Skin & Tonics : Skincare Guides & Product Reviews

Skincare guides & product reviews for hydration lovers & the moisture barrier obsessed

Holika Holika Face 2 Change Color Control (CC) Cream Review

You’d think after being so underwhelmed by the Banila Co. CC Cream I’d have given up on CC creams altogether. It would be a logical response, but since I’m at least a little bit illogical, my response was to buy all the Korean CC creams I could get my hands on so I could find the perfect one for me. They’re so popular in Asia right now, I figure it can’t all be hype. I decided on Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in #02 for my next CC cream experiment.

Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in No.2

If you’re new to CC creams, here’s the recap: CC Creams are the follow up to BB Creams but perform a different function. Asian CC creams are designed to provide skin tone corrections, light coverage, and sometimes act as a makeup base. Meanwhile, Asian BB creams are made to provide natural looking coverage for skin imperfections, and offer medium (and sometimes even full) coverage. Both BB creams and CC creams are designed to provide skincare benefits.


Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream claims to moisturize, even skin tone, whiten, brighten, cover imperfections, and provide UV protection (SPF 32/ PA ++) as well as anti-aging benefits.


You guys, this might be the longest ingredient list I’ve ever typed! When I first looked at, I was partially convinced that some of these ingredients weren’t even real. This CC cream contains:

Water, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexylmethoxycinnamate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dipropylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Butylene Glycol, Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate, Lauryl PEG-8 Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Niacinamide, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, CI 77492, Phenyl Trimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Glyceryl Behenate, Polyglyceryl-6, Octastearate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Mica, Silica, CI 77492, Alumina, Phenoxyethanol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Bifida Ferment Lysate, CI 77499, Bismuth Oxychloride, Pearl Powder, Coral Powder, Methylparaben, Polyester-1, Perfume, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Triethoxysilyethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Silica Dimethyl Silyate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Diethyl Oxalate, Menthol, Propylparaben, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Simethicone, Adenosine, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Glycerin, Lilium Candidum Leaf Extract, Nymphaea Coerulea Leaf Extract, Nymphaea Alba Leaf Extract, Tribehenin, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Ceramide 2, Palmitoyl Ogliopeptide, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Mother of Pearl Extract, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Polyglutamate Crosspolymer, Alcohol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydrolized Millet, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, EDTA, Platinum Powder, RH-Polypeptide-1

Triethoxysilyethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone? Really? That’s a thing? I was expecting COSDNA to return an LOL when I ran this ingredient list through it, but wouldn’t you know it? Triethoxysilyethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone is real, though I’m still not sure exactly what it does.

Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in No.2

Remarkably, even with this long list of ingredients, this product contains no high-risk acne triggers according to COSDNA. There are a couple of irritants, namely Menthol and Alcohol, which each scored a 3 out of 5 for irritation potential. However, I did not personally experience any irritation from their presence, presumably because there is too little of them in this CC cream to cause an issue.

There were several ingredients I was excited to see in this formula. Those ingredients include:

Niacinamide – Hydrating, anti-inflammatory ingredient that has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. (See the study)

Bifida Ferment Lysate – Helps protect skin’s barrier function and reduces sensitivity (See the study)

Pearl Powder – This ingredient has been used in Chinese skincare for centuries, claiming a whole range of skincare benefits, from whitening to anti-aging. While not all of those claims have been proven, pearl powder has been scientifically shown to promote wound healing and stimulate skin regeneration, which is good enough for me! (See the study)

Ceramide 2 – Ceramides function as cell regulators and help protect the skin’s moisture barrier.

Palmitoyl Ogliopeptide – Preliminary in-vitro studies have shown this peptide to increase collagen and hyaluronic acid production.

Even though I was excited about these ingredients, I don’t think there are enough of these actives (except maybe the Niacinamide) to make a huge impact on my skin condition. But some actives are better than no actives, right?


The packaging for the Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream is really nice. It’s not overly cutesy, but it’s also got some stylish character. The CC cream is packaged in a tube with a pump, which is a convention I’m a big fan of.

Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in No.2

When it’s first pumped out of the container, it’s a white cream base peppered with tiny pigment capsules. As it’s rubbed into the skin, the capsules burst, giving the CC cream it’s color. Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream is available in two colors – #1 Pink Beige, and #2 Natural Beige. Both colors are very fair – anyone with a skin tone deeper than NC25 would have a difficult time pulling this off.

Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in No.2

Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in No.2

Whoops! Turns out that tiny little blob was a lot more product than I thought!

Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in No.2

My hand with Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in #2, Natural Beige.

One of the first things I noticed when rubbing it into my skin is that this CC cream has significantly more coverage than the Banila Co. CC Cream. Still, the coverage isn’t heavy – it’s definitely in the light to medium-light range. The finish is slightly dewy, but not full-on shiny face dewy. The finish is quite nice, and reads as healthy, moisturized skin when I look at it in the mirror.

The color is a shade too light for me, although, I am frankly a little unsure if this isn’t actually the desired brightening effect this CC cream promises. It still looks good though. If I didn’t need more coverage for the ongoing zit saga happening on the right side of my face and chin, I would be perfectly comfortable wearing this CC cream on its own. As it is, I’ve been using it as a makeup base for my BB cream, and it works very nicely. I do notice a longer wear time (+2 hours or so) for my BB cream when I’ve applied Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream as a base.

Before: No face makeup. It looks like I've been crying, doesn't it? I'd actually just woken up about 10 minutes prior to this photo, and the light was still hurting my eyes. It's a wonder I even managed to do my eyeliner.

Before: No face makeup. It looks like I’ve been crying, doesn’t it? I’d actually just woken up about 10 minutes prior to this photo, and the light was still hurting my eyes. I probably should have waited before I attempted eyeliner.

After: Minutes after applying Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in #2, Natural Beige.

After: Minutes after applying Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in #2, Natural Beige.

I’ve been using this CC Cream daily for a couple of weeks as a makeup base, and though I haven’t noticed any specific anti-aging effects, I have noticed a subtle brightening effect, even when I’m not wearing the CC cream.

Before: No makeup

Before: No makeup

After: Minutes after applying Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in #2, Natural Beige.

After: Minutes after applying Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream in #2, Natural Beige.

I really like the Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream, though I’m still not convinced that CC creams are an entirely necessary makeup item. I still much prefer the coverage of my BB creams, but as a CC cream, this one makes it much easier to see why it’s a craze. I’d also like to see how I feel about it when my skin finally clears up. Perhaps that’s what I need to be a true CC cream believer.

+ Moisturizing
+ Non-irritating
+ Broad spectrum SPF 32 PA ++
+ Easy to spread
+ Light to medium coverage
+ Evens out redness
+ Not oily
+ Slightly dewy finish
+ Brightening

+ A bit too light for my NC25 skin tone
+ Doesn’t effectively cover blemishes or acne marks

Skin & Tonics Rating:

Performance: 4/5 – Subtle, brightening coverage that evens out redness but doesn’t cover blemishes. Moisturizing and offers broad spectrum UV protection.

Quality: 4/5 Lots of interesting skincare actives, did not cause irritation or acne, though the ingredient list is a bit bulky and does contain a small amount of potential irritants (menthol and alcohol)

Value: 5/5 $17 for 50mL of product is a very accessible price point for this product.

Overall: 4.4/5

Where to Buy

I bought mine at cosmeticmarket2012 on Ebay for $16 with free shipping.


This post contains affiliate links. Shopping these links help support this site! Full disclosure

Share this:

14 comments onHolika Holika Face 2 Change Color Control (CC) Cream Review

  1. Until now I agree with you about the question wether CC creams are an entirely necessary makeup item…Actually, I was always happy with BB creams, because it was time efficient. Using a CC cream before putting on the BB cream is really contraproductive in respect of time 😀

    • Kerry

      Very good point! It is certainly an extra step for people who liked BB cream because they could afford to skip a primer. I have always been a primer skipper, even with foundation, because I could not find a primer I liked. I did find one eventually, but as a primer, I think I actually like this CC cream better!

  2. I have the same feeling about CC creams. I just don’t know if it’s worth adding an extra step into my routine for results that aren’t ‘wow’. Still, this one has better coverage than the ones I’ve tried.

    • Kerry

      Yeah, I definitely appreciate the coverage on this one, especially when compared to Banila Co.

      Which CC creams have you tried?

  3. I think they’re definitely nice for those who already have nice skin but just want a “glow” to their face.
    I recommend Hera’s CC cream if you’re looking for coverage from a CC cream (albeit light coverage). It’s more than most CC creams I’ve tried!

    • Kerry

      Yay, that’s really great to hear about the Hera! I ordered some last week that literally arrived moments ago! I’m very excited to try it out.

  4. Thanks for this review! Do you think the shade #2 will match my NC20 skintone?

  5. Hi, thanks for this review! Is the final set color close to Missha M perfect cover #21? How would you describe the fragrance?

    • Kerry

      Hi Diana! The final set color is a little lighter than Perfect Cover #21, but it’s sheer enough that it doesn’t look ghostly. The product doesn’t have any added fragance, so it just ambiguously smells like cream. Have you ever used an unscented lotion? It smells a lot like that!

      • Oh, that’s interesting that it smells unscented. Perfume is like right in the middle of the long ingredient list. xD

        • Kerry

          Oh, you’re right – perfume is in there. Which is weird – what kind of perfume smells like nothing? I just went and smelled this product again to make sure, and indeed, it does smell like plain, unscented lotion. Bizarre!

          • Maybe it’s a masking fragrance then? I noticed that the Cetaphil cleanser for normal/oily skin contains a masking fragrance:
            Water (Purified), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Acrylates/Steareth 20 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, PEG 200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Butylene Glycol, PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Phenoxyethanol, Masking Fragrance (Parfum), Panthenol, PEG 60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben

            I wonder what these products would smell like with no fragrance agents added at all. xD