Learn the difference between BB cream and foundation - Garnier SkinActive Learn the difference between BB cream and foundation - Garnier SkinActive

What’s the difference between bb cream and foundation?

The skin care and beauty space is a crowded one. Every few months new products arrive vowing to give you the best looking skin. BB cream arrived on the scene a few years ago and has steadily maintained its popularity making it a beauty staple. If you’ve heard of this product before, but still aren’t sure how it’s different than a foundation or a tinted moisturizer, we’re giving you the 411. Find out how you should use BB cream and why you need it.

What Is BB Cream?

BB cream is short for ‘blemish balm’ cream. It is designed to be effective and efficient, so you can enjoy fresh, healthy-looking skin. BB creams frequently have formulas with antioxidants such Vitamin A, C and E, which can help protect, improve your skin’s appearance, hydrate and improve skin’s overall brightness. It’s a versatile combination of products such as moisturizer, primer, SPF, foundation, skin care and concealer all in one.

How Does It Differ From Foundation?

Foundation and BB cream differ in a variety of ways and it’s important for you to identify what you are looking for in terms of end result before you commit to either.


Foundation is typically thicker and provides more coverage. BB cream is typically light and while it can conceal blemishes, it typically won’t cover major scars or blemishes.

Skin Care

Unlike most foundations, BB cream has skin care built right into it meaning that while you are wearing it, it can help even skin tone, deeply hydrate, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and protect your skin. It can also help give your skin moisture and hydration. Conversely if you buy a product specifically for oily skin it can help regulate oil production and mattify your complexion.

Skin Tones

Foundations usually come in a variety of very specific skin tones while BB creams are more likely to come in general color ranges ie. fair, medium or dark. Make sure you blend your product.


Most, if not all, BB creams are formulated with SPF as many foundations do not. This means that your skin will be protected if you are wearing BB cream. If you are only wearing foundation you may have to double up and wear both SPF and foundation in order to protect yourself from sun damage.