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What exactly is the difference between BB and CC?



How does your makeup routine go? If you’re a Korean woman, you probably have a minimum 5 steps (cleansing-toning-moisturizing-wrinkle/eye/sun care-base), and I’m only talking about skincare here. Adding color makeup; I guess there are probably 10 steps plus in an average Korean woman’s makeup routine; even more if you count the additional exfoliating, revitalizing, rejuvenating skincare sessions that are done maybe not daily, but on a regular basis.
With such “basics”, putting on makeup can become an arduous task, so it’s inevitable that Korean cosmetics companies come up with products to shorten time and minimize effort of this daily chore. The most popular of such products is undoubtedly BB Cream. Since its commercial launch in 2006, BB Cream (“blemish balm” cream), which has the properties of sun care-moisturizer-makeup base/primer-concealer-foundation all-in-one has been a must-have item with its light consistency and easy-to-apply formula. It is particularly appreciated in the summer months when you really could do without a lot of stuff on your face.
However, when there is something good, something better always shows up. Thus comes in CC Cream. Yep, there’s a newcomer in the cosmetics world and it’s taking over pretty quickly.

 “CC” is short for many things depending on the brand: Color Correction, Color Control, Complete Correction, Complete Care, Complete Combination, Care & Color, and every other possible combination of cosmetic related C words. (Before you get riled up about “correcting color”, just take note that it means to even out one’s complexion, NOT trying to change the color of your skin.) But what do they actually mean? And besides the name, what exactly is the difference between BB and CC?


 *Not actual article


CC Cream is being marketed as the upgraded BB Cream but to be precise, the main purposes of the products are slightly different. BB Cream is the all-in-one concealer/foundation offering full coverage while CC Cream puts more emphasis on nourishing the skin while providing optimal coverage. The main complaint about BB Cream was that it had the tendency to go on chalky in the beginning and then go “gloomy” as time went by, leaving a grayish cast by the end of the day. Although products were made for different skin types, those with dry skin would often have to use extra moisturizers with BB Cream, which sort of defeats its main purpose as an all-in-one product.
CC Cream added moisturizing elements and instead of flawless “perfect” coverage, it aims to “correct” (thus the “C”) the uneven skin tones by offering just the right amount of coverage to fix those problem areas. Consequently, CC Cream has a much lighter touch than BB Cream. It is recommended for those who want to portray a dewy “makeup free” look, even more natural than that accomplished by using BB Cream. Anti-aging, skin polishing, nourishing are other factors added to CC Cream.
So far, most of the reviews I’ve read about CC Cream have been favorable. However, although all CC Creams come with SPF features, because it is a product with very light coverage, the reviews advise using a separate sun care product to be on the safe side. The negative remarks about CC Cream were almost all about the coverage. If you’re not a fan of the extremely natural look, you might want to enhance it a bit with a matching BB Cream.
Personally, I find CC Cream to be great for hot and humid days, but not enough when I want to be in a properly dressed formal situation. (I’m not 20 years old anymore and my skin needs more help.) It really depends on what you’re going for. There are occasions for CC Cream, BB Cream, and foundation and I think you really do need all three, for different purposes and occasions.

Like BB Cream, CC Cream is offered by most cosmetics brands, from low/mid-market to high end brands, Korean and international. In Korea, the low/mid-market brands are trumping the high end brands in the CC Cream department, but I am assuming this is because CC Cream is vastly popular in the younger market. (As I’ve mentioned before, mature women prefer more coverage.) However, high end CC Cream sales are also hitting stride, and beauty experts predict they will get even more popular as time goes by. Of course, like most cosmetics in Korea, there is CC Cream for men, too.