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The best BB creams: for a subtle skin glow

best bb cream

Recent years has seen blemish balm (or beauty balm as it is often referred to) become increasingly popular in the UK, so it's high time we compared them to bring your our picks of the best BB creams available. Many potential buyers might be unsure of what makes it stand out from the likes of our standard day cream or tinted moisturiser. The great thing about BB cream though, is that is provides a number of benefits which essentially make it multiple products in one.

BB cream acts as a hydrating moisturiser, a make-up primer, a concealer, and ultimately aims to brighten and even out your complexion. We love this as it saves you time and money, and for the busy ones among us who hate the time and effort it takes to achieve a flawless look – this really can work miracles. 

But with the amount of cosmetic brands now offering BB creams, it can be tricky knowing which one is the best. Firstly, it has nothing to do with price, so don’t automatically assume the pricier the better. In fact, it’s all down to your skin type. If you have dry skin you may choose to opt for a thicker cream for extra hydration, whereas oily skin will react better to a water-based BB cream and sensitive skin will favour fragrance-free brands. It’s always best to try before you buy, to ensure your skin is happy with the cream before wasting your money and applying it all over your face. It's also worth noting that a great face wash is always a good place to start before applying anything extra to the skin.

Applying the cream can be done in many different ways, depending on your current beauty regime and the look you wish to achieve. It can be applied on its own to give a natural finish which will simply cover up any redness and imperfections, or you can use it as a base for your foundation. Either way, applied with clean hands is the best way to get even results, and if you have problematic or acne-prone skin, look out for the best BB creams designed to specifically target spots.

We’ve rounded up some of the best BB creams for all skin types and budgets to make your life easier. This multi-functioning product could replace a lot of items in your make-up bag, meaning achieving that flawless finish has never been so easy.

Dior Hydra Life BB Cream

1. Dior Hydra Life BB Cream

Hydrate and protect your skin with this unique formula

Best for: Moisturising | SPF: 30 | Size: 50ml | Skin Type: All types

High SPF

This is the best BB cream and also one of the priciest, but what is has to offer is totally worth it. Customers who used this BB cream praise it for its light sheen finish that is ideal for fair skin and won’t leave you looking like an Oompa Loompa. The lightweight formula is designed to benefit all skin types, as it’s not too heavy on oily skin, but aims to hydrate dry skin as well as provide anti-ageing properties with a high SPF. This is why it's our top pick for the best BB cream on the market today.

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions BB Cream

2. Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions BB Cream

A base layer for problematic or acne-prone skin

Best for: Preventing blemishes | SPF: 40 | Size: 30ml | Skin Type: Acne-prone

Good coverage
Does not irritate skin
Small bottle

If you struggle with acne-prone skin but still want to have a flawless look when you go out, then this BB cream is a much lighter alternative to using a foundation that might irritate your skin further. Customers have noted that it provides excellent coverage and stays put all day without them having to worry about paying for it with harsh blemishes the day after. There are three different shades to choose from and they give off a matte finish which users with oily skin rate highly.

bareMinerals Complextion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

3. bareMinerals Complextion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

Keep your dry skin hydrated with this gel formula

Best for: Hydration | SPF: 30 | Size: 35ml | Skin Type: All skin types

Lots of shades
Cooling gel
A bit cakey

This hydrating gel moisturiser is a great way to get quick coverage without applying a whole foundation base. Users love the variety of shades available, which is a lot more than other BB creams on the market, and say it is ideal for that quick fix such as going on the school run. It can be a bit thick, so be aware that a little goes a long way, but that’s another reason users love the cost of this brand compared to others. If you want more coverage, check out our list of the best foundations and the best foundations for acne prone skin.

Yves Saint Laurent All-in-One BB Crème Skintone Perfector

4. Yves Saint Laurent All-in-One BB Crème Skintone Perfector

Get radiant looking skin in an instant with this cream formula

Best for: Evening out skin tone | SPF: 25 | Size: 40ml | Skin Type: All types

Great base layer

If you have tired or dull-looking skin, then this Yves Saint Laurent cream will help even out skin tone and brighten up your cheeks so you look radiant and glowing. Users say that this is a great cream for wearing in the summer on its own, or as a primer for your foundation any other time due to its non-sticky finish and fair colour which conceals imperfections brilliantly. It leaves a dewy, luminous finish which might not be favourable for oily skin types, but most users have few complaints about this BB cream.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes

5. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes

Banish dark circles and bags with this eye-specific cream

Best for: Dark circles | SPF: 15 | Size: 3.5ml | Skin Type: All types

Illuminates eyes
Small and pricey

Tired? Hungover? Well at least you won’t look it with this BB cream designed especially for the under eye area. Users love the smooth consistency of this cream which they say is easy to apply and doesn’t lead to creasing under the eye. It’s perfect for dark circles and provides excellent coverage that lasts all day. Although a little pricey for such a specific product, many users say this cream is worth the money as it blends well and comes in a range of shades.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

6. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

A facelift in a bottle

Best for: Tightening and smoothing skin | SPF: 10 | Size: 50ml | Skin Type: All skin types

Anti-ageing properties
Can be used as a face mask
Not a very high SPF

If you’re looking to wind back a few years, then this Clarins Beauty Flash Balm really is considered a miracle worker. Its unique formula which includes ingredients such as Witch Hazel and Algae extract aim to tighten and rejuvenate the skin to make it look younger. This cream is designed to be applied in the morning, or before your normal beauty regime, and can also be used two or three times a week as a face mask to totally detoxify your skin. Older women love it for its cooling properties and say it reduces redness fast, and a bonus is it smells lovely.

Estee Lauder DayWear B.B Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Crème

7. Estee Lauder DayWear B.B Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Crème

A great hydration cream for those with combination skin

Best for: Oil-free hydration | SPF: 15 | Size: 50ml | Skin Type: Combination skin

Contains anti-oxidants
Good for sensitive skin
A bit thick

This BB cream is formulated using a range of anti-oxidants and other beneficial ingredients which aim to leave your skin feeling fresh and providing a healthy glow in an instant. Users love the shades available and the finish it leaves, however it may be too thick for some. Although designed for oily skin, using too much could cause the face to look greasy, so remember that a little goes a long way with this product. A great quick fix.

Olay Total Effects 7in1 Touch of Foundation BB Moisturiser

8. Olay Total Effects 7in1 Touch of Foundation BB Moisturiser

An affordable anti-ageing cream which leaves skin glowing

Best for: Anti-ageing | SPF: 15 | Size: 50ml | Skin Type: All skin types

A recongnised and reliable brand
Great for anti-aging
Too dark for some

Olay is a consistently praised brand for anti-ageing products, and this BB cream is no exception. It is packed full of vitamins and the formula is designed to smooth out fine lines and prevent signs of ageing. It’s oil-free which makes it good for almost all skin types and its pump bottle makes it easy to apply. Some users found that the colour was too dark for them, as there aren’t a range of shades like the other BB creams offer. But for under £20, this is a great budget buy to start you off in the world of BB cream.

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