Sephora Collection CC Care + Color SPF 20
Last Updated:04.29.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

First, if you're wondering what the difference between BB and CC creams is, here's the scoop: Generally, a BB cream from U.S. cosmetics brands is basically a tinted moisturizer, while a CC cream is more like a liquid foundation (but not always). They typically provide sun protection and may or may not include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents. Neither BB nor CC creams are as revolutionary as they are made out to be, and there is little consistency among BB and CC's from different brands.

This CC cream from the Sephora Collection is touted as an "innovative formula that combines skincare efficacy with universal pigments that adapt to your unique skintone", but don't fall for the hype!

The so-called 'universal' color is anything but flattering. CC Care + Color is packaged in a clear bottle and inside it appears there are two different formulas (one white, one bronze) swirled together helix-style. The formulas are dispersed together via the pump style applicator and the result on skin is a sheer, orangey-bronze tint.

The strongly fragranced formula is far from innovative and contains irritants that can make skin worse for the wear (see More Info). For a CC cream, it lacks the beneficial ingredients you should be getting, and the active sunscreen ingredients don't provide enough UVA protection on their own, leaving your skin vulnerable to damage (see More Info). Although this product contains titanium dioxide, it cannot be relied on for sun protection because it is not listed as active.

Titanium dioxide is also used as a pigment in many makeup products, and can also be used to provide greater coverage—but for sun protection it should be among the active ingredients.

On the plus side, the creamy texture blends on evenly and sets to a natural, lightweight finish that wears well under foundation, but given its other drawbacks, why bother?

  • Blends on evenly.
  • Imparts an unflattering orange tint.
  • Lacks beneficial ingredients found in many other CC creams.
  • Doesn't provide broad spectrum sun protection.
  • Highly fragranced, which poses a risk of irritation.
More Info:

Irritation from Fragrance

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)

Insufficient UVA protection:

Sephora Collection CC Care + Color does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of these UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active": avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).


Active: Octinoxate 7.5%, Oxybenzone 2%. Other: Water, Phenyl Trimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Isododecane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Talc, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Benzophenone-3, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Dimethicone, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoylpropyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Fragrance, Iron Oxides, Alumina, Benzoic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Iron Oxides, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, D-Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate.

Brand Overview

Sephora At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; some good cleansers and makeup removers; the Blotting Papers; good powder foundation; impressive blush and shiny eyeshadow options; great metallic finish eyeliner; awesome brow kit; bountiful selection of lipsticks and lip glosses; a couple of very good mascaras; several outstanding makeup brushes;  testers are available in-store for each product, and sales pressure is practically nonexistent.

Weaknesses: Mostly average to below-average toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens; no options for those dealing with acne or skin discolorations; some SPF-rated products (including foundations) lack sufficient UVA-protecting actives; the lip plumper is too irritating; too many disappointing eye-makeup products, including several disappointing eyeliners and brow pencils; unappealing shimmer powders.

Sephora's first foray into skin care was back in 1994, when they offered a colorful, artfully packaged selection of bath gels. Their facial skin-care came on the scene a few years later, but for the most part wasn't worth waiting for. Sephora must not have been too pleased with these earlier versions, because lots of retooling has been done, although, sad to say, that hasn't improved on the ordinary, mundane status their products have consistently shared. Makeup is what Sephora's house brand does best. The only reason to shop this inexpensive skin-care selection is for everyday basics or the occasional impulse buy you may or may not enjoy adding to your routine. Otherwise, most of the skin-care products can't compete with the other brands sold in Sephora boutiques worldwide.

Note: Sephora is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Sephora may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more nformation about Sephora, call (877) 737-4672 or visit www.sephora.com.

Sephora Makeup

Once an incomplete line lacking such basics as foundation and concealer, Sephora's color collection has blossomed into a comprehensive group of products, most of which are priced considerably lower than products from the many other lines sold in their boutiques. Although the low price and the selection may draw you in, not everything is worth exploring; for example, some of the products (for example the inexpensive pencils, which are not worth considering) demonstrate the old adage that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. That's not to say you have to spend a lot of money for quality makeup, but it does seem that many of Sephora's potential bargains are below average in terms of performance.

What you really should pay attention to are the pressed-powder foundation, one of the concealers, the powder blush, the liquid shimmer, and a few of the mascaras. Of course, the hallmark of this line has always been an extensive selection of makeup brushes. That still holds true, and you'll find that in this case the prices are more than fair.

More than most other makeup lines, Sephora excels with their accessory offerings. From makeup bags to train cases and on to all manner of beauty tools (from tweezers to nail clippers and manicure aids), the selection means you will assuredly find something that meets your needs. It's easy to get caught up in the variety and scope of Sephora's makeup, and testers are readily available so you can play all you want. That's great, but it doesn’t compensate for a line with more than its share of average to poor products (and they change frequently, often not for the better). However, if you pay attention to the favorably rated products, you're more than likely to be very pleased.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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I love this product

I absolutely love this product. I was looking for a good tinted moisturizer that had good coverage but also a good SPF rating but I couldn't find one, until I found this at Sephora. It was either $11 or $14 and only came in one shade, which concerned me, but the shade actually turned out perfect on my olive skin! It's not pink, it definitely complements my yellow undertones. It also goes on smoothly and doesn't make me look greasy. A fantastic product for the price, I would absolutely buy again.

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