We barely had the chance to discover the ABCs of BB Creams, when a new multitasking formula rolled over the counters, promoting itself as the new and improved product on the market that merges skin care and makeup: the CC Cream.
After last year’s it items, the Blemish Balms, proved to be products that catered to women with dry skin, acting as a makeup base or a primer, beauty brands were soon expected to come up with a product that served the needs of more than just those with perfect skin and the need for extra moisture and SPF.
Thus CC Creams were created, in an effort to provide a suitable product for both oily skin and acne prone skin, as for dry skin. Moreover, the new creams of the year have a lighter texture, that blends more easily, can actually correct and even out skin tones and offer a wider array of shades that suit both women with pale skin, as well as those with medium or dark skin tone.
Short for “color correcting”, CC picks up where its predecessor left off, setting out to be the solution to all your beauty problems and the perfect multi-purpose product for those of you looking for cosmetics that cover up blemishes and even skin tone, while treating the skin with long-term benefits. To set it, just use CC Powders, the modern color-correcting powders that will disguise any skin imperfections you might have.
Best BB, CC & DD Creams:
- based on texture
- based on coverage
- for pale skin
- for medium and dark skin
- for oily skin
- for acne prone skin
- for sensitive skin
- for dry skin
- for mature skin
The more you read about the CC Creams vs BB Creams and the difference between the two, the easier it will be to understand which product is right for your skin type.
However, I think it’s safe to say Color Correcting Creams will be more successful among consumers with combination or oily skin in their 30s and 40s, who are turning away from makeup and looking more towards products with long-term benefits, whilst Blemish Balms will be preferred by young women with dry skin with close to perfect complexions, who only need semi-sheer coverage.
Regardless, I’ve prepared a guide for you with top picks from the brands that launched BBs and CCs or have announced such products for 2013.
You’ll come across the best bb cream for oily skin or for acne prone skin, products that cover up acne scars, best bb cream for pale skin or for medium skin (an issue for most women when it comes to BBs) and also the best cc creams on the market.
Best BB & CC Cream based on texture
The texture of most BB Creams lack the smoothness you would normally need for an easy application, an even stronger issue since the product addresses to dry skin and should have a certain texture to glide evenly and not leave blotchy spots.
Finding the perfect product among such an array of Beauty Balms can be tricky, so I recommend using one that has enough coverage to replace your foundation for everyday use and help illuminate your skin, due to its slightly peachy undertone. Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector SPF 15 also has the big advantage of blending flawlessly and hiding enlarged pores.
However, if you’re not keen on using the Garnier BB version, perhaps due to the fact that the product is more suitable for dry skin and might not help those with oily skin, I suggest to look at the first CC Cream launched by a western brand, Olay Total Effects 7-in-One Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer SPF 15.
The dual-phase, swirled formula is ultra-light, so it probably won’t replace your foundation, yet the texture glides on evenly, giving the skin a subtle glow. It is also a product of choice for fair-to-light women and it holds a special place in the best cc creams for pale skin.
Wet n Wild Coverall Cream Foundation is also an option that is valued for its texture and for its affordable price. Its formula minimizes the look of wrinkles, hidrates and offers sheer-to-medium coverage, with a semi-matte finish.
Embryolisse BB Cream Complexion Illuminating Veil brightens the face and provides a radiant sheen to your complexion. Its formula contains hyaluronic acid, which makes it ultra light and glides on easily and evenly. This BB Cream is great for pale skin and will give you a subtle, yet noticeable glow.
Best BB & CC Creams for pale skin
Although most Beauty Balms have been criticized due to the fact that few of them catered to pale skin, there are some that managed to make a difference in the array of products launched. Being part of the fair skin community, I have personally tried a bunch of products before deciding on a winner.
From what I could find, Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 is one of the most compatible tone to pale skin, probably because of the fact that it comes from Korea, where fair skin is not uncommon. Its corrective tone counteracts blemishes and redness, making it ideal for fair complexions with pink undertones. It leaves a dewy finish and soothes the skin thanks to its water-based formula.
If you’re seeking a CC Cream that also has these qualities and is suitable for pale skin, then your first choice should be Chanel CC Cream, a product so far only launched in Asia, that caters to fair and sensitive skin, to doe its cornflower water formula, moisturizes with the help of hyaluronic acid, contains SPF 30 and PA++ and evens out imperfections.
Those with fairest-in-all-the-land complexions have found their match in Wei Chinese Licorice CC Cream, a product that evens out skin tone, hides redness and, thanks to the special ingredient that names it – the Chinese licorice – it lightens discolorations and refines skin tone.
Best BB & CC Creams for medium skin & dark complexions
If you have medium skin, the best choices for you are Garnier Skin Renew Skin Miracle Perfector BB Cream, a hybrid formula that renews radiance, brightens complexion, evens skin tone, hydrates and protects with SPF15 UVA/UVB sunscreen and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector SPF 30, a sheer formula with a smooth texture that blends easily.
Maybelline’s BB for dark skin is a warm, caramel tint, that helps counteract gray or sallow tones common for darker complexions.
Also targeted to medium and dark skin is the new Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer, that prides itself on covering fine lines, wrinkles and age spots and evening out the skin tone. This product is recommended to those of you that target dark spots, as it contains N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide—a combination shown to reduce discoloration in as few as six weeks. However, I wouldn’t recommend the product to someone who’s skin is other than very dry.
Dior Diorsnow UV Shield BB Creme and 3Lab Perfect BB can also block pigment-producing enzymes in the skin with patented lighteners.
Another top choice for those of you with medium or dark skin is Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Complexion Corrector, a product that caters to those with tan or yellow undertone and has great coverage.
This product evens out skin tone and supports collagen, minimizing the appearance of imperfections. I advice against buying it if you’re pale or have cool toned skin, as it might look to orange.
Top CC & BB Creams for photos – best coverage & matte products
If you want your make-up base to look good in photos, evening out skin tone, covering imperfections and having the perfect combination of matte & dewy finish are essential aspects to take into consideration.
Frankly, in my opinion, there is no Blemish Balm or Color Correcting cream that can do this task better than a proper foundation, and as a make-up artist, I wouldn’t try it to save my life. However, there are some products in the categories mentioned above that perform better than others.
Stila Stay All Day 10-in1 HD Beauty Balm is one of those products, as it contains ingredients that diffuse light and camouflage wrinkles and pores. While most BB creams leave a dewy finish, this light reflecting cream is more matte and therefore more suitable for camera time.
You can also bet on Dior Hydra Life BB Creme SPF 30 PA+++ if you’re looking for a product that provides full coverage. It’s one of the most pigmented of any I’ve sampled, but sadly, not the most suitable for pale skin, as it has an orange undertone. However, medium skin tones seeking to add warmth to their complexions will be most pleased with this product.
Among the best Blemish Balms ever is also the Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35, that comes in a variety of shades suited for fair, medium and dark skin. It provides a matte finish, and the texture is just right.
As for the perfect CC Cream for photos, I would have to go with Wei East Wei To Go Beauty Ideal Skin, as it covers brown spots, smooths out wrinkles and evens out skin tone. The best part is that you get a customizable coverage and there’s nothing you want more for a photo shoot than this.
Best BB Cream and CC Cream for oily skin
The perfect BB cream for oily skin must provide excellent coverage, last all day and control shine. You therefore have to look for oil-free products, that also moisturizes and evens the complexion.
One of the most apreciated Blemish Balm in that cathegory is L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream, a product that contains capsules that release pigment once you blend it into the skin. What’s interesting about this product, besides the fact that it gives a smooth, matte finish, is that it tells you how much blending is necessary to gain a complete coverage.
BRTC Aqua Rush Water Drop BB Cream is another anti-oxidant, anti-aging and nourishing BB cream with nutrition from deep ocean water and flower extracts. It absorbs and retains moisture, provides excellent coverage and uses AHA and BHA to exfoliate dead skin cells.
If you’re looking for a BB that is good for oily skin, but also suited for sensitive skin, Diorsnow BB Creme White Reveal UV Protection is the answer to all your questions, as it provides a medium coverage, evens the complexion and brightens the skin by reducing the appearance of dark spots.
Another helpful suggestion for those of you with oily skin is looking towards the new and improved formula of CC Creams, that differ from BBs primarily because they provide a matte finish, a must for all those dealing with oily skin.
Kiehl’s Skin Tone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream has SPF 50 and a lightweight formula that stays on for hours, regardless of hot weather or skin type. I believe it to be a perfect choice for those with oily skin.
Lorac CC Color Correcting Cream provides buildable coverage and hides all imperfections thanks to its specially-tinted green and yellow pigments that corrects redness. Lorac’s CC cream is oil, silicone, paraben and fragrance free and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
It leaves a natural looking, flawless and semi matte finish, while at the same time nourishing your skin with moisturizing ingredients and antioxidants like vitamins A, C & E, aloe, chamomile, calendula, white peony, green and white tea.
Rachel K CC Cream is an original Korrean formula, that offers oil control, moisture, color control, brightening and skin lightening ingredients, allowing for skin tone and texture improvements. Its mousee like formula contains white tea, vitamin C and E, anti-aging and tone correcting ingredientes.
Best BB and CC Cream for acne prone skin
If you have oily and acne prone skin, there are several BB and CC options to consider. Among those, one you should definitely try is Estee Lauder Day Wear BB Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Cream, an oil free product, packed with antioxidants (vitamins C, E, EGT, Eukarion) that tempers shine and moisturizes with hyaluronic acid.
It gives your skin a healthy look, evens tone and has a creamy texture. Instead of mattifying, which can leave the skin looking dull and aged, this sheer formula gives the skin a radiant glow.
Also shown not to cause acne is Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, a fragrance free, oil control product, that doesn’t leave a chalky finish and actualy claims it improves skin moisture in four weeks. We also love it because of its anti-aging and skin tone correcting ingredients (malic acid, AHA, caffeine) and mineral pigments that provide buildable coverage.
Clinique Age Defense BB Cream is another option that caters to oily and acne prone skin, as well as sensitive skin. Its formula is fragrance free, it contains antioxidants, covers imperfections and has a brightening effect on the skin. This Blemish Balm contains caffeine to soften lines and vitamin E and seaweed extract to control oil production, which will help your makeup stay on longer. The mineral pigments will cover fine lines and minor blemishes, but they’re not enough for serious discoloration.
One BB that is strictly targeted toward those with acne or break-out prone skin is Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream, an oil free formula that contains the brand’s famous total soy complex.
For uneven complexions, I recommend Vichy ProEVEN mineral BB Cream, a product that not only covers dark spots with its medium coverage formula, bun also promises to even out skin tone in four weeks.
Jane Iredale BB Cream works well for those of you who are looking for a non-comedogenic product, excellent for sensitive or acne prone skin. It is available in six shades and had SPF 25.
Best for sensitive skin – BBs & CCs that won’t make you break out
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 makes the transition between products suitable for photos and those that cater to sensitive skin. Because the brands is best known for its primers, there is no surprise that they came up with a fantastical BB Cream.
Their product is fragrance-free (unlike most of its kin), so it’s perfect if you’ve got sensitive skin or you’re allergic to fragrances.
For those of you who suffer from rosacea or a more severe type of redness, I recommend Dr. Jart+ Renewalist BB Beauty Balm, a cream with niacinamide, that can increase the skin’s production of ceramides and essential fatty acids, thus calming inflammation and sensitive skin.
Also, Boscia BB Cream reduces redness with jojoba leaf and willow herb extract, has a light formula that gives a youthful glow, evens out skin tone and is least likely to trigger breackouts.
Bioderma Sensibio Anti-Redness BB Cream is another great product for sensitive, redness prone skin. It has a great texture and it provides medium coverage and a broad spectrum sun protection. More information on this product is available in my complete Bioderma BB Cream review.
If you’re looking for a product that is made with certified organic ingredients, than Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream is the only choice that I know to be available. Its formula contains aloe, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, borage seed oil and antioxidants like vitamins A, B and C. It also has anti-aging & skin correcting ingredients and is said to reduce in proportion of 96% dark circles around the eyes.
Best BB and CC Cream for dry skin
Dry skin tends to benefit more from BB Creams, rather than CCs, because they offer a dewy glow and have a more balanced proportion of skin care ingredients and pigmentation. If what you need is a product that works well both alone and under makeup, offers sheer coverage and sun protection, the right product for you might be Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20. Its dewy finish leaves skin looking youthful and glowy.
Diorskin Nude BB Creme is also an option for those of you with dry skin, as it contains plenty of skin conditioners and moisturizers (Glycerin, Mallow extract, Hibiscus Extract, Flaxseed extract) and also a lot of antioxidants (green tea leaf extract, rooibos leaf extract etc).
It acts as a moisturizer and a corrector, it smoothes and protects skin, while offering medium coverage with a dewy, glowing finish. I recommend it for dry and sensitive skin.
Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream SPF 15 contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin, moisturizing it ingredients, that even makes the product easier to blend over dry areas. Its light formula covers minor imperfections and brightens skin.
Top BB, CC & DD Creams for mature skin
L’Oreal Paris Visible Lift CC Cream is a multi-action cream that corrects color & tone, while reducing the appearance of age spots and dark spots. It has a broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 20) and it refines and smooths skin texture, while having a brightening effect.
Sephora Collection Skin Perfect CC Cream Sunscreen SPF 20 promises color correction, skincare benefits and coverage. Its formula hydrates skin and minimizes the appearance of pores, evens skin tone and camouflages fine lines. This CC Cream is lightweight and provides a smooth, flawless finish, while at the same time providing anti-aging benefits for the skin.
Julep DD Cream is a brand-new skincare product that recommends itself as an improved version of CC Creams. Its formula offers a buildable coverage that hides blemishes, imperfections and dark spots, while leaving a fresh, radiant sheen on the face. This breakthrough all-in-one product is available online until its release date in stores.
Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream is an oil-free product with skin care benefits and anti-aging properties. It provides an even tone, conceals pores and minimizes the appearance of imperfect, uneven skin. It’s formula softens dry patches as good as – or even better than – day cream and contains two antioxidants – thiotaurine, an exclusive ingredient, inhibits the oxidization of sebum which causes oxidative damage to skin as rose apple leaf extract prevents DNA damage caused by UV rays.
3Lab Perfect BB Cream features bio-engineered growth hormone and apple stem cell technology, which work together to lift and tighten the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It leaves face feeling moisturized and smooth, it applyes easily and it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.
There you have the best BB Creams and CC Creams on the market, divided according to skin types and most important aspects you consider when choosing a product that must fulfil both skin care duties as well as tasks that were previosly assigned to foundations.
As the BB & CC trends is only at the beginning of its journey, I’m sure that in a month’s time there will be even more products for to to choose from. For now though, I leave you with the best of their kind!
What BB, CC or DD Creams have to tried for your skin type and which did you find the best?