It’s nice to have a full coverage foundation for that flawless finish, but it can be too heavy for people with oily skin. An excellent alternative is CC cream, which has a lighter formula. It comes in with light to full coverage, packed with skincare ingredients and SPF for sun protection. It’s a quick way to get coverage and protection when you’re always out and about.
To help you pick the right CC cream, we put together a list of our favorite products. We choose It Cosmetics' CC+ Cream for its oil-free, mattifying, and protecting formula for our number one pick. It is made with collagen and peptides that are beneficial and nourishing to the skin. Check out the rest of our favorites and the buying guide reviewed by a professional makeup artist that we prepared for more tips and information on picking the right one.
Natalya is a professional makeup artist based in Los Angeles and has been trying new products to find what is best for each individual's skin tone and type. She is self-taught but wanted to further her education, and she went to a makeup school in Los Angeles to learn the ins and outs of makeup. She has tried many makeup brands and products and can proudly say she has found some of the best and longest-wearing products. As a freelance makeup artist, she wants her clients not to worry about their makeup not lasting as long as they need it to.
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.
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Table of Contents
CC cream is short for color correcting cream or complexion corrector cream. It is a multipurpose product that works as a sunscreen, foundation and moisturizer in one product. On top of that, it also helps color correct your skin.
It is very similar to BB, or beauty balm, but BB creams usually have a heavier texture and provide more coverage. BB creams usually have enough coverage and they can be used as a base like a foundation.
As the name suggests, CC cream helps correct and neutralize discoloration like redness, dark circles, scarring, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation. In addition, it can come with colored pigments like green to help correct redness.
CC creams usually come with many beneficial ingredients for anti-aging, hydration, and sun protection. So, you can use CC creams for days where you want natural-looking coverage that still protects and nourishes your face. Plus, they work well as a color-correcting primer underneath your foundation for extra coverage.
These are great for oily and acne-prone skin because of their mattifying formula. They also have a lightweight texture that is less likely to clog your pores and cause breakouts.
With a ton of CC creams to choose from, picking the right one can be overwhelming. So, to help you, we prepared this buying guide with tips and information!
A powder finish will help soak up shine and oils throughout the day. It can be hard to find CC powders, so you can opt for CC creams that have a mattifying and oil-free formula. If a CC cream has oils, make sure that they are at the bottom of the ingredients list. You can also try looking for water-based ones that are lighter on the skin, will let it breathe, and won’t clog your pores.
Additionally, you should also consider the CC cream’s coverage. CC creams usually range from light to medium coverage, and these are great for a subtle and natural look. You can also find ones that are full coverage for a full makeup look.
Aside from the CC cream’s main formula, it would help if you also looked for ingredients that can help with oily skin concerns like excess sebum production, breakouts, and clogging of pores.
The number one problem with oily skin is excess sebum production. Sebum is good, but not when you have too much of it. That can lead to greasy skin and breakouts. To avoid this, look out for helpful oils and antioxidants.
You should know that not all oils need to be avoided; some are good for oily skin. Some of these oils include jojoba, tea tree, and marula, which are light and easy on oily skin. These oils can also help regulate sebum production while keeping your skin hydrated and nourished.
It is important to keep your face hydrated and moisturized without clogging your pores. In fact, over-drying the skin can actually lead to more oil production. Therefore, you want to go for moisturizers that are light, non-greasy, and will help keep your face moisturized throughout the day.
Some ingredients that will help you do that are hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and aloe vera. These ingredients are lightweight, non-greasy, and will lock in moisture without clogging your pores.
Additionally, CC creams with retinoids are great because retinoids can help reduce oil production. They also help with brightening your skin and have anti-aging effects too. They help thicken the top layer of the skin to help minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
Make sure you're washing your face regularly to control excess sebum. Before applying any makeup to your face, make sure your skin is washed, toned, moisturized, and dry. Oily skin can overproduce sebum due to imbalances such as hormonal, heat, puberty, and exercise.
To prevent over oily skin during the day when wearing makeup, pack blotting papers or a makeup sponge to absorb that excess oil. Make sure you're treating your skin with the best products and ingredients to help the excess sebum production from ruining your makeup look.
Another problem you might have with oily skin is acne. If you break out a lot or have acne-prone skin, it's helpful to look for anti-inflammatory ingredients like tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties for breakouts, and it can also lighten acne scars.
Besides tea tree oil, other anti-inflammatory ingredients you can find in CC creams are green tea extract, grapeseed oil, calendula extract, and vitamin C. These ingredients are known to reduce blemishes, scarring, inflammation, and redness and can also help clear your clogged pores.
As well as the anti-inflammatory ingredients mentioned above, other ingredients that can help with acne are colloidal clay and salicylic acid. Colloidal clays like bentonite absorb excess oil to unclog pores and prevent acne, while salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, can exfoliate the skin and keep your pores clear.
Salicylic acid treats acne by unblocking the pores, and this allows the pimples to shrink. It cleans out your pores from dirt, sebum and oil that can, later on, lead to blackheads and whiteheads, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and redness. This ingredient is safe to use regularly without drying your skin out.
You can also find antioxidants in some CC creams. Antioxidants can usually be found in vegetables and fruits, and include naturally-occurring vitamins like vitamins A, C, and E. These ingredients you can find in some CC creams can protect your skin against free radicals.
Antioxidants have many benefits for the skin. They can help reduce and manage signs of aging like wrinkles, loose skin, and fine lines. They can also help lighten acne marks, blemishes, and sun damage like hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Additionally, they can help your skin produce more collagen.
Some antioxidants you can keep an eye out for are green tea, niacinamide, and zinc, which can help reduce oil production. These antioxidants can also help revitalize and moisturize your skin.
While there are ingredients you want in your CC cream, there are also some you should stay away from. Avoid butter and oil-based ones like shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil, and coconut oil.
These do wonderful things to nourish some people’s skin, but they are not the best for oily skin. They can clog pores, trigger breakouts, weigh your skin down, and make it oilier. So, you should consider looking out for non-comedogenic or oil-free products.
You should also try and avoid CC creams with high percentages of alcohol and fragrances. Make sure to go through the ingredients list to make sure they do not contain too many. These can cause irritation and dryness, which can cause excess sebum production and can lead to more breakouts.
You can also opt for CC creams that include SPF. This way, you can have coverage and protection without making it too heavy on your oily skin. It would be best to choose the SPF according to your activity for the day or how much protection you need.
Some CC creams have only SPF 10, which might require you to put a separate sunscreen because SPF 15 is the recommended amount for everyday use. So, it might be better to choose ones with SPF 15 up to 50 if you don’t want to bother with extra sunscreen.
CC cream is the best option to pick on days you know you'll be at the beach all day or outside for long hours. You don't necessarily need makeup on a beach day, but there are those days when a little makeup makes you feel much better.
For days you are going to be outside, why not add a CC cream as your foundation? It's beneficial to your skin and acts the same as a regular foundation, but better. It can treat your skin for the best and protect it from the sun's harmful rays. If you apply makeup every day, it might as well be a product that is healthy and better for your skin in the long run.
When choosing the right CC cream shade for you, you want to select the shade closest to your skin tone when it's first applied. This is important because it is fairly opaque and doesn't oxidize, unlike foundations that can turn a shade or two darker after some time.
You also have to take your undertone into account. Checking the color of your veins is a great way to determine your undertone. For example, blue or purple veins mean you have a cool undertone, while green leans towards warm. If you find your veins are neither or in between the two, you have a neutral undertone.
If you have a cool undertone, go for CC creams with pink undertones and avoid golden ones. For warm undertones, yellow or golden undertones will work well for you, while neutral undertones will look great with CC creams that are on the peachier side.
Since CC creams help neutralize your complexion, you can also opt for products formulated with green pigment to help correct redness on your face, like pimples, acne scars, or rosacea. Orange or pink shades can also help conceal uneven undertones and dark circles.
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CC+ Oil-Free Matte
Best CC Cream for Acne-Prone Skin
Buildable Blur CC Cream
Best CC Cream for Large Pores
Best CC Cream for Combination Skin
Best CC Cream for Textured Skin
Continuous Correction CC Cream
Best Full Coverage CC Cream
Best Tone-Adjusting CC Cream
Best Brightening CC Cream With Satin Finish
CCC Cream Foundation
Best CC Cream With SPF 50
This CC Cream is infused with anti-inflammatory tea tree oil to calm acne-prone skin. The product also contains collagen and hyaluronic acid, which are hydrating and anti-aging, plus a broad spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen. Charcoal and clay work to absorb oils and control shine.
Although a few reviewers complained that the CC cream had a cakey finish and settled in fine lines, many loved how long-lasting it was and how easy it was to blend. They also liked that it had great coverage and helped control shine.
This lightweight and buildable CC cream has light to full coverage and SPF 35 for sun protection. It is made with vitamin C, an antioxidant that minimizes pores, boosts collagen production, and reduces dark spots and blemishes, and flaxseed, which as anti-inflammatory properties.
Some reviewers said that it was a bit too sticky and hard to blend. Despite these comments, most reviewers said a little goes a long way with the product. They also liked how the cream mattified their face without drying it out.
This CC cream is best for people with a combination of dry and oily skin. The product is infused with light moisturizers like squalane and glycerin to help hydrate dry areas on the face. It also contains aloe vera water and caffeine, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help control oil.
Some reviewers found the formula too thick for their liking. Despite this, buyers with oily skin praised the CC cream because it was comfortable to wear and had good coverage that lasted throughout the day. They also loved that the cream didn't emphasize their pores and fine lines.
This CC cream has a natural coverage and shades that will adjust to your skin color. It is packed with ingredients like honey, bee propolis, and squalene, which moisturize and smooth the skin texture. It also contains anti-aging ingredients like vitamin E and amino acids that reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Some reviewers did not like the CC cream's thick consistency. Still, a vast majority of them loved that it evened out their skin tone well and that it lasted the whole day. They also liked how easy it was to apply and how the shades matched their skin tone well.
This full-coverage CC cream will mask any redness, veins, brown spots and age spots you might have on your face. It is formulated with lightly hydrating and nourishing ingredients like niacinamide, baicalin, vitamin E, and caffeine that will keep your face hydrated without making it even more oily.
A couple of reviewers found it too thick and cakey. But the majority said that this CC cream lasted all day without creasing or needing to re-apply. They also liked that it was easy to put on and had good coverage but didn't leave them oily. A few even used it to conceal tattoos.
The cream has a unique formula that is initially white and will color-adjust to your skin tone after applying. It can help correct redness, even out skin tone, and blur out acne scars. Additionally, it will also protect your face from the sun with SPF 25, and hydrate your skin with gotu kola.
However, some reviewers mentioned that the cream turned muddy and was a bit orange on light skin. Overall, many reviewers loved how lightweight and hydrating it was. They also liked that the CC cream gave them a healthy glow.
If you are dealing with stubborn acne, dark marks, and blemishes on top of oily skin, you should opt for this CC cream. It contains ingredients like vitamin C, which is excellent for fighting inflammation due to acne and brightening. Hyaluronic acid gives you hydration and sea buckthorn regulates oil.
Some people with more mature skin said it settled in their fine lines and wrinkles. Even so, more reviewers noted that the product had great coverage and made their skin look smooth. Many also said the CC cream was light and comfortable on the skin.
This CC cream has a tone-adjusting formula and contains broad-spectrum SPF 50 for sun protection. It is formulated with niacinamide to hydrate your skin, and provides buildable, sheer to medium coverage.
There were a few buyers who said that the cream had a sticky consistency. Still, most said that the CC cream left their skin glowing. They also said it was lightweight and had great coverage for everyday use.
Besides reviewing and commenting on our buying guide, Natalya also took the time to answer a couple of commonly asked questions about CC creams.
Natalya says, "Make sure you have a clean face before applying any makeup. Prep the skin with either a moisturizer or a hydrating primer. The CC cream acts as a primer but can last a bit longer if there is a prep stage. Apply CC cream in small amounts with a beauty blender or a foundation brush.
Fill in needed areas starting with the forehead, the cheeks, chin and nose. Blend the product over the face with a sponge or fluffy foundation brush and make sure there is an even coverage. If you need more coverage in certain spots, apply more cream to hide blemishes, dark spots, or dark circles. If the CC cream is not covering the trouble areas, go in with a concealer."
"A CC cream corrects color and acts as a foundation but with more added moisture and SPF," Natalya explains. "Foundation is a heavier product with great coverage, but it doesn't have as many skincare ingredients.
If you want a natural base with enough coverage to cover dark spots, dark circles, or blemishes, reach for a CC cream. It has calming ingredients that won't make you break out or clog pores, but it still evens out redness, provides smoothness, and gives you a natural and healthy glow.
On the other hand, a foundation is a traditional option for a full coverage look. A regular foundation may be harder on oily or acne-prone skin types, causing you to break out or have a greasy look."
Here are some other products you can try to complete the look you want and keep that oily shine at bay. Whether you’re going for a natural or full glam look, you’ll find the right products for you.
If you're still a little unsure about which CC cream to choose, check out Amazon's best-selling CC creams for more inspiration and information. But, keep in mind that not all of these are suitable for oily skin.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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