We tested each product for each of the following:
She's a freelance hair and makeup artist and an expert in aromatherapy certified by the Aroma Environment Association of Japan. She also pens beauty columns. She studied under Mr. Hiroki Murooka from the hair and makeup studio ThreePEACE for four years before going independent.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
In addition to helping improve the finish and durability of foundation, it also acts as a color corrector, which is what the CC stands for. In short, it creates an even, neutral skin tone.
However, CC creams aren't the best in terms of coverage, so they're not ideal for those who want to conceal blemishes, wrinkles, and acne with a single product. To cover up those concerns, it's best to use a CC cream in combination with a concealer or foundation.
As Japanese CC creams are mostly formulated for colors that appeal to Japanese consumers, they tend to have warmer, yellow undertones rather than brighter, more pink or even bluish colors found in Korean CC creams, for example.
BB creams are similar to CC creams, but how they differ is that they combine sunscreen, base makeup, and foundation into one convenient package. Some can even be formulated to act as serums and creams.
BB creams place more emphasis on creating a base for your makeup, while CC creams are more about color correction and evening out your skin tone. If you want to have a solid base for the rest of your makeup, choose BB creams. If you want to go for a no-makeup look, choose CC creams.
For more information on the best Japanese BB creams, check out the link below!
Here are the three main points to keep in mind when choosing an CC cream.
The more naturally the tone blends in and the better the cream addresses your problem spots, the more beautiful your skin is going to look. The following is how we use CC creams of various undertones in Japan. These hues can act as complementary colors to effectively conceal the areas of concern, and to help even out your skin tone.
If you choose a shade that doesn't work well with your natural skin tone, it'll end up looking unnatural, as well as won't create a natural-looking glow, diminishing the effects of the CC cream.
No matter how nicely you were able to finish your base makeup, with dewy-looking, glowing skin, all that effort will go to waste if it were ruined right away. In order to make sure this doesn't happen, what's important is to check the ingredients when buying a CC cream.
CC creams containing silicon-based ingredients, like dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, and cyclomethicone are common examples of silicone-based ingredients.
If you find it difficult to tell whether or not a CC cream has silicone-based ingredients, a good way to tell is to check the texture. CC creams with silicone-based ingredients often have a loose, milky texture that spreads easily. Another way to check is to read reviews online!
When your skin becomes dried out, your moisture and oil levels get unbalanced, which can result in problems such as rough skin, dullness, and smudged makeup.
In order to prevent this from happening, look for moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, collagen, squalane, amino acids like arginine, glycine, and serine, as well as glycerin, BG, DPG, and PCA.
Note that ingredients are listed in order of concentration, with the exception of quasi-drugs, so pay attention to where the ingredients appear in an ingredients list.
Organic products and products formulated for sensitive skin tend to be relatively high in moisturizing ingredients. In particular, plant-based oils are great for those who are concerned about dryness, since the oil isn't as sticky yet blends and adheres well to the skin.
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Fasio CC Liquid Touch Proof
The Best CC Cream for Dewy Skin With Great Durability
Tokiwa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Keana Putty Shokunin Mineral CC Cream Enrich Moist
Best for Pore Coverage With a Moderately Dewy Finish
Premium CC Amino Cream
Durable and Brightening With Only a Thin Layer
Esprique CC Base Moist
A Well-Balanced CC Cream That Covers Pores Perfectly Even With a Thin Layer
P&G Prestige G.K.
SK-II Atmosphere CC Cream
A CC Cream That Offers Natural-Looking Coverage
CC Perfect Cream Base
A CC Cream With a Smooth and Moisturizing Texture
Sugao Air Fit CC Cream Smooth
An Unusual Semi-matte Finish That’s Great for Those With Oily Skin
Sekkisei White CC Cream
Natural-Looking Finish With a Moist Feel
MAQuillAge Peach Change Base CC
A Versatile CC Cream With a Pearly Finish
Kate Secret Skin CC Base Zero
Easy to Use, but the Color Might Not Work for Everyone
Kosé's Fasio CC Liquid Touch Proof is part of the manufacturer's line of highly-functional cosmetics. While its moisture retention was somewhat average, this CC cream really shone in terms of durability, allowing you to use it without worrying about ruining it from sweat and sebum.
The texture of this CC cream is light, smooth, and easy to spread, resulting in a natural, dewy-looking skin. This product goes on lightly, but it offers great coverage brightening the skin while concealing pores and dullness.
Tokiwa Pharmaceutical's Keana Putty Shokunin's CC Cream is formulated for pore coverage, and it indeed does a great job of covering pores with a dewy finish. (Quick Note: Keana means pore in Japanese.) However, since it has high coverage, it's best to only apply a thin layer to prevent it from looking caked-on.
The texture is thick and rich yet easy to spread. The cream didn't feel particularly sticky and felt dry on the skin once applied. This product earned a full score in our durability test, so we expect it to last for a long time. This is a great CC cream for those who want high coverage.
Ettusais is a cosmetics brand that places heavy emphasis on plant extracts in their products to the point where it operates its own plant farm. Its Premium CC Amino Cream has a watery texture that blends easily into the skin, evening out your skin tone naturally.
This product earned a great score in the finish and durability tests. The cream didn't smudge much even after we sprayed it with artificial sweat, so we think it's great for those with oily skin.
Kosé's Esprique lineup is developed with the goal of letting people have fun with their daily makeup. Its Esprique CC Base Moist perfomed better than average on all tests, proving that it's a well-balanced product.
Its soft texture made it easy to blend into the skin, and even though it applies very lightly, it was enough to neatly conceal pores. We also liked how it adds a subtle glow. While the product does have a faint perfume-like scent, we weren't too bothered by it.
SK-II is known for its popular skincare products. Its CC creams blends into the skin well, adding clarity while offering great coverage, earning it a full score in the finish test with its natural and dewy-looking finish.
The non-sticky texture is very easy to spread, and adheres excellently to the skin. While its durability was average, its moisture retention wasn't as high as we would have liked it to be. If you plan on using this CC cream, we recommend you thoroughly conduct your skincare routine beforehand and moisturize well.
Dr. Ci:Labo's CC Perfect Cream Base has a silky-smooth and non-sticky texture that makes it easy to spread.
This CC cream brightens the skin with a white undertone, making it best for those who want to brighten up their appearance. It earned a full score in our moisture retention test, making it perfect for those who want a moisturizing CC cream. It also earned above-average durability, making it an overall great product to use.
Rohto Pharmaceutical's Sugao line of products is formulated for highlighting your natural skin. Its Sugao Air Fit CC Cream Smooth covers pores well while leaving a slight glow on the skin. The finish is a marshmallow-like semi-matte.
The whipped cream-like texture is light, smooth, and not very sticky. However, it didn't spread particularly well, so we felt that we ended up with a somewhat uneven finish. While it also wasn't the greatest in terms of moisture retention, it did have high durability, making it great for those with oily skin who want a smooth, non-sticky feel.
Kosé's Sekkisei White CC Cream is part of the brand's popular Sekkisei line of skincare products. It brightens and accentuates the skin naturally. The cream is easy to blend in and feels light and is almost transparent.
It hada. fairly decent moisture retention. The cream is formulated with a relatively high amount of oil, giving it a texture that spreads well and adds a moist feel to the skin. However, it wasn't the most durable, so you might want to avoid using it in situations where you're likely sweat, like in summer.
Shiseido's MAQuillAge Peach Change Base CC has a pearly sheen to it. When applied, the color of the cream changes into a light pinkish hue. The texture of the cream made it that it's very easy to spread while neatly covering pores, giving the skin a dewy look.
It had just below average moisture retention, so those with dry skin might find it to be lacking in that regard. On the other hand, it performed well in our durability test as it didn't get smudged too much even after we sprayed it with artificial sweat.
Kanebo Cosmetics' Kate lineup is a popular brand that offers a wide range of cosmetic products. Its Secret Skin CC Base Zero is easy to spread with a non-sticky texture, which most will likely appreciate. The finish was above average, but the shade of this product might be too light for some, making it harder to create a natural-looking appearance.
Using too much of this product can result in an uneven finish, so we recommend using a small amount and spread it thoroughly and evenly. In terms of its functionality, there were no major flaws, so if this product matches your skin tone, it'll be a great, easy-to-use CC cream.
We gathered the best-selling CC creams from popular e-commerce sites in Japan like Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping, and @cosme Shopping and tested them all.
We tested each product for each of the following:
First off, we tested the finish of each product. We asked professional hair and makeup artist Rika Fujiwara to apply a set amount of CC cream on Japanese testers.
We had her check for the following points:
We found out that all highly-rated products had a good balance of oil and water, resulting in a light texture.
These products delivered a natural sheen and made the skin look like it had been freshly moisturized. While only a very thin coat of CC cream was applied, they managed to create flawless, dewy-looking skin.
On the other hand, CC cream with a heavier, thick texture resulted in a matte finish, making the skin look unnatural, earning lower scores.
Next, we tested to see how resistant each CC cream was to smudging.
We first applied each CC cream to synthetic leather. After waiting for a set amount of time, we sprayed artificial sweat, made from a mixture of horse oil and water, in order to check how well each CC cream repelled water. The CC creams were given a score ranging from 1.0 to 5.0, with CC creams that were hardly unchanged after the artificial sweat was applied earning a higher score.
While CC creams that have a matte finish got lower scores in the finish test, they actually earned high scores in the durability test.
All the products that scored well in this test claimed to be smudge, sebum, and sweat-resistant products. We found that most of these products had silicone-based ingredients at the top of their ingredients lists.
If you're looking for a durable CC cream, check for these ingredients, since silicone-based ingredients create a film on the skin, which is why they're so durable.
Next, we tested how resistant each CC cream was to drying out. Dryness can cause your makeup to smudge, so it's important to choose a product that will keep your skin hydrated.
We applied CC cream on pieces of mochi rice cakes, all cut to a standard size, and left it on for four hours. We then visually checked to see how much the surface of the mochi had dried out, and graded the results on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0. CC creams that were able to keep the mochi cakes from drying out were given a higher score.
High rated products had a moist texture and feel in the test to see resistance to dryness. Many oil-based and moisturizer ingredients were seen in those products' ingredient list.
CC creams at the top of the ranking tend to be mineral, organic and for sensitive skin, so look for a product which claims to be gentle to the skin, if you want one with a moist feel.
In our moisture retention test, we found that products that earned high scores all had a texture that felt moist and hydrating. When looking at the ingredients list, this translated to products that had a high concentration of oils and moisturizing ingredients.
In particular, many of the top-scoring products were mineral-based, organic, or formulated for sensitive skin. If you want to prioritize moisture retention, then consider choosing a product that is gentle on the skin.
Since CC creams are products that can be used on a daily basis, in addition to their functionality, we also tested them for how they felt to use.
We gathered five Japanese members from our editorial team and had them check each product's fragrance, stickiness, and how convenient each container was to use. For the sake of fairness, we calculated each of our tester's average scores for each product in order to create a final score, ranging from 1.0 to 5.0.
We found that products that earned a high score in the finish test also tended to earn high scores in the feel test as well.
Our testers were particularly fond of CC creams with a smooth, milky texture. Many of our testers even commented that these products almost felt like they weren't wearing anything at all!
On the other hand, products that didn't fare well were products that were formulated for more coverage. While these products do indeed do well at covering up blemishes and other concerns, they tend to feel heavier, which our testers weren't fond of.
CC cream not only covers up fine lines, dullness, pigmentation, and pores, but also makes your face a shade brighter. It can also function as skincare, hydrating your skin, protecting it from the sun, and controlling oil. It’s pretty much perfect for daily use as an ultra-lightweight foundation.
Of course, CC cream is mainly used as a primer and color corrector, so many of them don’t provide much coverage. If you have stubborn pigmentation, then try the cream along with a good foundation and concealer.
If you’re looking to save time, nothing beats a BB cream. It contains all your base makeup in one tube. We also had a chance to purchase and test all of Japan’s best-selling BB creams; you can visit the article by clicking below. Plus, check out some of our other links below for the ultimate coverage—foundation.
No. 1: Kosé | Fasio CC Liquid Touch Proof
No. 2: Tokiwa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. | Keana Putty Shokunin Mineral CC Cream Enrich Moist
No. 3: ettusais Co.,Ltd. | Premium CC Amino Cream
No. 4: Kosé | Esprique CC Base Moist
No. 5: P&G Prestige G.K. | SK-II Atmosphere CC Cream
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