What Is BB Cream vs Concealer?

what is the difference between BB cream vs concealer. Which is better?

Finding the right beauty product can be a daunting task, even overwhelming. This guide will help you choose the best base product to suit your makeup needs.

How to choose?

We’ve all been there- staring down the endless rows of skin-tinted bottles and tubes, wondering how we would possibly manage to figure out the perfect shade. To make matters worse, every shade seems to come in a dozen different brands and formulations. With the hefty price tag attached to these purchases, it is only natural to want to find the right product on the first try. Armed with the right knowledge, it can be done.

What is BB cream vs Concealer?

First, determine the results you’re hoping to achieve. Do you need a product to correct or hide small problem areas such as age spots, blemishes, and scars? That is a job for concealer.

However, if you’re looking for something to minimize wrinkles, improve skin tone, protect from the sun, or provide all-over coverage in a single formulation then you will want to choose a BB cream.

Concealer and BB creams both have different jobs, with the former being a spot treatment and BB cream being an all-over treatment. But with a little knowledge and practice, they can be used together to create a flawless look. Read on to learn more about “what is bb cream vs concealer“!

What is BB cream?

No doubt you’ve seen these letters on the face of many products. It’s no surprise because the versatile BB cream has become very popular in markets all across the world.

BB stands for “blemish balm” or “beauty balm” and it really is a jack of all trades. While different brands may have different formulations and special additives, there are a few standard features to BB creams across the board.

  • Moisturizer- Our skin loses moisture daily due to washing, sun and wind exposure, and the general climate. Applying a daily moisturizer is a necessary step for healthy, fresh looking skin.
  • Primer- A primer is a product that you can apply as a base layer before a heavier foundation. Primers can help boost the coverage of your foundation, and keep the foundation in place for longer.
  • Foundation- The foundation is the overall tint or color that smooths out skin color inconsistencies and gives a more flawless look.
  • Sunscreen- We know it’s important to protect our skin from the sun for many reasons. Wearing sunscreen daily can not only provide protection against skin cancers, but it also helps reduce the premature appearance of lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.

Overall, BB creams try to cover a lot of ground with one simple product. This not only saves money from purchasing several separate products but also saves time in applying each individually. The space-saving nature of BB creams also makes them wonderful to travel with.

A single tube of BB cream can provide most or all of the treatments many people wish to use on a daily basis. The hardest part is to find a BB cream that closely matches your skin tone.

After that, it’s as simple as squeezing a pea-sized amount onto the back of your hand and using your other fingers to dab a bit of product around your face. Gently pat to blend over the entire surface of your face and neck, being careful not to wipe away any spot treatments or concealer you may have applied first.


At this point, you might be thinking that BB creams are an all-around wonder serum. This can be true in part, but there are some drawbacks.

It is important to check the SPF of the sunscreen in your BB cream and make sure it is high enough to provide the level of protection you need. Sometimes an additional sunscreen may be necessary, especially if the cream does not offer broad-spectrum coverage.

And last, you may be getting ingredients you don’t really want or need with some of the creams. When you see a product touting 8 or 10 different components, you may want to check to see if you really need that many features. Sometimes it is more effective to buy for example a separate wrinkle treatment cream, instead of hoping to see effects from the small amount present in a high-level multi BB cream.

The biggest drawback of a BB cream is that it just can’t offer the same amount of coverage as a concealer can. If the BB cream tint was dark enough to cover more major blemishes, acne scars, and undereye circles, it would be too cakey and unnatural to use over the whole face.

Never to fear. Once you find the perfect BB cream you can choose a complementary concealer to cover any areas the BB cream isn’t able to.

One of the most recommended bb creams as listed by Allure magazine is MD Solar Science Creme Mineral Beauty Balm. This natural mineral balm offers broad-spectrum SPF 50, vitamin E, and skin rejuvenating niacinamide. The high-end ingredients add to a classic all-around bb cream.

A more basic and budget-friendly (however still highly rated) option is the Best of Beauty award winner, Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream 8-In-1 Skin Perfector.

What does concealer do compared to BB cream?

Even though BB creams contain a tinted foundation component, this may be too light or not provide enough coverage for some. It may also be difficult to find a cream in the correct skin tone.

BB creams are designed to offer light coverage only. There is no option but to use an additional product to cover specific problem areas such as acne or scarring. This is where concealer comes in.

As the name implies, concealer is used mostly to cover up and correct small problem areas. It is not designed to be used over the entire face like a BB cream, as the result would be far too heavy and cakey.

Concealer is generally applied before a BB cream, but can also be applied after if more coverage is needed. To use, a small amount of product is applied directly to the problem spot using an included brush or sponge-tip applicator.

Most people will use concealer to cover dark undereye circles, applying a small amount under the eye and blending to soften edges.

Many people are self-conscious about darkened spots caused by acne or scarring. Concealers can be applied directly over these spots to lighten and bring them to the same tone as the surrounding skin.

Liquid concealer comes in either satin or matte finishes and generally has the widest options of skin tones to choose from. It’s the lightest coverage option, which makes it versatile to use in different areas of the face without appearing too heavy.

Cream concealer offers more coverage than liquid, so is good for hiding darker undereye circles and blemishes.

Stick concealer is the heaviest option to cover even the darkest blemishes. Being so thick it also has the tendency to cake and crease, so it should only be used in small areas.

Since liquid concealer is the most versatile and natural-looking, it usually ranks highest and is a good bet to start off with. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer topped the all-around best list for Byrdie Magazine.

When to use BB cream or concealer

BB creams are a fantastic way to get the most bang for your buck and save time on your beauty routine. They are designed to give light coverage, protection, and treatment to the entire face. If you’re looking for a one-and-done product that can give you the benefits of multiple products, look no further than a BB cream.

Concealers are only to be used in specific small problem areas and are a much-needed addition when heavier coverage is desired. You’ll want to go with one of these if you need to cover any blemishes, scarring, undereye circles, or other marks that a foundation just isn’t thick enough to cover.

Choosing BB cream or concealer

It’s possible to use concealer on its own to correct problem spots, but many people will also need the addition of an all-over moisturizer and sunscreen, if not going even further into anti-aging and healing skin treatments.

BB creams can always be used on their own, and do provide a light amount of coverage to areas. For many people this light amount of coverage suits their daily needs.

For this reason, BB cream is probably the best initial investment into your skin care routine. If needed, a separate concealer can be added after you get used to how the BB cream looks on your skin.

Building a good BB cream and concealer team will ensure that you always put your best face forward, and can go out with confidence that your skin looks as flawless as you do.

Further reading material

If you found it fun to read and you want to learn more about related subject, I advise you to click on one of the links below.

Is BB Cream Bad for You?
How to Keep BB Cream on All Day?
How to Make BB Cream Not Look Cakey?


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of wevaluebeauty.com. 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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