What’s The Difference Between BB, CC, And DD Creams?

A deeper understanding of these products will help you decide what is best for your skin.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L VeerulaDr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD
By Ramona SinhaRamona Sinha, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 

If you have just started your skin care and makeup journey, it is easy to get bewildered and lost in translating the meaning of BB, CC, and DD creams. The difference between BB, CC, and DD creams is subtle, and that is why they appear almost the same to us. Don’t worry. We are here to help you understand which one is the best for your skin and what they do to your skin. This article gives you a complete breakdown of the K-beauty abbreviations, their difference, benefits, and a proper guide to using the products. Keep reading to learn more.

BB Cream

Image: Shutterstock

What Is It?

BB stands for Beauty Balm. It gained popularity in Korea and became a global beauty buzzword within a short time – and that too for all good reasons.

What Does It Do?

BB creams are very light creams, offering just a little more coverage than your usual tinted moisturizers. They keep your skin hydrated, contain SPF, and also offer shine control. This, however, depends on the brand and the formula you are using. BB creams provide light to medium coverage. Compared to CC and DD creams, BB creams give the least coverage. Hence, they are most suitable for younger skin that needs just a bit of pick-me-up.

How’s The Texture?

It has a creamy and moisturizer-like texture.

Suitable For?

BB creams suit all skin types. You will get BB creams that are specially formulated to match the needs of specific skin types. These creams are good for young and tender skin but not for mature skin.

How To Use BB Creams

Squeeze a pea-sized amount of BB cream on your beauty blender or brush and blend it well on your skin. You can use your fingers too, but make sure to blend well, or you will end up with harsh lines. You may leave it just like that or dab a bit of translucent powder or your daily compact over it.

Quick Tip
You can also mix BB cream with a foundation for a smoother and non-cakey appearance.

After applying BB cream, if you feel that you need more coverage, you may apply concealer. But if this is the case, it’s time to move from BB to CC cream (which I have discussed in the next section).

If your skin demands more than just a daily pick-me-up, and if you need more than just sheer coverage, CC cream is for you.

CC Cream

Image: Shutterstock

What Is It?

CC stands for Color Correcting. It is mostly used as a complexion corrector cream.

What Does It Do?

A CC cream provides more coverage than a BB cream and hides all your facial imperfections, such as redness and dark spots. This cream is specially formulated for mature and aging skin that needs more coverage to even out the face. So, instead of using a separate color corrector with your foundation, you can use a CC cream for both color correction and coverage. You can use a CC cream alone or underneath your foundation. It offers sun protection and also brightens your complexion.

How’s The Texture?

It is lightweight and is absorbed quickly.

Suitable For?

CC creams are suitable for oily skin types. However, people with normal and combination skin can also use it.

How To Use CC Creams

Once you have cleansed and moisturized your face, use a beauty blender or your fingers to draw dots on your face with your CC cream. Blend it well in a circular motion. The amount of CC cream you use depends on the coverage you need.

Quick Tip
If you do not find the exact shade of your skin, you may go for a darker shade as it will cover the imperfections and blend well with the skin.

If you want your cream to have brightening as well as anti-aging effects, DD cream is perfect for you.

DD Cream

Image: Shutterstock

What Is It?

DD stands for Daily Defense or Dynamic Do-All. DD cream is lighter than both CC and BB creams. It is good for mature and dry skin.

What Does It Do?

DD cream is designed to prime, perfect, and protect your skin – all at once. It provides the protecting properties of a BB cream and the color correcting properties of a CC cream. It has SPF, and it prevents moisture loss and evens out your skin tone. DD cream has anti-aging ingredients and focuses on strengthening the defense of your skin.

How’s The Texture?

The texture of a DD cream is creamy and moisturizer-like, similar to that of a BB cream.

Suitable For?

Since DD creams have anti-aging properties and help in fighting fine lines and signs of aging, they are most suitable for those who have very mature skin and are seeking an anti-aging solution. They are also ideal for dry and moderately mature skin.

How To Use DD Creams

You can use a DD cream as a primer or your base makeup. You can also use it as a moisturizer. A light layer of DD cream is enough to hide your skin imperfections.

It is important to know the difference between bb, cc, and dd creams before you decide to purchase one of them. They may all seem similar, but they are different in many ways. BB creams are lighter and are used to offer a fresh and natural look for younger skin. CC creams are more suitable for covering dark spots and redness, and for brightening mature and oily skin. Lastly, DD creams are more suitable for mature and dry skin and provide hydration and protection from the sun’s rays. Now that you know the difference between the three creams, pick the one suitable for your skin type.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use CC cream instead of foundation?

No, a CC cream doesn’t come in as many shades nor provides as much coverage as a foundation. You can use it as it is or as a base for the foundation instead.

Is DD cream good for daily use?

Yes, you can use DD cream every day to help reduce the signs of mature, aging skin.

How do I find the right shade of BB cream?

You need to select the one that best suits your skin tone. A shade too light would make you look ashy, while a deeper shade would make you look dull.

Is BB cream good for daily use?

Yes, you can use BB cream every day as part of your daily skin care routine to keep your skin smooth, protected, and well- moisturized.

Does BB cream need primer?

No, you need not use a primer with BB cream as it would block the moisturizing effects of the BB cream.

Key Takeaways

  • BB, CC, and DD creams belong to the same category but are used for widely different purposes.
  • BB creams are tinted moisturizers with light coverage, hydration, and sun protection.
  • CC creams offer better coverage than BB creams and help even the skin tone with color correction.
  • DD creams are the latest addition and offer the maximum coverage with higher SPF.
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