Best BB Cream For Acne Prone Skin


Having acne prone skin is a complete nuisance. Breakouts are uncomfortable and unsightly, and you have to put much more thought into the skin care and make-up products that you use on a daily basis.

Using the wrong type of product formulation can be just enough to tip your skin from stable to spot covered.

And the more products you use, the more head scratching you have to do to make sure that each new product isn’t going to cause a problem – either by itself or when it’s used alongside your other lotions and potions.

This is where BB creams can really make a difference.

What Is A BB Cream?

What Is A BB Cream

BB stands for BEAUTY BALM or BLEMISH BALM. These balms are multi purpose creams that you can use to replace moisturizer, sun protection cream and anti aging serums.

Plus, thanks to the light reflecting technology these creams incorporate, they can act as a replacement for your foundation by evening out your skin tone and providing a light, smooth cover.

The whole idea of a beauty balm is that you can wash your face, apply one product and be good to go.

While beauty balms are a fairly new skin care product that first hit our store shelves in 2012, they’ve actually been around since the 1960’s and were originally the brainchild of German dermatologist, Dr. Christine Schrammek.

Dr. Schrammek wanted to provide her patients with a gentle, moisturizing and protecting cream to use after they’d undergone facial peels and other cosmetic procedures, and the beauty balm is the formulation she created.

The beauty balm concept was later seized upon in the 1980’s by cosmetic companies in South Korea and other Asian countries, where women typically go through 7 different steps, using 7 different products to take care of their skin in the morning.

The all-in-one time saving beauty balm was understandably a huge hit in those markets, and it’s since become a firm favorite for Western women (and increasingly, men) too.

Asian beauty balms tend to incorporate a skin whitening element in their formulations but this element is largely absent from the products formulated for women in the West.

Benefits Of Beauty Balms

Benefits Of Beauty Balms

Essentially, the main appeal of beauty balms is the time that they save on a skin care routine and their cost effectiveness.

At the cheaper end of the market you can pick up beauty balms for less than $10, which is pretty impressive when you take into consideration the cost of purchasing separate moisturizer, primer, foundation, sunblock, and anti aging serum.

And, of course, with a beauty balm you have the added reassurance that all of the ingredients will play nicely together, which is something you can’t be sure about when you use a range of different products.

Things To Bear In Mind When You Have Acne

Things To Bear In Mind When You Have Acne

A beauty balm can’t replace specific acne treatment products, because the FDA does not allow acne treatments, like salicylic acid, to be combined with SPF’s in skin care products.

So while you’ll find BB creams with skin boosting antioxidants which will certainly help if you have acne, you won’t find complete BB creams with specific acne fighting ingredients.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t find BB creams with salicylic acid or other acne specific ingredients, but those BB creams won’t provide any sun block protection.

If you’re happy to use alternative remedies for your acne, then you’ll certainly be able to find BB creams with tea tree essential oil as an ingredient, and these creams do contain sun protection. So these are a possible all-in-one solution.

Beauty balms are a great choice which will allow you to streamline your skin care and makeup routine, but with acne you won’t benefit quite as much from the all-in-one concept.

Will Beauty Balms Replace Every Product You Use?

Will Beauty Balms Replace Every Product You Use

That depends on the type of products you need to use.

While BB Creams are a fantastic multi purpose addition to your tool kit, they can’t do everything.

If you need to cover up dark circles under your eyes, you’ll probably still need a separate concealer for that.

The coverage a beauty balm provides is better than a tinted moisturizer, but it’s still on the light side of the spectrum. If you suffer a heavy breakout, a BB cream will have a tough time providing full cover, so don’t throw out your foundation just yet.

Another problem that most BB cream doesn’t address very well is redness. If you have a very uneven skin tone with a lot of redness to correct, then you might prefer to use a CC cream.

CC stands for color correcting. Color correcting creams are very similar to beauty balms – they’re lightweight and multi purpose – but they have the added benefit of the pigments that even out skin tone, along with a slightly higher level of cover.

Sun protection is something else to pay close attention to.

The SPF in your BB Cream will generally be a lower factor than you would apply on the sunniest of summer days, so that’s something to consider, especially if you have very fair skin. And with a beauty balm, you’re likely to use less product than you would if you were applying a standalone sun cream.

The sun is very aging and is the main trigger for skin cancer, so it’s important to make sure that you face is properly protected.

Your BB Cream will most likely be fine if you’re only spending a short time outdoors (like on a work or school day), but if you’re out on a hike or heading to the beach, play it safe and load up with a generous application of a high SPF cream (and don’t forget to reapply every few hours while you’re out).

Finally, BB creams are meant for daytime use, so at the end of the day, after you wash or cleanse your face, you’ll still need to apply an overnight moisturizer or skin repair serum.

How Much Do Beauty Balms Cost?

How Much Do Beauty Balms Cost

As we’ve already mentioned, you can pick up a cheap and cheerful beauty balm for less than $10, which is awesome for those on a tight budget.

Beyond that price point, you’ll find some excellent mid range products for $20 to $60, along with high end brands costing over $100, and specialist spa formulations that cost even more.

Whatever your budget, there’s a beauty balm that will work for your skin type and your pocketbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is beauty balm the same as tinted moisturizer? – No. Tinted moisturizers are very basic and give very light cover to your skin. They’re a good choice when you have blemish free skin with an even tone, but most women need more cover than these tints can provide.

I have dry skin and acne, will a BB cream work for me? – You absolutely can use a BB cream when you have acne and dry skin. But your BB cream probably won’t provide enough moisture all by itself so it won’t be a true all-in-one solution for you.

The best thing to do is try your BB cream and see how it makes your skin feel. If your skin feels too dry and tight, you’ll need to apply your regular moisturizer before applying the BB cream in the future.

Even with this extra moisturizing step, you’re still saving time and money because you get your sun protection, anti oxidants and foundation all-in-one.

How do you apply BB creams? – After you wash or cleanse your skin, take a small amount of BB cream and use your fingers to spread the cream evenly over your face and neck.

If you need extra cover for dark under eye circles or very prominent blemishes, you can layer the BB cream to build better cover. Wait a few seconds after applying the first layer, then use a light dabbing motion to add more BB cream. Blend and smooth with a makeup brush or makeup sponge.

Okay then, now we’ve got those BB cream basics out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best BB creams for acne.

Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream (1 fluid ounce)

Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream (1 fluid ounce)

This is a BB cream with 3 color options – light/medium, medium, and medium/deep – and a sheer finish.

Dream Pure BB cream is an oil free formulation, so it hydrates without adding any pore clogging oil to your skin and it won’t make your skin feel greasy.

While it doesn’t provide a sun block, this cream does give you a potent weapon in your fight against acne – 2% salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid can be very drying, but Maybelline has carefully combined the ingredients in this balm to avoid that problem. You don’t have to worry about dryness when you use this cream.

Although Dream Pure isn’t a CC cream, it does have the ability to conceal imperfections and tone down redness, which is a nice bonus at this price point.

Despite this level of cover, the beauty balm is light and creamy with a gel like texture that’s quickly absorbed, leaving your skin feeling fresh and silky smooth.

If you want to give this BB a try, be sure to select the Pure BB Cream and not the Fresh BB Cream which is formulated for dry skin and doesn’t contain any salicylic acid.

Holika Holika Pore Clearing Petit BB Cream (1 fluid ounce)

Holika Holika Pore Clearing Petit BB Cream (1 fluid ounce)

This beauty balm from Holika Holika is another bargain BB cream, don’t be fooled by the price, this beauty balm is packed with skin healing goodness.

The secret weapon in this beauty balm is tea tree oil which is well known for its ability to calm inflammation and kill bacteria and is widely used as an acne home remedy. Research confirms tea tree oil as an effective remedy for acne.

Tea tree oil is a natural substance which isn’t regulated by the FDA, so this balm is able to offer you acne fighting action along with sunblock protection of SPF 30.

Even though you get an impressive level of SPF in this cream, it won’t leave a grayish tint to your skin, which can be a problem in some other formulations.

The sebum control powder contained in this cream eliminates shine without caking or clogging pores. When you use this cream, you’ll get a medium coverage that’s strong enough to cover imperfections and tone down redness.

It does feel a little on the thick side when it comes out of the tube, but the warmth of your fingers makes it easy to spread and it goes on smoothly. The finish is semi-matte

The only limitation of this hydrating cream is its color range. It’s really only suitable for light and light/medium skin tones. Darker skin tones will need to use foundation over the top.

Simon & Tom All-in-One Beautifying Balm with SPF 15 Hydrating & Anti-Imperfection BB Cream (1.67 fluid ounces)

Simon & Tom All-in-One Beautifying Balm with SPF 15 Hydrating & Anti-Imperfection BB Cream (1.67 fluid ounces)

Simon and Tom’s Beautifying Balm has the lowest SPF of all of the beauty balms we’re recommending, but don’t let that deter you from giving this lovely cream a whirl.

  • Hyaluronic Acid provides deep moisturizing without adding oil to already troubled skin.
  • Vitamin E adds essential antioxidant protection – acne prone skin has much lower levels of this vitamin than normal skin, and this lack of antioxidant protection is a root cause of acne.
  • Pomegranate extract controls excess sebum production and improves uneven skin tone.

Together, these three ingredients work hard to moisturize and protect your skin.

As for cover, the lightweight cream covers fine lines and enlarged pores (without caking), controls shine and gives you a smooth, silky finish.

Because of its light texture, this BB cream is suitable for layering in those areas where you need thicker cover. You’ll also find that this product conceals under eye circles very well.

It’s available in three shades – light, medium and dark – which tend to come out a little darker than you would expect. If you’ve got medium toned skin, you might find that the light shade looks more natural than the medium.

Dr. G Gowoonsesang Perfect Pore BB Cream 

Dr. G Gowoonsesang Perfect Pore BB Cream 

This beauty balm is a lovely product with some great benefits. And it’s easy on your wallet too.

The first thing to note is the SPF of 30, which is a good level of protection for everyday needs. As you’re aware by now, the presence of an SPF in a beauty balm indicates that there is no regulated acne treatment in the product.

Even so, this beauty balm offers some nice benefits for acne prone skin.

Lime water and cabbage extract help to control excess sebum, while lemon balm soothes inflammation and vitamin C rich rosehip oil tackles those skin aging free radicals.

A little goes a long way with this beauty balm, with a tiny amount able to cover imperfections and even out skin tone, so it’s excellent value for money.

As well as providing a nice level of semi-matte cover for your skin, Perfect Pore Cream also minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores which helps to give you a fresher, smoother look.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Makeup, Oil Free BB Cream with SPF 20 for Oily Skin (1 fluid ounce)

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Makeup, Oil Free BB Cream with SPF 20 for Oily Skin (1 fluid ounce)

This BB Cream from La Roche produces spectacular results.

Posay Effaclar contains a new blurring technology developed by La Roche which minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores and fine lines, instantly making your skin look smoother and younger.

The inclusion of a mineral sunscreen with an SPF of 20 gives all day protection, but may not be enough on its own to screen out those damaging UV rays at the height of summer. If you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors it would be a good idea to use a higher SPF before applying this BB cream.

Oily skin is no match for another La Roche innovation – their Airlicium mattifier absorbs 150 times its weight in oil, so this is the perfect solution if oily skin tends to ruin your look by midday.

By using this BB cream you’ll eliminate shine and enjoy a smooth matte finish that will see you right through your day.

There’s no need to worry about your makeup sliding on hot humid days either, thanks to the addition of sweat and humidity absorbing Perlite. You can even wear this while you workout at the gym.

The formulation is oil free and non comedogenic so there’s no additional burden on troubled skin.

Posay Effaclar has a whipped, mousse like texture that feels light on the skin yet gives a reassuring medium cover. And you’ll be glad to know that this beauty balm is fragrance free, paraben free, and hypoallergenic making it suitable for sensitive skins.

Once again, color is an issue, with this BB cream most suitable for fairer complexions. The shades available are Fair/Light and Light/Medium.

Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 (1 fluid ounce)

Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 (1 fluid ounce)

This BB cream from Clinique is formulated with acne prone skin in mind.

With its oil free formulation, you can be sure that this camouflaging beauty balm won’t cause breakouts, and as it’s non comedogenic it won’t clog your pores.

An SPF of 40 gives you a great level of sun protection, and unlike many products with this level of SPF, Clinique Acne Solutions won’t dry your skin.

Lightweight and easy to blend, Acne Solutions BB Cream comes in 5 shades which give a smooth matte finish, so this is one of the few acne focused BB creams which cater to darker complexions.

Shades are:

  • Light
  • Light medium
  • Medium
  • Medium deep
  • Deep

This beauty balm also has staying power, providing up to 12 hours of shine free cover to see you through your busiest days without having to worry about your makeup.

As you would expect with Clinique, this cream carries a slightly higher price tag than the other products we’ve looked at.

Beauty balms are a great way to take care of your skin. Instead of skipping steps in your beauty routine when you’re in a hurry – which is most days, right? – you get to nourish, protect and perfect your skin in no more time than it takes to apply your daily moisturizer.

A beauty balm is all you need for a fresh, natural coverage, and it’s easy to build up if you need a little more help.

The antioxidants in BB creams are an ultra important addition that your acne prone skin desperately needs. The sunblock element will ensure that those antioxidants aren’t used up fighting the free radicals caused by UV rays, leaving them free to help prevent the oxidative damage that plays such a big role in acne.

And as they’re so cost effective, what’s not to love!