Erborian CC Creme review

Erborian CC Creme keeps flying off the shelves. No matter how many tubes Sephora stocks, they always sell out in no time – every time. Now, when something like this happens, I put my sceptical cap on: either this thing is freaking awesome, or the brand is a master at hyping up crap. In my 15+ years in the beauty world, I’ve seen both scenarios happen. And sadly, the hyped scenario is the most common. Said that, hyped up products rarely last the test of time and this CC Cream has been around for ages. Must be doing something good… Curiosity got the better of me, so I had to get a tube and see for myself what the hype is about (hint: for once, the awesomeness is real):

About The Brand: Erborian

Did you know Erborian means “Oriental Herbs”? That summarises the philosophy of this skincare brand. Founded in 2007, its mission is to create innovative products that give you the best results for your skin using the least amount of steps in your routine (now, that’s something I can get on board with). Their famous CC Cream is the epitome of this philosophy. A CC Cream is a hybrid product that combines moisturiser, foundation, and sunscreen in one easy-to-use formula so you can save time in the morning and still know your skin is well taken care of for the day.

Key Ingredients In Erborian CC Creme: What Makes It Work?


First things first: CC Cremes are NOT a substitute for sunscreen. To get the SPF stated on the bottle, you need to apply 1/4 of a teaspoon. Are you doing it? If you do, kudos to you. You’re more dedicated than me. You CAN use it as sun protection. Everyone else, use it over sunscreen. So, how good is the protection of Erborian CC Creme – if you use it properly? Here are its UV filters:

  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: A.ka.a Octyl Methoxycinnamate. It protects skin from UVB rays and helps other UV filters last longer, too.
  • Titanium Dioxide (nano): A mineral filter that protects from all UVB and some UVA rays. It’s in nano size to neutralise its greasy texture and the white cast it leaves behind.
  • Ethylhexyl Salicylate: A.k.a Octyl Salicylate, a UVB filter with a slightly oily consistency and a mild floral scent.
  • Zinc Oxide (nano): A gentle mineral UV filter that protects from ALL UV rays. It’s in nano size to neutralise its greasy texture and the white cast it leaves behind.

In case you’re wondering, no, nano particles in sunscreens aren’t dangerous. They make the texture more pleasant to use and that’s the whole point. If you don’t like using it, you won’t.

Related: Is Nanotechnology In Sunscreen Dangerous?


Erborian CC Creme is loaded with silicones – and it’s a good thing. Hear me out before you call the natural brigade:

  • Silicones smooth out imperfections: Silicone fill in every pore, nook and crevice in your skin. This action blurs away large pores, makes fine lines and wrinkles look smaller and gives skin an airbrushed look without Photoshop.
  • Silicones brighten skin: Kind of. They create an even layer on the skin that better reflects light. When it hits your skin, your complexion glows.
  • Silicones give slip: Silicones give textures their velvety feel and slip, so they glide on the skin oh-so-smoothly.

So why do silicones get such a bad rep? Two myths:

Related: Are Silicones Good Or Bad For Skin?


Centella Asiatica is super popular in Korean skincare – for a good reason. It’s loaded with soothing substances – like Madecassoside – that calms down redness, irritation and more. Here’s the proof:

In Erborian CC Creme, Centella Asiatica is used together with honey, another soothing ingredient. Double goodness.

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Aqua/Water: The main solvent in the product, it dissolve other ingredients.
  • Dipropylene Glycol: It’s a solvent and slip agent that also enhances the penetration of active ingredients into your skin.
  • Glycerin: A humectant that attracts and binds to your skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. Super hydrating, it makes skin softer and plumper.
  • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate: An emollient that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Disteardimonium Hectorite: A derivative of hectorite clay, it thickens up formulations, so they’re less runny.
  • Magnesium Sulfate: It controls the viscosity and texture of a product.
  • Talc: It absorbs excess oil and adds opacity to makeup products. Safe when topically applied to the skin, it can cause issues when ingested or inhaled. The case of that happening with a CC Cream are very low (you’re not eating your creams, are you?!)
  • Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that kills bacteria and helps skincare and makeup products last longer.
  • Ethylhexylglycerin: A skin softening agent with mild preservative properties.
  • Trihydroxystearing: A mix of glycerine and fatty acid hydroxystearic acid, it thickens the texture of skincare and makeup products.
  • Butylene Glycol: It adds mild humectant properties that add moisture to your skin.
  • Mica: A mineral that creates a shimmery effect that makes skin glow.
  • Aluminum Hydroxide: It adds opacity to makeup and skincare products.
  • Palmitic Acid: An emollient that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Stearic Acid: An emollient that makes skin softer, it also helps the oily and watery part of a product to blend together and avoid separation.
  • Polyester-1: A film-former.
  • Silica Dimethyl Silylate: A texture enhancer that makes the product a pleasure to use.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate: A.k.a. Vitamin E, it’s an antioxidant that prevents wrinkles and extends the shelf life of your makeup products.
  • Tocopherol: Another form of Vitamin E to prevent wrinkles and make the CC Cream last longer.
  • Parfum/Fragrance: It makes the product smell good. But, fragrance is one of the most irritating ingredients used in skincare. If you have sensitive skin, this is a no-no.
  • Hexyl Cinnamal: A fragrant component that smells like jasmine, it must be listed separately because it’s a common allergen.
  • Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone: A fragrant component that smells like violet. It’s listed separately because it’s a common allergen.
  • Linalool: A floral fragrant ingredient. You’ve guessed it: another common allergen.
  • Citronellol: A fragrant ingredient with a citrusy scent. It’s a common allergen.
  • Geraniol: A fragrant ingredient that smells like roses. It can cause allergies too.
  • Eugenol: A fragrant ingredient that can cause allergies.
  • Limonene: A fragrant component that smells like citrus fruits. It’s listed separately because it’s a common allergen.
  • CI 77492/Iron Oxides: It gives a yellowish tint to makeup products.
  • CI 77491/Iron Oxides: It gives a reddish tint to makeup products.
  • CI 77499/Iron Oxides: A black pigment that helps create the right shade for foundations, concealers, and CC Creams.


This CC Cream has a smooth and creamy texture that glides easily on the skin without feeling heavy. It’s pleasant to use and doesn’t take ages to absorb.


Erborian CC Creme has a light floral scent. I usually don’t like to wear scented products on my face but I have to say, this scent is lovely. And it doesn’t linger around too long. If you have sensitive skin, stay away. As lovely as the scent is, fragrance is one of the most irritating ingredients used in cosmetics. If you have a bad reaction to this CC Cream, you now know what the culprit likely is.

How To Use It

As it combines makeup and skincare, acting like a moisturiser and foundation, apply it as the last step of your skincare routine. That means after sunscreen. Wait 15 minutes until the sunscreen has fully settled, so you won’t accidentally remove it as you apply the CC Cream on top. You can use your fingers or a brush. Whatever is easier for you.


It comes in a cute and practical grey tube. It’s not the prettiest. Maybe it’s just me, but the colour grey depresses me. Does it do the same for you? I wish they used a different colour, but I know it’s a not a biggie. Said that, it works for this type of product and it’s practical both to use and to carry around with you.

Performance & Personal Opinion

The first time I used Erborian CC Creme, I totally freaked out. This stuff is a translucent white with little beige dots in it. I know I’m pale, but this is too Caspar The Ghost even for me. I wasn’t sure this was gonna work…

Erborian claims the colour-matching capabilities of the 2 shades are enough to match most skin tones – and I have no reason to doubt it. But it’s ladies on the far ends of the spectrum like me who are gonna be left out. Shame, cos I love this CC Creme a lot.

The creamy texture glides smoothly on my skin, providing a sheer coverage that’s enough to even out the skin tone, blur away fine lines and large pores and neutralise redness. And the glow! The CC Creme is loaded with encapsulated pigments that brighten the complexion, giving it a healthy, radiant look that never veers into shiny territory.

Quite the opposite. It kept the shine at bay on my t-zone for the whole morning. The CC Creme herself held up pretty well, too. I applied it in the morning and it was still good at 4pm. It’s not the most hydrating, but I use it over a moisturising sunscreen, so that’s not a biggie for me. I like it that it has SPF too. It may not be enough on its own but hey, every little bit helps.

erborian cc creme

How Does Erborian CC Cream Compare To The Other Erborian CC Creams?

Erborian CC Cream may be a cult classic, but it’s not the only option the brand offers. You could say this brand is the queen of CC Creams. They offer plenty of options, including one for the eyes! Let’s take a look at all of them so you can find out which one is the best option for your unique skin type and needs:

  • Erborian CC Red Correct – Anti redness cream (£41.00): Similar to the original, this CC Cream has a greenish tint that helps counteracts redness (and nope, it blends into your skin, so you don’t look like the Wicked Witch of the West). Available at Boots, Erborian, Sephora, and SpaceNK.
  • Erboarian CC Dull Correct (£41.00): Enriched with violet pigments that brighten dull skin and give it a lovely glow. Available at Boots, Erborian, Sephora, and SpaceNK.
  • Erborian CC Eye Doré (£35.00): You don’t need a separate eye cream or CC Cream for the eye. But if you’re looking to use it as a concealer, this is a great option that makes crows’d feet look smaller and your eye area brighter. Plus, it’s moisturising. But it can’t fight puffy eyes or dark circles. Available at Boots, Erborian, and SpaceNK.
  • Erborian CC Water Doré (£41.00): A lightweight, clear gel formula that turns into colour when applied on your skin. It’s enriched with hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin. Most suitable for oily skin. Available at Boots, Erborian, and Look Fantastic.
  • Erborian CC Body – Perfecting tinted body cream (£44.00): If you’re looking for a moisturising body cream that also evens out imperfections, this is it. Available at Erborian, Look Fantastic, Sephora, and SpaceNK.

What I Like About Erborian CC Cream

  • Smooth, creamy texture.
  • Sheer coverage that evens out skin tone and minimises pores and wrinkles.
  • Glowing finish.
  • Absorbs excess oil.
  • Lightly hydrating.
  • Moisturiser and foundation in one, saves time in the morning (and money).
  • Practical packaging.

What I DON’T Like About Erborian CC Cream

  • Fragrance can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Coverage isn’t enough for big imperfections.
  • If you have dry skin, this isn’t moisturising enough for you.

Who Should Use This?

Anyone can use it, but it’s most suitable for women with good skin that just need a sheer layer of coverage. If you have severe imperfections to hide, this won’t be enough for you.

Does Erborian CC Creme Live Up To Its Claims?

This “High Definition” illuminator, with its ultra fine texture, contains pigments to enhance your skin’s appearance, while enriching and improving it’s texture and quality. The first part is true, but “enriching and improving it’s texture and quality” is so vague, it means everything and nothing.
At first glance cream appears white, but upon application, it adapts precisely to match your skin-tone, naturally revealing a more even complexion, leaving skin luminous and soft, while reducing the appearance of blemishes. True for most people. But if you’re on the opposite ends of the spectrum, it’ll still be too dark/light for you.
Soft and radiant, the lightweight finish will leave your skin looking flawless.  True.

Is Erborian Cruelty-Free?

Yes and no. While Erborian doesn’t test on animals, they’re owned by L’Oreal who does. It’s up to you to decide if this is a dealbreaker for you.

Price & Availability

$44.00/£38.00 at Boots, Erborian, Sephora, and SpaceNK

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If you’re looking for a CC Creme so you can save time in the morning, this is an excellent option to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives

I haven’t found any exact dupes for this product.


Aqua, Cyclomethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide (nano), Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Methyl Trimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Zinc Oxide (nano), Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsequioxane Crosspolymer, Centella Asiatica Extract, Honey Extract, Talc, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trihydroxystearin, Butylene Glycol, Mica, Aluminum Hydroxyde, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Polyester-1, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methicone, Tocopherol, Fragrance, Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Eugenol, Limonene, CI 77492/Iron Oxides, CI 77491/Iron Oxides, CI 77499/Iron Oxides