We know what you’re wondering: are CC creams the next big thing or just another alphabet fad? The name is short for color correcting and they are, in fact, poised to claim the pedestal BB creams have occupied for the past two years. Why? Think of them as new and improved BBs, but with two big upgrades: tone-correcting ingredients and a lighter finish. Like their BB cream cousins, CC creams first gained popularity in Asia, are part skincare and part makeup, hydrate, prime, have a light tint, and most feature built-in SPF. Unlike BBs, however, the CCs have a lighter texture, a less opaque finish, and soak in more like a moisturizer than a foundation. They also help to even skin tone, both immediately and over time, thanks to pigments that blur spots and redness, and a cocktail of ingredients that brighten skin with continued use.
The next generation, DD creams, aren’t far behind (you can pre-order Julep’s ‘dynamic do-all’ now), and though Chanel never launched a BB Cream they’re set to release their CC (already available in Asia) next month. There aren’t many on stateside counters yet, but here are six to start with.
Lorac CC Cream ($28)
What Lorac’s CC lacks--SPF, a large range of shades--it makes up for with an incredibly light texture and serious skin-perfecting pigments. The cream soaks in quickly, hides spots and redness remarkably well, and has a smooth, semi-matte finish. The built-in vitamin C brightens skin, hyaluronic acid moisturizes and plumps fine lines, and aloe sooths irritation. The formula is oil and fragrance-free and works with any skin type.
Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer ($22)
Olay has a knack for creating multitasking products perfect for those who want an easy routine and don’t want to spend a lot. So it’s no surprise their CC cream was the first to hit drugstore shelves. The light formula blends into skin, leaving a radiant, glowing finish behind. Hate wearing foundation? This formula feels as light as serum. The skincare portion of this CC is anchored in their Essential Glucosamine Complex, which helps to even hyperpigmentation with niacinamide. It’s available in three shades and protects with SPF 15.
Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream ($42)
Smashbox’s CC is more hydrating than their BB Cream and it helps brighten skin and fade imperfections like acne scars and age spots over time, thanks to a blend of fruit, vegetable, and botanical extracts. Vitamins C and E hydrate and brighten, hyaluronic acid locks in moisture, and SPF 30 protects skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream ($35)
Clinique’s Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Moisturizer ($37) is a cult favorite because it offers intense hydration via an impossibly light texture, making it the perfect backbone for the brand’s lightweight CC. It moisturizes without oil and gives red, sallow, or dull complexions a glowy sheen. This is one of the more opaque CCs, making it perfect for someone who wants medium coverage without the heaviness of foundation. Its six fragrance-free shades come with SPF 30.
Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($48)
Another broad-spectrum SPF 30 option, this formula provides medium coverage and a warm tint--perfect for layering over a summer tan. Glycerin and hydrolyzed collagen help promote moisture and bearberry plant extract brightens skin over time--but the most powerful antioxidant in this formula is the camu camu berry. It’s an incredibly potent source of vitamin C (30 times more than an orange!) that actually firms the skin. Available in three shades.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream ($39)
Juice Beauty is all about natural and organic ingredients and their CC cream is no exception. The first thing that you’ll notice about this formula is the herbal scent, courtesy of fruit stem cells and a grape seed base. The tint comes from mineral pigments, which create an airbrushed finish, and although it only comes in two colors, the formula is sheer enough to match a handful of tones. Plant oils moisturize, chemical-free 30 SPF protects skin, and antioxidants nourish.