Ask A Beauty Expert

The Difference Between BB Cream and CC Cream

Our Customers Asked:

What’s the difference between BB cream and CC cream?

Our Experts Answered:

Once upon a time, we had a single option for swift hydration and coverage: tinted moisturizers. But with time came more options—we now have alphabet creams that promise a multitude of benefits on top of keeping your skin moisturized and even-toned. Alphabet creams… think of them as tinted moisturizers 2.0.

Note that many brands now develop BB and CC creams according to their own standards, so there isn’t one clear definition for either. But generally speaking, they do have commonalities as well as differences to help you choose the best option for your skin concerns and goals.

“Alphabet creams… think of them as tinted moisturizers 2.0.”

BB and CC Creams: The Similarities

  • Both are able to replace your primer, moisturizer and foundation.
  • Both help even out skin tone by offering all-over coverage.
  • Both formulas are typically boosted with nourishing anti-aging ingredients.

Now onto the differences!

BB Cream

Fun fact: BB cream was first developed in the 1950s in Germany by dermatologist Christine Schrammek, MD, who sought out a treatment for her patients after they completed intense procedures that would leave their skin red and sensitive. Her original formula intended to neutralize redness while soothing and moisturizing skin. Schrammek’s BB cream didn’t gain worldwide popularity until it was embraced by South Korea (the globe’s skincare capital) and eventually, by the U.S.

BB originally stood for “Blemish Balm” but it’s evolved to “Beauty Balm.” The main differentiating characteristics of BB cream are as follows:

  • Texture: BB creams tend to be richer, which makes them especially ideal for dry skin. But like we said, brands make this decision based on what they want it to be, so some BB creams will be lighter than you’d expect!
  • SPF: BB creams almost always include SPF protection. (But bear in mind that to truly defend your skin from UV rays, you need a grape-size dollop of sunscreen so it’s in your best interest to use a separate product for that.)
  • Purpose: BB creams focus on disguising the appearance of blemishes, scars, pores, wrinkles and other areas that need concealing.

Our Recommendation:

JANE IREDALE – GLOW TIME™ FULL COVERAGE MINERAL BB CREAM: The queen of natural skincare Jane Iredale created a skin-friendly BB cream that covers minimizes imperfections while moisturizing, nourishing, smoothing and brightening skin. This formula offers great sun protection with SPF 25 from titanium dioxide, a safe mineral sunscreen that physically blocks UV rays.

CC Cream

CC stands for “Color Correct.” It rose into popularity not too shortly after BB creams raided our beauty cabinets.

  • Texture: CC creams are usually a bit lighter, making them great for normal, combination and oily skin types (though there are plenty that can accommodate dry skin).
  • SPF: CC creams do not always include SPF protection depending on the brand.
  • Purpose: CC creams address factors that contribute to overall uneven tone, such as redness and dullness. CC creams also tend to include more advanced anti-aging components, such as antioxidants that combat free radical damage and ingredients that stimulate cell renewal.

Our Recommendation:

BY TERRY – CELLULAROSE CC CREAM: This CC cream corrects and conceals so your complexion is even-toned and appears flawless. With a focus on anti-aging, the formula intensely hydrates, protects and rejuvenates skin with a complex of advanced ingredients.

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