The 10 Best CC Creams for a Radiant Complexion, According to Our Testers

The Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective is worth adding to your beauty shopping list.

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Best CC Cream Tout

INSTYLE / JHETT THOMPSON

CC creams are a great pick for anyone looking for less coverage than a foundation, yet still want some color correction (that’s what CC stands for, afterall). It’s a skin care and makeup product all-in-one. They’re super lightweight (offering sheer to light coverage), moisturize the skin, and often contain SPF or other ingredients that are beneficial for skin health. 

If you haven’t found the perfect CC cream for your skin, look no further. Our team brought 28 CC creams into our testing lab, and assessed their best (or worst) features to narrow it down to 10 products they found worth the investment. During testing, our lab assistants based their feedback on the product’s feel, coverage, and shade range. Based on the reviewer’s feedback, the Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective Tinted Moisturizer offered the right amount of coverage to conceal blemishes and felt comfortable on our tester’s skin, helping it earn our best overall pick. 

Read on to learn more about the best CC creams, according to testers. 

Best Overall: Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

5
Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Amazon

What We Love: The product does more than the average CC cream: it nourishes, defends, and leaves a luminous glow for no make-up, make-up looks.

What We Don’t Love: The coverage is buildable, but can leave a cakey finish. 

CC creams are known for being a multi-purpose product, but this one by Honest Beauty truly does it all. The CC cream is described as a 6-in-1 skin care-makeup hybrid with mineral SPF 30 to moisturize, protect, and perfect the skin in one step. Not only does it nourish the skin with clean, non-comedogenic ingredients (ones that don’t clog pores), such as glycerin and vitamin C, it also defends against blue light – one of the many reasons why it earned a perfect score across each category. 

Because it is also listed as a tinted moisturizer, the product provides sheer and breathable coverage that is buildable. “It's creamy (bordering on watery) and lightweight,” says our tester. “It's easy to apply with fingers. I think it's a great fit for the hot and humid NYC summer; I barely notice it on my skin.” Although it is easy to turn this CC cream into a product with medium coverage (our tester was able to cover her hyperpigmentation with ease), it did appear slightly cakey on the skin with a thicker layer. This didn’t affect our overall rating too much because the CC cream is successful at blurring fine lines, redness, and other areas of concern. 

The shade range features nine flexible shades that are suitable for most skin types, but could be expanded to fit more undertones. 

Coverage: Light | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 9 | Size: 1.0 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | SPF: 30

Testing CC Creams Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

InStyle / Leticia Almeida

Best Splurge: Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+

5
Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+

Amazon

What We Love: The product provides deep hydration and is easy to apply with its cushion applicator. 

What We Don’t Love: There are only five shades offered with no options for darker complexions. 

The first word our tester used to describe this CC cream by Amorepacific is luxury – and that is just from the applicator alone. “It has a slight cooling effect and comes with a sponge to use for application,” she says. “It's not the conventional CC cream as it comes in a compact cushion. It goes on very smoothly with immediate results and the color correcting is impressive right when it touches the skin.”

Considering that it is marketed as a full coverage CC cream, our tester was able to get at least medium coverage that still offered a bit of sheen and allowed her freckles to show through. The finish is dewy enough for redness to disappear, and for the product to be worn by itself without other complexion products. Our tester was impressed by the SPF content (50!), calling it a “one-and-done” product, but would change the limited shade range as there are no options for darker skin tones. 

Coverage: Full | Finish: Natural | Shades: 5 | Size: 1.0 oz | SPF: 50

Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF Testing

InStyle / Leticia Almeida

Best Value: Neutrogena Clear Coverage Flawless Matte CC Cream

4.5
Neutrogena Clear Coverage Flawless Matte CC Cream

Amazon

What We Love: The shade range offers a wide variety of options for buyers to choose from. 

What We Don’t Love: It blends easily, but the product itself is slightly thick. 

The fact that there are 22 shades for Neutrogena’s CC cream is impressive on its own. When applied and blended onto the skin, the CC cream makes the skin look silky smooth with just a single dab of product. Although it is slightly thick in texture, our tester did not find it heavy, greasy, or cakey, which combination to oily skin types will love. And for a full coverage, matte formula, it left a beautiful and nearly flawless complexion without emphasizing the skin’s texture. 

Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte | Shades: 22 | Size: 1.0 oz | SPF: None

testing cc creams Neutrogena-Clear Coverage Flawless Matte CC cream

Instyle / Leticia Almeida

Best Lightweight: Tarte Shape Tape Cloud CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen

What We Love: The creamy formula helps the product blend seamlessly into the skin, leaving a natural finish. 

What We Don’t Love: It could have a higher SPF percentage. 

We are still not over the Shape Tape hype (it even won best overall in our concealer tests), and you shouldn’t be either. Just as it is described, this product’s texture is truly bouncy and cloud-like, so you never have to worry about how heavy it feels on the skin, no matter how many layers you build. In fact, it manages to smooth and blur all while providing 24-hour hydration. “It provided my ideal amount of coverage,” says our tester. “It covered the hyperpigmentation on my cheeks while providing a natural, no make-up look; it evened out my complexion.” If that didn’t convince you enough, this CC cream is also transfer- and crease-proof. 

We do wish it was at least SPF 30 — so it could count as our daily sunscreen step, too.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural Matte | Shades: 21 | Size: 1.0 oz | SPF: 15

Tarte Shape Tape Cloud CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen

InStyle / Leticia Almeida

Best Glowy Finish: Huda Beauty GloWish MultiDew Vegan Skin Tint

5
 Huda Beauty GloWish MultiDew Vegan Tint

Ulta

What We Love: It leaves the skin looking healthy and hydrated, and contains many nourishing ingredients. 

What We Don’t Love: We are big fans of the formula, but would love SPF, too.

Surprisingly enough, our tester categorized the coverage as full despite it being labeled as a light skin tint. (We aren’t complaining, though.) This was one of the things that drew us to this product — besides the fact that the formula is water- and sweat-proof — as it is velvety smooth to the touch, and looks the same upon application. We also love that the CC cream contains moisturizing ingredients, such as squalane and rose oil, that not only brighten and soothe the skin, but leave a dewy, lit-from-within glow. 

Coverage: Light | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 13 | Size: 1.3 oz | SPF: None

 Huda Beauty GloWish MultiDew Vegan Tint

InStyle / Jhett Thompson

Best Coverage: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

4.3
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

Cult Beauty

What We Love: The CC cream feels so weightless on the skin that you forget that it is on. 

What We Don’t Love: While there are a number of shades, the selection for dark and deep skin tones could be improved. 

This CC cream by IT Cosmetics is one of their best-sellers for a very good reason. It offers seven-in-one – coverage, anti-aging benefits, protection, color-correction, priming, concealer, and moisturize – all while diffusing flawlessly into the skin. “It feels really comfortable,” says our tester. “Unlike most foundations, it would be easy to forget that this CC cream is on your face at all.” 

While it is a nearly flawless and lightweight formula, we wish there was more consideration made for dark and deep shades — those leave something to be desired.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Natural | Shades: 9-12 | Size: 1.08 oz | SPF: 50

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

InStyle / Leticia Almeida

Best with SPF: Supergoop! CC Screen 100% Mineral CC Cream SPF 50

4.8
Supergoop! CC Screen

Amazon

What We Love: As expected, this product provides an ample amount of sun protection. 

What We Don’t Love: Reviewers say the formula pills overtime. 

Expect nothing less than the best from Supergoop! when it comes to sun protection. Their CC Screen cream has mineral, reef-safe sunscreen and antioxidant-rich botanicals, including apple extract, Irish moss, and red seaweed extract, that all protect against sun damage. The formula is also oil-free and doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances, which helps it work well with a variety of skin types, even sensitive ones. 

At first, the product looks similar to liquid foundation when it comes out of the bottle, but when applied, it “spreads across the skin like water,” according to our tester’s feedback, and feels like nothing on the skin. Your skin will look more refreshed and plump, and will be given some much-needed hydration during warm summer days. 

Coverage: Light to medium | Finish: Natural | Shades: 13 | Size: 1.6 oz | SPF: 50

Supergoop! CC Screen Lab Image
Leticia Almeida.

InStyle

Best For Dark Skin: e.l.f. Cosmetics Camo CC Cream

4
e.l.f. Cosmetics Camo CC Cream

Amazon

What We Love: The formula helps to bring out your skin’s natural tones. 

What We Don’t Love: For those with dry skin, this product might enhance fine lines and be too drying. 

E.l.f Cosmetics Camo CC Cream is a true multi-tasking product. It is formulated with SPF 30 for sun defense, is infused with hydrating and anti-aging ingredients, and is super light and comfortable to wear. The shade range is another impressive factor of this CC cream (16 shades to be exact), with multiple shades suited for a number of undertones, including olive, peach, pink, blue, and red. This makes the search for the perfect shade easier for anyone who struggles with finding a face product that matches their skin’s natural tones, as this CC cream’s formula works to enhance and improve your complexion. 

Coverage: Medium to full | Finish: Natural | Shades: 16 | Size: 1.05 oz | SPF: 30

e.l.f. Cosmetics Camo CC Cream

InStyle / Leticia Almeida

Best for Dry Skin: PÜR 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

5
 PÜR 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Amazon

What We Love: This tinted moisturizer is all about skin care first, with nourishing ingredients that ensures hydration lasts all day. 

What We Don’t Love: The SPF percentage is too low for our preference. 

For our tester with dry skin, this tinted moisturizer by PÜR was incomparable to other face products. “This product is very light and watery,” she says. “Typically, I apply CC cream with my fingers, but this one blended better using a beauty blender; it feels like a second skin.” The airy and buildable formula is all thanks to its moisturizing ingredient list, which contains sodium hyaluronate, chamomile, shea butter, aloe, and vitamin E to retain moisture and calm the skin. Other ingredients dry skin users will appreciate and approve of is PÜR’s unique Ceretin Complex – a retinol and retinyl palmitate hybrid – that gently promotes cell turnover to reveal smoother and brighter skin. It’s a product you can easily skip steps in your routine for, as it does all the work for you. 

Coverage: Sheer | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 15 | Size: 1.7 oz | SPF: 20

PÜR 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

InStyle / Leticia Almeida

Best for Sensitive Skin: Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen

4.5
Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen

Sephora

What We Love: This CC cream not only actively protects against the sun, but soothes UV-stressed skin. 

What We Don’t Love: Even though it is meant to be a sheer product, we wish it provided more coverage to help conceal areas of concern.

The fragrance- and alcohol-free formula in Tower 28’s tinted sunscreen is worth checking out. With light-to-medium buildable coverage, your skin will look freshly hydrated and renewed, leaving room for your freckles to show. Sensitive skin types will benefit from the prickly pear and white sage in this formula, as they each help with reducing the appearance of irritation and redness from UV rays. And unlike other products with mineral or chemical sunscreen, this one uses non-nano zinc oxide – a sunscreen that is more suitable for sensitivity. Not to mention, it is the only facial makeup product to have the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance.

Coverage: Light to medium | Finish: Natural | Shades: 14 | Size: 1.0 oz | SPF: 30

Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen

InStyle / Liticia Almeida

Our Testing Process

With a number of CC creams to choose from, we identified the top 28 CC creams we felt were best suited for our test. Our testers represented a wide range of skin tones and types – sensitive, dry, normal, oily – to get the most diverse and accurate results.

Prior to testing, we asked our testers to arrive at our studio with a bare face, without any complexion makeup on. Testers were allowed to test two CC creams – one on each side of the face – or if necessary, use a makeup remover if they were to test more than two products, all while basing their feedback on the product’s feel, coverage, and shade range. Each person was allowed to use a sponge, their finger, or makeup brush to apply the CC cream, and chose which products and shades they felt best suited their skin type and tone. 

Our testers then applied a small amount of CC cream, either on the right or left, on each portion of the face. To blend the product, our testers used whichever method they felt most comfortable with. If our testers used their fingers, they were instructed to pat, not rub, the CC cream onto their skin to blend it. And if they used a makeup brush or sponge, they swept the product across the face while answering the following questions:  How does it blend in? Is it seamless or does it take some effort?

Once blended, we began the inspection process. Our lab assistants examined the product close-up via the mirror provided for any areas they wanted additional coverage for, including dark circles, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation. If they felt extra product was needed, they added another dab of cc cream to these areas, determining whether the second layer helped with coverage and if it looked natural or cakey. As a final application step, our testers used a makeup brush to buff the product further into the skin for an even blend. 

Keeping the CC cream’s claimed benefits in mind, we finalized our testing with how effective the product was at evening out skin tone and texture while looking natural. Are you satisfied with the coverage of this CC cream? Or do you feel that you would still need foundation over the CC cream, and this CC cream acts more like a primer? Would you categorize it as a light, medium, or full coverage product? Does the finish of the CC cream look matte or dewy? Would you typically set it with a powder or was it fine on its own? 

Once our data and tester’s ratings were collected, we narrowed our list to a select number of CC creams and assigned categories we saw as the best fit. 

The Lip Bar Just A Tint 3 in 1 tinted skin conditioner

InStyle / Leticia Almeida

What to Keep in Mind

Coverage

CC creams might have a lightweight consistency, but their coverage doesn’t always reflect that. That’s because not every CC cream is alike, with some products offering sheer to light coverage and others medium to full. If you don't mind adding a second or third layer to areas of concern, then you won’t have an issue with most CC creams — you can build to the level of coverage you desire each day. However, if you’re adamant about coverage, don’t fret – there are still CC creams with fuller, non-cakey coverage. But to get the most coverage out of your CC cream, you’ll also want to find a CC cream that has a diverse shade range for every complexion and undertone. 

Finish

The finish you prefer from face products likely depends on your skin type. Compared to BB creams, CC creams often leave a matte or natural finish because it is lightweight and meant to color correct, which those with more oily and normal skin types might prefer. For those with dry, sensitive, or mature skin, CC creams are also available in a dewier, radiant formula – just look out for hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and peptides. 

SPF

A CC cream could offer the best of both worlds: natural coverage and a radiant glow. Most CC creams have some amount of SPF, along with skin loving ingredients, but do not contain the recommended percentage of sun protection. With this in mind, look for a CC cream that offers an SPF of 30 or higher for optimal skin protection and security. And depending on your lifestyle and/or skin type, you might want to factor in whether you’re interested in a CC cream with a chemical or mineral sunscreen (i.e. More sensitive skin might benefit from mineral sunscreens).

Your Questions, Answered

What is CC cream?

A CC cream should provide light to medium coverage and even out blotchiness, redness, or hyperpigmentation. But to better understand what exactly CC cream is, you need to first understand its acronym. The “CC” in the name stands for what it is intended to do: color correct. While it is great for moisturizing the skin and balancing skin tone, a CC cream is most powerful at neutralizing the look of imperfections without the cakey finish. Think of it as the first step of the foundation process – it is a 3-in-1 product for a reason. 

What is the difference between BB cream and CC cream?

The difference between BB cream and CC cream whittles down to two things: coverage and finish. Both products are marketed for their skin care benefits, such as their SPF content and anti-aging ingredients, but their intended use is not the same. A BB cream is similar to a tinted moisturizer in the sense that it is a foundation alternative. Standing for “beauty balm,” a BB cream hydrates, soothes, blurs, tints, and protects the skin. It combines a foundation with a moisturizer for a stand alone product, leaving you with a radiant glow. A CC cream, on the other hand, has more coverage than a BB cream (but less than a foundation) and is meant to even out your skin tone and reduce redness. It is often more lightweight than a foundation and is generally on the matte side.

What Is InStyle Picks? 

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it’s really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we’ve put them to the test to be sure you will too. 

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content

Why Trust InStyle

Madison San Miguel is a contributing writer for the commerce team at InStyle, and has covered everything from fashion week to beauty product reviews. Her work has been published in Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy, Bustle, Elite Daily, V Magazine, and other lifestyle publications. In addition to her research, she went through the testing results provided by our testers to give the most accurate review. 

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