Bonjour Mes Amis!
Let’s talk for a moment about the alphabet soup craze that seems to be taking center stage in skin
care lately. AA, BB, CC, and now DD cream have burst onto the market and become the latest trend in skin care and makeup brands alike. But who really knows what all of these creams are, what they do, or even how they’re different? Never fear! I have come to your rescue! I’ll explain it all, and most importantly, tell you that while these creams are great, you are better off using a series of skin care products than one that claims to do it all! So let’s break these down one at a time, shall we?
AA Cream: AA cream is a bit less renowned for its alphabetical title; you might recognize this type of cream if I called it by its formal name, Anti-Aging. Anti-Aging creams are not new to most of us, as they have been on the market for quite some time, when comparing them to the recency of most BB CC and DD creams. AA creams use a variety of ingredients, including antioxidants (which help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and skin damage), peptides (which helps to increase the body’s production of collagen fibers within the dermis helping restore elasticity and improve fine lines and wrinkles), and retinol (which contains vitamin A that can help unplug pores, even out skin discoloration, restore vibrancy to the complexion, reduce oiliness, treat acne and psoriasis, improve the appearance of fine wrinkles, and has even been suggested to help build collagen. Wow!). Retinol is often the most popular anti-aging agent recommended by dermatologists; we at A French Touch love it because it works AND it’s good for your skin.
BB Cream: This product especially has become wildly popular recently, even more so than it’s newer and younger sisters (CC and DD), in my opinion. Did you know that even though we’ve only been using them in the US for a few years, BB creams have been used in parts of Asia since the 1980s! But now that we’ve finally caught on, let’s go over why we have so quickly come to love them. BB creams, also known as “Blemish Balms” or “Beauty Balms”, are designed to be a moisturizer, primer, sunblock, and foundation all in one! Most BB creams provide an adequate amount of SPF protection (the average seems to be around 20 to 35), while hydrating, smoothing, and evening your skin tone. Some BB creams also pride themselves on avoiding the use of oils or other heavy ingredients, while others even include antioxidants (yay for natural skincare!). Even though these handy little bottles have made their way into our makeup bags and our hearts, I was still surprised at just how much they could do!
CC Cream: CC cream–which stands for “color control”–seems to be a more refined, grown up version of the BB cream. Most makeup and skincare brands that carry one boast that the CC cream has a lighter wear than BB, while focusing more on the tinting in the cream. These creams are reported to be better with smoothing skin tone by decreasing the appearance of redness and dark spots on the face, while some even include vitamin C, which naturally brightens the skin. The magical powers of the BB cream are all presumed to be still present in this next generation, but the emphasis seems to have shifted from ‘doing it all’ to this product’s name sake.
DD Cream: The DD cream has hardly dipped its toe into the pool, but is already generating quite the buzz, what with the fame of AA, BB, and CC creams. I had never heard of DD cream before a few weeks ago, and when I researched it I was only able to find one brand who has plans to put it on the market. According to them, DD stands for “daily defense”, while others speculated that the newest lettered cream to hit the shelves would stand for “dynamic do-all”, and be a heavier cream intended for foot and body use. This cream, however, didn’t seem to be creating quite the buzz that BB creams, or even CC creams, did. Many reviews I read even poked fun, asking what the next letters were going to stand for and how the trend would survive once we ran out of letters! The reviews on this DD cream were limited, as were the rumors about other potential DD creams.
So what should we make of all of these letters, then? If I were to combine my opinion with the reviews and comments I’ve read from users and skincare professionals alike (including our lovely Patircia!), these creams are a handy bottle to have around, and are great in that they incorporate a protective spf into a regular beauty routine
(a habit that we need to get more in the habit of!). The big “but”, though, is that while an all-in-one product might seem like a great shortcut to minimize the time we spend getting ready in the bathroom, there is definitely something to be said for the strength in numbers. We’ve all heard the studies about multitasking, so why should we believe that a cream can do everything to its fullest potential all at the same time, if we can’t even focus on reading the paper while painting our nails? While I love my BB cream, I know that since I switched to using multiple products (Jan Marini Skin Care Management System! My newest love!) to do all of the jobs it claims it can handle, my skin has felt and looked much softer, brighter, and even toned.
In all of this alphabet soup madness, then, don’t forget that while your AA, BB, CC, or DD cream is a lovely addition to your bathroom counter, don’t slide the rest of your skincare off to the side! Your beauty ritual is just that, a ritual, and should ensure long-term visible benefits to your skin. Your skin deserves a full beauty routine, rather than one product that can’t possibly do everything at once! Don’t cut corners when it comes to the health of your skin, mes amis, but maybe we could make a little room for some extra little letters!