Maybe you’re not an avid makeup wearer but want to feel a little more put-together, or maybe you’re a huge makeup fan who’s occasionally too busy to spend all that time blending, buffing, and setting a traditional foundation. No matter which end of this spectrum you’re on, a BB cream can be a lifesaver.
They straddle the line between makeup and skincare, helping to perfect your complexion while also nourishing it with skincare ingredients and protecting it from the harsh sun.
Brands like to advertise their creams as offering multiple benefits in one but through our research, we’ve come to the conclusion that they often only excel in one or two of their roles. Some are better for oily skin while others are better for dry skin, some look beautiful on the skin while others have better skincare ingredients.
This is why we decided to dive deep to give a comprehensive understanding of which are the best BB creams in Canada, and exactly what it is that they do well!
Best BB creams of 2020
- Best overall – Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream
- Best for oily skin – CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream
- Best for dry skin – Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets All-In-One BB Cream
- Best priming – Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer
- Best Canadian – Marcelle BB Cream Beauty Balm
Hours of Research
Best BB creams comparison
|Best for||Overall||Oily Skin||Dry Skin||Priming||Canadian|
|Price||$14.98-$25.99 for 50 ml||$7.97-$9.49 for 30 ml||$66 for 38 ml||$48 for 30 ml||$19.96-$24.99 for 45 ml|
|Coverage||Medium||Medium||Light||Light||Light to Medium|
|Colour Selection||7||6||2||3 to 5||2 to 4|
|Texture and Finish||Dewy, better for dry and normal skin||Matte and oil-controling but still natural||Dewy, light,fluid||Demi-matte, for combination, normal and oily skin||Natural and lightweight, for all skin types|
|SPF and Skin Benefits||42 SPF, brightening and moisturizing||no SPF||25, humectants, peptides and vitamin C||SPF 30 in US||Hydrating and soothing, no SPF|
Our pick for best overall – Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream
- Coverage: Medium
- Colour Selection: 7
- Texture and Finish: Dewy, best for normal and dry skin
- SPF and Skin Benefits: 42 SPF with many moisturizing and brightening ingredients
- Cruelty-Free: No
Very popular in Korea, Missha M Perfect Cover was one of the first BB creams available in the West, and it remains at the top of the game as the best BB cream in Canada right now.
It delivers exactly the kind of benefits we expect from Korean BB creams: a dewy finish that makes your skin look radiant (and is lovely if you have dry skin), phenomenal skincare ingredients, and excellent sun protection. This formula gives buildable medium coverage so it can actually replace your foundation but without sacrificing ease of use.
- Pretty, dewy finish with complete coverage
- Amazing ingredients and excellent sun protection
- Large colour ranges
- Some shades have a gray undertone that’s not suitable for many
This BB cream has a luxurious texture that goes on smoothly and easily while still offering a considerable amount of coverage. The only drawback is the colour range which, while large, leans a little gray. Recently, Missha released new warm shades to remedy the issue.
Since this BB cream is very dewy it doesn’t self-set so when used alone it will fade after a few hours. Powder or setting spray will fix the issue, allowing it to last all day.
With a 42 SPF, this BB cream can easily act as your daily sunscreen. It has a moisturizing formula that includes ceramides which increase moisture levels in dry skin, and arbutin which (especially when paired with SPF) can help brighten dark spots.
Taking into account how well this BB cream performs on all fronts and the large quantity of product you get in a tube, it’s clear it offers excellent value, especially if you can snag it for around $15.
Best for oily skin – CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream
- Coverage: Medium
- Colour Selection: 6
- Texture and Finish: Matte and oil-controlling but still natural
- SPF and Skin Benefits: Oil-free and non-comedogenic, no SPF
- Cruelty-Free: Yes
CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream is easily our winning cream for those with oily skin. Traditionally, BB creams offer a very dewy and reflective skin finish, but on those with oily skin that can look downright greasy!
This cream stands out in its ability to control oils and keep the skin from looking greasy throughout the day, while still having the biggest benefits of a BB cream formula, like helping to even out the skin tone without a cakey appearance or heavy skin-feel.
Those with oily skin are often also prone to acne, so another benefit of this BB is that it has a non-comedogenic and oil-free formula intended to never clog pores or cause breakouts!
Its medium coverage level will help to camouflage any pesky breakouts you have, and with added layers you can build it up to the point where it could hide even more intense discoloration, potentially even saving you the need for concealer!
- Mattifying and non-comedogenic
- Very easy to apply, blend, and build-up
- Medium coverage level can hide a wide-range of imperfections
- Long-wearing and looks great throughout the day
- Wide colour selection compared to other BB creams
- Can emphasize dry patches
- May oxidize on certain skin tones
- Doesn’t include special skincare ingredients or SPF
This cream is very elegant. It glides over the skin smoothly and covers easily, without balling up or becoming cakey with added layers.
Once applied, Clean Matte BB cream sets on its own, and can stay in place without breaking up or fading too much for over 8 hours. The only drawback is that the formula is not 100% oxidation proof, which means that after a few hours the colour can become a shade darker on some, especially if used without a primer. If your foundations or BB creams often oxidize, we suggest buying one shade lighter than you normally would to account for this.
We usually expect a BB cream to be full of amazing ingredients, but Clean Matte BB Cream has a very bare-bones formula that is oil and fragrance-free. This is great if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin since there’s a much smaller chance of breaking out or becoming irritated, but we would have liked to see sun protection or gentle ingredients for soothing the skin.
Coming in at under $10, this is the most affordable on our list.
Best for dry skin – YVES SAINT LAURENT Top Secrets All-In-One BB Cream
- Coverage: Light
- Colour Selection: 2
- Texture and Finish: Dewy for dry, normal, and mature skin
- SPF and Skin Benefits: 25 SPF, very hydrating and anti-ageing
- Cruelty-Free: No
This luxury BB cream offers a lot of hydration along with a bit of coverage. Rich in water-binding ingredients, it gives your skin a very dewy, ethereal appearance. That said, it gives very little coverage, so while it can diffuse redness it won’t hide darker discoloration.
This cream really shines as a skincare product. It keeps the skin remarkably soft and hydrated and includes some very impressive anti-ageing ingredients. It’s phenomenal for those with very dry skin, while those with normal skin could use it instead of a moisturizer. If you have oily skin skip it as it’ll make you too shiny.
- Luminous, dewy finish
- Incredible hydrating and anti-ageing ingredients
- Decent sun protection
- Very low coverage
- Fragrance ingredients can irritate sensitive skin
Because the texture of this product is so fluid, it spreads over the skin and doesn’t weigh it down, while low pigmentation makes it look very natural. However, it’s not particularly buildable so you can’t increase its coverage with more layers.
This BB cream tends to stay put reasonably well. After a few hours, it will fade naturally unless it’s set with powder. What is remarkable is that it never stops bringing moisture into the skin, and it retains that dewy finish all day long.
Sun protection, hydration, and some sexy anti-ageing ingredients to boot – this is a luxury formula that saves you steps in the morning by doubling as a moisturizer. It is very rich in water-binders, which is why it has a very light, fluid texture, and also includes wrinkle-smoothing Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9 and antioxidant, skin-brightening vitamin C.
This is a luxury product, and the price reflects that. As much as we love the ingredients and performance, we do think the price point primarily reflects the prestige of the brand rather than formula.
Best for priming – Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer
- Coverage: Light
- Colour Selection: 3-5 depending on the retailer
- Texture and Finish: Semi-matte, best for normal, oily, and combination skin
- SPF and Skin Benefits: rated 30 SPF in US but not in Canada (The product sold in Canada is identical to the one sold in the US, but legally Tarte cannot claim an SPF in Canada.)
- Cruelty-Free: Yes
Many brands say that their BB cream can also double as a primer, but that’s rarely true, and this one stands as the exception. Designed like a primer with a tint, it relies on both pigments and silky skin-blurring silicones to lightly perfect your skin, hide pores and texture issues, and keep greasiness at bay.
The formula is semi-matte, so it is best for normal, oily, or combination skin, and can be worn alone when you’re in a rush or having a good skin day, but can also give a really nice base to a more high-coverage foundation. It is free of comedogenic or irritating ingredients, so if your skin is highly reactive it could be a great choice.
- Extremely silky and blendable
- Simple, non-comedogenic ingredients and SPF
- Looks better as the day wears on
- Doubles as a primer
- Small colour range
- Might emphasize dry patches
It is silicone-based, which is why it feels so silky on the skin and also the reason why it controls oils so well. It blends into the skin quickly and easily, and if you want to build it up for a bit of coverage you can rest assured it won’t look heavy. The only drawback is that it can emphasize dry patches.
Not only is it very long-lasting, but it actually looks nicer as the day wears on! If you find that your skin tends to look dull after foundation has been on your skin for a while, we think you should give this one a chance.
This cream has a 30 SPF that comes from gentle mineral ingredients. Otherwise, it is low on actives, which is great if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin but means it doesn’t have additional skincare benefits.
Tarte is a high-end brand, so while this product offers some unique effects we think the price is a little higher than reasonable.
Best Canadian – Marcelle BB Cream
- Coverage: Light to Medium
- Colour Selection: 2-4 depending on the retailer
- Texture and Finish: Natural and lightweight, great for all skin types
- SPF and Skin Benefits: Many hydrating and soothing ingredients suitable for sensitive skin, but no SPF
- Cruelty-Free: Yes
This is the first Canadian BB cream ever released, and it happens to be an excellent product that could work for all skin types. It contains a range of humectants that pull moisture into the skin, so it can replace your daily moisturizer and keep your skin soft and supple.
The ingredients are gentle, and the formula is dermatologist tested and fragrance-free, so it’s unlikely to irritate even if you have sensitive skin. If you’re sick of the mess that tube makeup products can make, you’ll like that it’s fitted with a hygienic pump!
The light to medium coverage, in combination with a very natural satin finish, makes for a lovely cream that can work for anyone. If you prefer a “no makeup” look or are new to makeup you will enjoy it, since it is easy to apply and lightly perfects the skin.
- Natural-looking finish and coverage
- Soothing and hydrating ingredients to replace moisturizer
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- Hygienic pump dispenser
- No SPF, though other Marcelle complexion products do offer sun protection
- Colour range is a little limited
This BB cream is a pleasure to use, with a creamy, quick-blending formula that you can apply flawlessly even when you’re in a rush. The packaging also adds to the experience, because it is comfortable and hygienic.
As with other satin-finish formulas, its longevity depends on how you apply it. On its own, you can expect it to start fading away in a natural manner after a few hours. If you take the extra step to set it with powder it can last for over 10 hours.
Fragrance-free, and made with a few different humectants including glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which will soften and hydrate your skin, and camellia, aloe, and chamomile extracts which calm redness and soothe sensitive skin. It’s non-comedogenic, making it safe even if you suffer from acne. No SPF, unfortunately.
The price is “mid-range” for a BB cream, but it’s worth noting that a tube contains 45 ml rather than the typical 30 ml, making it only 20 cents per ml more expensive than the cheapest options on our list.
What to consider when looking for a BB cream?
Cosmetic elegance is the insider term for how easy and pleasant it is to use a makeup product and have it look beautiful. Surely, you don’t want one that needs finagling or hours of blending, but a product that glides on smoothly on and looks amazing right from the start.
What’s the point of a BB cream that totally disappears or, even worse, breaks up into patches over the skin? The best option would simply stay put throughout the day, looking as perfect after hours of wear as it did when first applied.
We also appreciate creams that fade away naturally, while those with truly poor longevity will make themselves known by settling into creases or breaking up in obvious and visible patches.
One of the main benefits of BB creams is that they act as both skincare and makeup, which is why it is expected that they include some fantastic skincare ingredients. Skincare is never one-size-fits-all, so when looking at the ingredients it’s important to have your individual needs in mind. We look for SPF, hydrating ingredients, soothing ingredients, antioxidants, and more when deciding how to score a product in this criterion.
The ingredients that it doesn’t include also matter, so we favour fragrance-free and non-comedogenic formulas.
Great BB creams don’t have to break the bank, so we don’t mind letting price influence our opinions. We don’t only look at the price, but also at the quantity. Expensive options don’t always deliver better results than affordable ones, so if something costs more it better be good.
Choosing BB Cream by skin type
Your skin type will influence which BB cream will be best for you! Options may have dewy, natural, or matte finishes, so the key is to choose the finish that will balance your skin type.
If you have oily skin, your skin probably starts to look greasy by the end of the morning, but a matte BB cream can help tame those oils. You can also add a setting or mattifying powder on top for added reinforcement!
If you have dry skin, then you have the opposite issue, and your skin tends to look matte or flat with the occasional flakey patch. Dewy BB creams will help moisturize your skin and they will have a reflective finish that will make you look luminous and healthy.
Finally, if you have normal or combination skin then your skin produces just the right amount of oil, so you probably want a BB cream that won’t disrupt or alter things. Look for BB creams described as having a “natural” or “satin” finish, which mimics the look of healthy skin.
BB Cream vs. foundation
It’s not easy to understand the difference between BB cream and foundation because the two overlap. Foundations are skin-toned creams that help to give the skin a uniform colour, so in a way, a BB cream is a type of foundation.
The difference is that BB creams offer additional features, like sun protection and moisturization. With that said, some foundations out there also offer sun protection and skin benefits, so there is a definite overlap!
Creams (especially ones from Western brands) will usually offer less coverage, so while they can even out the skin they won’t hide intense discoloration, though the benefit is that they look more natural and skin-like.
What’s the best way of applying BB Cream?
The classic way of applying it is by massaging it in with the hands, just as you would a moisturizer! This is the fastest method since the heat of the hands helps it melt into the skin seamlessly.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty you can apply the cream with a foundation brush, which will give you more coverage, or you can use a sponge for a softer look.
If you’re relying on your cream to protect you from the sun, it’s important that you use enough. Health Canada suggests 1 teaspoon to cover both the face and neck.
What to read next
Over to you
What are your must-know BB cream tips and tricks? Which of these do you think you’ll have to try? Leave a comment and let us know!