CC creams are supposed to color and correct, which is pretty much what any good foundation will do, and, from what we've seen so far, CC creams work the same as most liquid foundations. Cover FX's contribution with their CC Cream Time Released Tinted SPF 30 distinguishes itself in two significant ways: Coverage and finish. Most CC creams, like most liquid foundations, allow some flexibility with coverage. They can go from sheer to medium depending on how much you apply. This one offers medium coverage from the start, but can be sheered out. It also builds easily if you need more coverage for, say, pronounced redness or dark spots.
The finish is slightly dewy, making this best for normal to dry skin or combination skin that doesn't have extremely dry or oily areas. It dispenses as a somewhat thick cream but softens and thins out while blending, resulting in a product that feels smooth and comfortable. If you have dry to very dry skin, be sure to apply this over a rich moisturizer, as this may not feel sufficiently moisturizing for your skin type.
Broad-spectrum protection is provided by mineral sunscreen actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and their combined amounts contribute to this CC cream's satin matte feel.
The anti-aging claim is that this contains retinoid-like results without any irritation or sun sensitivity. First, not everyone who uses a retinoid will experience irritation, and often when that happens it's because the person overdoes it or uses a retinoid that's too strong for their skin. Second, retinoids do make skin more sun-sensitive, but that's a virtue of how they work to improve signs of sun damage. If you're protecting your skin daily with a product rated SPF 15 or greater, you don't need to worry about retinoids making your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Although the formula contains anti-aging ingredients like niacin, licorice root, and various antioxidants, none of them have research proving they're an apples-to-apples substitute for retinoids (like retinol). They're good ingredients, yet, but we wouldn't suggest anyone swap their retinol product for this CC cream.
Cover FX offers nine shades that include options for light and dark skin tones, and the darker shades don't look gray or ashen. G Light Medium and G Medium-Deep are the best of the bunch. Avoid P Medium-Deep (if your skin is this pink, you should probably see a dermatologist).
- Provides mineral-based broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Fragrance-free (the tiny amount of sandalwood extract imparts no scent)
- Considerable coverage without looking heavy.
- Contains some good anti-aging ingredients.
Because this product is regulated in the U.S. as an over-the-counter drug, its inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. Although this may be the standard, we have more respect for companies that choose instead to list their non-active sunscreen ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other skin care or makeup product.