Best BB Cream for Acne Prone Skin: Reviews & Guide (2018 Update)

Updated 5 years ago

We all understand the importance of a first impression. The immediate thing we notice about another person is their face, and skin complexion plays a big part when it comes to first impressions. Women often go to great lengths to get smooth looking skin. Acne issues contribute to lower self-esteem and is problematic for many people, from teens to adults.

If you are prone to getting acne, you have probably tried numerous makeup products to help smoothen your skin and cover up these issues.

What is acne?

Acne is a common part of puberty, but many adults still get acne as well. Acne occurs as different bumps that show up on the skin, including blackheads, pimples, whiteheads and cysts. The pores in your skin contain sebaceous glands, which are oil glands that produce sebum. Sebum is a waxy oil that is necessary to lubricate your skin and hair follicle, keeping it soft and waterproof. If you produce too much sebum and dead skin cells build up, your pores become clogged. If bacteria gets trapped in these pores, acne starts forming and you will be left with a red, swollen bump.

What can cause acne?

Many different factors contribute to breakouts. The most common reason is that changes in hormone levels cause your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Increased stress also contributes to an increase in sebum production, leading to acne. Some medications including anti-seizure medication, corticosteroids, and lithium can cause acne. If you have poor hygiene, your pores will be clogged with bacteria, leading to breakouts.

What is a BB cream?

One popular product that women use for coverage is a BB cream. This stands for beauty balm or blemish balm, according to different companies. BB creams started gaining popularity in 2011. They are lighter than foundations, they are made to moisturize the skin, provide sheer coverage, help heal the skin and provide SPF protection. While BB creams are similar to tinted moisturizers, they include additional ingredients that help protect against acne and heal the skin. These ingredients range from antioxidants to hyaluronic acid.

To help you choose the right BB cream for acne prone skin, we have selected some of the top BB creams that include clinically proven ingredients to protect against acne.

Top BB creams for acne prone skin

BB Cream Features
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Bb Beauty Balm Contains a botanical formula to help blemish prone and sensitive skin Hides uneven skin tone and blemishes Has SPF 25 sun protection
MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 Provides even coverage to hide blemishes and flaws Contains rosemary and chamomile extract to soothe skin Lightweight formula with SPF 42 sun protection
La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Covers blemishes and evens out skin tones Contains Airlicium, which absorbs excess oil Formulated with perlite to absorb humidity and sweat SPF 20 sun protection
Garnier SkinActive BB Cream Face Moisturizer For Oily/Combo Skin Formulated to control shine, even out skin tone, minimize pores, and hydrate Contains perlite and antioxidant wild berry SPF 20 sun protection
Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream Combines skin care properties and makeup for a simple step solution Blemish fighting BB cream that evens out skin tones while hydrating, smoothing and hydrating
Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream Dermatologist approved formula containing antioxidants and botanicals Smoothes, moisturizes, protects, firms, and primes the skin Is paraben free, gluten free, fragrance free and non-comedogenic

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Bb Beauty Balm

This all in one beauty balm provides sheer, lightweight coverage for blemishes and uneven skin tones. Botanical ingredients such as green tea and aloe vera in this soothing cream help purify and calm acne prone or sensitive skin. It also contains Arbutin to help combat dark spots while SPF 25 sunscreen protects against harmful UV rays. The manufacturer states that caviar extract and antioxidants protect the skin from pollution, which is known to clog pores with bacteria, leading to acne. This one-step coverage is a solution for redness, uneven skin texture, acne or blemishes, uneven skin tones and dark spots.

This product is free from parabens and sulfates. It can be used on normal to sensitive skin. To use, apply this product evenly over your face after using a toner and moisturizer.

MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42

This lightweight formula provides high coverage for blemishes and uneven skin tones. Natural ingredients such as rosemary and chamomile extracts help soothe acne prone skin. The multifunction BB cream contains Gatuline RC, Hyaluronic Acids and Ceramide which moisturizes the skin and improves elasticity, providing wrinkle care as well. To protect against UV rays, which can cause uneven skin tones, this product has SPF 42 sun protection.

To use this product, pump out a pea size dollop and smooth it onto the skin using your preferred method, whether it is with your fingers, a sponge applicator or a brush.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur

La Roche-Posay is a number one acne skincare brand in European markets and their products are recommended by 25,000 dermatologists globally. This effective BB cream is formulated with the smoothing mattifier Airlicium, which absorbs 150 times its weight in oil, removing excess oil from the skin while the pigmented cream provides all around coverage for blemishes. Sweat is known to trap bacteria in pores, and to combat that problem this BB cream contains perlite, absorbing humidity and sweat. This product has UV protection with SPF 20.

To use this product, apply an even layer to your face in the mornings.

Garnier SkinActive BB Cream Face Moisturizer For Oily/Combo Skin

This five in one product is formulated to control shine, minimize pores, even out your skin tone and hydrate the skin, as well as offer sun protection. The tinted mineral pigment provides even coverage, covering up blemishes for a smooth look. It is infused with antioxidant wild berry and mineral perline to combat oily skin and control shine. It moisturizes the skin, helping to combat against wrinkles. This BB cream has UV protection with SPF 20.

To use this product, apply a pea size amount and spread evenly over the face. This product is preferably used in the morning. If you are using it for sun protection, apply liberally 15 minutes before going out in the sun, reapplying again every two hours.

The manufacturer suggests storing this product in its container away from the sun or excessive amounts of heat.

Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream

This eight in one BB cream is formulated specifically to help fight against blemishes. It contains 2% salicylic acid, which is the highest percentage medical ingredient used to treat acne that you can buy over counter without a doctor’s prescription. Additionally, it provides lightweight coverage to even out skin tones and blur imperfections and blemishes. It’s designed to hydrate the skin, brighten the face and smooth out blemishes. This helps control oily skin and contain ingredients such as chamomilla recutita which protects against breakouts. It’s made without heavy ingredients and is oil-free, allowing pores to breathe without clogging throughout the day.

To use this product apply a thin layer to your face. This product can be used with or without moisturizer. It is gentle enough to be used everyday.

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

This Physicians Formula BB cream is dermatologist approved, containing brightening antioxidants to maintain a dewy look while firming botanicals provide powerful skin care and helps your skin maintain its elasticity. This product is very blendable and lightweight, providing uneven skin or blemishes with good coverage. Dry skin can lead to excess sebum production, which causes acne. To help combat that, this product moisturizes the skin, locking in hydration to prevent dry and flaky skin. Uva/Uvb and SPF protection ensures protection from the sun.

To use this product, squeeze a small amount directly to the face and use fingertips to blend in evenly. Apply 15 minutes before going out into the sun, reapplying every two hours.

How to protect against acne

If you have acne prone skin, there are steps that you can take to prevent against breakouts. Poor hygiene often leads to pores clogged with bacteria, which then form acne bumps, so it’s important to maintain a good face washing routine. Most dermatologists recommend washing your face twice a day to remove dead skin cells, excess oil on the surface of your skin, and other impurities and pollutants that build up throughout the day. Use a mild face wash and rinse with warm water, rather than hot water which can irritate the skin.

Some people think exfoliating with a washcloth, exfoliating glove or loofah gets rid of dead skin cells more effectively, but this can actually do more harm than good. It’s recommended that you wash your face gently and pat it dry with a clean soft towel.

Interestingly enough, the products you use in your hair can make you more prone to acne as well. Fragrances and harsh chemicals from shampoo, gels, or pomade can clog your pores if they get on your face.

Make sure you moisturize your skin and finally, choose a makeup product like a BB cream that can be used on acne prone skin.

What ingredients in BB creams help with acne

When shopping for BB creams, it’s important to look for ones that are labeled noncomedogenic. This means that the product is formulated so that it doesn’t block your pores, therefore it should not cause acne.

Ingredients such as 2% salicylic acid is the highest percentage medical ingredient used to treat acne that you can obtain over counter. This ingredient is dermatologically approved to treat acne.

More natural ingredients such as chamomile extract reduces skin inflammation and can reduce lighten the appearance of acne scars. Aloe vera is another natural ingredient used to get rid of acne. The plant contains substances that reduce inflammation and facilitates healing.

When looking for a BB cream for acne prone skin, look for ingredients such as salicylic acid, chamomile extract and aloe.

Make sure you avoid products that contain paraben and sulfates, as these harsh chemicals can clog your pores, resulting in breakouts.


People with acne prone skin can suffer from low self-esteem. At the same time, acne bumps can become inflamed and cause pain. Many women with acne try to look for the perfect makeup solution to help cover up their bumps, however there are many products that can actually make your skin condition even worse.

BB creams are a great alternative to foundations because they provide light coverage for your blemishes, allowing your pores to breathe, while containing ingredients that prevent breakouts, helps soak up excess oil and eliminates acne.

The products we have recommended today are designed to provide blemish coverage while soaking up excess oil that your sebums produce. This allows your skin to breathe without clogging the pores with bacteria. Many of the products we recommended also contain ingredients effective in treating acne, such as chamomile extract or aloe. While using a BB cream for acne prone skin, be sure to maintain a good hygienic routine at the same time. While you’re at it, why not find a face wash for oily skin too?

We hope we helped you find the perfect BB cream for acne prone skin, so that you can go and face the world with confidence.

Check back with us soon to view the best in cosmetics, skin care, hair care, and anti-aging beauty products.