Foundation vs. BB Cream - What's the Difference?

Being an advocate for natural beauty, I use a vast range of products that are easy to use and readily accessible for my clients. I, of course have my favourites, but depending on skin type, age and lifestyle I recommend both BB Creams and foundations to my clients, as opposed to one or the other.


I'm asked often, "What's the difference between the two?" and "How do I know which one is right for me?" Knowing what kind of coverage you like is key, but understanding the level of benefit each product gives is essential.

Depending on the brand/manufacturer, “BB” stands for “blemish balm” or “beauty balm” and does the job of several of your favourite products, such as facial serum, tinted moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, concealer and foundation but their key ingredients are antioxidants to help protect skin against free radicals and damage from pollution.


BB cream offers an all-in-one formula that is designed to do everything from healing acne to minimising wrinkles and dark circles, however as far as coverage goes, BB creams fall somewhere between tinted moisturiser and foundation, which makes them great for days when you want some coverage but don’t want to look “made up” — perfect for busy Mums on the go, beach days and the gym, for instance.


If you're prone to breakouts, BB cream is is a good option. Not only do they give you lightweight coverage to conceal redness, but they also help to reflect the light for natural-looking radiance while keeping skin clog-free and hydrated. And if that wasn't enough, the formula actually helps to prevent aging, with its elasticity-improving properties and SPF, making it great both for teens looking for lightweight coverage as well as adults simultaneously dealing with breakouts and the signs of aging. If you suffer from rosacea or acne, apply BB cream to your whole face, then apply concealer to spot-treat problematic areas.


As for foundation; some offer anti-aging properties, SPF, and other skin care benefits but they aren’t formulated to improve your skin the way BB creams do, that being said, it is thicker in consistency and therefore, if full coverage is your top priority, foundation is likely for you. An added bonus is that foundation shades can have up to 40 or so shades in their range as opposed to the limited shades offered for BB Creams.


SIDE NOTE: While some suggest applying with your fingers is best, using a brush will prevent transferring oils from your fingers to your face.


Having the knowledge of what makes each formula different and what you want to address with your skin - whether it's tone, texture, or hydration will make choosing the right formula and level of coverage far easier. It's all down to testing different products on your skin to see which works best for you.