On a recent trip to Sephora, I picked up a small travel size of IT Cosmetics CC+ cream (yes, I’m a sucker for browsing through those little product bins while waiting in line). This product bills itself as “Your Skin But Better” (and it even trademarked that phrase). After taking a quick scan through the massive ingredient list, I saw that it contained physical sunscreen ingredients (a mix of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), so it offered full protection against the full spectrum of UV rays. It also contained a bunch of other ingredients that looked beneficial and interesting: snail secretion filtrate was actually the second ingredient, after water. Interesting.
A bIT of background on IT Cosmetics
IT Cosmetics has an impressive backstory. It was founded by Jamie Kern Lima, a woman who got her start as a reporter but had trouble finding makeup products that helped her rosacea. She was able to propel her company to success by demonstrating that her products could work on specific skin conditions—and she even demonstrated how her products could transform her own skin, live on QVC. That strategy worked…in 2016, she sold the company to L’Oreal for $1.2 billion (and remains CEO of the company to this day). I wish she could be a guest on the How I Built This podcast—it would be amazing to hear the full story.
But knowing all this only makes me want to believe in this CC cream even more. After all, the CC in CC cream stands for “color correcting”…and who better to understand the challenges of color correction than a company whose founder and CEO personally struggled with color-correction issues herself? But I didn’t know any of this at the time I decided to try out this CC cream.
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ ingredients
Active ingredients: titanium dioxide (9.0%), zinc oxide (6.3%)
Inactive ingredients: water, snail secretion filtrate, phenyl trimethicone, dimethicone, butylene glycol, butylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, orbignya oleifera seed oil, butyloctyl salicylate, cetyl peg/ppg-10⁄1 dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, magnesium sulfate, polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, aluminum hydroxide, hexyl laurate, stearic acid, calcium stearate, caprylyl glycol, triethoxycaprylylsilane, ethylhexylglycerin, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, tocopheryl acetate, sorbitan isostearate, phenoxyethanol, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, 1,2-hexanediol, disodium edta, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, punica granatum seed oil, pinus sylvestris leaf oil, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, niacinamide, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, cholesterol, anthemis nobilis flower water, lactobacillus/honeysuckle flower/licorice root/morus alba root/pueraria lobata root/schizandra chinensis fruit/scutellaria baicalensis root/sophora japonica flower extract ferment filtrate, perfluorohexane, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, glycerin, eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, camellia sinensis leaf extract, chrysanthemum indicum flower extract, pueraria lobata root extract, perfluorodecalin, morus alba fruit extract, magnolia kobus bark extract, glycine soja (soybean) sprout extract, diospyros kaki leaf extract, cinnamomum cassia bark extract, artemisia princeps leaf extract, pentafluoropropane, curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract, steareth-20, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, colloidal oatmeal, hydrolyzed silk, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, n-hydroxysuccinimide, hydrolyzed collagen, caprylhydroxamic acid, tocopherol, thiamine hcl, riboflavin, retinyl palmitate, pantothenic acid, palmitoyl oligopeptide, niacin, folic acid, chrysin, carnitine hcl, biotin, ascorbic acid, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, chlorhexidine digluconate
IT Cosmetics CC Cream includes quite a few ingredients. Some of the ones I want to highlight are:
- zinc oxide: the only FDA-approved sunscreen ingredient to protect against the full spectrum of UV rays: UVA1, UVA2, and UVB.
- snail secretion filtrate (a K-Beauty darling ingredient, and the star in COSRX Snail Mucin Essence 96)
- tocopheryl acetate and tocopherol: two forms of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect against UV damage
- colloidal oatmeal: an ingredient that helps soothe itchy, inflamed skin, which is why it’s often included in eczema lotions
- hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid: like the hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate found in The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, meant to help hydrate the skin
- ascorbic acid: aka vitamin C, this is probably what enables the product to claim that it helps brighten the skin
- morus alba fruit extract (white mulberry extract): an ingredient that has been shown to help lighten melanin (which may also help this product brighten the skin), though the same study also found that this ingredient had a drying effect on the skin.
IT Cosmetics CC Cream review (medium shade)
I bought the Medium shade of IT Cosmetics CC Cream because that was the one that happened to be in the bin (remember I picked this up while waiting in line at Sephora). I’m not sure if this shade suits me exactly—it’s a bit more orangey than I normally prefer. I think if I were to mix it with Light, it would be just about right for me.
IT Cosmetics CC Cream definitely feels heavier than a tinted sunscreen, but not quite as heavy as a full-on foundation. You can see the shade in the image above: a bit more tan than the inside of my wrist, but not overly so. It helped neutralize the redness on my face, and also helped reduce the appearance of my pores. It doesn’t look like it will blend in that much at first, but after patting it into the skin a bit more, it begins to look more natural. I didn’t find it to be very hydrating at all—you’ll definitely still need a separate layer of moisturizer if you have dry skin at all. I also didn’t find that it helped brighten my skin that much. For that, I prefer something like Frudia Citrus Brightening Cream.
When I feel like going more natural, I’ll be sticking with my old standby: Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Sunscreen. But I’ll probably use IT Cosmetics CC Cream on days when I feel like I need a little more coverage, or whenever my skin looks a bit more red or irritated than usual. It’s also important to remember that even though this product is rated SPF 50, and even though it contains ingredients that truly cover the whole spectrum of damaging UV light, you’re probably not applying enough of it to get the full SPF factor stated on the label. So you’ll still need to wear regular sunscreen in addition to this CC Cream (unless you plan to really slather it on).