If innovation in the beauty industry has taught us anything over the last few years, it’s that traditional foundation isn’t the only thing we can use to even out our complexions and serve as a base for the rest of our makeup. There are tinted moisturizers, skin tints, serum foundations, BB creams, and of course, CC creams.
Byrdie Tested & Approved
Our favorite CC cream is the Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30—it’s skin-like, hydrating, and provides great coverage. If you’re on the hunt for one that can replace your traditional foundation, you can’t go wrong with the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+.
Not to be confused with BB cream, also known as beauty balm, CC cream is all about color correcting, hence why it tends to have more coverage than the former. "CC cream specifically targets areas that are more problematic, such as redness or discoloration,'' explains celebrity makeup artist Nydia Figueroa.
In addition to providing coverage that evens out the complexion, CC cream formulations often contain skincare ingredients. "It can also be used to protect the skin from sun damage, fine lines, and age spots,” says Figueroa.
So, if you love multitasking products that benefit your skin while providing coverage, CC cream might be just what you’re looking for.
Below, find the best CC creams tested by Byrdie.
Best Overall: Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
Provides mineral SPF protection
Shade range is somewhat minimal
Formulated with skin-loving ingredients like allantoin and vitamin C, this CC cream moisturizes the skin, provides protection from harmful UV rays, and evens the complexion.
Our tester explained that the texture feels like a middle ground between creamy and watery, making it blendable and lightweight on the skin. She also loved that the coverage was pigmented enough to blur hyperpigmentation yet remained natural-looking on her skin.
Shade Range: 9 | Coverage: Light to medium | Finish: Luminous | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
What Our Testers Say
“It's creamy (bordering on watery) and lightweight. It's easy to apply with fingers. I barely notice it on my skin.”—Mandy Shum, Product Tester
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+
Subtle cooling effect
Limited shade range
Housed in a cushion compact and formulated with SPF 50+, this product combines your foundation and sun protection steps into one. It also provides light-to-medium, buildable coverage as well as hydration benefits.
Our tester has light skin with freckles and redness, and she appreciated that this CC cream evened out her skin tone and camouflaged redness while still letting her freckles peek through.
However, the shade range is quite limited, so we would love to see the brand expand it.
Shade Range: 5 | Coverage: Light to medium | Finish: Luminous | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
What Our Testers Say
“This product just feels like a luxury. It goes on very smoothly with immediate results, and the color correcting is impressive right when it touches the skin.”—Stacey Perdek, Product Tester
Best Multi-Use: PÜR 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Light yet buildable coverage
This multi-use CC cream works as a moisturizer, primer, foundation, and SPF in one. It has sheer, buildable coverage with a glowy finish.
Our tester loved how dewy it made her skin look while providing adequate color correction. She noted that while she typically applies similar products with her fingers, she found that this one applied best using a damp makeup sponge.
Shade Range: 16 | Coverage: Light | Finish: Luminous | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Luminous: Huda Beauty GloWish MultiDew Vegan Skin Tint
Contains hydrating ingredients
Sheer but buildable coverage
Dewy yet skin-like finish
Not ideal for oily skin
The brand claims this product has sheer coverage, but our tester said she was pleasantly surprised by how well she was able to build it up. In addition to sheer yet flexible coverage, it has an intensely glowy finish that looks radiant but natural on the skin. If you have oily skin, you might find the level of glow to be a bit much, but we could see those with dry skin—or those who can’t get enough glow—falling in love with this one.
Shade Range: 13 | Coverage: Light | Finish: Luminous | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Matte: Dermablend Continuous Correction Tone-Evening CC Cream
Full, natural-looking coverage
Good shade range
If you’re looking for a product with full coverage as well as SPF protection, this is a great option for you. Despite being incredibly pigmented, it blends into the skin without looking heavy or mask-like. We also love that while it has a matte finish, it’s not a drying, flat matte.
Our tester shared that it felt weightless and breathable on her skin, and it dried down quickly, making it a great choice for when you’re tight on time.
Shade Range: 16 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Coverage: Supergoop! CC Screen 100% Mineral CC Cream SPF 50
Lightweight, breathable feel
Limited dark shades
Formulated with 100 percent mineral SPF, this CC cream shields the skin from UVA and UVB rays while color correcting and providing hydration.
Our tester raved about how easily it blended into her skin, how weightless it felt once applied, and how well it covered her redness and hyperpigmentation, all while maintaining a skin-like appearance. She explained that while it looked like a traditional liquid foundation when she squeezed it out of the tube, the texture was much airier, and therefore, she couldn’t feel it sitting on her skin.
While a range of 15 shades is certainly impressive for a sunscreen brand, we do wish that the brand would expand the dark shade options.
Shade Range: 15 | Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural, Luminous | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
What Our Testers Say
“It evened out my complexion completely. My dark spots were visibly less noticeable and any redness I had was gone.”—Danielle Ransom, Product Tester
Best Lightweight: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
Comfortable feel on skin
Limited dark shades
This CC cream is ultra-popular for good reason. In addition to having mineral SPF 50, it provides buildable, full coverage that resembles the appearance of a traditional foundation on the skin. If you’re looking for something with significant coverage that still maintains a lightweight feel on the skin, give this one a try. It’s a great option for daily wear as well as for more glam looks.
Our tester said while it didn’t fully cancel out her dark spots, she loved how blurred her complexion looked and the fact that it was so comfortable to wear, “it would be easy to forget that this CC cream is on your face at all.”
Shade Range: 12 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Natural | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Shade Range: Neutrogena Clear Coverage Flawless Matte CC Cream
Inclusive shade range
It’s no secret that drugstore makeup has a history of lacking in the shade department, but this CC cream comes in 34 shades—and they’re nicely dispersed across skin tones. It provides full coverage with a matte finish, is fragrance-free, and is infused with niacinamide, which is known to help reduce dark spots.
Our tester noted that while the product has a thick texture, using just a little bit goes a long way when evening out the skin and creating a nice veil of coverage.
Shade Range: 34 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No
Best for Dark Skin Tones: The Lip Bar Just a Tint 3-in-1 Tinted Skin Conditioner
Contains hydrating ingredients
Nuanced deep shades
Described by the brand as a “complexion perfector and skin moisturizer,” this multi-use product works to even the skin tone while providing hydrating benefits, thanks to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, rosewater, and Irish sea moss in the formula.
While it has light coverage, our tester was impressed by its capacity to be built up. She noted that she was able to get it to effectively cover dark spots and under-eye circles.
We appreciate that the shade range caters to deep skin tones and contains nuanced shades with varying undertones.
Shade Range: 8 | Coverage: Light to medium | Finish: Luminous | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen
Inclusive shade range
Contains mineral SPF 30
Great for sensitive skin
Not a super buildable formula
This SPF and makeup hybrid is a great option for no-makeup makeup days. It contains 100 percent mineral sunscreen and provides light to light-medium coverage. What makes it stand out from the pack is that it has a stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association, meaning that it’s an excellent option for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Although there are just 14 shades in the range, we love that they span from very fair to very dark. Our tester said she enjoyed how lightweight it felt on the skin but would prefer that it provided just a bit more coverage or the ability to be built up.
Shade Range: 14 | Coverage: Light | Finish: Natural | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Our favorite CC cream is the Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30—it’s skin-like, hydrating, and provides great coverage. But if you’re on the hunt for one that can replace your traditional foundation and serve as a base for a bold makeup look, you can’t go wrong with the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+.
How We Tested
Byrdie editors thoroughly researched popular CC creams, taking expert recommendations and consumer reviews into account before selecting 28 to test out firsthand. The feel and coverage of each one were assessed by our testers, who applied the products on their skin using their preferred method of application.
After applying the CC cream, they evaluated how well it covered redness, dark spots, and blemishes while taking into consideration how natural it appeared on their skin. Then, they used close-up mirrors to take a look at the finish of the CC cream once it dried down. All tests were performed in The Lab, our Manhattan product testing facility.
Other Options We Tested
Tarte Shape Tape Cloud CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen
Our tester loved that this airy formula provided enough coverage to cover her hyperpigmentation while maintaining a skin-like appearance and a lightweight feel. While other formulas stood out more, this is another great full-coverage option.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF 30
While it did a nice job at blurring her skin, our tester noted this creamy formula felt greasy to the touch and emitted an odor when applied.
Erborian CC Crème
This luxe CC cream gets lots of positive reviews, and while our tester felt that her experience applying it was seamless, the very limited shade range is disappointing.
Meet the Expert
Nydia Figueroa is a New Jersey-based celebrity makeup artist as well as the beauty director for Fashion Gxd Magazine and Miss New Jersey Earth.
What to Look For in a CC Cream
As you can tell from our list, some CC creams have light coverage and act like tinted sunscreens, while others can pass as traditional foundations on the skin. The level of coverage you should look for totally depends on your preferences and how you intend to wear it. If you’re looking for something to just slightly blur and color-correct your skin, one with light coverage is your best bet. But if you’re looking to use a CC cream for more glam looks—or you have skin concerns that you hope to cover—opt for one with medium to full, buildable coverage.
It’s always important to consider ingredients when choosing a complexion product—especially if you have sensitive skin. When it comes to CC cream, chances are you’re looking for some kind of skin benefit in addition to coverage. If you plan on using it as a form of sun protection, check out what type of SPF is included in the formula. If you’re looking for hydration or illuminating benefits, go for an option that contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, or niacinamide.
Because many CC creams have lighter coverage than traditional foundations, the shades are often somewhat flexible. However, if you get one that’s far off from your skin tone, you likely won't be able to make it work for you. Look for an option that has a wide shade range so you can get your match just right.
What does CC cream do?
In short, CC creams do a lot. “A CC cream is a multi-tasking product that color corrects, covers, and can offer skincare and sun protection benefits all in one step,” explains Figueroa.
How do you apply CC cream?
Like with foundation, the right application method comes down to your preferences. If you like fuller coverage, use a brush or your fingertips. If you want lighter coverage, opt for a damp makeup sponge. Figueroa suggests applying a pea-sized amount to the center of your face and blending outward toward the perimeter.
What’s the difference between BB and CC cream?
A CC cream provides more coverage and color corrects, making it a better option if you’re looking to cover specific areas, explains Figueroa. BB creams, on the other hand, provide more sheer coverage and an overall more radiant look to the skin, she says.
What Is Byrdie Verified?
Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.
Why Trust Byrdie
Alyssa Kaplan is an experienced writer in the beauty industry and a product tester specializing in cosmetics. She has tested dozens of CC creams and complexion products—including several on this list. Alyssa has been a commerce writer at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers all things beauty.