BB and CC Creams are they worth it?

“BB”, stands for Blemish or Beauty Balm and “CC”, stands for Color Control Creams.  These products claim to do everything, from creating a flawless complexion and enhancing or correcting complexions to reducing pore size, healing breakouts, controlling oil, and lightening dark spots.

BB creams are available worldwide, while CC creams are only available in Asia at the moment, but Oil of Olay (The Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer $22) and Rachel K Cosmetics (available now in Asia) will be releasing in North America this fall.  In January, Juice Beauty will launch Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream, which aims to repair DNA damage and boost cellular regeneration with the antioxidant vitamin C and resveratrol. And if we’re lucky, Chanel’s CC cream (now available in Asia) will make its way stateside, too.  What is the difference between the two products and are they worth the hype?


An Alphabet Breakdown:


BB cream– Originally developed in Germany and named Blemish Balm, it became popular in Asia. The cream went from being labeled Blemish Balms to Beauty Balms. Eventually this was shorted to what’s seen in the U.S. market: BB Cream.  They are basically tinted moisturizers with sunscreen and some treatment ingredients. While the BB creams sold in Asia have thicker textures and higher levels of  sun protection, and are intended to leave a white cast on the skin. You use a BB cream just like a tinted moisturizer, these products are all about convenience: sun protection, moisture, and skin tone in one product. The formulas differ widely from company to company, but sun protection and light coverage color are the norms.  They can depending on the brand provide extra skin-care benefits, such as whitening, preventing breakouts, and supplying skin with anti-aging ingredients such as antioxidants.  Most are usually silicone based, meaning that the key ingredients were laying on top of the skin, not embedded in delivery systems absorbed well by the skin. Typically laden with moisturizers to create a dewy finish, which are not so great for acne-prone or oily skin.

CC cream – the younger sister of BB Cream, originally from Korea.   It is a brightening primer, foundation, moisturizer, SPF and anti-aging cream.  They are typically oil-free which makes them a better fit for acne-prone or oily skin.  Like BB cream it is still unlikely to deliver key ingredients to your skin as well as a serum or targeted moisturizer.

What should you look for?

Delivery systems matter!  Ingredients and advanced delivery systems like that are commonly used to increase the skin’s absorption of ingredients are usually lacking in BB and CC creams, that you would find in moisturizers and serums.  BB and CC creams typically are designed to be more like make-up products than skin care.  Yes, you will get benefits to your skin, but not the kind you maybe looking for.

Look for:

Sunscreen! (SPF 15 or higher)



Skin tone! (matching is a must!)



Hydration! (is it for your skin type)

Dry skin, try Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30.

Normal skin, try Dr. Jart++ Beauty Balm SPF 45.



Coverage! (sheer to full)

Full coverage, try Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream (most BB and CC creams are sheer)






For now if you want to buy CC creams you must try Ebay or other online sites if you are in North America.


Final thoughts:  BB & CC creams are convenient and great for minimalists, but don’t take the place of moisturizers, serums, and foundation.  It reminders me of body washes that double as shampoos  or 2 in 1 shampoos and conditioners they will do the job but not as well as using individual products.




  1. I personally love bb cream, for me it does everything that a primer, foundation, sunscreen does with anti aging properties and blemish healing properties. I do agree though that bb creams are not moisturizers and serums and should not be used that way. It’s makeup and makeup only 🙂


  2. WithLoveShmon says:

    BB Creams – definitely worth it. when I use liquid foundations my skin gets all peely and the I’ve only had great experiences with BB creams – i currently use a korean brand called CNP laboratory, which is a huge in korea. I’ve used the dr jart silver lable and missha perfect and they’re both amazing too!

    I’d definitely recommend it!


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