CC creams: The next big beauty trend?

Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM ET /
What comes after BB creams? CC creams, of course! Find out everything you need to know about this next big thing in skin care.

By Dawn Davis,

The biggest beauty product trend I can remember in my eight-plus-year career (and many more makeup-obsessed years prior to becoming a beauty editor) is BB creams. Just about every beauty company in the world spent the last 12 months formulating and then launching one of these tinted multi-taskers otherwise known as "beauty balms."

Then, a few months ago, I started hearing whispers among big players in the beauty biz about another hot trend coming out of Asia — a cream that would do the BB one better. The obvious name for such a product? The CC cream.

But CC isn't just an arbitrary name cooked up by a beauty executive with a preschooler at home. CC stands for "color correcting," because that's exactly what it's designed to do: even and brighten the color of your complexion. (Of course, that's the primary function of BB creams as well. But I digress.)

Here's what you need to know to be a step ahead of the CC cream trend. You know, before a DD cream comes out. /


When I finally got my hands on some CC creams and tested them out, the first thing I noticed was the amount of coverage they provide. While most BB creams fall midway between tinted moisturizers and foundations on the coverage spectrum, CC creams vary dramatically. Some, like the Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer, $21.50, are more like souped-up tinted primers to wear under your usual foundation. However, some of the CCs in Asia, like the Rachel K CC cream, will give you more coverage than a BB cream. /


When we road-tested BB creams in the Total Beauty office, some of the other editors really didn't like the texture. They thought they were too silicone-like and oily. Well, they're thrilled about CC creams, which have a softer, almost mousse-like consistency. "Unlike BB creams, CC creams have a lighter texture," says Rachel Kum, co-founder of Rachel K Cosmetics in Hong Kong. "This results in a formula that's extremely easy to blend." /

Color options

Many people with extremely fair or dark skin complain that BB cream colors just don't work for them — especially if that particular BB is only available in one "universal" shade. While I haven't found that CC creams have more color options, they do blend more easily, which means the shades available can work for more people. /

Skin care benefits

The only thing better than makeup with skin care benefits is makeup with even more skin care benefits than anything else on the market, and that's exactly what CC creams are aiming to accomplish. The Olay CC cream targets hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and blotchiness, and claims long-term spot-diminishing benefits. Many of the CC creams from Asia are packed with antioxidants like white tea and green tea, and the Rachel K version even has epidermal growth factor, which stimulates collagen production by speeding up your skin's natural exfoliation.

The CC creams you can try now

If you read this story a week from now, there may be 10 new CC creams out. However, at this moment there are only two that are readily available in the U.S.

The first is Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer, $21.50, which just rolled out in drugstores. It has enough color to brighten up my skin without covering my freckles, and it leaves me feeling moisturized all day. It comes in three colors, and because the coverage is so minimal, it should work for every skin tone.

The second is Wei East Wei To Go Beauty Ideal Skin, $30, which also comes in three shades. It provides more coverage than your average BB cream, and this one comes in super-convenient re-sealable travel packets.

Chanel/Rachel K /

Asian imports

If you're planning a trip to Asia or don't mind paying astronomical shipping fees, you may be able to track down one of the original CC creams. The Rachel K CC Cream is the bestselling formula is Asia, and has SPF 35+, tons of amazing skin care ingredients (like the aforementioned epidermal growth factor), better coverage with a lighter texture than a BB cream, and two shades.

Then there's Chanel CC Cream Color Correction Complete, which is basically the Holy Grail of CC creams. There's no word when — or even if — Chanel will bring this product to the States, but every beauty editor is campaigning hard.

Now that you've got the 411 on CC creams, find out which BB creams Total Beauty editors love.

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