Nothing achieves the perfect barely-there foundation base better than the best CC cream which works to camouflage any imperfections whilst not stripping skin of its natural glow and radiance.
First of all CC isn’t just a jumble of random letters. ‘CC stands for Colour Correcting. A CC cream is a skincare-make-up fusion for an even, flawless and glowing complexion’, as explained by many make-up artists.
We love CCs, not only because they colour correct for a more even canvas, but also because they’re perfect for the warmer months, when you no doubt prefer something lighter than your best foundation without skimping on a great finish.
Hailing from the world of Korean beauty, you’ll find in their formulas a whole host of skin-loving vitamins, plumping peptides and potent, radiance-boosting complexes. CC creams have you covered, literally.
The beauty of a CC cream is that it’s not time consuming to put on, unlike some foundations that take what feels like a whole year to blend in seamlessly. Make-up artists recommend applying them with ‘the warmth of fingers but you can also buff into the skin with the help of a foundation brush’. It’s as simple as that.
Whether you want a CC cream to replace your foundation or for extra coverage, we’ve rounded up the best ten CC cream for every skin need.
Top 10 best CC cream in the UK in 2021
1. La Roche Posay Rosaliac CC Cream
If your skin is prone to sensitivity (resulting in dreaded redness flare ups) this La Roche Posay CC Cream best CC cream will do the trick. It harnesses the skincare power of the brand’s Rosaliac range by balancing and calming irritated skin whilst leaving a natural-looking glow. It’s very sheer and does a great job of hiding redness, along with having sunscreen in it, so you don’t have to ”double up”.
2. Clinique’s CC cream
Designed as a skincare product first and foremost, Clinique’s best CC cream calls upon beauty powerhouse hyaluronic acid for moisture and uses colour-correcting technology to act on redness, dullness, ashiness and sallowness. With this product, we have spf, foundation, and moisturizer all in one. We don’t have to use primer with it either because of its super hydrating and moisturizing, as well as staying power. The coverage is also much better than tinted moisturizer. Highly recommended.
3. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream
This best CC cream is a beauty insider favourite, and with good reason; it tackles redness better than a foundation, but without the heavy coverage. Jamie Kern Lima, the founder of It Cosmetics, created the cream with dermatologists and plastic surgeons to make her feel confident, and it sure does that. A must-have, game-changing beauty product.
4. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream SPF 15
We’re loyal to our beauty counter and designer buys, but few things can compare to picking up a great formula for just shy of a tenner. Although Bourjois best CC cream has now discontinued sales in the UK and Ireland, you’re still able to snap up some of their products online – including their colour-correcting CC with three pigments apricot to target anti-fatigue, green to correct redness and white to brighten dark spots.
5. SUMMER FRIDAYS CC Me Vitamin C Cream
A little different from the norm, this best CC cream from Summer Fridays doesn’t offer any coverage. Instead, it has two forms of potent vitamin C which help to brighten skin and fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots – and that’s how it colour corrects for every skin tone.
6. Erborian Korean CC Cream Skin Perfector SPF25
Erborian best CC cream combines the Korean beauty kudos with French pharmacy luxury. Its CC cream is colour-adjusting magic: it’s milky white in the tube but, as you massage it into the skin, tiny beads of pigment burst and somehow adjust to your skin tone. It also includes vitamin E and anti-inflammatory tiger grass.
7. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF 30
This best CC cream liquid formula from NARS is lightweight and easy to wear everyday, it’s also nice and buildable making a great option for work in the day and for a bit more drama in the evenings.
Infused with naturally derived botanicals like Kopara and seawater, skin feels supple and looks effortlessly illuminated.
With over 12 different tones to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
8. Physicians Formula Super CC Color-Correction CC Cream
A foundation, primer, and moisturizer in one best CC cream for this price is hard to come by. Not only that but the formula also includes tiny color-correcting pigments (yellow helps to warm, green cancels out redness and pink brightens and illuminates) that work undercover to perfect your complexion. This best CC cream is also paraben-free and doesn’t use any added fragrances—making it an ideal buy for people with more sensitive skin. While it’s only available in two shades, reviewers noted that it’s very blendable and works on most skin tones.
9. L’Oreal C’est Magic Cc Cream
This best CC cream’s hydrating fluid formulation feels velvety-soft and gives a fresh, dewy look to the skin. It comes in three colours: the anti-redness cream may look alarmingly green in the tube, but with a bit of blending it transforms into a natural skin shade on application. The lavender shade brightens dull winter skin, while the warm apricot variant perks up fatigued faces for a healthy, bare-faced look. L’Oreal’s buildable, lightweight formula particularly suits dry skins, and this cream can be used on its own or as a primer for fuller-coverage foundation and concealer.
10. Olay CC Cream – Total Effects Tone Correcting Moisturizer
This drugstore color-correcting best CC cream clinched the spot as the best hydrator in our Lab tests — and won a 2017 GH Beauty Award. We found it boosted skin’s moisture levels by 36% over six hours and reduced the look of brown spots and pores after four weeks, perfect for dry skin and conditions like eczema. Not to mention, it’s backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal! Good to know: We recommend wearing SPF 30+ daily, so you’ll want to layer another sunscreen under this product to stay protected.
How to choose the best CC cream for you
Before picking the best CC cream to pop into your shopping basket, you should consider a few key factors: the kind of ingredients that are beneficial for your skin type, which shade will match your skin tone, and whether you’ll need a formula with a high SPF factor.
- Consider Your Skin Type When Looking at Ingredients
Depending on your skin type, you’ll want to keep an eye out for certain ingredients to make sure that a product will make your complexion look better, rather than causing irritation. Lychee extract, which is suitable for most skin types, will gently rehydrate and revitalise your face.
If you have dry or oily skin, hyaluronic acid and glycerin are incredibly nourishing and plumping. Extracts of rose and cotton flower are also great for providing moisture, and niacinamide (vitamin B3) can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on mature skin.
For sensitive skin, try soothing natural extracts like aloe vera and honey, which are kind to your skin. Anti-inflammatory tiger grass is another fantastic option which heals sore areas and reduces redness.
- Find a Shade That Matches Your Skin Tone
In comparison to foundations, CC creams can unfortunately be quite limited in the number of shades available –many creams are designed for light or medium skin tones.
However, there are some formulas which start out white or grey and change to match your skin tone, which can be handy if you can’t find exactly the right shade for your complexion. Though rare, there are a few products that are specially formulated to complement darker skin tones, which we’ve made sure to include in our recommendations.
- Added SPF Will Keep Your Skin Safe from the Sun
Another benefit of CC creams is that they usually offer SPF protection, which can vary from a light factor 10 coverage to as high as factor 50. As a frame of reference, a factor 30 will block 97% of the sun’s rays.
Most of us should wear at least factor 15 on a daily basis, regardless of the weather, so a CC cream is a good way of ensuring your face is safe from sun damage without having to add a sun cream to your daily routine. If you are going on holiday or spending a lot of time outdoors in summer, you can always choose a higher factor or add sunscreen as needed.
If you are looking for a makeup product that evens out your complexion and takes care of your skin at the same time, the best CC cream could be the perfect solution. These smoothing and skin-perfecting base products are guaranteed to give you a fresh finish.
Choose carefully, though. The name stands for either “complexion corrector” or “colour corrector”, and the two types are subtly different. Colour-correcting products help reduce redness and brighten tired skin, while complexion correctors smooth and refine pores, without covering your skin in a heavy layer of makeup. Take a look at our top picks to find the perfect CC cream for your skin type and complexion.
Think of them as turbo-charged alternatives to foundation, offering enough coverage to create a flawless base in one step, as well as boasting myriad other benefits. The best CC cream formulas on the market stand out for their ability to even skin tone and conceal imperfections without a heavy finish or oily texture, making them ideal for when you don’t have time for a laborious make-up application.