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CC Cream is the New BB Cream

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Shay is a beauty blogger with a knack for falling down Internet research holes and an addiction to before-and-after photos.

CC Cream is the New BB Cream

CC Cream is the New BB Cream

The Ultimate CC Cream Shopping Guide

There is a new product on the block. Say hello to CC Cream! I'm covering the basics on Color Correcting Creams, their benefits, the difference between CC and BB Creams, and a rundown of all the brands available. If you have no idea what a CC Cream is, read on. If you enjoy reading about cosmetics, trends in makeup or skincare, then you're just where you want to be. Let's do this.

CC Cream Poll!

What Is CC Cream?

What Is CC Cream?

What is CC Cream?

"CC" stands for "color correcting" or "complexion correcting." CC Creams claim to do just that - they offer the combined benefits of cutting edge skin care and flawless foundation coverage in one easy to use product. Many CC Creams have SPF (UV) sun protection, Antioxidants, Anti-Aging or Collagen Building Ingredients, Skin Brightening Ingredients and oil control benefits. All CC Creams offer moisturizing benefits and some level of pigmentation.

For some creams, this pigmentation is very light (like Olay's CC Cream) allowing the product to work well for a range of skin tones (from very light/pale skin to tanned/olive to dark). Other, more true CC Creams (such as Rachel K and Wei to Go) offer more coverage due to its buildable, more mousse-like formulation. Not all makeup is created equal however. I suspect that as the popularity of this product grows, the best brands will become apparent.

Think of CC Cream as the easily blended, more beneficial cousin of BB Cream.

Wait. What is BB Cream?

BB Cream (or Blemish Balm / Beauty Balm Cream) is the original foundation / skincare hybrid. Like CC Cream, BB Cream was first popular on the Asian market, most specifically in Korea. BB creams are highly pigmented and moisturizing, with many packing skincare ingredients such as antioxidants, high SPF sun protection, whitening ingredients and anti-aging ingredients.

Take a look at my BB Cream Guide if you want the skinny on Beauty Balms and the different brands available (there are a TON).

Three Differences BB vs. CC Creams

1) Coverage: Generally, CC Creams offer more coverage (for those with uneven skin tone or acne).

2) Skin Care Benefits: CC Creams are best for those who want more anti-aging, skin tone correcting, and skin brightening ingredients in their cosmetics.

3) Texture: If you find BB Creams too oily and heavy, know that CC Creams tend to be lighter, fluffier, and easier to blend.

Bring on the CC Cream Guide!

I will be adding products to this article as they are released on the American market. For now, those in the US have a few options for CC Creams. It should be interesting to see how these products stack up to their BB Cream counterparts. Whether CC will be as popular as BB remains to be seen, but as a beauty product loving lady, I can say I can't wait to get my hands on some!

Olay CC Cream

Olay CC Cream

Olay CC Cream

Price: $21.50

Specs:

  • SPF 15 (Broad Spectrum)
  • Skin Tone Correcting Ingredient: Niacinamide
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Sheer tint = very light coverage
  • (from Olay): Works against 7 signs of aging, including dull skin, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines

Shades: 3 - Fair-to-Light, Light-to-Medium, Medium-to-Deep.

Where to Find It: Walmart, Target, Drugstores & Amazon

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Dry Skin
Lighter Coverage (than most BB Creams) = Good for Many Skin Tones
Good for Use as a Primer

*Many bloggers are claiming that Olay's CC Cream is simply a "rebranded" version of an older product. Similar complaints were made about a Covergirl tinted moisturizer that was rebranded as a BB Cream. We'll have to wait and see if this argument holds any water!

Olay CC Cream plus Moisturizer

Olay CC Cream plus Moisturizer

Olay CC Cream / Daily Moisturizer Plus Cream Color

"Total Effects Daily Moisturizer + Touch of Foundation"

Price: $23.00

Specs:

  • Oil Free
  • Antioxidant: Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Sheer tint = very light coverage
  • (from Olay): Fights 7 signs of aging including dull skin, wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone

Shades: 1

Where to Find It: Walmart & Amazon.

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Dry Skin
Lighter Coverage (than most BB Creams) = Good for Many Skin Tones
Good for Use as a Primer
No SPF Sun Protection

Wet n Wild CC Cream

Wet n Wild CC Cream

Wet n Wild CC Cream

"Coverall Cream Foundation"

Price: $4.00

Specs:

  • SPF 15
  • Skin Tone Correcting Ingredient: VisiBright Complex which "minimizes the look of wrinkles while rejuvenating skin" *
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: sheer-to-medium coverage, semi-matte finish
  • (from Wet n Wild): weightless coverage evens flaws with a silky finish

Shades: 7 - Fair, Fair/Light, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Medium/Tan, Tan

Where to Find It: Walmart, Ulta, Drugstores (Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, etc), online, and Amazon.

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal Skin
Good for Range of Tones
Cheapest CC Cream** (or BB Cream, for that matter)

*Try as I might, I couldn't figure out exactly what "VisiBright Complex" is or what ingredients make it up, but it is supposed to reduce the signs of aging and hydrate the skin.

**When I first heard of this product, it was being hyped as a CC Cream. It doesn't appear that Wet n Wild is directly marketing it in that way. Regardless, this product has an SPF and some skincare benefits. It's also $4.00. FOUR DOLLARS.

Almay CC Cream

"Smart Shade Complexion Corrector"

Price: $8.50 - $10.00

Specs:

  • SPF 35 (broad spectrum)
  • Oil Free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fragrance Free
  • Antioxidants and Skin Tone Correcting Ingredients: Licorice Root Extract, Grape Extract, Strawberry Extract
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Lightweight, Minimal-Moderate Coverage, Dewy Finish
  • (from Almay): A lightweight foundation formula that gives you coverage and SPF sun protection now, and brightens and evens skin tone over time.

Shades: 3 - Light, Light/Medium, Medium (Almay's "Smart Shade" products "self adjust" from white to pigmented color, but this CC is the exception to the rule.)

Where to Find It: Target, Walmart, Ulta, Drugstores (Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, etc), online, and Amazon.

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Dry Skin
Good for Sensitive Skin
High SPF
Good for Skin with Warm Undertones (the cream tends to oxidize to a more orange-y shade)

Loreal CC Cream

"Visible Lift"

Price: $12.95

Specs:

  • SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
  • Anti-Aging Ingredients: Vitamin C, Calcium
  • Moisturizers: Shea Butter, Mineral Oil
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: "Color Capsules" pigment, Very Little Coverage, Dewy Finish
  • (from Loreal): A "multi-action" cream that corrects dullness, evens skin tone, and smooths skin texture.

Shades: 2 - Light/Medium, Medium/Deep

Where to Find It: Target, Walmart, Ulta, Drugstores (Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, etc), online, and Amazon.

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Dry Skin
Good for Use as a Moisturizer or Primer

Lumene CC Cream

"Time Freeze Anti-Age CC"

Price: $15

Specs:

  • SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
  • Paraben Free
  • Antioxidants: Arctic Lingonberry, Rosemary Leaf Extract
  • Skin Moisturizing Ingredients: Vaccinium vitis-idaea Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: lightweight natural finish, good pigmentation
  • (from Lumene): 6 Benefits: antioxidant protection, skin nourisher, hydrator, covers imperfections, tone evener, skin illuminator and sun protector.

Shades: 2 - Light, Medium

Where to Find It: Ulta, Drugstores (Walgreens, CVS), Online

Bottom Line:

Good Coverage
Good For all Skin Types
Good Light Toned Skin

Lumene's CC seems like a good drugstore option. It offers good pigmentation and coverage, but only comes in 2 shades (light and medium). It looks like a no-go for darker skinned folks.

Smashbox CC Cream

Smashbox CC Cream

Smashbox CC Cream

"Camera Ready CC Cream - Dark Spot Correcting"

Price: $42

Specs:

  • SPF 30
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Lightweight, Moderate Coverage, Matte Finish
  • (from Smashbox): This CC is an oil controller and skin tone corrector. It is formulated to brighten skin, and fade hyper-pigmentations (sun spots, dark spots, post acne marks) over time.

Shades: 5 - Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Dark

Where to Find It: Department Stores, Online, Sephora

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Oily Skin (matte finish)
Good for Range of Tones

Clinique CC Cream

Clinique CC Cream

Clinique CC Cream

"Moisture Surge CC Cream - Hydrating Colour Corrector"

Price: $30

Specs:

  • SPF 30 (broad spectrum)
  • Oil Free
  • Fragrance Free, Allergy Tested
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Moderate Coverage, Lightweight
  • (from Clinique): Oil-free hydration, skin brightener, reduces redness, improves look and feel of skin over time.

Shades: 6 - Very Light (fair, yellow undertones), Light (light beige, pink undertones), Light/Medium (beige/neutral undertones), Medium (beige/neutral undertones), Medium/Deep (tan neutral), Deep (rich amber, golden undertones)

Where to Find It: Department Stores, Online, Sephora

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Oily Skin
Good for Sensitive Skin
Good for Range of Tones

Stila CC Cream

Price: $44

Specs:

  • SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
  • Paraben Free
  • Oil Free
  • Anti-Aging & Skin Correcting Ingredients: Rose Extract
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: sheer/medium coverage, buildable coverage, matte/satin finish
  • (from Stila): Ultimate color correction with a green-based formula that reduces hyperpigmentation, increases brightness of the skin, softening fine lines/wrinkles, and offering 72 hours of continuous moisturization.

Shades: 6 - Fair, Light, Tone, Medium, Warm, Tan

Where to Find It: Sephora, Department Stores, Ulta, Online

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal/Dry Skin
Good for Redness
Good Range of Tones

Stila's CC is unlike others that I've seen because of its green tint. If you suffer from redness or ruddiness, this CC would be worth a shot.

Sephora CC Cream

Sephora CC Cream

Sephora CC Cream

"Skin Perfect"

Price: $26

Specs:

  • SPF 20
  • Paraben, Sulfate, Phthalate Free
  • Oil and Fragrance Free
  • Antioxidants: Licorice Extract
  • Anti-Aging & Skin Correcting Ingredients: Sea Kale Extract
  • Moisturizers: "Hydra24 Complex"
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Lightweight Finish, Sheer Coverage
  • (from Sephora): Color correction and skincare benefits with a lightweight formula and flawless finish

Shades: 7 - Fair (P), Light (Y), Medium (N), Medium Tan (P), Tan (N), Dark (Y), Deep (P)

Where to Find It: Sephora

Bottom Line:

Good for Oily Skin
Good for Sensitive Skin

This CC Cream comes in a huge range of shades, which is rare for CCs/BBs. It's lightweight, but those that have tried it say it is good for canceling redness. Overall it seems like a good price for a good product.

Chanel CC Cream

Chanel CC Cream

Chanel CC Cream

"Color Correction Complete"

Price: $90+

Specs:

  • SPF 30 PA++ UVA/UVB (titanium dioxide mineral base, at least in part)
  • Moisturizer: Sodium Hyaluronate (similar to Hyaluronic Acid)
  • Anti-Aging Ingredients: Rejuvencia (Biotin/Vitamin H and Thermus Thermophillus Ferment)
  • Skin Soothing Ingredients: Cornflower Water (Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water), Witch Hazel
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Mineral, Moderate Coverage, Semi-Matte Finish (contains silicone)
  • (From Chanel): 5 in 1 cream is a skin soother, moisturizer, protecter, anti-ager, and skin evener. It minimizes the look of pores, skin redness, and dark spots.

Shades: 1 (lighter skin tones with cool/yellow or light beige base)

Where to Find It: Amazon only, Chanel's CC Cream is not available on the US market yet (it is only available in Asia thus far).

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Oily Skin (Dry skin users may need an additional moisturizer)
Good Amount of Anti-Aging Ingredients
Good For Skin Tone and Texture Evening

Rachel K CC Cream

Rachel K CC Cream

Rachel K CC Cream

"The Original"

Price: $32

Specs:

  • SPF 35 PA++
  • Antioxidants: White Tea, Vitamin C, Vitamin E
  • Anti-Aging & Tone Correcting Ingredients: Dimethicone/Human Oligopeptide-1 (an epidermal growth factor = promotes skin growth and collagen production), Hyaluronic acid, Adenosine
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Light, mousse like consistency for optimal blending, which works well for a range of skin tones.
  • Moisturizers: Barbadensis leaf extract (Aloe), Sorbitan, Olivate Lecithin (from Olive Oil), Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil
  • (from Rachel K): An "improved BB Cream" that offers: oil control, moisturizing, color control, brightening, and skin lightening allowing for skin tone and texture improvements.

Shades: 2 - Original, Neutral

Where to Find It: Online at rachelkcosmetics.com

Bottom Line:

Good for Normal to Oily Skin (matte finish)
Good for Mature Skin or Wrinkles
Good for Skin Tone Correction
High SPF

Rachel K also offers another CC variety called "Neutral." From what I can tell, Rachel K Neutral CC Cream is virtually identical to Rachel K Original (at least based off the ingredients). Rachel K also has a CC Cream Pressed Powder compact, but it is lacking in a lot of the skin care ingredients that its creamed counterpart offers. If you're wanting to try Rachel K's CC, I'd go for the original formulation.

Wei CC Cream (Wei to Go)

Wei CC Cream (Wei to Go)

Wei CC Cream

"Wei to Go CC Cream - Ideal Skin Perfect Finish (by Wei East)"

Price: $30

Specs:

  • Antioxidants: Mandarin Orange (Vitamin C), Morus Alba Leaf Extract (Mulberry)
  • Anti-Aging & Skin Tone Correcting Ingredients: Gentiana Scabra Root Extract
  • Skin Lightening / Color Correcting Ingredient: Chinese Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Uralensis Root Extract)
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Blendable, Buildable, Natural coverage with "ultra fine" color technology
  • (from Wei to Go): Brightens skin, improves tone, flawless skin

Shades: 3 - Light, Medium, Tan

Where to Find It: Amazon

Bottom Line:

Good for On the Go Makeup Application (Comes travel packs for a 90 day supply)
Good for Skin Lightening & Brightening

Wei to Go seems like a good option for those wanting to dabble in the CC Cream trend. The packaging is super original - I've never seen anything like it. I wonder if it helps with bacteria?

Juice Beauty CC Cream

"Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream"

Price: $39

Specs:

  • SPF 30
  • (Chemical Free Zinc Oxide)
  • Antioxidants: Vitamin A, B, C (Grape Seed Oil, Lemon, Apple, and Grape Juice)
  • Anti-Aging & Skin Correcting Ingredients: Resveratrol (Grape Seed Oil and Grape Juice), Fruit Stem Cell Blend, alpha-hydroxy acid, Malic Acid (Apple Juice)
  • Moisturizers: Aloe, Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Oil, Borage Seed Oil
  • Pigment, Coverage, Finish: Mineral Tint - All natural pigments
  • (from Juice Beauty): "12 in 1 Multi-tasker" 100% had more hydrated skin, 96% saw their dark circles/puffiness reduced (around the eyes), 88% saw their wrinkles & fine lines diminish, 88% of people had improved skin tone, 75% had better skin elasticity

Shades: 2 - Natural Glow, Warming Glow

Where to Find It: Amazon, Ulta, or Online at JuiceBeauty.com

Bottom Line:

Good for All Skin Types
Made with Certified Organic Ingredients
Good for Aging or Mature Skin
Good for Uneven Skintone

If I was to try out a CC Cream right now, this is the brand I'd want to try first. It packs a big skincare punch and is made from natural, organic ingredients (which I'm a sucker for). I'm also a sucker for statistics.

Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream

Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream

Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream

"CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Complexion Corrector"

Price: $48

Specs:

  • SPF 30 (broad spectrum)
  • Antioxidants: Vitamin C & E (From Camu Camu - an Amazonian Super Fruit)
  • Skin Tone Corrector / Whitener: Arbutin (from the Bearberry Plant)
  • (from Peter Thomas Roth): Evens skin tone and supports collagen for younger, brighter looking skin over tim; Minimizes appearance of imperfections, fights free radicals for radiant skin

Shades: 3 - Light/Medium, Medium/Tan, Deep

Where to Find It: Sephora

Bottom Line:

Good for Those with Tan or Yellow Undertone Skin
Good Coverage
High SPF

Reviews state that this CC is fantastic, except it tends to give an orangish tint to the skin. If you have darker skin, or skin with warm undertones, this might be perfect for you, but if you're pale or have cool toned skin, it might look to orange.

The Old BB Cream Standby

Of course, if you aren't impressed by these CC Creams, you can always check out the BB or Beauty Balm Cream. They pack a lot of the same benefits as their new, trendy cousin. BB creams have reached a point in popularity that you can find them just about anywhere (drugstore, department store, online), they are available in a range of price points, and some brands have even tailored their BBs to specific skincare needs.

© 2012 Shay Marie

Comments - Are you sick of all these makeup and skincare trends? What do you think about CC Creams?

angie on January 23, 2016:

SK-II CC cream is the best for me. My skin looks glowing based on my friends comments lately.

itskrish on April 23, 2015:

I only use BB creams. I currently use the Missha one that you mentioned and love it! Now, I'm considering trying a CC cream thanks to this post.

itskrish on April 23, 2015:

Very informative. Thank you!!

julieannbrady on August 06, 2014:

I have long been a fan of the brand Oil of Olay and would try that variety first. I've also heard a lot about Boot's No. 7 and would want to try their product.

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on May 29, 2014:

I have one of those crazy complexions that never knows what its doing, so I'm glad to have found this resource with thorough recommendations. Been a long time since I found a good quality corrective foundation for daily use.

squid-pinkchic18 on December 20, 2013:

I've tried quite a few BB and CC creams. So far my favorite has been the dr. jart bb premium. I think the Juice beauty bb smells like carrots lol! Nice comparison here and a great mention of a wide variety of products!

CustomizedSkinCare on October 21, 2013:

To be honest, I always lumped CC and BB creams in together. Thanks for clearing up the differences... who knew there were so many options.

FoksyMaria on October 06, 2013:

Thank you!!! Been searching for ages to try to find something new to address my skin needs and coverage desire + balance cost. You surely explain things best and I'm eager to try. I'm gonna take your advices and comment my results. =)

Shay Marie (author) from Southern California on April 16, 2013:

@WriterJanis2: It's getting pretty popular, but not quite at the level of BB yet. I also heard that some companies are coming out with DD Creams, but I'm wondering if it's just marketing run amuck.

WriterJanis2 on April 16, 2013:

I didn't know so many brands made CC creams.

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