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CC creams are slightly rarer than their more common cousins, BB creams and tinted moisturizers — though admittedly, all of these products work similarly. (For a quick refresher, BB creams usually offer several skin care benefits; tinted moisturizers are exactly what they sound like; and CC creams focus more on color-correcting.) Frustratingly, CC creams that are affordable and accessible for a wide range of skin tones are even more difficult to find. That’s what makes the best drugstore CC creams so rare: They all cost less than $20, do several jobs at once — from evening out discoloration to protecting your skin from sun damage — and have much more inclusive shade ranges than most. Below, you can learn more about each product, and shop them all on Amazon.
Before you get to shopping, a few notes on how to use CC cream. CC creams will replace your foundation and maybe even your concealer, and if it has an SPF of 30 or higher, you won’t need to apply an additional layer of sunscreen. However, if your CC (or BB) cream has an SPF lower than 30, you’ll want to put on a proper sun protectant first. (If you have the time, try to wait about 20 minutes before putting your CC cream on top.) Though many CC creams serve as an all-in-one skin care/makeup hybrid, you may still want to wear a serum underneath, which would go onto clean skin before your sunscreen and CC cream.
Now that you’re informed on the basics, keep scrolling to shop the best CC creams under $20 — as well as some amazing drugstore BB creams.
1. The Overall Best
Honest Beauty’s CC cream gets the top spot because it offers nice, light coverage, it feels lightweight and comfortable on skin, it offers protection from both the sun and blue light, and it’s made with gentle, soothing ingredients like allantoin and zinc oxide (the latter of which, along with titanium dioxide, gives this sheer tinted moisturizer its SPF of 30). Easy to blend and build up for more coverage, this CC cream also contains vitamin C to help brighten, even out, and protect your skin. At just $20 for such an elegant formula, what more could you want?
- Available shades: 9
2. Best For Fuller Coverage
For fuller, more foundation-like coverage, try this CC cream with SPF 30 from e.l.f. This is made with four key ingredients that help support plump, hydrated, healthy skin: peptides, niacinamide, collagen, and hyaluronic acid. As it evens out and color-corrects your complexion, it also gets rid of shine and helps protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Best of all, it’s vegan and cruelty-free, like all e.l.f. products, and boasts the most extensive shade range out of all of the CC creams on this list.
- Available shades: 21
3. Best For Glowy Skin
Pacifica’s CC cream only has an SPF of 17, so you’ll need to wear an SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen underneath it. But it’s definitely still worth mentioning, as it’s rich in several naturally derived ingredients that work to keep your skin healthy and hydrated, including coconut water, ginseng, safflower seed oil, and kelp. The SPF in here comes from physical sun blockers, and it’s made with illuminating minerals that color-correct and adjust to your own skin tone, resulting in natural-looking coverage and a personalized tint. For those who like a glowy look, this is the CC cream for you.
- Available shades: 5
You May Also Like: These Drugstore BB Creams
CC creams can be tough to find, so if you’re open to BB creams — many of which offer even more benefits than their CC counterparts — here are some great, affordable options to consider.
4. A Cult-Favorite BB Cream That Also Comes In A Redness-Reducing Shade
I personally know so many people who use — and love — this L'Oréal BB cream. The brand says it “primes, corrects, hydrates, and perfects,” but what really makes it so great is that your skin still looks like skin when you’re wearing it, and it feels neither greasy nor drying. While it does come in four tinted shades, it’s also sold in two color-correcting versions that perform similarly to a CC cream. The anti-redness formula is particularly noteworthy, as it cleverly uses a green tint to neutralize redness, so while it doesn’t cover up anything, it does adjust to your skin to even everything out. The price is great, too.
- Available shades: 6
5. A Hydrating Tinted Moisturizer For Less Than $5
This Wet n Wild tinted moisturizer is proof that good skin care products don’t have to cost a lot of money. Ringing up at a mere $5, it’s rich in hydrating ingredients like squalane and hyaluronic acid, which contribute to its creamy, comfortable feel and skin-softening effect. It gives your skin a semi-matte finish, so it’s a nice choice for both dry and oily skin types (and practically ideal for combination skin), and the buildable formula can be layered on for more coverage, or applied in one coat for a sheer, second-skin effect.
- Available shades: 8
6. A BB Cream From A Korean Brand That’s Favored By People With Sensitive Skin
Purito is a K-beauty brand that’s known for being friendly to sensitive skin (their recovery cream is a particular favorite, but they also make an amazing, soothing serum and a really nice cleansing oil). While they’re not a drugstore brand per se, their products do boast drugstore price tags. Take this under-$10 BB cream, for example, which is free of potentially irritating ingredients like fragrance and essential oils, making it a lovely choice for people with sensitive skin. What it does contain is several soothing and nourishing ingredients — the majority of which are naturally derived — like centella asiatica extract, niacinamide, allantoin, and panthenol. The texture is decidedly velvety, and the finish is just the right amount of glowy.
- Available shades: 6
7. A High-SPF BB Cream That’s Rich In Antioxidants
The fact that this is an all-mineral sunscreen with an SPF of 50 and a tint makes this product something of a unicorn, which may explain why it’s such a best-seller. On top of that, it’s absolutely loaded with skin-protecting antioxidants — many of which are derived from rare Australian botanicals — like vitamin C-rich kakadu plum, eucalyptus, and red algae. The mattifying formula is fragrance-free, oil-free, lightweight, and non-pore-clogging, making it a nice choice for both oily and sensitive skin. It’s even water-resistant up to 80 minutes, so you can wear it to the beach.
- Available shades: 3