BB, CC and DD Creams: What’s the Difference?

Face cream woman

The latest beauty creams are actually smart products that give excellent results, but choosing the best one for you is confusing. As it turns out, the difference is not necessarily the product in the tube, but what the beauty brands are saying about it.

When BB creams first hit the U.S. market, they were positioned to be your everything-in-one product, including treatment (i.e., anti-aging, brightening), coverage and sun protection. Within a couple of years, whispers of Color Correction creams (CC creams) began to spread and soon after launched in the U.S. That’s when things began to get a little confusing. The primary focus of CC creams is to correct color, but what does that really mean? Is there such a big distinction between the two types? The lines couldn’t get any blurrier…and then there were DD creams.

The first DD cream was launched as a Daily Defense product for body and feet that would have lessened the alphabet chaos, since these were targeted for every place but your face. However, that quickly changed paths earlier this year with the launch of “Dynamic Do-all” creams for the face.

Here’s the breakdown of DD Cream claims:

  • The same claim is being made, only worded differently.
    • Example: “Brightens” is the same as “Enhances Vibrancy.”
  • Attributes that could have easily been highlighted in the BB and CC creams are now being called out.
    • Example: Primers inherently mattify the skin, therefore each product with primer benefits will mattify.
  • The obvious is being called out as a separate claim.
    • Example: Broad Spectrum SPF protection obviously defends the skin.

At the end of the day, each category overlaps to the point where the differentiation is almost nonexistent. The upside is they are all great products that can be very beneficial for the skin. The downside is sorting through the many varieties to determine which would work better for you.

Where do you start? If discoloration is your primary concern then start with CC creams —  that’s their claim to fame so you will more than likely find a product that contains skin-brightening ingredients such as arbutin or daisy flower extract. If fine lines and wrinkles are the issue, then look for an alphabet cream full of ingredients like retinol, firming peptides or adenosine. If your skin is oily, then look for an alphabet cream that controls oil and has a lightweight texture. There is an alphabet cream out there for you — let’s just hope that brands don’t try to exhaust the entire alphabet!

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