Although I love the ability makeup gives me to completely transform my appearance, I've found that I don't love the way product weighs on my skin. I've fallen into the trap of trendy foundations time and again, and while they may provide me with an ample amount of coverage, my skin ends up feeling strangled. Through trial and error (and a career in the fashion space as a beauty editor), I've since discovered a love for CC cream. By the end of this, I hope I can inspire you to give them a try. Believe me—once you get hooked on these, you won't give your foundation and concealer a second glance.
What Is CC Cream?
According to veteran makeup artist Laura Geller, CC cream can be used in place of traditional foundations, as they have more skincare benefits. While many CC creams are incredibly hydrating, there are others that are formulated with SPF to further protect the skin from environmental aggressors. To use, try applying the product to the face with your fingers, blending outward and upward to even the complexion.
"Ideally, it's going to give me light coverage and color-correct any discoloration while also serving as a moisturizer," says Geller. "Less is more as we age, so this is a great substitute for foundation on those no-makeup makeup days. Also, the moisturizing ingredients in your CC cream will ensure it won't crease, crack, or settle into any fine lines or wrinkles." Geller, whose namesake brand was founded on inclusivity across products and marketing, looks for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate in the CC creams she uses on her clients. What's more, the brand released an ultra-hydrating foundation that, in essence, works as a CC cream on all skin types but is especially great on mature skin. Yes, they're that easy to use!
Ready to see which ones makeup artists and beauty editors can't get enough of? Keep scrolling!
Best Overall: BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30
This Tinted Moisturizer by BareMinerals works as a CC cream and foundation while providing buildable coverage and protection against environmental aggressors and UV rays.
Customer review: "Went into the store looking for a lightweight product that would make my skin not look dull or dry after I put it on. This is perfect! It feels great, is not too heavy for my liking and the color that was matched for me is spot on. Really glad this product was suggested to me. If you're into a natural glow, that feels great and stays put, this is the way to go."
Pro: Evens the complexion
Con: Leaves a slightly oily finish
Laura Geller loves her brand's Hydrating Foundation. According to her, "it's really a CC cream." Within its formula, Quench-n-Tint possesses tons of skin-loving ingredients for healthy and vibrant skin.
Customer review: "I'm 52 and have been looking for that perfect makeup that won't make me look older. It’s light and creamy and feels good on my skin. No settling in lines and gives a really nice natural look. I’ve spent way too much money on foundations and this is definitely the winner!"
Pro: Does not settle into fine lines or wrinkles
Pur's best-selling multitasking product serves as a moisturizer, foundation, primer, and SPF while offering buildable coverage and skincare benefits.
Customer review: "Been using it for a couple of years now and just cant find anything better. Its light coverage that looks so natural. I use an SPF under it so I don't have to apply that large amount to get the 20 SPF protection. Its def on my re-order list every time."
Pro: Provides a sheer, dewy finish
Are you looking to add moisture to your skincare routine but not sure where to start? Clinique's Moisture Surge CC Cream brings on the hydration with all-day coverage.
Customer review: "It feels like I am wearing nothing all day and covers my pores without looking cake-y or wearing out after a few hours. Great for sun protection too. I've worn this since it launched and tried other CC creams but this one is the only one that corrects large pores."
Pro: Moisturizes and protects the skin
Con: Limited shade availability
Acne-Prone + Oily
The Camo CC Cream is infused with hydrating and skin health–boosting ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides, and collagen, to improve skin texture and tone. It's also formulated with SPF 30 for protection against sun damage.
Customer review: "Works perfectly on my combination skin. I'm also highly allergic to most foundations and this doesn't bother my skin. Not the most smudge-proof but in general does a great job. Love the SPF."
Pro: Buildable medium-full coverage
Con: Sticky consistency
Lessen the appearance of red tones on the skin with the help of It Cosmetics' full-coverage CC cream. Available in a huge array of shades, the product color-corrects and camouflages skin concerns like acne scars, dark circles, and uneven tones.
Customer review: "I really like this It foundation because it has good coverage and high SPF. This foundation goes on my skin smoothly and it is able to cover my large pores, dark circles under eyes without looking fake. My skin looks healthy and dewy all day. I will continue using this foundation."
Pro: Lightweight, easy-to-blend formula
Drugstore Price Point
Finding the perfect CC cream doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Neutrogena's Matte CC Cream is offered in 34 natural-looking shades with flawless matte coverage for just $8.
Customer review: "The Neutrogena Clear Coverage Matte CC Cream provides very even coverage and leaves a smooth matte finish. This evens out redness and imperfections pretty well. The formula is oil, fragrance, paraben, and phthalate-free, so perfect for sensitive skin. Overall, a good quality corrective makeup."
Pro: Long-lasting, smooth coverage
Harmful UV rays have met their match with Dermablend's Continuous Correction CC Cream featuring SPF 50. Its noncomedogenic formula provides skin tone coverage that's weightless and breathable with up to 24 hours of wear.
Customer review: "I was looking for a full coverage cc cream/foundation with SPF that was also noncomedogenic. This ticks all the boxes. It's super lightweight, high coverage for my acne scars, has high SPF, and doesn't irritate my extremely sensitive skin. I love this product, if you're on the fence I'd definitely say to try it."
Pro: Noncomedogenic formula