Top 14 Best Japanese CC Creams to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 14 Best Japanese CC Creams to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

Foundation is so yesterday. Nowadays, in Asian beauty, all you hear about is alphabet cream: AA, BB, CC, DD, so on and so forth. CC cream is more a skincare product than a cosmetic; it usually functions as a color corrector and primer, though its properties can differ by brand. Depending on who’s making it, CC cream can be all sorts of shades and do all sorts of things.

So which products are actually loved in Japan and which are dupes? To answer that question, we ordered the 14 most popular Japanese CC creams from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also consulted three experts, who looked for the following:

  1. Finish
  2. Ease of Application

This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese CC creams.

Table of Contents

Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge

This time around,  we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artists Rika Fujiwara and Mutsuki, as well as the former fashion retailer and Instagrammer Chie Kato.

Chie Kato, Rika Fujiwara, and Mutsuki
〈Chie Kato, Rika Fujiwara, and Mutsuki〉

Beauty Gurus

{Left: Former Fashion Retailer and Instagrammer Chie Kato}
She used to work in fashion as a retail clerk (also the time when she started her blog). After she got married, she quit her job in in the fashion industry. Now, as a housewife, she's still very active, Instagramming daily about fashion, cosmetics, and hair. She's got over 100,000 followers.

{Middle: Freelance Hair and Makeup Artist Rika Fujiwara}
She's a freelance hair and makeup artist and an expert in aromatherapy certified by the Aroma Environment Association of Japan. She also pens beauty columns. She studied under Mr. Hiroki Murooka from the hair and makeup studio ThreePEACE for four years before going independent.

{Right: Hair and Makeup Artist Mutsuki}
She's a popular freelance hair and makeup artist who can turn anyone into an idol. Her creations are known for being girly, exquisite. In the industry, she has a huge following who can't get enough of "Mutsuki Magic," which brings out the innate beauty of actresses and models, leaving them doll-like yet natural.

Sorry, but What’s CC Cream Again?

Sorry, but What's CC Cream Again?

CC cream is most often used as a skin corrector and primer. CC cream is described differently by various cosmetics companies, so it’s hard for us to give a hard and fast definition, but they’re basically color correctors, which is what the CC stands for.

For more coverage, go through your usual skincare routine, apply CC cream, then throw on a liquid or powder foundation. For a more natural look, just apply face powder over the CC cream.

CC cream is indispensable for busy mornings, but it tends to have a lot of oil in it. Therefore, if you have oily skin, it may wear off quickly and/or turn you into a greaseball, so you’ll have to work harder to find a formula suited for you.

How to Choose Japanese CC Cream – Buying Guide

We’ll get into how we tested and compared all of our CC cream, but first we want to share two things you should keep in mind when choosing CC cream.

① Choose a Shade that Blends Well into and Complements the Skin You Were Born with

Choose a Shade that Blends Well into and Complements the Skin You Were Born with

Get CC cream that can match and color correct your skin color. The more naturally the tone blends in and the better the cream addresses your problem spots, the more beautiful your skin is going to look. The following is how we use CC creams of various undertones in Japan:

  • Green: To cover redness, especially around the cheeks
  • Yellow: To cover hyperpigmentation and liven up dull skin
  • Pink: To create a healthier complexion
  • Blue: To craft translucent porcelain skin

There’s also CC cream that goes beyond priming and acts more like a foundation. If you like a no-makeup look and want to complete your base with just CC cream, go for one that’s more beige in tone.

② Hydrating, Sunblocking, or Beautifying, Skin-Nutritious Ingredients? Know Your Priorities

Depending on the product, CC cream is going to be filled with different kinds of ingredients, meant to serve different purposes. Think about whether you want to prioritize sun protection, hydration, or beautification, then pick a CC cream that prioritizes the same things.

Looking for Hydration and Skin Beautifying Skincare? You Want Nutritious Ingredients like Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid

Looking for Hydration and Skin Beautifying Skincare? You Want Nutritious Ingredients like Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid

If you have dry skin or simply want to heal, pretty up, and maintain your skin, get CC cream that doubles as skincare. That means it should be packed with nutritious and hydrating ingredients. If you see humectants (compounds that attract water into the skin) such as glycerin※1, collagen※2, hyaluronic acid※3, and squalane※4, then it’s a moisturizing formula.

If you have sensitive skin, then you also need to avoid ingredients that could possibly irritate it. The most common culprits are ethanol※5, parabens※6, and mineral oil-based surfactants※7.

※1 グリセリン: glycerin

※2 コラーゲン: collagen

※3 ヒアルロン酸: hyaluronic acid

※4 スクワラン: squalane

※5 エタノール: ethanol

※6 パラベン: parabens

※7 石油系界面活性剤: mineral oil-based surfactant

Looking for Sun Protection? Aim for a Rating of About SPF30 PA++

Looking for Sun Protection? Don't Go Lower Than a Rating of SPF30 PA++

If you want sun protection, it only makes sense that you’d go for a cream that can block UV rays. Just know that the more UV protection a product offers, the more stress it tends to put on your skin. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, it’s important to avoid products with jaw-droppingly high SPF ratings, no matter how tempting they may be.

Something with an SPF of around 30 and a PA++ rating should be more than enough for everyday use. Use that as a bottom line and look for more protection when the need arises.

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

Now to introduce the 14 most popular Japanese CC creams that we ordered and the process by which we tested them.

{The Products We Tested}

  1. naturaglace Makeup Cream (ナチュラグラッセ メイクアップクリーム)
  2. Keana Pate Shokunin Mineral CC Cream (毛穴パテ職人 ミネラルCCクリーム)
  3. LANAREY Prism CC Cream (ラナレイ プリズム CCクリーム)
  4. KATE Secret Skin CC Base Zero (ケイト シークレットスキンCCベースゼロ)
  5. Kose Grace One CC Cream (コーセー グレイスワン CCクリーム)
  6. Shinnihonseiyaku Perfect One CC Cream (新日本製薬 パーフェクトワン CCクリーム)
  7. SK-II Atmosphere CC Cream (SK-II アトモスフィア CC クリーム)
  8. Kose Nudy Couture Mineral CC Cream (コーセー ヌーディクチュール ミネラル CCクリーム)
  9. MAIHADA Sumihada CC Cream (米肌 澄肌CCクリーム)
  10. FASIO CC Liquid Touchproof (ファシオ CC リキッド タッチプルーフ)
  11. SUGAO Air Fit CC Cream (スガオ エアーフィット CCクリーム)
  12. Dr.Ci:Labo CC Perfect Cream (ドクターシーラボ CCパーフェクトクリーム)
  13. Freshel Skincare CC Cream (フレッシェル スキンケアCCクリーム)
  14. 24h cosme Mineral CC Cream (24hコスメ ミネラルCCバーム)

We then tested for each of the following things:

Test ①: Finish
Test ②: Ease of Application

Test ①: Finish

Finish

First, we tested for finish.

We had our experts try the CC creams out on their hands and tell us their impressions–whether the cream looked cakey, for instance, or gave the skin a translucent glow.

The Big Takeaway: The Dewy Finish of Hydrating CC Creams was Mesmerizing

The Big Takeaway: The Dewy Finish of Hydrating CC Creams was Mesmerizing

On this test, we were partial to hydrating formulas. They gave us those beautiful dewy finishes that are particular to CC creams.

Even the experts were impressed by the glow they provided. There were also a few products that offered enough coverage to be used on their own as a base, which will be good if you’re looking to save time.

Rika Fujiwara
Hair and Makeup Artist
Rika Fujiwara's comment
I like CC creams that strike a balance with hydration and a dewy finish. They're excellent because they make your actual skin look beautiful.
Mutsuki
Hair and Makeup Artist
Mutsuki's comment
CC creams are typically dewy. But the CC creams that did the best were the ones that provided a complete dewy finish, which left us feeling like we could use just that CC cream and nothing else as a base.

Test ②: Ease of Application

Ease of Application

Next, our experts tested how easy each CC cream was to use.

They looked at things like packaging and how easily the product spread.

The Big Takeaway: Pump Bottles Made It Easy to Control How Much Product Came out

The Big Takeaway: Pump Bottles Made It Easy to Control How Much Product Came out

This time around, our experts favored products that came in a pump bottle.

Pump bottles predetermine how much CC cream you should use for a single layer, so you don’t run the risk of over-applying. If you tend to use too much product and end up with a cakey finish, next time, try looking for a CC cream that comes in a pump bottle.

Chie Kato
Former Fashion Retailer and Instagrammer
Chie Kato's comment
Products that came in a pump bottle spread well and were easy to use. And you don't have to worry about too much spilling out, either.

The Final Verdict: Top 14 Best Japanese CC Creams to Buy Online

Now to introduce the 14 best Japanese CC Creams available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from D to A+.

14. Kose Nudy Couture Mineral CC Cream

Kose Nudy Couture Mineral CC Cream

Visit eBay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $11.67

Heavy Texture Makes It Difficult to Spread. Might End up Looking Cakey…

Because it was such a heavy cream, it didn’t spread easily and ended up looking cakey. It might also leave your face whiter than your body, so pay attention to how much you use.

Finish D
Application D
Overall Score D

13. SUGAO Air Fit CC Cream

SUGAO Air Fit CC Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $11.97

Depending on Your Skin Type, It’ll Probably Either Leave You Sticky or Dried out

It had a silky texture and felt a bit like powder, but it really discriminated against certain skin types. It left dry skin even more dehydrated and wrinkly; on the other hand, it left oily skin kind of sticky…

Finish C
Application D
Overall Score D

12. Keana Pate Shokunin Mineral CC Cream

Keana Pate Shokunin Mineral CC Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $11.67

We Like the UV Protection, but It’s Too Heavy to Blend Easily into the Skin

The SPF50+ PA++++ rating will certainly protect you from the sun, but the texture was just so thick. It also didn’t have that nice dewy CC cream finish, so it’s best to use it as a primer and only as a primer.

Finish B
Application D
Overall Score D

11. Freshel Skincare CC Cream

Freshel Skincare CC Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $12.44

Melts Easily into the Skin but Leaves Your Face Really White

This CC cream had a pink undertone, so it brightened up our complexions. It spread well and felt good on the skin, but it was too white for our tastes (and we’re pretty pale!). It’s only available in one shade too, which will be a deal-breaker for many.

Finish B
Application B
Overall Score C

10. LANAREY Prism CC Cream

LANAREY Prism CC Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $34.02

Looks Natural and Stands up to Sweat! But Coverage is Just Decent and It Smells Pretty Strong

This one’s called “Prism” because there’s little powder particles in here that diffuse light, which was supposed to make our blemishes harder to spot. It utilizes this technology called oil separate, which evaporates unwanted oils, ensuring the CC cream sticks close to your skin. However, we found ourselves wanting a bit more coverage. Also, it smelled pretty strong.

Finish B
Application B
Overall Score C

9. KATE Secret Skin CC Base Zero

KATE Secret Skin CC Base Zero

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $9.77

Leaves You with a Natural, Translucent Finish! But Only Available in a Few Shades

We love the natural, translucent finish. However, this CC cream is only available in pink beige and light green–you don’t choose the shade, but rather it chooses you. If you want a healthier complexion, go for the pink; if you want to calm down redness, go for the green.

Finish B
Application A
Overall Score C

8. 24h cosme Mineral CC Cream

24h cosme Mineral CC Cream

Visit YesStyle for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $17.58

Has a Lovely Natural Finish, but It’s Only Suited for Dry Skin

It had a natural finish that left us with translucent skin. However, it was greasy, so it made oily skin look super shiny. We also couldn’t help wishing that it came in a tube instead of a jar.

Finish A
Application A
Overall Score B

7. FASIO CC Liquid Touchproof

FASIO CC Liquid Touchproof

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $12.50

Strong against Sweat, Water, and Oil, but Smells and Feels Like Sunscreen

This CC cream can stand up to sweat, water, and oil. And out of all of the products we’ve introduced so far, this one felt the best on the skin.

However, we didn’t like that it smelled and felt like sunscreen. It was also kind of oily.

Finish B
Application A+
Overall Score A

6. Kose Grace One CC Cream

Kose Grace One CC Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $9.19

Will Blend Beautifully into You if You’ve Got East Asian Skin! But the Scent is Hit or Miss…

This is another CC cream packed with beautifying ingredients, and our experts, all of whom are Japanese, praised it for looking natural against our skin. It was dewy and brightened up dull skin in a very natural way.

It did everything a CC cream was supposed to do, including protect our skin from the sun. However, the floral rose scent was met with mixed reviews.

Finish A
Application A
Overall Score A

5. naturglace Makeup Cream

naturglace Makeup Cream

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $27.86

Full of Gentle Ingredients Good for Sensitive or Dry Skin! But It Wears off Quickly

naturaglace prides itself in its gentle ingredients, which most of the time work for dry or even sensitive skin. This CC cream had just the slightest shimmer to it, which gave our skin a natural glow.

You don’t even need a cleanser to remove this makeup; just any old soap will do. However, that means that it’s also weak to oil and sweat and wears off quickly throughout the day.

Finish A
Application A+
Overall Score A

4. Dr.Ci:Labo CC Perfect Cream

Dr.Ci:Labo CC Perfect Cream

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $32.84

Leaves Your Skin Glowy and Translucent! For Those Days You Want to Give Your Skin a Break

This cream had just the right amount of glow and translucency, and it left our skin looking beautiful. It also went on light, so even if you were to use it every day, it wouldn’t put much stress on your skin.

It left us both hydrated and protected from the sun. It’s a great product to turn to on days you want to let your skin rest. However, it is quite a fluid cream, so be gentle when you’re squeezing from the tube.

Finish A+
Application A
Overall Score A

3. Shinnihonseiyaku Perfect One CC Cream

Shinnihonseiyaku Perfect One CC Cream

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $37.81

Leaves Your Face Naturally Looking Brighter! Also Feels Light on the Skin

This cream absorbed quickly into the skin and left us a shade brighter. It brought in just the right amount of light, giving us dewy, ceramic skin.

Even though it does a good job correcting color and blemishes, it still felt light–something our experts all loved. However, it can wind up making your face just a bit too white, so it would be a good idea to blend this CC cream onto your jaw and neck.

Finish A
Application A+
Overall Score A

2. MAIHADA Sumihada CC Cream

MAIHADA Sumihada CC Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $34.83

Love the Coverage! If You Want to Hide Blemishes and Still Look Like You Aren’t Wearing Any Makeup

In second place, we’ve got MAIHADA’s Sumihada CC Cream, which contains skin-healthy extracts from fermented rice, rice bran, and Job’s tears. Even though it left us radiant, translucent, and looking like we had absolutely no makeup on, it still managed to cover up a lot.

Of course, you could still see some of our bigger blemishes, but this CC cream is great if you want a natural finish. It also had no problem blending into our East Asian skin. It’s packed with skincare ingredients MAIHADA is famous for, so we’d say this is a gentle product.

Finish A
Application A+
Final Score A

1. SK-II Atmosphere CC Cream

SK-II Atmosphere CC Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $75.41

The CC Cream mybest is Obsessed with! Leaves Your Skin Glowing with the Radiance of Pearls

Perhaps this one needs no introduction. SK-II’s CC cream is known around the world for its restorative properties. It also contains pearls; when we applied the cream, it provided both hydration and glow, leaving our skin nothing short of breathtaking.

Even though it covered our blemishes, the cream still allowed our actual complexions to shine through, giving us a very natural finish. It spread well, went on light, and didn’t look cakey; it was almost as if we weren’t wearing makeup at all (except no one has skin this perfect).

It also corrects dullness–so it’s great if your skin is looking a bit lackluster, whether it be due to age or other skin problems.

Finish A+
Application A+
Overall Score A+

How to Use CC Cream

How to Use CC Cream

CC cream is pretty self-explanatory. You go through your skincare routine, squeeze a bit of CC cream onto your hand, and spread it out from the center of your face outwards. Afterwards, you just pat on a bit of face powder, and your base makeup is complete.

CC cream not only covers up fine lines, dullness, pigmentation, and pores, but also makes your face a shade brighter. It can also function as skincare, hydrating your skin, protecting it from the sun, and controlling oil. It’s pretty much perfect for daily use as an ultra-lightweight foundation.

Of course, CC cream is mainly used as a primer and color corrector, so many of them don’t provide much coverage. If you have stubborn pigmentation, then try the cream along with a good foundation and concealer.

Looking for More Coverage? Try a BB Cream

If you’re looking to save time, nothing beats a BB cream. It contains all your base makeup in one tube. We also had a chance to purchase and test all of Japan’s top-selling BB creams; you can visit the article by clicking below.

Summary

We invited three experts, purchased the 14 most popular tubes of Japanese CC cream, and tested them all.

Everyone has their own personal preferences, of course, but the writer of the original Japanese article loves drugstore cosmetics, so she was enamored with the affordable Perfect One CC Cream. Next time you’re out looking for some new CC cream that’s a perfect match for your skin and skin troubles, make sure to keep this guide in the back of your mind.

Original by Yukina Matsuda; Translation by Jasmine Li