Because sometimes you want something a little more sheer without compromising on that flawless finish
Finding the best complexion product can be tricky. The waters have become somewhat muddied. There’s the best BB cream (blemish balms that blend and cover with a smooth finish), best CC cream and even the lesser-known DD cream.
We love CCs, not only because they colour-correct for a clearer canvas, but because in warmer months we much prefer the lighter coverage.
Hailing from the Korean beauty world, you’ll find within them a whole host of skin loving vitamins, plumping peptides and potent, radiance-boosting complexes. CC creams have you covered. Literally.
Worried about replacing your best foundation? Think again. Both IT Cosmetic and Erborian have best-selling, award-winning formulas that people are so loyal to that they regularly sell out at retailers – it’s no wonder their cult followings are so committed.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about the world of CC…
What is CC cream and how does it work?
‘A CC Cream is a multi-purpose product, merging all of your skincare, make-up and [sometimes] SPF,’ says Rose Gallagher, make-up artist and IT Cosmetics UKI brand ambassador. ‘The term “CC” stands for colour correcting, so this one product will correct any uneven pigment in the skin, helping to soften the appearance of things like dullness, redness, discolouration, pigmentation and sun spots.
‘CC Creams are fantastic for so many different types of people. If you’re time poor, you’ll love that this ONE step delivers so many benefits. You don’t need to layer lots of products to get the advantages of your make-up, skincare and SPF.
‘With this in mind, it’s also a great option for anyone who doesn’t have a huge budget for beauty products,’ she continues. ‘I’d also really recommend CC Creams for anyone who isn’t hugely confident when applying make-up. They tend to give a blurring, soft finish to the skin which is very adaptable, so they’re great if you aren’t entirely sure which shade will suit you best or if your skin tends to warm up and cool down depending on how much time you’ve spent in the sun.
‘Simplicity is a huge appeal of a CC Cream. But, simplicity aside, they’re also a great option for anyone who wants to correct any discolouration in their skin. And if skincare is important to you, it’s a lovely make-up option because there’s so much skincare infused into the formula.’
How to choose the best CC cream
So, you know how it works, now how do you choose a CC cream that’s right for you and your skin? ‘Be sure to check the level of coverage your CC Cream offers, because this is the one element of CC Creams that varies widely from brand to brand,’ explains Rose. ‘You’ll tend to find that they offer a fresh, dewy finish, but some will offer more coverage whereas others will simply impart a soft tint.
‘And it’s worth noting that SPF causes flash back in photographs – when your face looks whiter than your body if you use a flash photographer – so if you want to avoid this, look for a physical-only SPF.‘
Consider your research, researched, and shop our edit of the best buys below.
Best CC cream
The founder of IT Cosmetics, Jamie Kern Lima, created this CC cream to help her feel confident. She herself suffers from rosacea, so worked closely with plastic surgeons and dermatologists to develop the perfect formula to mask redness. And boy, does it. The brand is centered on creating problem-solving products and this is a great example – it’s a sell-out for good reason. They launched CC+ Illumination earlier in the year, if you fancy something a little glowier and now there’s a CC+ Oil-Free Matte if you have oily skin. The thing to remember about all of them, is that a little goes a long way. Use the smallest amount and buff in with their Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush, £35. We really do think that this is the best cc cream on the market.
Best CC cream for oily skin
CC creams tend to be might lighter than their sister BB, making them a better suitor for oily skin that gets clogged easily or is prone to breakouts. With a super smooth texture and broad-spectrum sun protection, La Roche-Posay is a lightweight cream is an ideal base for summer. It also contains beneficial emollients like shea butter, and antioxidants like Vitamin E to help protect and nourish your skin. So long, redness.
Best drugstore CC cream
We’re loyal to our beauty counter and designer buys, but few things can compare to picking up a great formula for just shy of a tenner. Parisian drugstore brand Bourjois has your complexion needs covered with their colour-correcting pigment combination of apricot to target anti-fatigue, green to correct redness and white to brighten dark spots. Bang for your buck.
Best CC cream for dry skin
A moisture surge is exactly what dry and or flaky skin types need to improve that skin texture as well as your comfort levels – there’s nothing worse than that tight-faced feeling that’s only worsened by wearing make-up. Clinique’s is thicker and more hydrating than a lot of other options, providing medium coverage; if you’re reluctant to pass up on your best foundation for dry skin, you’ll love this.
Best CC cream for mature skin
This formula is deeply nourishing, helping to soften the appearance of ageing skin while keeping it moisturised. It’s comfortable to wear alone or as a colour-correcting base for make-up, as it melts into the skin really well, along with these other anti-ageing beauty products.
Best Korean CC cream
This clever little CC cream is straight out of SoKo, blends beautifully and comes with an SPF of 25. Even more clever, though, is that it goes on pearly white and adapts to your skin tone to perfectly colour correct your base and provide the perfect. Dore is best for medium to dark skin tones, while clair is better for paler skin tones.
Still not convinced enough to make the switch? Keep scrolling for a few of our other favourites.
You’ll be a CC convert in no time.
If you like the idea of a really lightweight base, this will work wonders. It suits drier skin types or combination. Steer clear if you're oilier. It works well on it's own if you don't mind the natural look, but also makes a brilliant colour correcting primer.
Chanel's brilliant CC Cream has had a little update, which means that it's even more hydrating and gives you an even more lumious and healthy complexion. It contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen with pure titanium dioxide as the active ingredient, which works like magic when combined with absorbent silicones to soak up excess oils, making it best for oily or combination skin.
Whether you've had a late one or just feel like your skin is misbehaving, this lightweight cream, which uses Smart Pigment Capsules to combat any redness, transforms on contact with the skin to really light up and even out your complexion.