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Because I fell hard for L’Oreal’s Youth Code BB cream illuminator, I figured that the new CC creams would be just as fantastic. I’m all about lightweight tinted moisturizers that offer up a dose of sun protection. In fact, I pretty much stopped using regular foundation because the BB cream I use gives me perfect coverage, without that heavy, uneven look that some makeup gives my skin.

While BB stands for beauty balm or blemish balm, CC creams tout color correction and/or control. Frankly, there’s a lot left to interpretation here. But, I was eager to try out a CC cream and I found that Olay Total Effects 7 In One CC Anti-Aging Cream was getting some buzz, so I snapped it up and gave it a whirl. My results follow.

Olay Total Effects 7 In One CC Anti-Aging Cream, broad spectrum SPF 15, $22 for a 1.7-ounce tube at most drugstores and mass merchandisers.

First look: The cream comes as a white-and-tinted swirl suspended in a clear gel. It’s dispensed from a hard plastic tube with a pump that pushes the cream up from the bottom.

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 Olay CC cream comes in three shades: fair to light, light to medium, medium to deep. The three active ingredients are
sunscreens. Other ingredients include niacinamide (vitamin B3), which is used in topical ointments to treat acne and to help improve skin tone. However, to help with acne, an ointment will contain about 4 percent of niacinamide, and require a prescription. You can get OTC versions with half that amount of niacinamide. However, Olay doesn’t offer up the percentage in its CC cream.

Good news: The cream goes on smoothly, leaves your skin feeling lightly moisturized and offers up SPF 15.

Bad news: Make yourself comfortable, this could take a while. First, let’s take a look at the box and the actual product tube. While you’ll notice a round sticker with “CC” at the top of the box, you won’t see a mention of it on the product itself. So, it makes sense that you might leap to the conclusion that this isn’t really a CC cream at all but, rather, the Olay Total Effects 7 In One Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer with a CC sticker on the box.

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Note that CC creams are new, and that Olay just launched the poser this fall. But, take a look at this Amazon page that has reviews and a photo of the Olay Total Effects 7 In One Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer that sold as long ago as last May. How is this not the same product? Even the ingredients are identical.

If this was a terrific cream, I might not care as much that Olay is passing off an existing product as a new one. But the price is ridiculously steep, and I resent paying an extra five bucks for a sticker. Plus, Olay offers absolutely no coverage and leaves a slightly tacky feel to my skin. For me, it’s essentially a useless product.

Last words: I saved my receipt. It’s going back.