BB Creams Vs. Tinted Moisturizer: Showdown

bb cream vs tinted moisturizer

BB Cream, CC Cream, Tinted Moisturizer, Oiled-base/Water-Base Foundations … Nowadays coverage and makeup products offer unimaginable possibilities. But, do we really know the differences between them? What differences exist between BB creams and Tinted Moisturizers?

We know that they aren’t concealers and that they offer more qualities than regular moisturizing creams, but differences between them can sometimes be so subtle, or misinterpreted, that we make the mistake of believing that they have the same purpose or are interchangeable. However, each one has its peculiar perks making them indispensable for this summer’s cosmetic bag.

If you’re looking to swap your heavy foundation for lighter coverage, look no further. Today we’ve prepared a list with the most amazing data between the two most popular and trendy options on the makeup alley: BB Creams and Tinted Moisturizers.

What’s a BB Cream?

BB Cream stands for Blemish Balm, as it will help us correct sun spots, hide wrinkles, and even out the skin tone while eliminating oiliness with a subtle color touch.

They were originally developed in Germany during the 60s with unisex dermatologic purposes. Lighter than foundation, Blemish balms were designed to treat Facial peeling patients, surgical scars or minor burns. Over time, Korea adopted the BB cream concept giving it also a cosmetic use.

In recent years BB creams have made a successful comeback, offering skin care and lighter coverage than traditional makeup foundations. BB creams come in a wide range of formulations that may or may not include sun protection factor.

On the other hand, when it comes to variety, BB creams are quite impressive since they usually come in 3-4 basic shades that skillfully adapt to the skin tone.

Another wonderful BB cream characteristic is that not only provides coverage, but helps in skin lightening treatment, comes with anti-aging formulas and offer a more natural texture than most beauty products.

More: Korean BB Cream

What’s a Tinted Moisturizer?

With a delicate and lighter effect, Tinted moisturizer main function is to provide humectation. It’s a moisturizing cream that offers light coverage.

Perfect to treat skin dryness problems and reach the much-praised No-makeup Makeup Look; Tinted Moisturizer can be used by people of all ages who want a beauty routine on the go. Easier to apply, it won’t provide coverage for blemishes or imperfections as a regular foundation would.

In exchange, it gives a natural polished vibe to your look that will help you to keep it casual on a first date or job interview.

BB Creams Vs Tinted Moisturizer


The first question that came up to our minds is, are they an alternative to a regular foundation? And we’ve got mixed answers. On the one hand tinted moisturizers and BB creams provide different levels of skin humectation but the pigmentation, which in the end will determine the coverage capacity we’ve looked for in a Foundation, is slightly different in both products.

While a foundation is used to accomplish a flawless skin look, covering and mattifying your face for long periods of time, it also could act against you when used in higher humidity weather, think summer for example, or make you look older by cutting down the natural freshness of your skin.

In a BB Cream you’ll find up to 5 times more pigment than in a Tinted Moisturizer, so if you’re looking to cut down the stickiness of pan stick and concealer density, go for a BB cream.

tinted moisturizer vs bb cream

If you want to keep it on a more natural scheme opt for a Tinted Moisturizer. It’ll work incredibly on even-skin, making it preferable for teens. As one’s age increases, the all-in-one properties in a BB cream become essential for daily use.

The amount of color pigment used in a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer is usually far less than the amount in a foundation. Also, tinted moisturizers will hydrate your skin better but won’t protect it from solar radiation. Usually, Foundations and BB creams Come with SPF.

More: Best BB Cream


Blemish Balm’s fulfills many more purposes than Tinted Moisturizer. While BB creams protect and nourish the skin, conceals imperfections and increases luminosity giving you a natural and radiant look, Tinted Moisturizer’s provides only moisturizing with much lighter coverage.

Also, there are BB creams with truly impressive functions regarding anti-aging properties, instantly correcting the skin surface to obtain a natural look; it increases the water skin content keeping it healthy and hydrated; and reinforce luminosity thanks to the vitamin C regularly present in their formulae. Anti-aging or whitening properties are absent in most tinted moisturizers.


Both are very light and easy to use. The consistency of a Tinted moisturizer is thinner than any other product, even a BB cream. Either way, you’ll achieve a more natural look than if you had reached for a foundation.

In both cases, do not expect the stickiness or thick consistency you’ll find in any makeup Base. This consistency makes the application of Tinted Moisturizer’s and BB creams much easier because it runs smoothly on the skin, taking less time to achieve a uniform effect. Also, both products won’t tend to accumulate in your expression lines as it happens with most concealers.


Although lighter coverage products application can be quickly achieve, BB Creams can be also applied with a Kabuki brush obtaining a more opaque result and perfectly even skin with an infinitely transparent and luminous glare.

For applying Tinted Moisturizer, or any light coverage product, do it as you would with any other lotion or cream: take a little dab of product and apply it gently with your ring finger to the skin, then distribute it evenly in soft strokes. For minimal coverage, like the one expected in a no-makeup makeup look, reach for a tinted moisturizer over a BB cream. Either case you can seal your look with a mattifying powder or going for a more casual vibe, using only the cream, allowing your skin to breathe


Depending on your skin type and brand of choice, you can get more or less durability. However, since BB creams have a denser consistency, they provide coverage for more extended periods of time and, in many cases, they are formulated to act as a makeup primer, giving you better results throughout the day.

Types of skin

Tinted moisturizers are perfect for dry Skin complexions, not so much when you are in the mixed-oily skin spectrum. Its moisturizing ability will possibly join with the natural oiliness of your skin and unbalance your dermis clogging your pores.

Because of sebaceous glands overactivity, people with oily skin require a cleaning routine to balance the excess. While oily skin can cause acne problems and blackheads, it’ll also help to keep skin elasticity, creating an anti-aging effect that delays fine lines and wrinkles appearance.

Of course, it is essential to avoid the use of oil-based products or ultra-moisturizers. Makeup for oily skin complexions should, ideally, be selected with the help of a dermatologist to achieve excellent results. In any case, go for “non-comedogenic” brands and choose BB creams or water-based foundations, which will give you a more balanced coverage.

Now, if your skin has very closed pores and a low sebaceous production, early aging signs and peels, Tinted moisturizers are perfect for your beauty routine.

Dry skin people should go for moisturizing products and sunscreen to reduce dryness and treat the natural sensitivity of their skin type. Also, select products with a high content of retinol, vitamin E, Aloe Vera and glycolic acid.

In all cases, whether you have Oily, Dry or Mixed Skin, it is essential to do an initial test before giving a definitive result on a product effectivity.

  • Extra Tip! If you have dry or mixed skin maintain a humectation routine in dry and cold seasons. For oily skins hotter climate seasons must go hand in hand with deep cleansing masks, as well as with a rigorous make-up removal night routine to avoid pore clogging or acne.

Sun Protection Factor:

Sun protection factor is an essential element to consider in the purchase of any product that we apply on our face. UV rays accelerate aging process at a cellular level, so using products with a minimal SPF factor can make a huge difference when consistently applied.

Typically we find BB Creams with SPF 15. Unfortunately, Tinted Moisturizer’s doesn’t, so it is essential that when using a Tinted start by using a matching formulae sunscreen.


  • A tinted moisturizer can be a great option for indoor activities, or to finish a Home-spa treatment. However, BB creams provide anti-aging effects, greater coverage, moisturizing, sun protection and evens out the skin tone.
  • Also, the biggest drawback of tinted moisturizers is that they can end up causing problems for people with mixed or oily skin, and won’t provide enough coverage for blemishes or sunspots.
  • Both are a lighter alternative over foundation according to the occasion in which they’ll be used because on a formal celebration or a photo shoot, the concealer wheel will take you further.

Magda Du Plessis

I am a writer for more than 6 years. A mother of three, and full time writer. I love writing and making sure that everyone has all the beauty tips to be as beautiful as can be.

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