The 9 Best Drugstore BB Creams for an Airbrushed Finish

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There’s no better feeling than finding a makeup product that cuts down your prep time in front of the mirror each morning. And let’s be real: These days, the simpler the routine, the better. That’s where BB creams come into play.

Short for beauty balms, BB creams combine the moisturizing benefits of skincare with sheer coverage to help prime, even, and enhance skin tone all at once. TBH, with the right BB cream, it might not even feel like you’re wearing makeup at all—that’s how amazing they are. And the best part? You can find some of the top formulas—including ones that cater to a variety of skin types, concerns, and tones—in the aisles of your local drugstore.

Ready to meet your new beauty BFF? Keep scrolling for the best drugstore BB creams money can buy.

Best Overall

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream


What We Like
  • Makes skin look radiant

  • Calms redness

  • Lightweight, gel texture

What We Don't Like
  • Not for acne-prone skin

Navigating the beauty world can be tough, which is why it’s always best to opt for oil-free formulas to prevent unwanted T-zone shine from ruining your glam. Maybelline’s Dream BB Fresh brightens, smooths, and hydrates the skin using its oil-free, water-gel SPF 30 formula. With its coverage falling on the medium side, this BB cream perfects the skin in one simple step and adjusts to your skin tone to create a natural-looking finish while also minimizing pores, replenishing hydration, reducing redness, and boosting radiance in areas that may need it.

Price at time of publish: $9

Coverage Level: Medium | Finish: Natural | Shades: 5 | Size: 1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Budget

e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream with SPF 20

e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream with SPF 20

e.l.f. Cosmetics

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Makes skin look dewy

  • SPF 20

What We Don't Like
  • Can oxidize

For less than $10, this BB Cream offers the complexion-enhancing effects as its higher-priced counterparts without breaking the bank. Formulated with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing aloe, and hydrating jojoba oil, this affordable BB cream nourishes and hydrates to keep skin looking dewy. Its weightless, semi-matte, and easy-to-blend formula provides the perfect wash of color that hides imperfections and boosts radiance, creating that perfect no-makeup makeup look instantly. It also comes equipped with broad-spectrum SPF 20 to ensure that your skin stays protected from harmful UV rays while you’re wearing it.

Price at time of publish: $10

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Dewy | Shades: 1 | Size: 1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Dry Skin

NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil

NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Hydrates skin

  • Lightweight

  • Nice shade range

What We Don't Like
  • Small bottle

Those with dry skin often rely on their moisturizer or primer for a hydrating boost, but that was before NYX’s Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil came along. Designed with dry skin types in mind, this lightweight skin tint delivers up to eight hours of uninterrupted hydration using a powerful blend of aloe and cucumber extracts. Its weightless formula blends effortlessly into the skin, imparting a dewy glow that doesn’t mask your natural texture.

Price at time of publish: $13

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Satin | Shades: 12 | Size: 0.9 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Oily Skin

COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream

Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream


What We Like
  • Won't aggravate acne-prone skin

  • Matte without being cakey

  • Blends easily

What We Don't Like
  • Not hydrating

Oily skin types and mattifying complexion products go hand-in-hand, and there’s no product better at soaking up oil and keeping shine at bay than CoverGirl’s Clean Matte BB Cream. This BB cream-foundation hybrid delivers a natural matte finish with its water-based formula, which seamlessly blends into the skin with ease and erases any traces of blemishes and uneven texture. Worried about it clogging your pores? Don’t be! It’s oil-free, meaning that it helps stop breakouts without comprising coverage and effectiveness.

Price at time of publish: $7

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Natural | Shades: 6 | Size: 1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

L'Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Redness

L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Anti-Redness

Courtesy of Ulta 

What We Like
  • Covers redness

  • Blends in seamlessly to skin

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • May not replace foundation

There’s nothing worse than when a pimple comes out to play. While it may feel like you need to pile on hundreds of layers of heavy foundation to effectively cover up breakouts, choosing a color-correcting product, like L’Oreal Paris’ Magic Skin Beautifier BB Anti-Redness, can help tone down blemishes and reveal a more even complexion without feeling like you’re wearing any makeup. Its green hue may be a little intimidating at first, but it’s formulated with color-transforming beautifying beads that work to neutralize the look of redness in the skin and blend to match your skin tone, making it perfect for masking pesky breakouts and unwanted discoloration.

Price at time of publish: $12

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Natural | Shades: 1 | Size: 1 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Sensitive Skin

Burt's Bees BB Cream

burts bees bb cream

Courtesy of Burt's Bees

What We Like
  • Skin feels soft and hydrated

  • Byrdie Clean

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Limited shade range

Trying new complexion products can be very daunting to those with sensitive skin, especially when there are so many makeup ingredients out there that don’t agree with their skin type. But now, there are products like Burt’s Bees’ BB Cream that are formulated with natural, gentle ingredients and still deliver flawless results. This BB cream’s star ingredient is noni extract, which is rich in antioxidants and minerals. It’s also super hydrating and nourishing, so it'll leave your skin feeling soft and supple once applied.

Price at time of publish: $15

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Natural | Shades: 2 | Size: 1.7 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best with SPF

Pūrlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream SPF 30

Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream


What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • SPF 30

  • Matte without looking too dry

  • Wide shade range

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

When it comes to sunscreen, experts recommend opting for formulas that offer at least SPF 30 protection. This BB cream checks that box and delivers the same skin-perfecting benefits as your go-to foundation—just without that caked-on feeling. Formulated with the brand’s Asian Herb Extracts Complex, the Perfect Glow BB Cream leaves a matte-yet-dewy finish that looks natural and hides any signs of blemishes and redness to create a smoother and brighter complexion. It’s also available in 11 shades (ranging from Deep to Fair) to represent.

Price at time of publish: $36

Coverage Level: Medium | Finish: Matte | Shades: 11 | Size: 1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Glowy Skin

Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

Pacifica Beauty Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

Courtesy of Pacifica

What We Like
  • Gives skin a glow

  • Hydrating formula

  • Vegan and Byrdie Clean

What We Don't Like
  • Few shades available

If you’ve been searching for a product that will give you that lit-from-within-glow, then look no further than Pacifica Beauty’s Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream. This vegan BB cream turns up the light on your skin to create a natural-looking radiance while diminishing the appearance of blemishes, pores, and lines by evening and priming the skin. The product is available in three shades and is designed to blend into a variety of skin tones thanks to the brand’s shade-matching technology. Not only is this a great BB cream for those looking to brighten things up, but its hyaluronic acid and coconut water-infused formula is also excellent for drier skin types.

Price at time of publish: $16

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Dewy | Shades: 3 | Size: 1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Dark Spots

Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream SPF 30

Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Covers discoloration

  • Makes skin glow

  • Blurs pores

What We Don't Like
  • Few shades available

Sometimes dark spots and sheer coverage don’t always mix, but that's not the case with Physicians Formula’s Super BB Cream. Formulated with color-correcting technology, this affordable product camouflages dark spots and visible discoloration to deliver a brighter and more even complexion. By combining the benefits of a moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen, Physicians Formula’s Super BB Cream simplifies your glam routine and gives you the necessary hydration, coverage, and protection to have glowing, dewy skin. Its formula also contains antioxidants, which not only help boost radiance in the skin but also keep it protected from environmental stressors.

Price at time of publish: $16

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Dewy | Shades: 2 | Size: 1.2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

What to Look For in Drugstore BB Creams


BB creams do not typically provide the coverage that foundations do, but they still offer varying levels of coverage. Look for a drugstore BB cream that gives you the amount of coverage you prefer. It should be enough to hide blemishes while still allowing your natural skin to show. 

BB creams can boost radiance, smooth texture, conceal pigmentation or blemishes, and hide fine lines. However, their coverage will not look cakey or hide more prominent skin issues entirely. Choose a coverage level that suits your current skin condition and preference.

Skin Type

Knowing your skin type will help you make the best decision when looking for a drugstore BB cream. If you have blemish-prone or oily skin, you’ll want to avoid any BB creams that block pores or contain oil. A mattifying BB cream would be a better choice for this skin type.

If you have sensitive skin, look for a drugstore BB cream with minimal ingredients and avoid any additives that might aggravate or dry out the skin. Mature skin types will do best with a BB cream that provides moisture and the addition of skin-loving ingredients such as nourishing plant extracts and oils and antioxidants.

Texture and Finish

Look for a drugstore BB cream that leaves your skin looking exactly like you want it to, whether that’s a matte look, dewy glow, or natural radiance. BB creams also come in different textures and can be hydrating or lightweight. Choose a texture and finish that appeals to you.

  • What is BB cream used for?

    BB cream means beauty balm, and it is used to enhance the natural beauty of your skin. BB cream is not meant to fully conceal and hide your natural skin but to allow your beauty to show through while providing some coverage and radiance to your skin.

  • What is the difference between CC cream and BB cream?

    BB cream is a beauty balm, and CC cream is color correcting. The difference between the two is that BB cream works to beautify and amplify your natural skin, while CC cream helps correct discoloration such as redness, dark circles, or uneven skin tone.

  • What is BB cream vs foundation?

    BB cream is unique from foundation because it does not cover your natural skin as thoroughly as a foundation. BB cream provides some coverage while helping to boost your natural skin’s appearance. Foundation can be thicker and covers more of your skin.

How We Researched

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. We then used this research 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. Addor FAS. Antioxidants in Dermatology. An Bras Dermatol. 2017;92(3):356-362. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20175697

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