When your skin is super dry, itchy, and flaky, the last thing you want to slather on is a thick, full-coverage foundation. Because no matter how expertly you blend and smooth, you’re inevitably left with a patchy, dehydrated mess. Which is where BB creams come in.
Short for “beauty balm” (because why not), BB creams are basically the love child of a kickass moisturizer and a lightweight foundation, which means your face should feel softer, smoother, brighter, and more hydrated each time you use them. But because you’re not made of money, we picked our favorite tried-and-true drugstore formulas that really, truly hydrate your skin, while leaving it looking better than before.
L'Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, $7.50
We mean, obviously your skin is already beautiful, so focus instead on the "magic" part of this BB cream's title. Thanks to a mega dose of skin-brightening vitamin C and damage-preventing vitamin E in its formula, this cream will help turn your face into a fresh little dewdrop over time. And that's magic, right?
NYX BB Cream, $13
What this little unassuming jar lacks in a fancy, overzealous name, it makes up for with a formula that simply works. The formula is sheer—so you may want to skip if you need more coverage than just a wash of color—but its mix of mineral-wrapped pigments and silicones helps even out your skin while leaving it hydrated.
Iman Cosmetics Skin Tone Evener BB Crème, $12
Most BB creams do this cute little thing where they exclude the majority of skin tones that exist after “tan,” because apparently, they’ve never heard of inclusivity. But Iman’s all about the shade range and offers six light-to-medium hues for this grape seed, aloe, and almond oil-infused formula. And no, not one of them will look chalky on your skin.
Physicians Formula Organic BB Cream, $15
Natural makeup gets a bad rap for being, uh, terrible. Either it doesn’t stick, it doesn’t blend, it doesn’t cover, or it doesn’t feel good. But this 70 percent organic BB cream has serious staying power and a ton of hydrators, like jojoba oil and coconut oil, to give your skin a soft, hydrated finish, without a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Covergirl Smoothers Lightweight BB Cream, $8
If this BB cream were a person, it would be quietly chanting “yaaas kween” while you smooth it on. Because its light-reflecting formula, combined with a ridiculous number of skin-plumping and smoothing ingredients, makes your face feel like a zillion glowy, dewy dollars worthy of a fan club.