Looking for something lighter than that bottle of foundation?
Finding the best complexion product can be tricky, as the waters have become somewhat muddied. We now have BB creams, the best CC creams and even the lesser-known DD creams. Yep, it’s a bit of a minefield.
We love CCs, not only because they colour correct for a more even canvas, but also because they’re perfect for the warmer months, when you no doubt prefer something lighter than your best foundation without skimping on a great finish.
Hailing from the world of Korean beauty, you’ll find in their formulas a whole host of skin-loving vitamins, plumping peptides and potent, radiance-boosting complexes. CC creams have you covered. Literally.
Have we piqued you’re interest yet? Yes? Keep reading for everything you need to know about ’em.
What is CC cream and how does it work?
‘A CC Cream is a multipurpose product, merging all of your skincare, make-up and [sometimes] SPF,’ says Rose Gallagher, make-up artist and IT Cosmetics UK brand ambassador. ‘The term “CC” stands for colour correcting, so like a great hyperpigmentation treatment, this one product will correct any uneven pigment in the skin, helping to soften the appearance of things like dullness, redness, discolouration, skin 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,’ 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 that’s 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 a CC cream
So, you know how it works, now how do you choose one that’s right for 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,’ Rose advise. ‘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 flashback 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.‘
Best CC creams for oily skin
CC creams tend to be much lighter than their BB sisters, 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 creams
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. Although Bourjois has now discontinued sales in the UK and Ireland, you’re still able to snap up some of their products online – including their colour-correcting CC with three pigments apricot to target anti-fatigue, green to correct redness and white to brighten dark spots.
Best CC creams 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 creams with SPF
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 also launched CC+ Illumination, which is great 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, £36. We really do think that this is the best cc cream on the market.
Best Korean CC cream
This clever little CC cream blends beautifully and comes with a bonus SPF 25. Even cleverer, though, is that it goes on pearly and then adapts to your skin tone to perfectly colour correct your base. Dore is designed for medium to dark skin tones, while clair suits fairer skin tones.
Still not convinced enough to make the switch? Keep scrolling for a few of our other favourites. You’ll be a convert in no time.
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.
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.
Kind of a CC and BB hybrid, this lightweight formula colour corrects and blurs for a healthy-looking skin finish.
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.
A bit like a good night's sleep in a tube, this CC cream is a one-way ticket from looking lit from within.