CC creams: What to know

First BB creams stormed onto the beauty scene; now CC creams are hitting shelves. Find out what they are, and if you need one

CC creams: What to know

Source: Best Health magazine, September 2013; Images, top: Thinkstock; bottom: Tracy Shumate


Asian countries, especially Japan and Korea, are driving a few major global skin trends. BB creams, which I wrote about in this column last year are probably the best-known example.

Now they have a newer cousin: CC stands for ‘colour correcting.’ Like BB (‘beauty balm’ or ‘blemish balm’) creams, CCs are a light-coverage makeup product with moisturizing and other skincare benefits. Some companies are billing them as an evolution from BBs.

CCs are basically designed to brighten the skin and/or treat dark spots, and to even out skin tone. As with some BBs, a broad-spectrum sun protection component can be a big selling point, as it helps prevent dark spots and uneven skin tone. (Note: Broad-spectrum SPF is not a given; make sure it is clearly stated on the label.)

Here’s P&G’s take. Mary Begovic Johnson, Cincinnati-based Olay principal scientist for P&G Beauty and Grooming, told me: ‘BB creams typically combine moisturizers, a primer and foundation, although the coverage is designed to be lighter than a traditional foundation. CC creams typically contain active ingredients that work over time to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin pigment issues.’

A few of these complexion-evening products have been crossing my desk recently’with names that are a mouthful. One is Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 Hydrating Colour Corrector, which aims to brighten dull skin, give sallow skin a peachy glow and neutralize redness in blotchy skin. Another is Olay Total Effects 7-in-One Tone Correcting Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15 Lotion: Along with treating fine lines and age spots, it ‘gently exfoliates and recaptures youthful luminosity.’

I asked Bonnie Munday, Best Health’s editor-in-chief, to try out Clinique’s CC. She says it gives good coverage, almost like a foundation, but it felt lighter and ‘was smoother going on.’ I tried Olay’s; it doesn’t have as much of a foundation-like tint as some (e.g., Clinique’s), but it does give skin an instant glow and evened-out tone, a bit like some primers I’ve tried.

My advice? Don’t get hung up on whether an individual product is called BB, CC or even DD (yes, I’ve just heard of one being developed; it’s apparently for the body, not the face). Try to sample a couple at the beauty counter and get an idea of how different ones look on your skin, as they all vary in tinted coverage. Jennifer Masseau, our associate editor for beauty and fashion, told me she’s using Almay Smart Shade CC Cream Complexion Corrector ‘because it looks good on my skin, not because it has CC on the label.’ For the record, Almay says it was designed to be worn alone for some coverage, or under foundation as a moisturizing primer.

The big appeal of both BBs and CCs is that they really are a new generation of multi-tasking creams, most of them with skin-aging prevention thanks to broad-spectrum SPF. If you find one you like, consider it a personal score in cutting down on your morning routine’and maybe saving you some cash, since you don’t have to layer on multiple creams and makeup.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 Hydrating Colour Corrector comes in six shades ($39, 40 mL). Almay Smart Shade CC Cream Complexion Corrector, available in three shades, is hypoallergenic, and oil- and fragrance-free ($17, 30 mL). Olay Total Effects 7-in-One Tone Correcting Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15 Lotion is in ‘Light to Medium’ ($33, 50 mL). Nip+Fab CC Cream SPF 30 Complexion Corrector Cream, available in two shades, moisturizes with hyaluronic acid and ‘illuminates, brightens and softens the look of imperfections’ ($15, 40 mL).

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!

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