What’s The Difference Between BB, CC, And DD Creams?

A deeper understanding of these products will help you decide what is best for your skin.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD Dr. Vindhya L Veerula Dr. Vindhya L VeerulaMD, FAAD facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Editor Ramona Sinha Editor Experience: 11 years
Edited by , Associate Editor Anjali Sayee Associate Editor Experience: 7 years
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BB, CC, and DD – these abbreviations have been making the rounds in the beauty industry for some time now. If you have just started your skin care and makeup journey, it is easy to get bewildered and lost in translating the meaning of BB, CC, and DD creams. The difference between BB, CC, and DD creams is subtle, and that is why they appear almost the same to us. Don’t worry. We are here to help you stay on track with these beauty trends. We will tell you which one is the best for your skin, what they can do for you, and how to incorporate them in your beauty routine. This article gives you a complete breakdown of the K-beauty abbreviations, their difference, benefits, and a proper guide to using the products. Keep reading to learn more.

BB Cream

Image: Shutterstock

What Is It?

BB stands for Beauty Balm. It gained popularity in Korea and became a global beauty buzzword within a short time – and that too for all good reasons.

What Does It Do?

BB creams are very light cosmetics, offering just a little more coverage than your usual tinted moisturizers. They keep your skin hydrated, contain SPF, and also offer shine control. This, however, depends on the brand and the formula you are using. BB creams provide light to medium coverage. Compared to CC and DD creams, BB creams give the least coverage. Hence, they are most suitable for younger skin that needs just a bit of pick-me-up.

BB creams containing hyaluronic acid are also good for your skin. They moisturize your skin, increase the skin’s moisture-retention capacity, and give you that gorgeous naturally dewy appearance (1). The sun protection they provide is also a plus (2).

Nina Ubhi, a YouTuber, emphasized the dual purpose of BB cream—providing skincare benefits while offering sufficient coverage. She says, “I use BB cream when I want something that’s really going to be looking after my skin and also gives me great coverage (i).” Nina tries to achieve a balance between skincare and makeup by incorporating a BB cream into her routine, making it an ideal choice for days when both aspects are a priority.

How’s The Texture?

It has a creamy and moisturizer-like texture.

Suitable For?

BB creams suit all skin types. You will get BB creams that are specially formulated to match the needs of specific skin types. These creams are good for young and tender skin but not for mature skin.

How To Use BB Creams

Squeeze a pea-sized amount of BB cream on your beauty blender or brush and blend it well on your skin. You can use your fingers too, but make sure to blend well, or you will end up with harsh lines. You may leave it just like that or dab a bit of translucent powder or your daily compact over it. Follow up with a sunscreen during the day.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also mix BB cream with a foundation for a smoother and non-cakey appearance.

After applying BB cream, if you feel that you need more coverage, you may apply concealer. But if this is the case, it’s time to move from BB to CC cream (which I have discussed in the next section).

If your skin demands more than just a daily pick-me-up, and if you need more than just sheer coverage, CC cream is for you.

CC Cream

Color correcting cream
Image: Shutterstock

What Is It?

CC stands for Color Correcting. It is mostly used as a complexion corrector cream.

What Does It Do?

A CC cream provides more coverage than a BB cream and hides all your facial imperfections, such as redness and dark spots. This cream is specially formulated for mature and aging skin that needs more coverage to even out the face. So, instead of using a separate color corrector with your foundation, you can use a CC cream for both color correction and coverage. You can use a CC cream alone or underneath your foundation. It offers sun protection and also brightens your complexion.

Additionally, CC creams have the ability to even out the skin tone and conceal any redness or uneven patches, including acne scars on the face. They offer impressive coverage while still delivering a very natural look. Many CC creams also contain other ingredients for their skin benefits, such as antioxidants that protect your skin from damage and enhance its texture over time.

Nina also disclosed the instances when she opted for CC cream in her video. She adds, “I would say a CC cream is great if you want something that is very close to your skin color.” She highlighted that it excels in providing hydration and is rich in potent ingredients beneficial for the skin that are more potent than those typically found in a traditional foundation.

How’s The Texture?

It is lightweight and is absorbed quickly.

Suitable For?

CC creams are suitable for oily skin types. However, people with normal and combination skin can also use it.

How To Use CC Creams

Once you have cleansed and moisturized your face, use a beauty blender or your fingers to draw dots on your face with your CC cream. Blend it well in a circular motion. The amount of CC cream you use depends on the coverage you need.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you do not find the exact shade of your skin, you may go for a darker shade as it will cover the imperfections and blend well with the skin.

If you want your cream to have brightening as well as anti-aging effects, DD cream is perfect for you.

DD Cream

Overview of dd cream
Image: Shutterstock

What Is It?

DD stands for Daily Defense or Dynamic Do-All. DD cream is lighter than both CC and BB creams. It is good for mature and dry skin.

What Does It Do?

DD cream is designed to prime, perfect, and protect your skin – all at once. It provides the protecting properties of a BB cream and the color correcting and blemish control properties of a CC cream. It has SPF, and it prevents moisture loss and evens out your skin tone. DD cream has anti-aging ingredients and focuses on strengthening the defense of your skin.

How’s The Texture?

The texture of a DD cream is creamy and moisturizer-like, similar to that of a BB cream.

Suitable For?

Since DD creams have anti-aging properties and help in fighting fine lines and signs of aging, they are most suitable for those who have very mature skin and are seeking an anti-aging solution. They are also ideal for dry and moderately mature skin.

How To Use DD Creams

You can use a DD cream as a primer or your base makeup. You can also use it as a moisturizer. A light layer of DD cream is enough to hide your skin imperfections.

Infographic: Differences Between BB, CC, And DD Creams

Everyone is aware of products like BB, CC, and DD creams. While you may have some basic knowledge of them and their usage, how do you decide which one is ideal for your skin type? We have cleared your doubts in the infographic below. Go ahead and check it out!

differences between bb, cc, and dd creams (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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It is important to know the difference between BB, CC, and DD creams before you decide to purchase one of them. They may all seem like similar beauty products, but they are different in many ways. BB creams are lighter and are used to offer a fresh and natural look for younger skin. CC creams are more suitable for covering dark spots and redness, and for brightening mature and oily skin. Lastly, DD creams are more suitable for mature and dry skin and provide hydration and protection from the sun’s rays. Now that you know the difference between the three creams, pick the one suitable for your skin type.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use CC cream instead of foundation?

No, a CC cream doesn’t come in as many shades nor provides as much coverage as a foundation. You can use it as it is or as a base for the foundation instead.

Is DD cream good for daily use?

Yes, you can use DD cream every day to help reduce the signs of mature, aging skin.

How do I find the right shade of BB cream?

You need to select the one that best suits your skin tone. A shade too light would make you look ashy, while a deeper shade would make you look dull.

Is BB cream good for daily use?

Yes, you can use BB cream every day as part of your daily skincare routine to keep your skin smooth, protected, and well- moisturized.

Does BB cream need primer?

No, you need not use a primer with BB cream as it would block the moisturizing effects of the BB cream.

Key Takeaways

  • BB, CC, and DD creams belong to the same category but are used for widely different purposes.
  • BB creams are tinted moisturizers with light coverage, hydration, and sun protection.
  • CC creams offer better coverage than BB creams and help even the skin tone with color correction.
  • DD creams are the latest addition and offer the maximum coverage with higher SPF.

Learn the difference between BB, CC, and DD creams! Watch this video and find out which one is best for your skin type and how to use them for a flawless complexion.

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Advantages of Hyaluronic Acid and Its Combination with Other Bioactive Ingredients in Cosmeceuticals
  2. Hyaluronic acid/tannic acid hydrogel sunscreen with excellent anti-UV, antioxidant, and cooling effects
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