I was going to call this the BB & CC post, but then I saw that some companies are as far as EE by now, so umbrella term. In this post I will explain about BB and CC creams and list all reviews I’ve done on this blog.
In the last few years, double letter creams have popped up all over the place, every brand has one or more of them. So what are they?
A marketing gag, of course. All those creams might have been sold as foundations, tinted moisturizers or primers respectively, but the term BB Cream proved to sell, so that is what we got.
What are BB Creams?
The term ‘BB’ usually stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm. They have been around in Asia for a while, and then someone discovered it for the western market. The very first Blemish Balm ever seems to have come from German brand Christine Schrammek, though. Lisa Eldridge tells us about the origin of BB Creams in this video.
In general, BB Creams include some sort of coverage, so they come in flesh tones (sometimes they are colorless in the tube and gain color upon application, for example the one from the Body Shop). They are also suposed to have skin care ingredients, making them the new generation of tinted moisturizers. They also usually contain SPF, but that ranges from very high to very low. Some don’t list SPF, but at least with all the creams I looked at they still contained some sort of sun protection ingredients. Creams created for the Asian market often also claim to have whitening properties.
Even with these three things in common, one BB Cream can be very different from the next. At the moment, some brands offer more than one BB Cream (Dior, Guerlain etc).
BB Creams I have reviewed on this blog:
Aok Blemish Balm
Biotherm Aqua Source BB Cream
Clinique Age Defense BB Cream
Diorskin Nude BB Creme
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB
La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Cream
What are CC Creams?
Since BB Creams proved to be a seller, companies were on the lookout for the next big hit, and this sort of seemed like the logical consequence. The CC usually stands for Color Correction or Complexion Correction. I think the name operates on the assumption that Blemish Balm is for skin with pimples, and skin with age spots and such needs its own cream. Sometimes the marketing or SA will try to tell you that BB is for young and CC for mature skin, but frankly that is a gross overgeneralisation, also because I’m sure BB Creams weren’t really created with this in mind. (Compare Clinique‘s Age Defense BB Cream. And also, my approach for skin care is that anti-aging skin care is the best for skin with acne.)
The color correction is approached from two sides: one, the skin care side, which (hopefully) includes ingredients to help with pigmentation and discoloration from scars. Two, the cream itself is tinted to optically help with discolorations. And here we have two versions, lets call them Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 comes flesh-toned, just like BB Creams. That, like most BB Creams, makes them a form of tinted moisturizer or even foundation. Examples for Type 1 are Chanel‘s CC Cream, or the creams by Dr Brandt. Type 2, on the other hand, comes in pastel colors to color correct the skin before you put makeup on top. That means they are primers. Examples for this type are the CC Creams from YSL or MAC. Both have CC Creams in several different shades (lavender, peach etc), to combat different discolorations.
What do CC Creams have in common with each other? Pretty much only the tinted aspect (and even that is sometimes very slight, see Diadermine). They should all include skin care ingredients that help even out the complexion over time, but some contain more and some a whole lot less. SPF is also not a common denominator. Some have a high SPF, and some have none at all. I think they all should have some, because if you boast that you’re helping with pigmentation you should protect the skin from further UV damage. That’s just my personal opinion, though. So, really, CC Creams are all over the place, even more so than BB Creams.
CC Creams I have reviewed on this blog:
By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum
Diadermine Lift+ CC
Dr Brandt CC Mat