time, they help improve the look of your skin.  Most also have SPF.

CC Cream | stands for “Color Correction.”  They hydrate and also blur imperfections. 

CC creams have all the same benefits as a BB cream, but the biggest difference is the color correction.  CC creams have more pigment.  

I would say they are the perfect in between of a tinted moisturizer and a foundation.  The coverage is slightly more sheer than a foundation, but with skin care benefits.  They are great for skin with fine lines and wrinkles.


F A V O R I T E   P R O D U C T S 

Tinted Moisturizer |

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue, $32 for 1.18 oz

Laura Mercier Oil Free (has more pigment than the regular version), $46 for 1.7oz.



BB Cream |

Garnier Oil-Free version, $12.99 for 2 oz.



CC Cream |

It Cosmetics with SPF 50, $38 for 1.08 oz.



And here is a side by side comparison.  Sorry the lighting is a bit different between the two, but I think it’s still a good example of the difference in coverage.

Related Post | The Best BB + CC Creams and Tinted Moisturizer of 2020 (video try-on)

Garnier BB cream on the left, It Cosmetics CC cream on the right.

Garnier BB cream on the left, It Cosmetics CC cream on the right.


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Thank you for reading!  As always, I hope these posts are helpful.  Leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you think.

xo –

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Shawn April 11, 2014 - 5:48 pm

Do you have a recommendation for a cheaper CC?

Reply April 11, 2014 - 6:00 pm

So far, It Cosmetics is my favorite CC cream, but it is pricey. I like the Physician’s Formula Organic Wear CC cream. It doesn’t have as much pigment, but is pretty good stuff! It costs about $15, but you can always find drugstore sales. I think I got mine during a 40% off sale at CVS. I hope this helps!

Shawn April 30, 2014 - 10:49 pm

Yes, thank you! #tenyearslater

Reply May 5, 2014 - 7:12 pm

Haha! Better late than never 🙂

Elisa Tess June 4, 2014 - 7:07 pm

If I am trying to go for a make-up free look, do you think BB or CC does a better job? I still would prefer to have the blurring effects and the sun protection. It sounds like a tinted moisturizer wont. work for this.


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