BB Cream or CC Cream—Which Is Right for You?
The BB Cream
It all started with the BB cream, aka blemish or beauty balms. The very first BB was created by a German dermatologist in the 1950s and later became a cult favorite in Korea. The BB didn't arrive stateside until 2011, but once it did, the category exploded.
So What Is It?
A BB cream is like a souped-up tinted moisturizer. “It evens out skin tone and has a broad-spectrum SPF, but it also has antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D, a dermatologist in New York City and author of Skin Rules. Most offer slightly more coverage than tinted moisturizers, but less than full-on foundations. And while these creams seem to do it all, Jaliman warns that they shouldn’t replace your anti-aging regimen completely. “They do not contain a high enough concentration of anti-aging ingredients,” she says. Think of them more as anti-aging boosters.
Find your best BB
All BBs are not created equal. Ideally, whatever you choose will contain broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection), free-radical fighting antioxidants such as vitamin C, and active anti-aging ingredients like peptides, Jaliman says. If your tube doesn’t contain SPF (or not enough—SPF 15 should be the bare minimum), you’ll need to layer with a separate sunscreen. Beyond that, look for skin-type-specific benefits such as mega-moisturizers, radiance-boosting ingredients, and skin smoothers. Click through for our top picks.
For Dry Skin
For Dull Skin
"Light-reflecting particles make skin look more luminous," Jaliman says. Try out this simply 'magical' BB cream from L'Oréal to get the luminous look you've been desiring.
For Uneven Texture
Tarte's BB tinted primer contains silicone or dimethicone, which will smooth over enlarged pores and fine lines.
The CC Cream
The CC, or color correcting, cream was born out of the success of the BB. CCs tend to have a lighter texture than BBs (making them more blendable), but they also offer more coverage, Jaliman says. CC creams are ideal for covering up skin tone issues such as redness or dark spots.
Choose Your CC
Like the BB, a CC should contain broad-spectrum sun protection and moisturizers, but also skin-soothers (especially for redness-prone skin) and ingredients that brighten skin instantly, as well as over time, Jaliman says.
For Sensitive Skin
Clinique Moisture Surge CC cream contains skin-calming aloe to help correct your complexion concerns while still being gentle on skin.
For Dark Spots
If you're looking for a CC cream that contains plant-based arbutin to improve uneven skin tone over time, this brand has you covered.
For Dry, Dull Skin
Almay Smart Shade CC Cream Complexion Corrector contains skin-hydrating glycerin and botanical brighteners including licorice and mulberry extract.