Summer Beauty: The Best CC Creams

Just when you’ve figured out the circuit of BB creams, the beauty world brings us the next big thing: CC cream.

CC cream, otherwise known as color control cream or color correction cream, is this summer’s hottest product—perfect for long, hot days when you want something lighter than a foundation that still provides coverage.

So what does a CC cream do? Similar to BB cream, it’s an all-in-one product that hydrates, primes, conceals and protects from the sun. However, CC creams are lighter, help improve texture, fight signs of aging, and they contain extra ingredients to nourish and brighten skin. They’re also less greasy, which is always a good thing.

With all CC creams, we recommend starting off with a small, pea-size amount to see how the formula blends with your skin. Use more product for more coverage, and you may need to touch up certain areas with a dab of foundation to hide any larger spots or blemishes. For dry skin, it helps to apply a light layer of moisturizer before application. They’re marketed as “lighter” than BB creams, but each formula is unique in terms of coverage, weight and feel.


Olay Total Effects CC Cream, $23

This one is my personal go-to of the bunch. Not only does it moisturize and offer decent coverage, but it also boasts serious anti-aging superpowers, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, uneven tone and age spots over time. It comes in three shades—fair to light, light to medium, and medium to deep—and it evens out skin tone, leaving a radiant finish behind. It’s the best “bargain” CC cream and was the first drugstore version to hit the market.


Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream, $35
This creamy formula offers medium coverage and provides a youthful, luminous glow. It promises hydration, color correction and has SPF 30. We love it because it color corrects a wide range of skin concerns—redness, dullness and sallowness—and it’s available in six shades. It’s more pigmented than some of the others, making it great for those who want more coverage. The only downside is that it isn’t as anti-aging focused as some of our other favorites. Also important to note, a little bit goes a LONG way.


Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream, $42
The price is steep for this tiny bottle, but it’s worth it considering how smooth and long-lasting it is. This cream provides fantastic all-in-one coverage and is said to lessen the appearance of dark spots, sun spots and post-acne marks. It instantly brightens and neutralizes your complexion and corrects discoloration. We strongly prefer the Smashbox CC cream to their BB cream. It offers more coverage, is less oily, and leaves your skin feeling velvety soft. If you’re willing to splurge, this is the one to try.


Pür Minerals CC Broad Spectrum SPF 40, $38
If you’re looking for a high-SPF, silicon-free product that still works, this is the one. It acts as a moisturizer, brightener, primer, concealer and sunscreen all at once, and it’s available in four shades. We love how it dramatically evens out skin tone. It’s highly pigmented and not at all oily, plus it stays put, which is a must for hot days. As it evens, it helps to erase dark spots, blemishes and fine lines.