Updated November 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best CC creams

BB, CC, DD — no, we’re not playing an alphabet game. These are all names of skincare products. CC cream — which stands for color correcting — is a multifunctional beauty product that aids in covering up uneven skin tones, blemishes, and wrinkles.

CC products also offer skincare benefits in the form of hydrating and anti-aging ingredients. Most formulas have sun protection in the form of SPF, too. (Note: Although CC and BB creams both contain SPF, they are rarely reapplied throughout the day, so don’t rely on them for your primary sun protection.) CC creams provide slightly more coverage than BB creams (BB stands for beauty balm or blemish balm), so they’re better at covering up redness and dark spots.

CC creams are best for those who are wary of heavy-coverage options, such as foundation, but still want to cover up their pigmentation issues, like redness and dark spots. There’s a CC cream for all skin types and shades. It’s merely a matter of choosing the right product for your needs.

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A CC cream is similar to a tinted moisturizer but offers more coverage and evens out the skin tone, thus helping to conceal skin imperfections like scarring and age spots.

Key considerations

Skin tone

When choosing a CC cream, it’s important to pick the right shade to match your skin tone. Certain brands offer more color options than others. Traditionally, BB and CC creams, which originated in Asia, were only available in very light skin tones. It’s now much easier to find a wide variety of shades to match different complexions and undertones. Products are often available in mini or sample sizes, so it’s easy to test whether a formula works with your particular skin tone without breaking the bank.

Skin issues

Dealing with redness or prominent wrinkles? Choose a CC cream based on the problems you want to address. CC formulas with a green tint offer excellent coverage for red, blotchy skin. If you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, choose a product that features anti-aging ingredients and fills creases in the skin. Remember that CC creams are intended to offer more coverage than BB creams without the weight of heavy foundations.

And don’t forget to read the fine print. If you have sensitive or blemish-prone skin, choose a product that’s non-comedogenic to prevent unwanted reactions and flare-ups — you want to cover up imperfections, not aggravate them.

CC cream features

Types of CC creams

There are a wide variety of CC creams, from formulas that promise to reduce redness to creams that offer plenty of hydration for dry skin. Other types of CC creams include formulas specifically made for different skin types (e.g., combination, oily, etc.). Anti-aging CC creams feature unique ingredients like retinol to prevent the signs of aging.


The majority of CC creams offer up sun protection. Opt for a formula with an SPF rating of at least 30. Even if a CC cream has a high SPF rating, though, you would need to reapply it throughout the day for adequate sun protection. For long bouts in the sun, remember to wear sunscreen in addition to your makeup.

Skin tone match

If you’re having trouble finding the right shade for your skin, consider skin tone match products. They are designed to adjust automatically to your skin tone once blended into the skin. However, while they’re certainly convenient, they’re not always accurate.

CC cream prices


CC creams come in inexpensive drugstore options, which cost under $20. For those on a budget, drugstore brands are an excellent alternative to pricier premium makeup products. Check that options are non-comedogenic and perform a skin-patch test prior to application. Always be sure to verify that drugstore products are sealed and haven’t been opened by another shopper.


For $35 to $50, you’ll find a wide variety of CC creams fit for all skin types and conditions. CC creams in this price range typically have an SPF rating of at least 30.


High-end premium CC creams cost between $55 to $100. Premium products aren’t always better than lower-cost options, but in this price range, you’ll find creams with potent anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol. Mostly, the higher cost has to do with brand-name appeal.


  • If you have problem skin (e.g., acne-prone) pick a CC cream with blemish-fighting ingredients, such as salicylic acid. Choose formulas that are non-comedogenic.

  • Can’t find an anti-redness CC cream that fits your needs? Purchase an anti-redness primer and apply it before your favorite CC cream.

  • If your chosen CC cream isn’t moisturizing, don’t forget to moisturize regularly and choose a product that’s right for your skin type.

  • Not all CC creams offer the same type of coverage. You may need to try a few products to find the right one for your skin tone and type.

  • Most CC creams offer dewy results. Track down a matte-style cream if you have oily skin and don’t want it to appear oilier than usual.

  • If you’re prone to breakouts, choose an oil-free formula to prevent clogging your pores.

  • Always thoroughly wash your face before applying any type of cream.

  • If you have very dry skin, you may want to add a moisturizing step to your makeup routine, even if you choose a CC cream with hydrating properties. If you’re prone to breakouts and oil buildup, however, skip the moisturizer and rely on your CC cream for hydration.

  • For prominent blemishes and age spots, you may need to use concealer atop CC cream if those areas require a bit of extra coverage.

  • Don’t forget to update the products in your makeup bag every once in a while. Throw away CC creams that are more than a year old.

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Pair primer and CC cream to fill in pores and even out skin tone. CC cream may also be used as a substitute for primer if you plan to also wear foundation.


Q. Can I use CC cream instead of foundation?

A. Absolutely. While CC cream doesn’t offer the same amount of coverage as foundation, it’s still an excellent option for smoothing out an uneven skin tone. The advantage is that it’s not as heavy as foundation and often features added ingredients that promote skin health (e.g., moisturizer or anti-aging ingredients). A bit of experimentation is required to find the right makeup product for your skin. Some formulas are better for mature skin while others are ideal for those with problem complexions (e.g., acne sufferers).

Q. What’s the best way to apply CC cream?

A. Application method is a personal preference. Choose to apply with your fingers or a sponge. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before applying makeup to your face with your fingers. Clean your makeup sponges regularly as well.

Q. Should I wear sunscreen in addition to CC cream?

A. It depends on the type of CC cream you’ve chosen and how much sun exposure you expect to receive. If your CC cream has an SPF of 15 or less, consider applying a facial sunscreen in addition to your makeup. Apply sunscreen under your makeup for optimal absorption. Even if you choose a makeup product with an SPF rating of 30 or higher, sunscreen must be reapplied regularly. Don’t rely on a single application of CC cream to provide long-lasting sun protection throughout the day.

Q. What are BB and DD creams?

A. BB stands for beauty balm. This type of cream offers lighter coverage compared to CC cream, but formulas are often thicker. BB cream is very similar to tinted moisturizer products. DD cream typically stands for daily defense, it’s essentially a blend between a BB cream and CC cream and always includes sun protection. However, labels aren’t always the best indicators of whether a product will work for your needs. Check the ingredient list, and if you have the opportunity, test the product to find out if it’s right for your skin.

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