Tuesday, July 17, 2018

It Cosmetics CC+ Oil-free Matte SPF40 Review

One of the products that I was most excited about at the recent Sephora Press Day in Singapore was the Oil-free Matte version of It Cosmetics' bestselling CC+. Living in sunny Singapore, who wouldn't want a matte, oil-free, pore minimizing version of the full-coverage high-SPF skincare cream? 

Even as someone with combination-dry skin, I was excited to try a more sweat-resistant and less creamy version of my favorite BB/CC-type product the past 1-2 years. 

Ingredients Run-down

It Cosmetics CC+ Oil-Free Matte ingredients
First off, the ingredients list is impressive as usual. They have all the signature skin-pampering and calming extracts, with the addition of tea tree extract, sulfur, willow bark extract (salicylic acid), charcoal powder and niacinamide, traditionally great for troubled, oily, spot-prone skin. I've not had any significant breakouts ever since I cut down on my sugar intake a couple of months back but I do work out about 5-6 days a week and I can get clogs and black heads, so I would never turn down pore-clearing ingredients.

There aren't really many ingredients in here that would be overly-drying for drier skins despite the inclusion of sulfur, willow bark extract, and charcoal powder. There are just too many conditioning agents. Even though I have dry areas, this did not dry me out and felt comfortable through the day. 

Shade Range
Also, this is the first CC+ range that will include a Fair-Light shade, which I sadly did not receive in my press bag. BUT - they did generously include both a Fair and a Light, so I will do as I have for years and just mix LOL. No biggie. But you guys won't have to if you've always found Fair too pale and Light too deep. The color range has been expanded to 12 shades, so I will give them props for that.
However, it's still far from being ideal as most shades seem to fall in the light to medium zone.


Do note that the new formula is only SPF40, 10 less than the original 2 formulas, which I am guessing is largely due to the formulation limitations of a high-pigment matte formula

Shade variations
It Cosmetics CC+ Matte Fair and Light swatch comparisons
The original Fair formula is paler in the original formula, slightly deeper in the new Matte version. The Matte Light shade on the other hand, is a tiny touch lighter than the original. Both of the Matte shades are a tiny touch more yellow-toned, which is actually good on oilier skins where pigments are more prone to oxidizing and going a bit warmer or more orange.

I did not find this formula to oxidize noticeably on me however.

Comparison vs CC+ Original SPF50

CC+ Oil-Free Matte's finish on skin
CC+ Original's finish on skin
As you can see, the Oil-Free Matte is significantly less dewy looking than the original. My pores DO definitely look less minimized and this gives a nice soft-focus effect to the skin. However, I will point out that the finish you get can be a bit dependent on what skincare and primer you apply beneath.

I tested it without primer just to see how it did on its own. The first day, I IG-storied that it looked disappointingly glowy. Not at all matte. However on subsequent days, it did look significantly more matte, and I attribute that to lighter skincare on the latter days, and giving the product a bit of time to set before stepping out into heat. If you use a heavy cream or oil in your morning routine, the CC+ Oil-Free Matte WILL likely look quite satiny.

This also tells me it's not a strong oil-control formula. It does set to a beautiful luminous matte if your skincare is lightweight, but I do see shine peep through after a couple of hours. I can imagine it possibly breaking down after several hours on very oily skins if you do not blot off the oil or use an absorbent primer underneath. But most days it stayed on fine for me, although powdered areas can still look slightly cakier after sweating, which happens with most foundations.


As for the coverage, both have medium-buildable coverage but the Matte can come off as being higher than the original just because the matte formula doesn't sheer out as much as the creamier formulas. But it's still easy to use (I find fingers give the highest coverage while still looking skin-like) and a quick way to get perfected but natural-looking skin when you want to be out the door in minutes.

Overall, if the main reason you haven't tried the original CC+ was because it was too dewy due to oily skin or hot weather, you definitely should get a sample of this and see how you like it. I wouldn't expect it to work like a Maybelline Superstay foundation just because it says "Oil-Free Matte" but I have grown to really like this more than the original.

Products in rotation these past 2 weeks!
It Cosmetics CC+ Oil-Free Matte will retail at the same price as the other CC+ cream formulas, and will launch July in the US, September in Singapore.


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