BB, CC, DD, & EE Skin Care Creams: Differences, Meanings and Tips

It can be a tough ask to pick the right skin care cream for a person’s skin’s healthy look and glow. The variety of skin care products in the market can leave a person overwhelmed and sometimes confused about which to pick and why.

Portrait of a happy senior woman applying skin care cream to her face at home.

Here we carefully demystify the many alphabets that have taken over the skincare beauty market; the AAs, BBs, CCs, DDs, and EEs of skin care creams. Have no fear, alphabets aren’t coming to take over the world; they’ve come only for creams. 

Let’s dive right into the skincare alphabet.

What does AA mean?

AA means anti-aging cream.

What’s AA cream?

Although beauty companies don’t market these creams as much as BB creams, they are creams made to protect the skin from aging. They are made with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and a host of other chemicals. These creams help to reduce wrinkles on the face, smooth any lines, and delay any signs of aging.

AA creams were among the first set of creams to promise younger looks to users, particularly women. As the cosmetic industry evolved, their use became more prevalent among women, old and young, and they became must-haves in a woman’s cosmetic collection.

The significant part of AA creams is that it isn’t skin-selective. All skin types tones and complexions are suited for AA creams. These creams though have a drawback

No products found.

They don’t have SPF (Sun protecting Factors). As much as they help protect the skin from aging, using them alone exposes the skin to UV2 rays, which is harmful, given the climatic disruptions and depleted ozone layers.

Given this drawback and clamor for sun-protective skin care creams, cosmetologists and beauticians come up with something better: A step up in the alphabetical cream line. We got BB creams.

What does BB mean?

BB stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm.

A brief history of BB creams

There are different names for BB creams because of the disparity in the definition of Blemish.

The cream was first developed in Germany by a dermatologist looking for ways to cover and protect the skin of patients after laser treatments. The use of these creams spread to South Korea.

While the Koreans who gave the world BB creams defined it as Blemish Balm, its main job is removing all types of skin blemishes, and the West thought it best to redefine it.

Their definition of blemishes focused only on skin acne. So, they decided to rename its beauty Balm.

What is BB cream?

It is a cream that combines the qualities of AA cream, skin moisturizers, primer, and lightweight foundations. BB creams help to make your skin smoother, protect you from the sun, can sometimes blend your skin tone, and prevent your skin from aging.

These creams are ideal for people who are above 40 years old and for those who don’t like heavy makeup and foundations.

Whether BB creams protect one from the rays of the sun is debatable, but it’s useful in making the skin smoother.

BB creams were the go-to cream for women looking to maintain healthy and glowing skin. But as is the norm with beauty creams, there was the clamor for better creams with more effects.

Chemical Formulations for BB creams

  1. SPF: They protect the skin from the deadly effects of sun rays. Most SPF 30.
  2. Arbutin: Helps to brighten up the skin and blends the skin tone.
  3. Vitamin E, C, and D: They act as anti-aging, helping the skin stay young and fresh.
  4. Hyaluronic acid: They keep the moisture of the skin intact.
  5. Dimethicone: This is a silicone chemical that acts as a primer. Primers are bases for foundation or face makeup that allow it to go on smoother and last longer.

When the world was getting used to these creams, CC creams came along to help with the problems of redness and sallow skin.

No products found.

What does CC stand for?

CC stands for the color collector or complexion corrector.

What are CC creams?

They are skin care creams made to help hide redness and cover dark uneven areas within the skin. CC creams are said to be hybrids of BB creams. They have the properties of BB cream and are better at covering sallow complexions. CC creams feel lightweight and fast-absorbing.

There are some, advanced CC creams, that provide pigmentation; and these yields better result that lasts for a more extended period.

Also, CC creams contain advanced formulations that help to correct skin tone instantly. 

Chemical Formulations in CC Creams

  1. Niacinamide and Vitamin E & B help the skin to rediscover its youthful glow and beauty. The Niacinimiade exfoliates the skin, thereby helping to remove wrinkles and lines on the surface. Vitamin E, on the other hand, helps to strengthen the skin. The skin becomes able to resist moisture loss. 
  2. SPF 15: These chemicals help protect the skin against sun rays. With SPF15, the surface is resistant to damage caused by the ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun.
  3. N-Acetyl glucosamine: They help reduce skin discoloration. With these chemicals in C creams, the creams can treat skin with one part darker than the other surrounding skin.

The journey through the alphabet didn’t end there. 

No products found.

No, no way!

DD creams were made to add To the list of beauty products for the skin. Like the creams before it, DD creams were an improvement on BB and CC creams.

What does DD stand for?

DD stands for Daily Defense. Or Do-It-All

What are DD creams?

DD creams take the bar notches higher by combining the anti-aging benefits of AA, the sun protection properties of BB, and the color coloration components of CC creams.  These creams have a host of features such as being a primer, lightweight foundation, pore minimizer, brightener, and serum moisturizer.

Skincare, face, and cosmetic cream of an African woman using facial beauty products for morning self-care. Female with a smile health and wellness in a home bathroom.

These creams are designed to prime, protect, and perfect over time and within a short period. DD creams have a sheer coverage that evens the red or sallow skin over time. Most of the ingredients used in this cream help to protect the skin against environmental factors such as sun rays.

One would have thought the end of the road with regard to creams and alphabets had come, but not at all. There are other higher beauty products. EE is the latest in the alphabetical line of cosmetics.

No products found.

What does EE stand for?

 It stands for Essential Essence, Even Effect, Extra Exfoliating. 

What is EE cream?

The main job of these creams is solving hyperpigmentation problems. They also protect the skin from UV rays and solve skin redness problems on the skin. It also helps in enlightening the skin without giving your face a cakey look.

The other exfoliating qualities help the skin get rid of extra dead skin cells and dirt that settle in the skin. Unlike other creams, EE creams have a creamy texture and contain materials from marine plants.

We have looked at these different creams and how people use them. Although there are improvements from their proceeding alphabets, there are slight differences as well as similarities to these creams.

No products found.


Although these creams might seem like they do the same things, there are still small differences that make them unique and best for different skin tones and skin problems. For example, while people use AA creams for anti-aging, Cc creams are great at color blending, while DD creams are excellent at hyper-pigmentation.

DIFFERENCESAA (Anti Aging Cream)BB(Beauty Balm or Blemish cream)CC (Color Correcting Cream) DD (Daily Defense or Do-It-All Cream) These creams, also have anti-aging properties, and protection from UV rays, these creams help for correcting color tones
USEAA creams are used mainly for anti-agingThey are primarily used for protecting against UV rays and at the same time have small anti-aging qualities and SPF 30.They are made from N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide. They are also made with SPF 15 and vitamins E & B.They are primarily used for protecting against UV rays and at the same time have small anti-aging qualitiesThese creams are designed to protect the skin from day to night. They also help to deal with hyperpigmentation problems.         
THEIR COMPONENTSThese creams are made mainly of anti-aging components They are made from N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide. They are also made with SPF 15 and vitamin E & B.Ingredients used help to protect the skin against environmental factors.It is made from some marine plants and anti-aging materials.  
TEXTUREThey are oilyMost of them have a buttery textureThey have smooth textures. They are lightweight creamsTexture is oilyThey are creamy

While these differences are subtle, still they are relevant to note because they are what makes these different beauty creams stand out from each other.  

These different creams help to moisturize the skin, help it stay young, smooth the skin, protect it from UltraViolet rays, and generally keep the skin looking healthy.

There are no hard and fast rules to these things; it depends on what a person wants and what he/she wants to achieve. 

Whether it’s the Beauty Balm (BB) cream for that light skin tone, or it’s the DD cream to help fix your hyper-pigmentation problem, these creams are designed to give your skin the extra glow it needs and protect it from harmful environmental factors. 

Exit mobile version