May 2, 2014

What’s the Difference Between BB Creams and CC Creams?

Difference Between BB Creams and CC Creams

What’s the difference between BB Creams and CC Creams can prove a loaded question because the answer will vary depending on where you’re purchasing BB and CC Creams from (Asia or the US).

With the biggest trend of the moment being CC Creams you might just be confused about what exactly the difference is between the formulas and in most cases it’s a simple one.

So let’s see what the difference between BB Creams and CC Creams really is!

BB Cream stands for beauty balm (not sure what a BB Cream is? Find out in my “What’s a BB Cream?” post) and if you’re purchasing Korean or other Asian BB Creams you’re looking at a multitasking foundation product that’s typically available in two shades. The formula acts to protect skin with a high SPF, brightens it, hydrates it acting like a moisturizer, and typically it also contains anti-aging benefits.

I find BB Cream in the US is one step up from a tinted moisturizer. Asian BB Creams are typically more pigmented but in the US we seem to rely on a sheerer formula. The benefits are the same but I do see that many of the BB Creams in the US don’t really offer whitening benefits the way Asian ones and we typically send our BB Creams to market with a lower SPF of 30 where as Asian BB Creams typically go as high as 50.

BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream 001

BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream 003

BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream 002

BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream Swatches

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30 005

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Swatches 003

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Swatches 002

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Swatches

CC Cream stands for color corrective or color corrector. It also provides the same multitasking formula as BB Cream however, it offers color correcting benefits to ease redness, darkness, and even out skin tone. I find that here in the US they actually kinda went above and beyond with the CC Cream formula and it’s a bit more pigmented than the BB Creams that initially released when the trend was developing. So you get more coverage and apparently color correcting properties. I personally prefer the Asian take on CC Cream which Pop Beauty captured very well recently with the release of their CC Cream. In Asia, many of the newer CC Cream formula are a single shade of white which have tiny color adapting pigments that burst as you apply. They are sheerer, very sheer in fact however, they act to take already good skin and perfect it. I was on a wild ride with BB Creams and purchased tons of Korean ones several years ago and have many, many favorites. However, when CC Creams started launching from many of my favorite Korean I dove right in. And I must say I actually prefer the CC Cream formula. I already have fairly good skin without blemishes or visible pores. I do have drier skin and duller skin. CC Cream acts to ease my dullness while brightening and perfectly my already good skin.

Pop Beauty CC Cream

Pop Beauty CC Cream Swatches Blended

Pop Beauty CC Cream Swatches

Pop Beauty CC Cream Swatches

Tony Moly Pure Aura Luminous CC Cream

Tony Moly Pure Aura Luminous CC Cream Swatches

Tony Moly Pure Aura CC Cream Swatches

Tony Moly Pure Aura Luminous CC Cream Swatches

However, US CC Creams went a little bit of a different route as I mentioned above. They seem to be beefier formulas and some promise color correcting benefits. I actually prefer the Asian ones in all honesty and wish more US brands embraced this style formula! Some brands have gone lighter in formula but I like the color adapting technology that I see from Asian brands and wish more brands embraced it! Stila CC Color Correcting Cream is a good place to start if you’re looking for lighter, color correcting, color adapting technology.

If you’d like to figure out what exactly the difference is between BB Creams and tinted moisturizers you can have a look at my other article addressing this!

Hopefully this article helped you figure out what the difference is between BB Creams and CC Creams!

Which formula do you use and prefer?

The higher coverage of a BB Cream?

Or the lighter color correcting one of a CC Cream?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Phyrra

    My favorite CC Cream product is the Cover FX CC Cream. I think my skin looks flawless with it. I liked the Tony Moly CC Cream, but since I suspect they’re not CF, it’s not something I can repurchase.

  • Kelly Whimsy

    Thanks, Muse! I’ve been explaining it to folks when asked, but now I can send them to this post too. Yay!

    I love the Tony Moly Pure Aura CC cream too.

  • Lauren

    I can’t really do Asian formulas because they generally have oil. I have very sensitive, acne prone skin. However, I think it’s all a load of hype – American, Asian, doesn’t matter. The Asians tend to make more daring claims, but their advertising standards are different from ours. Either way, all BB creams, CC Creams and Tinted moisturizers are foundations with varying degrees of coverage. I do like some BB and CC creams but I also like some Tinted Moisturizers and some foundations. Depends on the occasion…

  • DiEtta Morris

    Great information. I use Dr.Dennis Gross “CC” Cream purchased at QVC. I really like it. It is build able.. You can have light coverage or a heavier one, depending on your likes. It has an SPF 18. I wish it had a higher SPF. I use a blending sponge to apply it. But I still prefer my BE…….thanks for sharing I love all your reviews. Have a “sun shiney day!” πŸ™‚ DiEtta

    • Isabella Muse

      i’ve been meaning to try his cc cream Dietta it seems quite nice πŸ˜€ aw thank YOU sweetness! Have a lovely day and enjoy the weekend ahead!

  • Renu

    I like Korean BB creams but of late I prefer their CC creams, especially the ones that come in “pacts”, as they have better coverage. The Western formulations don’t hold a candle to those. But I also notice that shade match is easier with CC creams whereas the Korean BB creams tend to be too light for me. I have just got a sample of “BP cream” which is a BB cream + primer and I’m liking it more than the BB or CC creams lol. I can’t wait for the next Korean innovation!

  • petitez

    Hi Izzy,

    I’ve always used BB creams as I tend to have some redness on my cheeks. Would CC cream work as well? What are your favourite Asian CC creams?

    Thanks babe! πŸ™‚

  • Susannah

    thank you so much for explaining this! I have never understood the difference.

    I recently purchased a CC crème by Clinique but I haven’t tried it yet. After reading this post, I think I will open the package and put some on.

    Also, is Clarins flash beauty balm a BB crème? I’ve never understood how to use that either.

  • yuvee

    Excellent post Muse! I’ve been leaning more towards CC creams, but the ones I have are very different from the ones you pictured above. I have two on the go and they are both very similar to BB creams. My favourite is the Nature Republic one that makes my skin looks super smooth and dewy (very Korean!) and the Rachel K one which is more matte and provides more coverage.
    Now I’ll definitely be trying out those whiter formula as well!

    How about the trend with “cushion” BB/CC cream? They seem to be popping out everywhere!

    • Isabella Muse

      thanks yuvee glad you thoughts so! I find BB Cream and CC Creams toe the line with their formulas as they are sometimes very similar! I don’t really love the Nature Republic CC Cream because it doesn’t really offer much coverage, not sure if we are talking about the same formula though πŸ™‚ never tried the Rachel K one but hear raves! Mm yeah I’ve reviewed a TON of the cushion BB Creams lately πŸ˜€

  • Anna

    I use BB cream daily as substitutes for foundation. Foundation is too heavy for daily use IMO, and CC cream is much too sheer. BB cream now, it is perfect πŸ™‚

  • Viki

    Muse, did you see Tony Moly’s new BCDation? I got a sample of it and it felt pretty good on my skin πŸ™‚

    • Isabella Muse

      I got it! πŸ™‚ I haven’t had a sec to review it yet though! Glad to hear you like it Viki!

  • Pamela

    I use Dermadoctor DD cream. Since I started using it five months ago, my skin has been fabulaous. Finally.

    After that goes on, I only have to use a tiny amount of tinted moisturizer. I love this DD cream.

    I would love for you,muse, to try it and report what you think.

  • bana

    hey muse !!! i always count on you on trying new stuff !!! you are so brave .. while i need a push & your reviews always give the kick !
    basically i’m a Asian brands fan … to be specific bb creams . i love skin79 (both the golden & pink ones ) & i ve tried missha as well .
    i want at least medium coverage especially around my nose & cheeks ( pores alert ) & i’m more on the oily side of the spectrum want to get some cc creams so do u have any recommendation other than tonymoly ?
    cheers ^_^

  • Lakshmi N.

    Great article πŸ™‚
    I never used a cc cream before because I didn’t really know the difference between a cc cream and a bb cream. I definetely think a cc cream would be better for me as I have uneven skintone and im prone to redness on my cheeks.

    I currently live in China and was wondering what brand of CC cream I could find here?