These Are the Best BB Creams for Dark Skin Tones on the Market

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Byrdie / Danie Drankwalter

In full transparency, while doing my research, finding good, shade-inclusive BB creams was not an easy task. Needless to say, more work most definitely needs to be done to diversify the options available for women of color. Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to what you're looking for: formulas fit for brown girls. BB creams are essentially for the in-betweeners. You know, those who aren't exactly into full-coverage formulas but still appreciate a bit of help with their complexion. The best thing about BB creams—or beauty balms, or blemish balms—is that they're made with a skin-first approach. 

BB creams spoil your skin with good stuff like SPF, antioxidants, and lots and lots of hydration, and those are the key components to look for when choosing one. They're basically a cold-month staple and will keep your skin glistening at all times. Most of the formulas are cushiony-soft and creamy, allowing you to easily blend some of them in with your hands.

Below are our top picks for the best BB creams for dark skin tones.

Best Overall: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

bare minerals complexion rescue


What We Like
  • Infused with SPF 30 for UV protection

  • Boosts skin's hydration by 215% 

  • Evens skin tone

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Who else recommends it? Allure, Who What Wear, and Elle all picked the bareMinerals Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.

What do buyers say? 92% of 6,100+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

If it's impossible for you to pick between a BB cream, CC cream, and tinted moisturizer, this multitasking balm could be what you've been waiting for. It has a gel-like feel on the skin and one of the widest ranges of shades on the market. BareMinerals keeps it consistent with natural formulas free of fragrance and harmful ingredients.

Active Ingredients: SPF 30, Hyaluronic Acid | Benefits: Buildable sheer-to-light coverage with a dewy, healthy-looking glow | Dosage: Pearl-size amount | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 1.18 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Oily Skin: COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream

CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream for Oily Skin

Courtesy of CVS

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lasts all day

  • Oil-free

  • Gentle for sensitive skin too

What We Don't Like
  • Smells like sunscreen

This offers up a flawless veil of coverage for a comfy matte finish. It's meant to smooth out your skin without any added shine to keep oil production in check.

Active Ingredients: Talc, Propylene Glycol | Benefits: All-day gentle moisturization that doesn't clog pores | Dosage: Pearl-size amount and dotted on face | Skin Type: Oily, Sensitive | Size: 1 oz | Cruelty Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40

Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Infused with SPF 40 for UV protection

  • Lightweight

  • Great coverage

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Might be drying for some

When you can't seem to catch a break from acne or a shiny T-zone, reach for this mattifying BB cream, which is made specifically for solving those exact skin concerns. You can expect light to medium coverage that does a good job at concealing imperfections but will make you forget it's there.

Active Ingredients: SPF 40 | Benefits: Treats blemishes | Dosage: Pearl-size amount and dotted on face | Skin Type: Oily | Size: 1 oz | Cruelty Free: No | Byrdie Clean: N/A

Best for Dark Spots: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Best Tinted Moisturizer
What We Like
  • Infused with SPF 30 for advanced UV protection

  • Vitamin C tackles and lightens dark spots

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

NARS has always been brown girl–friendly. This soft, velvety texture is good for hiding any signs of discoloration or dark spots as well as disguising fine lines and wrinkles.

Active Ingredients: SPF 30, Kopara, Vitamin C | Benefits: Fights UV damage and disguising fine lines | Dosage: Pearl-size amount and dotted on face | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 1.7 oz | Cruelty Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: IMAN Cosmetics Skin Tone Evener BB Crème

Iman Cosmetics Skin Tone Evener BB Cream SPF 15

Courtesy of Walgreens

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Soothing and gentle enough for sensitive skin

  • Full of antioxidants

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly oily

Key Ingredients

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, including the skin, but we cannot produce it on our own. For the skin, it helps to boost collagen, lighten discoloration, and fight free radicals.

Iman has always had the brown girls covered with her immaculate, shade-inclusive line. This BB cream is no different, and you can trust that its healthy lineup of ingredients is fit for even the most sensitive skin. It's a paraben-free mixture made with a lot of vitamin C and antioxidants so your skin will maintain a youthful, lit-from-within look.

Active Ingredients: SPF 15, Aloe, Vitamins A, C, and E | Benefits: Soothing skin tone evener | Dosage: Pearl-size amount and dotted on face | Skin Type: All | Size: 1 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: N/A

Best Sheer Coverage: Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream SPF 15

Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Infused with SPF 15

  • Blendable sheer

  • Exclusively formulated to enhance ethnic skin tones

What We Don't Like
  • Smells like sunscreen

This beauty balm was formulated specifically to suit darker skin tones with skin-enriching ingredients that meld this makeup product into a skincare product. Its oil-free, lightweight coverage leaves a sheer, yet buildable finish full of SPF 15. You're free to use this as an allover complexion booster or to spot-treat areas that need extra love.

Active Ingredients: SPF 15, Talc, Nylon-12 | Benefits: Exclusively formulated to enhance ethnic skin tones | Dosage: Pearl-size amount and dotted on face | Skin Type: All | Size: 1 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Dewy Finish: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Improves skin in 4 weeks

  • Looks great alone for camera-ready skin

  • Goes on smoothly

What We Don't Like
  • Shades need improvement

Key Ingredients

Emollients serve as softening and moisture-locking agents, like kinds of butter, oils, esters, lipids, and fatty acids. It can also be used to describe a category of products that contain these ingredients, like lotions, creams, and ointments.

Smashbox doesn't play around when it comes to coverage. This BB cream will give you that natural-looking, I-woke-up-like-this glow thanks to the radiance you'll receive from its emollients and optical pearl pigments. Layer on as much or as little as you like. The texture is so creamy you can even use your hands. 

Active Ingredients: SPF 35, Titanium Dioxide 1.10%, Octinoxate 7.50% | Benefits: Quick, camera-ready skin that improves in 4 weeks with consistent use | Dosage: Pearl-size amount and dotted on face | Skin Type: All | Size: 1 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Splurge: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • All-in-one moisturizer, treatment, and light foundation

  • Full of botanicals

  • Brightens skin

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Bobbi Brown kept all shades top of mind with this hydrating cream. Cloak your skin in moisture with all of the emollients packed in this tube, which is essentially a shot of brightness for your skin. It has a dewy consistency that'll keep sun damage at bay.

Active Ingredients: SPF 35, Caffeine, Water-Attracting Molecules | Benefits: Brightens dull skin, reduces discoloration and redness, and refines pores and wrinkles | Dosage: Pearl-size amount and dotted on face | Skin Type: Oily, All | Size: 1.35 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: N/A

Best CC Cream: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+


What We Like
  • Infused with SPF 50 for high UV protection

  • All-in-one foundation, anti-aging serum, and sunscreen

  • Improves elasticity with collagen and niacin

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Although it's technically a CC cream, this gives your skin the warmest hug of coverage to create that your-skin-but-better effect we all so desperately crave. It does an exceptional job at evening out your skin tone and works overtime with SPF 50 and anti-aging benefits.

Active Ingredients: SPF 50, Titanium Dioxide 9.0% Zinc Oxide 6.3% | Benefits: Provides full coverage foundation, anti-aging serum and mineral sunscreen in one | Dosage: 1-2 pumps Skin Type: All | Size: 1.08 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What to Look For in a BB Cream For Dark Skin Tones


Because this is a product that you'll be placing all over your face, having your BB cream contain SPF will save you from needing a separate item for that too. Yes, you need SPF even in colder months, and even if your skin tone isn't prone to ever burning. And though skin cancer is less prominent in people with darker skin tones, outcomes are often worse because it's caught later.


This ingredient category is beloved by both manufacturers of skincare and users alike due to how visible results can be. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, niacinamide, and vitamin E can all lead to brighter and healthier looking skin. Dermatologist and associate professor of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine  Dr. Mona Gohara says that ""Antioxidants are substances that are a crucial part of everyone's skincare routine because they are the hardest working ingredient in the game."

Hydrating Ingredients

For skin to look glowing and healthy, which BB creams help to do, it needs to be properly hydrated and moisturized. Choosing a BB cream that contains hydrating ingredients will make that an easier process, and may yield smoother looking results. Provided your BB cream is moisturizing enough, you may be able to use less moisturizer.

  • Is BB cream suitable for dark skin?

    Yes, BB creams are suitable for all skin types. They may be sold in more shades for lighter skin tones, but fortunately there are progressively more available for darker skin shades. Unlike foundations, which are sold in dozens of shades, BB creams tend to come in only a handful of colors.

  • Is BB cream good for beginners?

    BB cream is a great choice for those who are just getting used to and educated about how to apply makeup. Celebrity makeup artist Sir John says that "the best way to apply BB cream would be with your hands. A brush isn't necessary as you don't have as much coverage that needs to be blended."

  • Can I wear BB cream alone?

    Definitely! One of the best things about these creams is that they are lighter than foundation but still provide coverage and give your face a smoother, more evenly toned appearance. You do not need to wear additional products on top of them if you don't want to.

How We Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. The 11 best bb creams & tinted moisturizers for dark skin. Allure.

  2. The best bb creams that blend into your skin like whoa. Who What Wear.

  3. 23 bb creams that will make you break up with your foundation. Elle.

  4. Gupta AK, Bharadwaj M, Mehrotra R. Skin cancer concerns in people of color: risk factors and prevention. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17(12):5257-5264.

  5. Dumoulin M, Gaudout D, Lemaire B. Clinical effects of an oral supplement rich in antioxidants on skin radiance in women. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016;9:315-324.

  6. Papakonstantinou E, Roth M, Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):253-258.

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