Can You Use Primer Under Your BB Cream?

Learn about whether or not you can use primer under your favorite BB cream

Makeup is a fun way to express your creativity and feel confident in yourself, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. From experience, I know how many different kinds of makeup products there are to figure out, and sometimes it can feel nearly impossible to learn the order and use of each product.

Short Answer

So, can you use a primer under BB cream? The short answer is yes, but BB cream is a mix of several different products including primer, so it is not always necessary. Give it a try and see for yourself, or read on and try out some of these tips instead.

Can you use primer under you BB cream? Long Answer

The long answer is a little more complicated. If you find it works, go ahead and put primer under your BB Cream. In the end, makeup is all about tailoring your routine to what you and your skin needs. However, layering these two relatively similar products can give the effect of putting on two layers of foundation: a cakey, uncomfortable effect that doesn’t help any makeup lie any smoother on your face.

If you’re prone to oil, this routine of essentially doubling up on primers and then adding other products on top can accentuate the oily look you try to avoid. So yes, you can use a primer under BB Cream. Remember, though, BB Cream is made to include primer, so using both is redundant, and using both is not advised.

How to apply Primer, BB Cream or both

If you choose to apply any one of these products, this is the order that will give you the most hope of success. Feel free to try out one, two or all of these methods to see which one gives you the best result. A little tip, if applying both makes you feel like you just applied movie theatre popcorn butter to your face, try using just BB Cream for a much lighter feel.

If using primer, first, you have the option of applying moisturizer. If you have dry skin, this may be helpful. Then apply primer. Apply it where you know you will be applying heavier layers of foundation or concealer. Use soft, upward swiping motions to rub the primer into the skin.

Next, apply sunscreen if needed, foundation, setting powder, and any other makeup you may want to apply that day.

If you are using BB Cream, there is no need to apply moisturizer, as it is already included in the formula. Apply the BB Cream either all over the face for a light all-over coverage or on problem areas if you want close to no coverage. Use a sponge or fingers to gently tap in the product.

A sponge applicator can help give you a more flawless look. If you tend to struggle with oil, a setting powder may help keep the BB Cream in place. Otherwise, you can move onto other makeup such as eyeshadow, lipstick, eyeliner or anything else.

If you are set on using both, first apply the primer. Since it is not tinted, you want to apply it first. For more chance at success, apply a thin layer and let your face rest for about 30 seconds to a minute to give it a chance to sink in. Then, apply a thin layer of BB Cream. Use a sponge or your fingertips to gently pat the product into the face. Setting powder is highly encouraged to offset the oil. Then apply the rest of your makeup as normal.

Purpose of Primer

The purpose of makeup primer is to create a smooth, flawless canvas that makeup can easily sit on. The best primers fill large pores and imperfections, so they are unnoticeable. Some primers are specific to dry skin, while some reduce an oily look. Primers can help skin health all around and can be especially helpful to those who have struggled with acne or dry skin in the past.

Purpose of BB Cream

BB Cream is a new generation mix of, primarily, foundation, although it can also include SPF, primer, moisturizer, or skin treatment. It was developed recently as a replacement for the seemingly redundant layers of product. Instead of layering treatment, moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, and foundation, BB Cream combines it into one step.

Differences between the two products

Primer has one use and one use only: to prime the skin for other makeup. It may be better for some’s skin because it has fewer ingredients, but if you’re looking to apply all of the different products, you will be exposing your skin to all of the other ingredients anyway.

I like to go the whole nine yards when I’m having a breakout or want more coverage. Although primer doesn’t provide coverage like BB Cream, it allows the use of a full coverage foundation later.

BB Cream has several uses. It’s primarily used for a light coverage foundation for light blemishes. In addition, it can provide sun protection, skin treatment, and many other benefits, depending on the type of BB Cream you use. I enjoy using BB Cream on days when I’ll be out in the sun or the heat for most of the day. Since it is only one product, it takes more to melt off of your face.

Similarities between the two products

Both products provide a foundation for other makeup you may want to apply. They have similar ingredients for that reason. In addition, both products can have health benefits for your skin, depending on the type of product you pick.

Personally, I find these products, on the whole, to be very similar, especially when I choose to use concealer. Both protect my skin and can provide health benefits. The slight coverage from the BB Cream is easily comparable with the coverage you would get from blending concealer across breakouts or problem areas.

Which product is better?

When I learned that these two products are so similar, that was the first question that came to my mind. If two products do the same thing, it is logical to want to know which does it better and stick to that product from now on. The tricky part is that each product is good for specific people and situations.

If you’re looking for a light coverage foundation that gives a glowing look and doesn’t hold any risk of caking up, BB Cream is a great choice. The simple one-step product makes getting ready fast and easy, and it’s less likely to melt off, especially if you use a setting powder or spray.

On the other hand, a primer only has one use, so you can bet it follows through on its promises. BB Cream is so multi-functional that it isn’t the best at anything, just very easy. Primer is meant to go on first, so mixing it in with foundation means it will not perform as well as it could.

If you’re looking for strong coverage and have the time, go with primer and follow with foundation. It takes longer, and there is more of a risk of looking cakey; each product is formulated to do one job, and it will do that job well.


So, in conclusion, you can wear a primer under BB Cream, but it isn’t very productive. In my experience, if you are prone to an oily face at all, wearing both products will increase the appearance of oil even a couple of hours after applying makeup, which is never fun.

By all means, wear makeup however you like, but don’t expect a flawless look from layering too many similar products like these. And if you do try it, remember your oil absorbing sheets!

Further reading

When you read this far, it is almost certain that you liked the article! If so, I have a couple more articles that you might like. Below you’ll find a couple of links that you can click on so that you can read more about your favorite subject!

Do You Apply BB Cream With Your Fingers?
Do You Use Concealer With BB Cream?
Can I Use BB Cream With Sunscreen?


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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