A+B=C, E=MC²…we’re used to seeing letters in math, but now they’re appearing everywhere in the makeup aisles! What do these letters mean and how are they different from one another? By now, you’ve probably heard of BB cream, but have you seen the most recent edition to the market—CC Cream? And now beauty brand Julep is actually going to release a DD cream: “a dynamic do-all makeup.”
First there was tinted moisturizer, then BB cream, and now CC and DD creams have joined the mix. These products have different names, but they all seem so similar, so really, what’s the difference? I’ll focus on BB and CC creams, since they’ve been out on the market longer and there’s more info on them. But what I do know about DD cream is that it really targets anti-aging more than the other two; other than that, its claims align well with comparable products.
Now it’s time to school you on the ABCs of creams!
Tinted moisturizer is the easy one. It’s different from the other two because it’s simply what it says: a moisturizer with a small amount of pigment that will add a touch of tint to your skin. They also typically have some form of SPF in them for added protection from UV rays. Other than that, the skin benefits aren’t profound. Most people use tinted moisturizer to even out their skin tone a bit without the heavy coverage and appearance of foundation.
BB AND CC CREAMS
As far as I can tell, these both differ from tinted moisturizers in that they provide more coverage. They are thicker in consistency and will go farther in concealing redness and evening out skin tone.
But how are they different? BB stands for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm.” It was revolutionary because not only did it provide SPF protection, but it also claimed to contain skin care ingredients that work to perfect and improve the look of skin. Some BB creams focus on providing anti-aging benefits, while others aim more at improving texture. All of these marketed creams claim to reduce the look of pores for a smooth and uniform finish.
So what does CC cream offer? Well, from what I can tell, the difference is pretty minimal, but there are some small differences. CC stands for “color correcting” and the major goal of this product is to increase skin radiance, decrease redness and sallowness, reduce the appearance of dark spots, and brighten one’s overall complexion. While BB creams work to create smooth skin, CC creams work to create brighten and even toned skin. I noticed that companies that had not released a BB cream went ahead and released a CC cream instead. So at the end of the day, this whole CC cream business is likely a marketing technique to revive the interest in the “alphabet creams.”
So…which product is right for you? I think you’re pretty safe going either route—BB or CC cream. I’ve tried BB creams and like them, so I tend to stick with what I know.
But I recently picked up a CC cream from Almay that I am anxious to try. I swatched it on my hand and it didn’t look much different at all from my BB cream, but we’ll see with a full-on application. If you have really nice skin texture, but have a lot of redness and/or dull skin, go for CC cream. If your skin is pretty uniform, but you want to give it more of a smooth appearance, go for BB cream. Either way, you’re going to get a product with great skin benefits and, most likely, SPF protection. Just try and get samples when you can, because each brand will have slightly differing amounts of coverage, scent, and ingredients.