You’ve seen them, those double-letter creams lining the shelves of beauty boutiques and drugstores. But what do they do and which one should you buy? Are they just another beauty fad that will come and go or do they really work?
So, what’s the difference?
BB creams: Beauty balms were the first of the lot, originating in Korea as a post-procedure cream. BBs gently hydrate the skin and provide light coverage, SPF and give the skin a more flawless appearance, thanks to light-reflecting ingredients.
CC creams: Color control creams offer similar benefits to BB creams, but they tend to have more coverage and help even out the skin tone over time.
DD creams: Daily defense creams are the newest entry to the market. Sometimes called Dynamic Do-All creams, they tend to have many of the same benefits of BBs and CCs, but they also offer anti-aging benefits and even more coverage than a CC cream, while still remaining lightweight.
Do I really need one?
I have tried many of these creams, and I think they are worth exploring. After all, one little squirt does so much!
To decide between them all, I would focus less on the type of cream and more on what the specific product does. I say this because there can be a huge difference in formulation and performance across brands. For instance, a BB in one brand can function more like a CC in another.
The color controversy
BB creams, being on the market longest, have taken a fair amount of heat for not offering enough color options. In fact, many BB products launched with just one shade. And while the coverage is sheer and one shade can cover a lot of skin tones, that’s certainly no reason to offer just one, which cuts out a huge portion of the population! Some CCs and DDs have the same issue, but overall, all three are now offering multiple shades.
Some of my favorites:
The Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 ($44 at Sephora) has the light coverage and all the bells and whistles of a typical BB Cream: It moisturizes, provides sun protection, is light reflective—the works. I like it because the texture is light and creamy feeling, and the product wears well. I also really like the fact that there are nine colors available!
If you’re looking for a BB with more coverage, try the Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream B1 ($48 at Jane Iredale), which comes in eight shades. The two darker ones were recently added, so she must have heard our call! This mineral-based formula contains SFP 25 and ingredients like apple extract and aloe leaf juice. In addition to doing everything a BB typically does, it also soothes and calms the skin.
You’ve probably heard me rave about this product before, but it bears repeating: The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream ($38 at Ulta) is fabulous! This SPF 50 product has very flexible coverage, so you can apply just a dot for sheer coverage or more than a dot for complete coverage. Available in five shades.
The Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream ($39 at Dermstore) is available in two shades, one cool and one warm and contains an SPF of 30. It feels very light going on and offers sheer coverage. Ingredients like organic borage seed, apple buds and lemon bark leave the skin feeling and looking great!
The Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Eye Brightening CC Cream ($19.99 at Target) is different than the standard CC cream in that it’s creamier, lighter and more sheer—it’s almost a whipped consistency. It’s a perfect pick-me-up for the eye area. It feels refreshing going on and bounces light away from those dark circles.
Julep DD ($37 at Amazon) is a “dynamic do-all” cream that delivers medium to full coverage, an SPF of 25 and anti-aging benefits with ingredients like Matrixl Synthe’6, which nourishes the skin and helps improve the appearance of fine lines. Available in four shades. Keep an eye out for the soon-to-launch DD Concealer.
The Pür Minerals Rescue Squad Broad Spectrum SPF 25 DD Crème ($35 at ULTA)also contains SPF 25 and Matrixyl Synthe’6 and delivers similar benefits to the Julep product. I like them both, but the main difference between the two is that the Pür DD, offers light reflection but no pigmentation. This is a good choice for someone who has a foundation they already like but is looking for the benefits that a DD cream provides.