Thinking of ditching the traditional foundation? CC creams are your answer. These multitaskers let you switch your thick, heavy foundation for a lighter alternative that not only covers blemishes and enhances your natural glow but also offers a host of skincare benefits. However, if you have oily and acne-prone skin, by no means you should use the first CC cream you find online. It’s essential to avoid heavy CC creams and choose formulations that are oil-free, lightweight, and contain acne-fighting ingredients to maintain clear skin.
To make your search easier, we’ve made a list of the best CC creams for acne-prone skin. They are non-comedogenic, provide breathable coverage, and work to balance skin without exacerbating acne.
What is a CC cream?
CC stands for color corrector, which means it evens out facial skin tone by using colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel:
- Pale Pink: Ideal for fair skin to counteract bluish or grayish undertones
- Peach: Neutralizes bluish patches, such as under-eye circles or areas with visible veins, on medium skin tones
- Orange-Pink: On darker skin tones, dark patches can often appear gray. Orange-pink pigments brighten these areas
- Yellow: Corrects dark patches or discolorations on olive or tan skin.
- Green: Neutralizes redness
- Lavender: Cancels out yellow tones
Unlike foundations, CC creams aren’t about matching your skin tone, but more about camouflaging problem areas. Most CC creams contain light-reflecting particles that work to brighten skin that looks dull or tired. CC creams have light textures, but some still offer foundation-like coverage. For more coverage, you can use a CC cream as a color-correcting primer underneath your foundation. This allows you to even out your skin tone and add more hydration for a radiant look.
Are CC creams good for acne-prone skin?
Of course they are. CC creams offer breathable coverage, which is exactly what acne-prone skin needs. Look for a CC cream that contains acne-friendly ingredients like niacinamide, clays, hyaluronic acid, zinc, and squalane. These balance sebum, calm your skin, and protect it. Make sure it’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t block your pores. And if your skin is shiny during the day, go for a CC cream with a matte finish.
How to apply your CC cream
After you’ve done your skincare routine—that’s cleansing, applying serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen—it’s time for the CC cream. You can use a beauty blender for this. Blending is key here. Smooth it onto your skin in circular motions and build the coverage to your liking. Our favorite hack? Use an organic setting powder to increase the lasting power of your CC cream and reduce excess sebum. You can thank us later.
Now here are the best CC creams for oily and acne-prone skin:
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Oil-Free And Matte
This CC cream has all it takes to be the first on this list. Not only is it oil-free and has a matte finish that’s perfect for acne-prone skin, but it also contains powdered charcoal and clay. These ingredients absorb excess oil from the skin, clear the pores, and promote a mattified look. Also included is tea tree extract, which is known for reducing inflammation and killing acne-causing bacteria. While it has full coverage that conceals blemishes and pores, it feels lightweight and doesn’t look cakey or settle into fine lines.
Neutrogena Clear Coverage Flawless Matte CC Cream
Made by dermatologists for acne-prone skin, this is the best CC cream for you if you don’t want to break the bank. It provides buildable coverage that lasts throughout the day without creasing or settling into fine lines, and it spreads easily, allowing for effortless blending. The finish is matte, which means your skin won’t look greasy when you wear it, and the formula contains niacinamide, known for its ability to regulate sebum. There are 34 shades in a mixture of neutral, cool, and warm undertones, making it easy to find your match regardless of skin tone.
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Cream
This is a total treat for people with oily and acne-prone skin alike. The non-comedogenic formula is made without oil, but with squalane and hyaluronic acid derived from olives, which provide intense and immediate hydration. And because it’s water-based, your skin won’t feel weighed down. It even offers a mineral-derived SPF 30, giving you extra sun protection, but you still need to apply sunscreen underneath. Oh, and it comes in a range of 20 shades with a good ratio for all skin tones.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment
Is your skin prone to blemishes? Check out this color-correcting cream that neutralizes red areas and evens tone without weighing down the skin. In fact, it’s so lightweight, you’ll barely feel it on. Plus, it’s packed with moisture from Centella asiatica, giving your skin a nice hydration boost. There’s a bit of a catch, though. It comes in a ‘universal’ shade meant to blend with all skin tones, but some folks with darker skin have found that the green tint can leave a slightly ashy look. Also, a few people aren’t too happy with the packaging – it’s not the most hygienic or convenient.
Clinique Redness Solutions
Clinique Redness Solutions is made with soothing ingredients—zinc, caffeine, grapefruit, and magnolia—to tame redness and relieve swelling, two common concerns for people with acne-prone skin. It even has probiotics to help strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and reduce moisture loss. Oil-free? Yes. SPF? Yes. Gentle? Yes. Matte finish? Yes, it sounds like a standout CC cream for acne sufferers.
Mary Kay CC Cream
This CC cream is a true multi-tasker, combining the properties of a hydrating moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen all in one. What makes this product stand out are its potent ingredients: willow bark extract and salicylic acid. Together, they fight against acne and bacteria, reducing blemishes and promoting a clearer complexion. The coverage is on the sheer side, but you can easily go for more concealment without looking overdone. It’s great at masking acne and other blemishes. Plus, it’s oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, so it’s kind to your skin. The only downside? We wish it was available in a wider range of shades to suit more skin tones.
Erborian CC Cream
Thanks to ingredients like Centella asiatica and honey, this CC cream provides hydration and soothes your skin while correcting everything from blemishes to redness. Although its shade options fall short, the encapsulated pigments adjust to your natural skin tone as you blend in, giving you a flawless, natural-looking finish that’s lit from within. Whether you apply it with your fingertips or a foundation brush, this cream delivers infallible coverage that hides blemishes, dark spots, and pimples like a dream.
Dermablend Continuous Correction CC Cream
Wearing this CC cream is like having a personal army of antioxidants right at your fingertips, with niacinamide and caffeine leading the charge to hydrate and protect your skin from those pesky free radicals. And with the added SPF 50, you also get some defense against UV damage. The CC cream is so lightweight— it’s practically weightless. You won’t even feel like you’re wearing anything on your face, allowing your acne-prone skin to breathe. And don’t worry about coverage. You can go from sheer to full in a snap, building up as much or as little as you want. No cakey, sticky, or heavy feeling here!
- Which is better for acne-prone skin BB or CC?
For acne-prone skin, CC creams are the better choice. They offer more targeted solutions for redness and blemishes, and often come with ingredients that treat and soothe acne. BB creams, while good for light coverage and hydration, don't provide the same level of treatment and coverage for acne-related issues.
- Can I use CC cream daily?
Sure. CC creams are designed to be used on a daily basis. They offer a lightweight and breathable alternative to heavy foundations, allowing your skin to breathe while providing enough coverage to hide blemishes and enhance natural beauty.
- Does CC cream clog pores?
Most CC creams have light formulas, so they're unlikely to clog your pores. However, check the ingredients before purchasing a product and ensure it doesn't contain acne-triggering ingredients, such as coconut oil, lanolin, and fragrances.
- Should I use foundation or CC cream?
Most foundations focus on coverage. Hence, if you're going to have a long night out, a foundation will resist better. Short answer? Use your foundation for occasions and nights out and CC cream for daily wear.
- Is primer necessary before CC cream?
You don't necessarily need a primer before CC cream, but it would help if you'd use one. For instance, if your pores are large, you may want to fill them in to help the CC cream layer more flawlessly. Plus, a primer helps the CC cream stay on longer and smooths the skin's texture for a better finish and effortlessly blending.