How to Stop BB Cream From Coming Off?

How to Stop BB Cream From Coming Off

BB creams are a godsend for many make-up wearers (myself included) because they can eliminate a few steps in the makeup routine but can be buildable. I love them because I have sensitive skin with pores that can easily become clogged when I apply too many products to it. With just a pump or a few light drops, I can look human enough to leave my apartment and not worry about being asked if I’m feeling unwell.

A common drawback with any alphabet cream, or any makeup product in general, is the wear time. Even if the advertisement says that the BB cream or foundation is long-lasting, in a few hours you need to reapply. Sometimes there is visible rolling or pilling as the product comes off your face. The question is why? All of the brands can’t be lying in their ads, so I researched what could be the causes. This article sums up my findings.

Why Does My BB Cream Rub off?

There are a few reasons why your BB cream may be rubbing or rolling off, and some of them will take you back to 8th-grade science class.

  • You touch your face. No matter how much primer and setting spray you use, that is going to transfer your makeup onto your fingers where it does not belong.
  • You are applying too much product. Whether it is your skincare or your BB cream, excess product will not adhere to your skin and will rub off.
  • Even if you are applying the correct amount, if you do not allow the layers of your skincare and makeup to absorb fully, that can lead to pilling as well.
  • The ingredients in the products you are using do not mix well. There may be too many oils in them or too many slippery ones like silicone and dimethicone. OR (and here is where remedial science comes in) you are mixing ingredients in the wrong order, for example, applying a water-based BB cream on top of an oil-based serum or lotion.

Do You Need a Setting Spray for a BB cream to Keep it from Rubbing Off?

Now that we know what is causing our foundations and BB creams to rub off our faces, we can figure out solutions. Primers and setting sprays can be effective in keeping makeup from coming off. Be careful, though, because many of these contain slippery ingredients like silicone, dimethicone, mica, talc, and fluorphlogopite (a synthetic version of mica). Make sure that these are not one of the first five ingredients on the product label’s list.


One great option is Ren Perfect Canvas Clean Primer. It is silicon-free and contains blue agave extract to help makeup stick to the skin for all-day wear. This primer also has probiotics and alpha glucans to keep skin supple, healthy, and youthful-looking. The ingredients and packaging are all clean, and Ren cosmetics are all cruelty-free, so feel free to love this product with a clear conscience.

Too Faced Hangover Setting Spray is a multitasker. It is a primer, a setting spray, and a makeup refresher all in one. Since it is silicone and alcohol-free and is infused with coconut water, your BB cream or foundation will stay in place and keep your skin hydrated. This product is an Amazon’s Choice and is available in a two-pack set with the Too Faced Hangover Primer on the website.

Another Amazon’s Choice is Smashbox Photo Finish Water Primer. This one is good for all skin types because it is water-based, oil-free, and contains lots of hydrating components. There are two sizes available on Amazon, a 1 fluid ounce and a 3.9 fluid ounce bottle, so you can get your money’s worth. It is also versatile like the Too Faced product above because it can be used as a primer as well as a makeup refresher.

I prefer primer and setting sprays over powders (whether they are loose or pressed) because it is less work (I really do not like to spend more than 5 minutes on my makeup routine) and it eliminates the possibility of moving the product around your face unnecessarily. The less you move your BB cream around your face, the less chance of it pilling and rubbing off.

How Do You Stop Your BB Cream from Rubbing Off?

In addition to using primers and setting sprays that don’t contain silicone or any other slippery ingredients, there are some ways to keep your alphabet cream or foundation from leaving your face.

  • Know your skin type. Understanding what works for you and what ingredients you need to steer clear of to keep your skin at its best. This will give your BB cream the best chance of staying put.
  • Use products that advertise long wear capabilities.
  • As mentioned above some ingredients do not mix well, so pay attention to what is in the alphabet cream, tinted moisturizer, or foundation you use, as well as your basic skincare products.
  • Apply enough product for your desired coverage, but do not overdo it.
  • Speaking of skincare, have a reliable routine that includes a cleanser, SPF, and moisturizer(s) that targets your skin type.
  • Give the layers of your routine time to absorb and the setting sprays dry before adding the next one.

What Is the Best Way to Apply Your BB Cream to Prevent It from Coming Off?

You can play with application routines until you find what works best for your skin and preferred products. Lots of beauty influencers have tutorials on which variations of routines they have found to be successful and highlight which products give them the best results. Here is a general step-by-step guide that will help boost the probability of your BB cream staying on your face all day long.

  1. Wash your face with a cleanser that is good for your skin type. Pat your skin dry gently to keep from harshly wiping off water that can be absorbed into your skin.
  2. Apply your water-based serum or moisturizer. After a minute or two, put on your Drink a glass of water while that sinks in. That’s right, hydrate inside and out.
  3. Apply your favorite sunscreen (even if your BB cream has some SPF, there is never too much of it). We do not have an ozone layer anymore, so protect that skin all year round, rain or shine. Read up on the effects of sun damage as you let that absorb.

Now here is where you can play with different techniques using primers or setters. Applying a primer before your BB cream may be a good idea for oily skin types so that the excess moisture get soaked up by the product. Top that off with one of the refreshing sprays listed above to have a hydrated, dewy finish.

Since I have dry skin, I like to put my CC cream on first then keep it in place with a light dusting of a pressed primer on my eyelids and nose because those are the places where my makeup fades the quickest. Last, I lock it all in all over with a setting spray.

Conclusion and Last Tips

Just as it is important to have a great makeup routine, it is crucial to having a great night routine. Completely removing the day’s makeup, sweat, and dirt and establishing a proper cleansing and moisturizing regime will keep your skin looking and feeling its best and gives your BB cream, primer, and setter the best base possible.

Figuring out your priming and setting a routine can get pricey, so take advantage of gift sets and travel-sized products to test out which you love, and which are not meant for you. Once you find your winners, you can splurge on the larger sizes to get the best values. Now go and amplify your beautiful face!

Further reading material

I hope that you found this article helpful and that you learned something about it! If you want, you can read up on some more beauty-related articles! Below I’ve hand-picked a couple of articles that you might like to read. Simply click on one of them and start reading.

Do You Need to Remove BB Cream From Your Face?
How Much Makeup Do I Really Need?
Can You Die From Eating Makeup?

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