BB and CC Creams: A love story

You’ve seen those slim tubes, labeled BB or CC (and now DD too), appearing with ever more frequency, in makeup aisle and at makeup counters. Their popularity points to their usefulness and I’m sure many of you would like to try one, but it can get pretty confusing. As in: What exactly are BB and CC creams? What are the differences between them? Where’s the AA cream? (Just kidding on that last one. No one’s asked that, but we’re curious.)

MarieClaire called the BB and CC creams the lovechild of makeup and skincare and that’s a great description. BB and CC creams are similar to tinted moisturizer and they serve the dual purpose of both skincare and makeup. They moisturize, protect and nourish – the functions of skincare, and they add color, brighten, and even out the skin tone – the function of makeup. 

To understand the differences between BB, CC and DD creams, think about the balance of skincare to makeup in each.

BB stood for Blemish Balm originally, but in Western markets (the concept is a Korean import) it’s Beauty Balm. BB is marketed as an all-in-one product – brightens, moisturizes, tints, evens etc. – and if you have relatively young and clear skin, it’s probably your best bet.

CC stands for Color Correcting and is a little heavier, and more skincare oriented than BB. If you have redness, spots, or any other reason to need color correcting, this one’s for you.

The DD cream is less prevalent than BB or CC, and is being billed as a little more aggressive than CC, with anti-aging properties.

For a more detailed list of the benefits of each of the creams see this chart from YouBeauty. In general though, look more at the ingredients and the properties of the individual brand to see if addresses your specific concerns than whether it says BB, CC or DD. 

Also, keep in mind, that this is a supplement. It doesn’t replace your regular skincare regimen or your foundation. BB, CC and DD creams come in between three to five shades (light, medium, dark), unlike the virtually limitless selection of shades available in traditional foundations. 

One last thing, BB/CC/DD creams contain and SPF and do offer protection from the sun, but because they also contain color people tend to use it sparingly. On beach days, ski days or anytime you’ll be exposed to direct sun for longer than usual, use regular sunscreen.

And smile, you look beautiful!


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