The Best CC Creams For Acne-Prone Skin

Written by Natalie Gale
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Between foundations, skin tints, BB creams, and tinted moisturizers, choosing the right base makeup can get a little overwhelming. Add CC creams into the mix, and it’s hard to know where to start. However, derms and makeup artists say that if you have acne-prone skin, CC creams are actually a great place to start. Still, certain skin types (and skin conditions) will require different ingredients, and the best CC creams for acne-prone skin should contain SPF for sun protection and calming ingredients like niacinamide. To find out more, Elite Daily spoke with three experts — keep scrolling to see what they had to say.

The Experts

Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D., is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in treatments for acne, eczema, hyperhidrosis, and rosacea.

Dr. Brendan Camp, M.D., is double board-certified in dermatology and dermatopathology, and he specializes in treating conditions like acne, rosacea, and eczema, along with cosmetic concerns.

Emily Gray is a makeup artist who found her passion for makeup while treating acne herself. She specializes in editorial and natural looks, and does red carpet makeup for celebs like Maren Morris and Mickey Guyton.

What To Consider When Shopping For A CC Cream For Acne-Prone Skin

CC creams provide fuller coverage than tinted moisturizers, skin tints, and BB creams, Gray tells Elite Daily, making them “ideal for any [unwanted] discoloration caused by acne.” Dr. Camp echoes this sentiment, stating, “One of the challenging aspects of acne is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which is the dark or red discoloration that develops on the skin after a blemish has healed. CC creams can help conceal the appearance of PIH changes, which often take a long time to resolve.”

Dr. Garshick adds, “CC creams may also contain ingredients that improve the overall health of the skin,” explains Dr. Marisa Garshick, who mentions hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and SPF as being particularly helpful things to look for if you have acne-prone skin. Niacinamide helps reduce inflammation from acne and can balance skin’s oil production, SPF keeps unwanted hyperpigmentation from getting more noticeable, and hyaluronic acid helps keep skin hydrated and healthy.

Shop The Best CC Creams For Acne-Prone Skin

In a hurry? Here are five of the best CC creams for acne-prone skin:

  1. Best Prestige CC Cream For A Natural Finish: Supergoop! CC Screen 100% Mineral CC Cream
  2. Best Prestige CC Cream For A Full-Coverage Finish: Dermablend Continuous Correction Tone-Evening CC Cream
  3. Best CC Cream With Vitamin C: Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer
  4. Best CC Cream With Peptides: E.l.f. Camo CC Cream
  5. Best CC Cream Without SPF: Neutrogena Clear Coverage Flawless Matte CC Cream

1. Best Prestige CC Cream For A Luminous Finish

Sun protection is especially important for people dealing with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) — it can help prevent the sun from making PIH more noticeable, says Dr. Camp. Supergoop!’s CC Screen provides SPF 50 sun protection via mineral sun blockers to shield skin from both UVA and UVB rays, while Irish moss extract offers added protection from free radicals. Finally, it leaves behind a luminous, skin-like finish and has a creamy, yet lightweight texture that feels comfortable on all skin types.

Coverage: Medium SPF: 50 Size: 1.6 oz. Available Shades: 15

Relevant Review: “I have acne prone skin and this does not break me out which is why the 5 stars because usually every bb/cc cream breaks me out. It goes on fast and easy and makes my skin look fresh. I love this stuff.”

2. Best Prestige CC Cream For A Full-Coverage Finish

Dermablend’s CC Cream gives you the coverage of a foundation with the benefits of a skin tint. With an SPF of 50, it helps reduce the appearance of redness and unwanted hyperpigmentation while simultaneously offering protection from harmful UV rays. Though the formula is relatively lightweight, it has a wear time of 24 hours and leaves behind a full-coverage finish, though it can also be blended out with a Beautyblender for a slightly more natural effect.

Coverage: Full SPF: 50 Size: 1 oz. Available Shades: 15

Relevant Review: “This has incredible coverage and feels great on my sensitive skin. I have acne scars and I can’t even explain how confident I have felt using this product. It covered them flawlessly but felt like a tinted moisturizer in terms of how lightweight it was. I've worn it both sheer and full-coverage and either way it does a great job of correct the occasional redness I have.”

3. Best CC Cream With Vitamin C

Honest Beauty’s CCC Tinted Moisturizer is a great all-in-one product for a.m. use — it’s a CC cream that gives you both sun protection and antioxidant benefits thanks to the vitamin C inside. Vitamin C can help promote a more even skin tone over time, so it’s a highly beneficial ingredient for those with acne and/or PIH. The CC cream provides light, hydrating coverage, but can be a bit dewy, so those with oily skin might want to set it with a light dusting of powder.

Coverage: Light SPF: 30 Size: 1 oz. Available Shades: 9

Relevant Review: “If you are looking for a tinted moisturizer that is actually bendable, looks very natural on the skin and leaves a nice dewy look, and actually provides good coverage this product is the one for you! I have rosacea and small acne scars, and this product does a great job of covering it all up while making my face look natural. Not at all cakey. Definitely rebuying this product.”

4. Best CC Cream With Peptides

With full-to-medium coverage, e.l.f.’s Camo CC Cream contains a cocktail of good-for-skin ingredients. Broad-spectrum SPF 30 provides sun protection, hyaluronic acid locks in hydration, niacinamide works its myriad wonders, and peptides promote generally strong, plump, healthy skin. For what it’s worth, Amazon reviewers have touted this as a more affordable alternative to the cult-favorite IT Cosmetics CC Cream, and say it has outperformed many other, more expensive base makeup products.

Coverage: Medium/Full SPF: 30 Size: 1.05 oz. Available Shades: 20

Relevant Review: “I ordered this on a whim for those days that I didn’t want to use my [expensive Hourglass foundation] but needed something to put on my face when going out of the house due to acne and blemishes. I was expecting an OK result and decent coverage but was blown away by this product!! I actually prefer this product over my [Hourglass foundation] and have been using it every time I do my makeup. Such a flawless finish, great value for $ and will be repurchasing again soon so I don’t run out!”

5. Best CC Cream Without SPF

If you prefer to wear a separate sunscreen or mostly wear CC cream at night, consider Neutrogena’s Matte CC Cream, which is the only CC cream on this list that doesn’t contain any SPF. “This CC cream specifically formulated for those with acne-prone skin is made without oil or fragrance, so [it] won’t clog pores or irritate the skin,” explains Dr. Garshick. It contains niacinamide to further benefit those with acne by helping to reduce inflammation and redness. Best of all, it has the widest shade range on this list and costs less than $15 on Amazon.

Coverage: Full SPF: None Size: 1 oz. Available Shades: 34

Relevant Review: “This full coverage product is a perfect match for my skin tone, lasted all day, and the niacinamide is amazing for fading acne and picking marks!”