If you've only just got your head around BB and CC creams (or if you haven't, scroll to the bottom for a quick summary) you might want to start learning about the latest skincare innovations: DD, EE and GG creams. Yes, really! I'm sure by the time I'm dead we'll have used every letter in the alphabet and started on the Greek alphabet. Kappa Kappa cream, anyone?
These dual-action creams aren't quite as new as you might think. BB creams have been in use in South Korea and Japan since the 1980s, where they took the place of the traditional seven steps to face care used by many Asian women. In the Western world they've caught on beyond expectations with sales increasing by an incredible 1,085% between 2011 and 2012.
DD creams aren't quite so clear cut as BB and CC branded products. Initially they seemed to be multi-purpose creams, so-called 'Double Duty' – for face and body – but that's nothing new. More recently, brands are advertising these as containing the tinted effects of BB creams, with the colour correcting benefits of CC cream mixed with 'new' anti-ageing and skin protecting properties. The new name is Daily Defence.
Is it a con? Probably. Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist for You Beauty, explained how she was working on an unnamed company's latest BB cream when CC creams become the new in thing. This new BB cream was simply marketed as a CC cream with no changes to the formula whatsoever, which tells you everything you need to know about the influence of marketing on cosmetic products. DD creams, she suggests, are little more than BB and CC creams with a new blurb. (Wilson, 2013)
EE Creams – or elemental emulsion to be more precise – are more of the same, with Omorovicza selling one, claiming it is a moisturiser and mattifier. Again, this isn't a revolution, we've been able to buy products like this for a while now, they just weren't called EE creams.
GG creams seem to be aimed for post-waxing treatments with their anti-redness, anti-inflammation, anti-irritation and anti-ageing abilities. I only know of one at the moment, manufactured by GiGi and available in the U.S. It'll be interesting to see if it catches on, particularly as it's designed just for the body instead of the face.
My advice would be to try any of the alphabet creams and see which one works for you. Don't assume that a DD cream is automatically better than a BB or CC cream. Any differences there might be are likely to be small and you'll benefit more from using a cream that suits you (we're talking skin type, colour and amount of product coverage here) than defaulting to the latest 'innovation'.
Or, you could do what I'm doing and stick with a separate moisturiser and primer combination. This works perfectly well for me; the BB creams I've tried haven't been anything special, and I've not purchased them again. As I've said elsewhere, if your skin care routine is top notch you won't need much coverage anyway, particularly if you're young.
The original. Means either Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm. An all-in-one, tinted face moisturiser, often with sunscreen protection (but rarely enough to take the place of regular sunscreen in very sunny places). Suitable for anyone who needs light coverage.
Complexion Corrector. All the benefits of BB creams with a greater emphasis on skin tone, neutralising redness, sallowness and blotches. Greater coverage than BB creams; suitable for those with trickier skin or those who are a bit older.
Wilson, N. (19th September 2013). BB, CC & DD Creams: Is There Any Difference?. Available: http://www.youbeauty.com/skin/columns/beauty-informer/bb-cc-dd-creams-differences. Accessed 25th October 2013.