Finding the perfect face cream can be a daunting task, especially when learning the names and purposes of each one is about as confusing as learning the alphabet the first time around. BB creams were the first new-wave cream to hit drugstore shelves, and CC creams quickly followed. But what exactly do these new alphabet soup-esque creams do? And which one is right for you? We’ve broken them down, one letter at a time.
What they do: BB creams were created as a lighter alternative to foundation that provide additional skin protection and benefits (think SPF, antioxidants and healthy ingredients). They’re a bit heavier than a tinted moisturizer and provide more coverage for an even-tone complexion.
Who should use them: Anyone who cringes at the sight of a heavy foundation and can literally hear their pores crying out for breathing room should try a BB cream. It’s ideal for someone with sensitive skin who wants to hide blemishes, while still providing ingredients to help clear up problem areas and ensure healthy skin in the future.
1. Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream, $11
When it says “8-in-1″ it’s not lying. This cream blurs lines, brightens skin, protects against the sun and is a must-have in any makeup bag. And you can’t beat that price!
2. Kiehl’s Skin Tone Correcting Beautifying BB Cream, $36
This option is great if you plan on applying bronzer and blush over top because it’s so lightweight and gives sheer coverage that’s still super hydrating. It’s also scent-free and paraben-free.
3. Vichy Pro Even BB Cream, $33
This is one healthy BB cream! It’s filled with pure mineral pigments, vitamins and UVA and UVB protection.
What they do: CC creams are easy to understand: CC stands for “colour correcting.” They’re meant to even out redness and illuminate your complexion. They’re even lighter on your skin than a BB cream and often have a super light, whipped consistency.
Who should use them: If you don’t need a lot of coverage, but find your skin looking a little blotchy or dull, a CC cream will provide a perfect sheer base.
4. Lorac CC Cream, $28
This cream has a matte finish that goes on smoothly and feels light, so you’ll instantly forget about it (but you’ll be thankful for it every time you catch your reflection!).
5. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream, $39
There’s nothing like having one of your main staples get an awesome upgrade. This popular ultra-hydrating cream now has the power to even your skin tone and brighten your complexion, with the same consistency of the original Clinique Moisture Surge.
6. Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream, $42
On top of all the wonders of a CC cream and the even coverage it provides, this one targets dark spots and blemishes, too!
Mia Shulman is the managing editor of HGTV.ca (but she also has a soft spot for Slice!). She’s been a lifestyle writer and editor for years, and is a longtime devotee of the Real Housewives franchise.