Get all the details on BB, CC, and DD creams — and the best ones to buy of each!
Feel like you've been hearing a series of letters rather than actual descriptors attached to the newest skincare products? You're not crazy: You've just been caught up in the swarm of "alphabet creams." BB, CC, and now DD creams first gained popularity in Korea, and have made similar waves stateside. But what do all those letters stand for, and what do these creams actually do? Marie Claire breaks it down.
What is it? Short for beauty balm or blemish balm, BB creams are the love child of makeup and skincare. While its benefits seem to be endless, at its bare bones BB cream is the world's best tinted moisturizer, packed with tons of benefits as well as SPF.
What it does: BB creams can smooth the skin, contain anti-aging elements, even out your skin tone, moisturize, protect against sun damage, and have a light-reflecting component that give your skin a dewy, luminous look!
How to use it: Although it may have SPF, don't douse your face with it the way you do sunscreen—a light layer is all you need. BB creams can also be used as a primer, moisturizer, and foundation!
How it differs: BB cream provides the least amount of coverage of all the alphabet creams, so it's perfect for a younger woman whose skin needs a little pick-me-up!
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35, $20; sephora.com.
The Body Shop All-in-One BB Cream, $20; thebodyshop-usa.com.
Dior Nude BB Cream, $44; sephora.com.
Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream, $10; target.com.
Stila All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm SPF 30, $38; ulta.com.
Too Faced Air Buffed BB Creme SPF 20, $39; ulta.com
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, $8; target.com
Clinique Age Defense BB Cream, $37; nordstrom.com.
CoverGirl Smoothers SPF 15 BB Cream, $7; drugstore.com.
What is it? Packed to the gills with vitamins C and E, complexion corrector cream is similar to BB cream, but focuses on color correction.
What it does: Lighter than a BB cream, CC cream's primary purpose is to correct color-related skin issues, such as sallowness or redness. Like BB cream, it has SPF as well (number varies by brand).
How to use it: If you're acne-prone, have dull skin, dark spots or constant redness, CC cream is for you.
How it differs: Use CC cream to help with redness, acne, dark spots, sallowness and more. It's also lighter than BB cream!
L'Oreal Visible Life CC Cream, $11; target.com.
Lumene Time Freeze Anti-Age CC Cream, $15; ulta.com.
Stila CC Cream Stick, $38; ulta.com.
Ole Henriksen CC Creme, $36; sephora.com.
SugarGoop Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35, $32; ulta.com.
Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream, $35; nordstrom.com.
Lorac CC Cream, $28; nordstrom.com.
Amore Pacific Color Control SPF 50+, $60; sephora.com.
Almay Smart Shade CC Cream, $9; target.com.
Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream, $48; sephora.com
What is it? Fresh to the alphabet cream craze, DD creams, or "dynamic do-all" are a super cream: They combine the power and benefits of both BB and CC creams. However, their primary focus is anti-aging.
What it does: The anti-aging speciality of the cream works to diminish wrinkles and fine lines throughout use. Additionally, DD cream will balance skin tone and protect the most sensitive areas of your skin.
How to use it: Supposedly, you'll really see improvements in your skin with continued use, so use often and incorporate it into your daily routine!
How it differs: DD cream's strongest selling point is their anti-aging benefits. If you're looking to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, this cream is the cream for you.
Julep DD Creme, $36; julep.com.
DermaDoctor DD Cream, $38; dermadoctor.com.