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"Blemish Balms," more commonly referred to as BB creams, are a coveted multi-tasking product for no-makeup makeup lovers who hate heavy-duty foundation. That you? If so, BB creams are a lifesaver on days when you just can't muster up the energy to apply a full face of foundation, or when you're pressed for time and need to cut your complexion routine in half. These lightweight creams sit at the intersection of makeup and skincare, as they're jam-packed with skin-enhancing ingredients that mask imperfections while nourishing your skin.
What do BB creams do?
BB creams moisturize and prime the skin, and they do this while evening out discoloration, concealing blemishes, and protecting against UVA rays. Not to mention, they leave your skin looking poreless and radiant—like you're not even wearing makeup.
These beauty superstars come in sheer to buildable coverage and apply seamlessly to give you a smooth and effortless glow. You won't be concerned with looking too cake-y or dry with these textures. Not to mention, many BB creams offer SPF protection, if you're looking to skip that very important step of applying sunscreen in your a.m. routine.
Best For Large Pores
Consider this BB cream your secret weapon on SOS skincare mornings. It reduces the look of large pores while covering redness and blemishes. Pick this up the morning after a late night when you fall asleep without washing your face.
Best for Sun Protection
If you're the type that burns basically any time it's not overcast, invest in a higher SPF BB cream—like this one with ingredients that masks skin imperfections like a pro.
Best on a Budget
For less than a latte, you can get impressive coverage in five shades, plus SPF and soothing cucumber, jojoba, aloe, and vitamin E. Those with darker skin should order the "deep" shade direct from e.l.f.
Best for Blackheads
Maybelline's best-selling BB cream includes the welcome addition of salicylic acid, a gentle exfoliant that works to loosen up dead skin cells that can cause blackheads.
Best for Photos
Feel free to use this cream as a foundation primer or apply it alone for a flawless, no-makeup makeup finish. Hence the name, Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream is like a filter for for you skin that blurs pores and imperfections in one easy step.
Best for Acne-Prone
This oil-free skin perfector provides a sheer, natural coverage that stops shine in its tracks. For a lightweight finish, apply one coat of this all over, or simply spot treat the areas of concern.
Best for Clearing Pores
It's all in the name. K-beauty experts Dr. Jart+ formulated a BB cream that works on shrinking those pores of yours, clearing breakouts, and controlling excess oil.
Best for Tired Skin
While this product only comes in one shade, blending it into nearly any skin tone results in a brightened, evened complexion. Those with both fair or deeper complexions did prefer this layered under a daily foundation or bronzer.
Best Skin Supplement
You don't need to have "aging" skin to enjoy the benefits of SPF 20 plus added retinol, which work in tandem to prevent complexion damage and repair any that's already been done.
Best for Dark Marks
This drugstore gem can compete with all of its luxury counterparts. The formula absorbs quickly and even offers a dose of vitamin C to brighten uneven skin tones.
Best for Acne Scars
Keep this convenient compact nearby when your skin needs touch-ups. It's a buildable formula that offers a sheer, satin finish.Keep this convenient compact nearby when your skin needs touch-ups. It's a buildable formula that offers a sheer, satin finish.
Best for Summer
This BB cream should be your go-to during hot summer months. The water-resistant, SPF-filled formula offers a light veil of coverage.
Best for White Heads
If you're acne-prone or have oily skin, here's a solution. Clinque's Acne Solution BB cream is made of silica, an ingredient that absorbs excess oil, and is a mattifying product that reduces shine and leaves you with flawless complexion for up to 12 hours.
Best for City-Slicker Skin
Even out your discoloration and protect your skin from pollutants with this vitamin-packed formula. This skin perfecting BB cream is comprised of good-for-you ingredients, like turmeric, aloe vera, vitamin B, C, and E.
Best for Rough Skin
This antioxidant-enriched cream is so lightweight that it rolls on the skin like silk. Fortunately, you can liberally apply this cream without having to worry about a cakey finish.
Best Mineral Option
If finding the right shade for your skin is your biggest frustration (because honestly two options doesn't really cut it), do some tone-matching with the 10 different tints of this mineral-based moisturizer. P.S. It has a host of anti-inflammatory ingredients for super-reactive skin.
Best Anti-Aging Coverage
For those who are thinking "the less unpronounceable ingredients, the better," look to this natural, anti-aging cream that builds smooth, wrinkle-free coverage so you look naturally flawless by the time you walk out the door.
Best Light Reflector
When you want an extra touch of glowy magic without doubling down on highlighter, dab on some of this BB cream that's formulated with light-reflecting pigments. Don't be surprised when people ask you whether you're in love.
Best for Hydration
Give your complexion a flawless finish that feels weightless and natural with this moisturizing skin tint. The buildable formula contains floral stem cells and hyaluronic acid that’ll keep your skin nourished and hydrated while it evens your skin tone and blurs your pores for a seamless look.
Best for Plumping Effect
This illuminating BB cream is lightweight but easily buildable to give you coverage with a soft matte finish. The formula contains Ginseng, which will moisturize and smooth your skin for a plump, flawless complexion.
Best for Redness
Available in three shades, this BB cream is packed with nourishing skincare ingredients—including vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10, and green tea—that deliver anti-aging benefits and glowing skin. The formula also has niacinamide and caffeine, which will help to calm any redness and even your skin tone.
Chelsea Hall is the Assistant Fashion and Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers celebrity style, fashion trends, skincare, makeup and anything else tied into the world of fashion and beauty
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