The Difference Between BB, CC and DD Creams

Curious about the new correcting creams? We can help. Here's how to tell the difference between CC, BB, and DD creams

Learn the difference between the creams: CC, BB, and DD

Walk down any beauty aisle and you’ll likely find yourself lost in a sea of alphabet-coded products which sound like a mixture of bra sizes and vitamins: BB, CC, and DD creams. Just what are these concoctions, what’s up with the letters, and which one should I chose? And is there an EE cream on the horizon?

Let’s investigate these mysterious creations and decode their cryptic abbreviations, to help you determine which (if any!) is right for you.

Similarities of BB, CC, and DD Creams

Generally, all products with a double-letter in their name – such as BB – are a form of tinted moisturizer. The goal of tinted moisturizer is to provide hydration to your face, while adding just a touch of color.

And turns out, those of us who thought these creams were just a part of the new K-beauty craze are mistaken! The origins of BB cream can actually be traced back to 1950’s Germany, where the product was invented to soothe post-surgery skin. However, it wasn’t until the rise of BB’s popularity in contemporary Asia — South Korea, followed by Taiwan, Japan, and China, that the cream began to expand westward to the United States.

With the rise in their popularity, so also did product launches and marketing claims, with brands touting different benefits of their cream over others. And with the ever-changing product benefits, so came about the various sub-sects of these glorified tinted moisturizes, leading to advancing letters of the alphabet.

What is BB Cream?

BB stands for “beauty balm” and was the original buzzworthy letter, quickly gaining popularity as it spread globally from Korea. BB creams offer light to medium coverage, which is slightly more than tinted moisturizers, and provide SPF protection without the shine.

Due to their sheer coverage, BB creams are best suited for younger skin or those without blemishes or wrinkles who just need a bit of brightening up. If you find its coverage is not sufficient for your skin concerns, you’ll likely want to opt for a CC cream over a BB.

What is CC Cream?

CC stands for “color correcting” and, as the name implies, is designed to correct any imperfections such as redness and blemishes. CC cream is also great for mature skin as its thicker formula helps even out the complexion and disguise signs of aging when you use them correctly.

Besides color correcting facial imperfections, CC cream also brightens, provides SPF protection, and light moisturization which is suitable for all skin types. However, if you find that your skin requires a heavier moisturizer or you’d like to combat the signs of aging instead of just covering them up, you should move on to DD creams, or combine it with a good foundation.

What is DD Cream?

DD stands for “daily defense” and this cream is designed to work as a primer, cover flaws, and protect against future damage. DD cream provides the moisturization of a BB cream with the color correcting of a CC cream and offers additional anti-aging ingredients that work to strengthen skin.

Those with mature skin or fine lines and wrinkles will want to opt for a DD cream, both for its level of coverage as well as its anti-aging properties.

Due to its creamy, moisturizing texture, DD creams are best for dry skin, as those with oily complexions will likely find it a bit too heavy.

Are There EE Creams?

While the differences between these three products are pretty apparent and they all hold their rightful places in the beauty aisle, cosmetics companies are becoming overly alphabet crazed with their latest attempts to coin EE creams.

There are a couple of different suggested meanings for EE creams. First, we’ve got “extra exfoliation”, marketing the EE as a skincare only product instead of a 2-in-1 cosmetic. Another suggested meaning for EE was “even effect”, marketed by Estee Lauder, however this product appears to offer no real additional benefits to the BB, CC, and DD’s already in existence.

For now, you’re best off sticking with a BB, CC, or DD cream based on your unique skin tone and texture, as a viable EE cream solution does not appear to be making its way to the beauty counter any time soon. However, companies are always releasing new products so stay tuned as the next big craze may be fast approaching.

Resources — Cosmetics Design, Stylecraze, Glowsly

Share this article