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What did we ever do before BB creams? A flawless middle ground between fuller coverage foundations and the sometimes too-sheer likes of tinted moisturizers, BB creams (short for "beauty balms") have had us covered the past few years, and we're not sure we can remember what life was like before them. Should we call it: BBBC—Before BB Creams? Maybe.
Just like other beauty products that gain fast-and-furious market momentum, there have been plenty of skin-improving innovations within the sea of BB creams, from color-correcting technology to almost instantaneous zip-zapping benefits. They're the ultimate multitaskers, saving us steps, time, and frustration while also gifting us with a blurred, glowing complexion to boot. Plus you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for some of the best options. So in honor of our love for all things BB, we've rounded up our top favorites—all of which you can find at your nearest drugstore.
Keep scrolling for the best drugstore BB creams money can by.
Best Overall: La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur
It's no secret Byrdie HQ feels passionate (in adoration) for anything La Roche-Posay. And this high-quality drugstore pick is no different. One part makeup, one part skincare, this blurring BB cream offers the best of all worlds. It leaves behind an even, matte, and featherlight aftermath while utilizing silica to prevent those midday oilies and SPF 20 to, of course, protect your precious complexion against harmful potential rays. Oh, and if you're prone to redness, this one has your back.
Check out our guide to the best bb creams on the market.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream
The first time we tried this drugstore BB cream from e.l.f. Cosmetics, we couldn't believe it was the same price as our morning coffee habit. Extremely blendable, this best-of-the-best formula promises light, even coverage in addition to a helpful dose of SPF 20. Not to mention, your skin will love it for the high-caliber ingredient list including radiance enhancers like jojoba, aloe, cucumber, and vitamin E.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream
When your skin is in full-on break-out mode, piling on the makeup is simply not an option. But let’s be honest, at those times, leaving the house without coverage isn’t an option either and you should not have to compromise. Enter this blessing of a BB cream from Maybelline.
Not only does it go on super light and smooth out pores, but it also contains a whopping 2% salicylic acid, which helps treat blemishes while keeping them covered. Since the formula effortlessly adjusts to your skin tone, you'll never have the dreaded "floating face" to contend with. (i.e., a complexion that doesn't match your neck.) Plus, it's completely oil-free and equipped with essential SPF.
Best for Redness: L’Oreal Paris Magic BB Anti-Redness
We love this BB cream for its transforming ability. The mint-colored liquid formula contains tiny little beads that are filled with green pigment that helps neutralize redness, leaving you with a completely even-toned complexion. This type of neutralizing superhero is a quick solution for all causes of redness from sunburn to rosacea. Plus, it’s hydrating and gentle, so it doesn’t leave already-sensitive skin feeling irritated or inflamed.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Burt’s Bees BB Cream
Trying new makeup sounds like a scary idea when your skin goes into total freak out mode at the touch of a brush. If you have sensitive skin, you likely already know that flare-ups typically have to do with the chemicals and fragrances in products.
Boasting nine clinically proven benefits, Burt's Bees BB cream might just be one of the best drugstore options we've tried, period. Thanks in part to the essence of the noni plant (which happens to be rich in antioxidants and hydrating benefits), this handy cream will also help protect skin with SPF 15 while simultaneously firming, concealing, smoothing, illuminating, and perfecting.
Best for Combination Skin: Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream
When your skin swings between oily and dry on an hourly basis, you need something that can handle it all. This multi-purpose BB cream is great for combination skin because it controls shine, reduces the appearance of pores, hydrates, evens skin tone, and protects with SPF 15. How's that for handling it all? To top it off, it also contains antioxidants, which help reduce free radical damage and prevent signs of aging.
Best for Dry Skin: Physicians Formula Super BB Cream
Apply this one onto your face like it’s a lotion. The hydrating formula gives thirsty skin the moisture it needs with added SPF protection while plumping up fine lines and crepiness. Beyond its skincare properties, this BB cream gives the perfect amount of sheer color, which can be used both as a base for other makeup or worn alone. Overall, this creamy formula is perfect for giving dull, dried out complexion a gorgeous glow.
Best for Oily Skin: CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream for Oily Skin
You can count on this oil-free formula to keep your skin looking matte all day. The lightweight yet pigmented formula (for BB cream standards) keeps skin shine-free without clogging pores, causing breakouts, or creasing. It’s water-based so it makes skin feel hydrated and lets it breathe but won’t slide off your face even on the hottest days.
What makes this matte formula so special is that it gives skin a glow, but still maintains a smooth finish that you look for in matte products. Plus, it comes in six diverse shades, which we will admit is scant, but it’s definitely impressive given the limited color range of most BB creams.
See more reviews of our favorite BB creams for oily skin.
Best for Deep Skin Tones: Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream
We're not sure how this BB cream is so affordable, but we won't argue since it's by far one of the best drugstore options on the shelves. As convenient as they are, BB creams tend to be pretty stingy when it comes to the color range. With five gorgeous shades to chose from, these formulas from Black Radiance promise sheer and weightless coverage, plus it's got an easy-to-blend formulation.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best drugstore tinted moisturizers and BB creams.