What are BB, CC and DD creams?
By now you’ve probably seen, tried or become addicted to all-in-one BB creams, which promise to protect, hydrate and perfect your skin, while covering your spots.
“Having a product do it all was a first in the world of cosmetics, where the color and function of the formula usually comes first and the treatment benefits take a back seat,” Kerri Bender, Manager of Global Product Development at Smashbox Cosmetics, says.
And maybe you’re excited to get into CC creams, which arrived this spring and are meant to even out skin tone, reduce dark spots and enhance skin radiance through optics and coverage. Now, the beauty industry is in a frenzy over the first ever DD cream, due to hit stores in June. Produced by Julep, it will target age spots, fine lines and, yes, cover flaws. But are all of these multi-taskers yielding results?
“To me they’re marketing hype,” says Mary Schook, a New York based celebrity facialist and makeup artist. “What’s good about all of this is that it forced the industry to work on building better foundations. Because we haven’t seen such a shift in the industry since Bobbi Brown first introduced yellow to foundation colors,” Schook adds. She and Bender help us look at the pros and cons.
Pros — Kerri Bender
A simpler makeup routine
“BBs are the baseline. You don’t have to be a makeup junkie to use one. If you’re looking for an all-in-one product, something that is going to prime, perfect, protect, hydrate and control oil, then it’s the right one for you.”
They mix well with your other products
“Both BB and CC creams work for any skin type. If you require a little more hydration, use your BB or CC cream in conjunction with your moisturizer. And if you have problems with shine, you can top off your BB or CC with a finishing powder.”
They’re good primers
“If you need higher coverage, most BB and CC creams function as primers and can be layered under your foundation for added benefits. And both offer strong sun protection.”
Cons — Mary Schook
“BB creams contain so many different ingredients that the skin can’t handle, such as silicone and avobenzone, which cause breakouts. BB creams are supposed to have sunscreen and avobenzone is the popular ingredient in that, hence the acne. And the silicone in BB creams create a veil over the skin that doesn’t allow it to breathe. It feels like it’s breathing, but it’s a false thing. It’s creating a barrier that’s not allowing the skin to perspire the way that it should. That’s what is trapping the bacteria.”
“CC creams do give a glow to the skin. But when you have a product that claims to color correct, the way CC creams do, you have to worry about skin character because you’re taking away things that protect the skin cells. When the cells want to cause any kind of pigmentation, it’s the body trying to protect itself. If you take away all of that pigmentation, or the ability for the body to do that, then the body cannot defend itself. You’re potentially compromising the skin and its protection from the sun.”
“The new Olay CC cream contains a lot of alcohol and the regular breakout irritants. But, it also contains niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B), which is very good. This shows promise in the formula, but you’re still better off using an anti-aging serum instead of a product that is trying to be everything and irritates you.”
1. Julep DD Creme $36, www.julep.com
2. Smashbox CC creme, $42, www.smashbox.com
3. Dior Hydra Life BB Creme, $56, www.dior.com