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Beauty Throwdown: Battle BB Versus CC Creams

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There’s been no shortage of hype around the arrival of CC creams, the so-called “complexion correctors” from Asia that promise to go one step beyond their BB cream (or “beauty balm”) predecessors and offer more skincare benefits and coverage level. To be honest, I couldn’t summon much enthusiasm about either because the idea of adding skincare ingredients to makeup never struck me as that revolutionary (my Chantecaille tinted moisturizer accomplished that feat years ago). Nevertheless, I was curious to see if there is truly any difference between the BBs and CCs, and the perfect case study presented itself when Clinique launched both creams recently. Here, we swiped and scrutinized our complexion super closely to determine which contender—if either—is worth putting into rotation.

The First to Market: Clinique’s Age Defense BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 glided on and blended into my fair complexion remarkably well, which is impressive considering that it’s only available in three shades. While it didn’t completely hide the dark spots on my cheek area, it did subtly even out my complexion quite nicely. Overall, I looked a little more well-rested, if not entirely luminous. Also notable was the absence of any chalkiness typical of SPF ingredients (like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) and the fact that the makeup coverage held up all day without any touch-ups.

The Latest Import: When I squeezed a dab of its Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 onto a makeup sponge and swiped it across my face, I noticed the texture was quite matte, even a bit thick. I really had to work it into my skin to avoid any streaks, which was surprising considering this cream contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid and water-binding agents, like trehalose and sorbitol. Still, this one did enhance my tone pretty readily, casting a peachy glow over areas that had once been dull and (sadly) sallow. Also a plus is that it comes in six shades, providing more options for those with tricky-to-match complexions. As for the sun protection, it too didn’t leave any white residue, and there was zero need to reapply to maintain makeup coverage.

The Bottom Line: Don’t agonize over the differences in these creams: Both work in a similar fashion with nearly identical results. But if you have dry skin, the BB cream might be your best option, while those with oily skin in need of more coverage should go for the CC cream. If, like me, you already use a tinted moisturizer with SPF and skin-nourishing benefits that you like, there’s also no harm in sticking with it.

Photo: Courtesy of Clinique

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