Beauty Call: Alphabet creams – where will it all end?

We’ve already had BB creams and CC creams. Now it’s time to welcome the DD cream (or not)


Last week Euromonitor warned the cosmetics industry to take note of the overuse of the term BB and of branding products as multifunctional, as it is leading to consumer confusion.

At the moment, using the term BB (blemish balm) to describe everything from tinted moisturiser to full-on foundation and CC (colour corrective) to describe everything from tinted moisturiser to . . . well, you get the drift, might just be the most baffling thing to happen since foundation was first invented. Is the cosmetics industry bewildering us on purpose? Sales of these tinted moisturiser hybrids have been phenomenal, so the cynical among us might say yes.

Brace yourself: we’ve moved on to the next letter in the alphabet. DD creams are set to be the next must-have. But if you think BBs and CCs had an identity crisis with overlapping skin benefits and levels of coverage, DD creams do too.

There’s no clear definition of what the moniker even means, or of any clear difference between DDs and the other alphabet creams. “Daily defence” or “disguise and diminish” say some, while others brand it as “dynamic do-all”.

There aren’t many DDs on the market yet, but if we look to South Korea, where DD creams originated, we can see what they should be able to do. They should include a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection) and long-term anti-ageing skin benefits. All this plus the coverage of a BB and the colour-correcting properties of a CC. Looks like the blueprint for a dream foundation, doesn’t it? But it remains to be seen if we will actually find all these benefits in western products, so let’s proceed with caution.

Will the alphabet cream madness ever end? Probably not, because I hate to break it to you, but I’ve seen a GG cream on the market.

As someone said to me recently: go home foundation, you’re drunk.

Aisling is on Twitter: @aismcdermott


ddGwiyomii DD Cream (€21.60,

This product, one of the original Korean DD creams, is the real deal: it can cover over acne scars and marks, works on oily and combination skin and has an SPF of 50+. Set with powder for stay-all-day coverage.


Decléor DD Fluid Shield (€38)

With an SPF of 30 and 100 per cent mineral shield to safeguard skin from the sun and environmental pollutants,use this DD alone or during the day to top up your makeup and ensure your skin is always protected.


Julep DD – Dynamic Do It All ($36)

One of the first DDs to launch in the West last year. Huge hype ensured that it was an instant sell-out in the US. Disappointment followed as it was widely agreed that it was a BB cream – and not a very good one.


Philosophy Hope in a Jar A-to-Z Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 (€28)

“Now BB can go A-Z” says Philosophy, cleverly covering all letter bases with this tinted version of its iconic Hope in a Jar moisturiser.



AISLING LOVES . . . Payot Elixir D’Eau (€48)

Hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and oat extracts mean that dry and dehydrated skin will thirstily soak up this hydrating fluid. Apply serum under your regular moisturiser for an instant skin boost.

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