Can You Use BB Cream on its Own?

Can You Use BB Cream on its Own

Can You Use BB Cream on its Own? BB cream’s been hot in the beauty world for a while now. There are hundreds of different formulas and functions,. There are just as many ideas about how to use it. One question that surfaces a lot is this: can I use BB cream on its own?

The short answer is yes. Read more for explanations on why, how, and other useful information to help you blend BB cream into your regular makeup routine – or replace that routine altogether.

What is BB Cream?

The “BB” in BB cream stands for one of their possible things, depending on who you ask: beauty balm, blemish balm, and beauty base. Beauty balm seems to be the more popular version. But it easily fulfills all three

BB cream was a German dermatologist’s brilliant solution to the harshness of 1950’s and 1960’s era skincare treatments. Patients experienced skin irritation which traditional makeup only exacerbated. BB cream, however, was engineered to soothe irritated and reddened skin, and obviate the need for makeup by blending away small blemishes like wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, acne scars, and sun spots.

BB cream, at its core, is a 3-in-1 formula of moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation. It’s also sometimes called a tinted moisturizer, but if you see something labeled like that check to make sure it has a sun protection element included. BB cream is a skincare product with a makeup application.

Will it Work for Me? I’ve Tried Everything!

BB cream comes in all tins and types. There’re special formulas for sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin, rosacea, those with allergies, and every skin tone imaginable. For those who shop as much with their consciences as with their wallets, there are even all-natural, vegan, and cruelty-free options in nifty recyclable packaging available.

What I Love About BB cream

I discovered BB cream in college, when I was too busy to spend time on a morning routine and beginning to question the societal pressure for women to wear makeup all the time. On top of that, I’m blind. I can’t see blemishes in the mirror, and trying to blend powders and choose colors is a real chore.

I wanted a simple, easy-to-use product or two that could cover up my insecurities without requiring a lot of time and effort to make sure I got it right since I couldn’t check in the mirror. I was absolutely sure something this practical couldn’t exist until a consultant recommended BB cream.

All I had to do was cleanse and exfoliate, apply the cream, and I could leave my apartment without giving my face a second thought. It’s perfect for a ‘no makeup” makeup look, highlighting a woman’s natural beauty, nourishing her skin, and still concealing details of your skin health and history you’d like to keep to yourself.

BB cream should be applied with the fingertips if possible, using the body’s natural heat to gently melt the ingredients into the skin. However, if you prefer, a makeup sponge is a perfectly fine choice. This can be useful or those who have fine motor control issues, too. BB cream is accessible for everyone.

I can’t emphasize enough the sheer number of formulas and varieties of BB cream on the market. While that may seem overwhelming, remember that you can eliminate many of them by color factor alone. Then decide how much protection you need from the sun. Formulas can include aloe vera, and there’s even one that offers 45 SPF! In skin cream! No more sticky, smelly sunscreen slathered on your face ruining your look and causing break-outs!

What’s in it? Fairy Dust?

Nope – fairy dust is a powder. We’re trying to get away from that, remember?

BB cream formulas vary widely because human skin varies widely. BB cream is less about core ingredients and more about the function it serves. As our knowledge of dermatology and chemistry and environmental sciences improves, so does BB cream.

You can find updated formulas that contain anti-aging ceramides, hyaluronic acid, retinol, aloe, plant essential oils, and dozens of other simple, pure ingredients. There are water-free formulas, oil-free formulas, matt and dewy finishes, and formulas that don’t include parabens and other toxic chemicals. This is where research and some trial-and-error comes in. There’s a BB cream out there for your skin, but it might not be the first, second or third version you try.

What Do I Do with the Creams that Don’t Work?

While some formulas are designed to decompose quickly and come in recyclable packaging, most of them still come in single-use plastic tubes. You don’t want to just throw it away, but you might not be able to return an opened product. Try donating the leftovers of your skincare experimentation – and the primer, tone, concealer, moisturizer, and foundation you no longer use – to a local women’s shelter. Someone there could probably use a little shine in their lives.

Do I Still Need Makeup?

BB cream makes makeup optional. If you like the creative artistry of contouring and highlighting, adding a little shimmer, or darkening your lashes, BB cream works as a great foundation to apply powders and pencils over.

But you can skip all that if you want to. BB cream acts as your moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen, but also as a concealer and primer, too. It’s the skincare version of “wash and wear.” Just cleanse and exfoliate, pat your skin dry, then gently blend the cream over your face, and you’re good to go!

The Alphabet cream Craze

When shopping for the right BB cream you might come across variations on this theme. Once cosmetic companies realized that multipurpose products were a hit, they started rolling out all kinds of spinoff products.

CC cream, Color Control or Complexion Corrector, is the closest to BB cream in purpose. While BB cream is skincare first, makeup second, however, CC cream is the opposite. It focuses more on concealing blemishes than nourishing the skin. While it still contains moisturizing and sun protection elements, it offers more coverage than BB cream.

DD cream has too many names to explain, and most of them just sound like companies jumping on the alphabet bandwagon. Its basic function, however, is to act as a shield. It is almost entirely a skincare product, offering anti-aging serum ides, anti-oxidants, and more sun protection.

EE cream, extra Exfoliation, isn’t a makeup product at all, but purely a cleansing product. It cleans and exfoliates the skin, but you’ll want to add a moisturizer and makeup – or BB or CC cream – on top to complete your skincare and beauty routines.

Your Skin, Your look, Your Choice

BB cream is really the most complete of all its sister products and by far the most flexible since it can be completely effective both with and without makeup. If you want a single product to streamline your mornings and give you more control over your look, I definitely recommend choosing a BB cream that complements your skin tone and suits your individual skincare needs.

Further reading material

I hope that you’ve learned something from this article and that you had fun reading it. I have selected some other articles that you might like and you can find them below. I hand-picked them especially for you so that you can go on and start reading about another of your favorite subjects. Simply click one of the links and start reading.

Can You Use BB Cream as Concealer?
Do You Need to Set BB Cream With Powder?
Can You Use BB Cream at Night?


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!

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