If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our daily skincare routine over the years, it’s that sun protection is key. And the more products we layer on that can block damaging UV rays, the happier, healthier and more radiant our skin will be. This is where the best tinted moisturizers with SPF come in: Along with complexion benefits, they offer the added layer of sun protection.
A hybrid between moisturizer and light-coverage foundation with some skincare benefits, these formulas hydrate, cover minor blemishes and redness and create a glowing base—all without feeling heavy or cakey. “A tinted moisturizer is perfect for people who prefer lighter texture products or less coverage in general,” says Sam Michalska, executive director of global education at Ilia. (This is all of us on humid days when the sensation of foundation is especially intolerable.) Add SPF to the mix and you’ve got the perfect tool to speed up your morning routine while still protecting your skin (although you’ll want to layer on a face sunscreen for full broad-spectrum protection). We asked the experts and took a deep dive into the top-rated options to find the best tinted moisturizers with SPF for a variety of skin types. Happy swatching.
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
Ilia’s triple threat—skincare, makeup and sunscreen—wins top marks for the following. It’s filled with beneficial glow-boosting and hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, squalane and niacinamide (which also evens out skin tone and minimizes pores). Plus, it has a high level of natural sun protection. Results from the clinicals are bananas: In a study of 52 women, 100% said their dry skin was hydrated while 92% of those with oily skin said their skin was more balanced after use. The product is non-comedogenic, and formulated without fragrance, gluten, oil or silicone, making it especially ideal for anyone with skin issues like sensitivity. With 30 shades in the range, it’s an inclusive product that works well for just about any skin concern from dry to oily to sensitive to acne-prone skin.
What the expert says: “I suffer from rosacea, and have seen a marked improvement in my own skin after using it,” says Michalska. When my skin reacts to something it doesn’t like, I know that I can go back to this Super Serum Skin Tint and get the coverage I am looking for without irritation.” Her pro tips on application: Pat a quarter-sized amount to your skin with your fingers like you would a serum. “At first, the color will appear lighter to guide your sunscreen application and make sure you never miss a spot [before it settles into the correct shade]” she says.
This BB cream comes in five shades and scores high marks for its multitasking skin-loving benefits: hydration, sun protection (with SPF 30) and brightening. Other perks include the oil-free non-comedogenic formulation and light, natural finish.
What the reviews say: “I prefer light coverage, and this BB cream is perfection,” writes one reviewer. “It evens out my skin tone without feeling heavy or cakey—it provides radiant coverage that lasts all day.”
Another fan of the product says it works wonders on mature skin. “As I’ve turned 50 and my skin texture has changed, this goes on so light and it looks beautiful,” she says. “It doesn’t settle into lines around my eyes.”
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector SPF 30
Laura Mercier’s trusted tinted moisturizer, known for giving that effortless no-makeup makeup look, has been around for ages (since 1996 to be exact) and is still kicking butt and taking names. This is in part because the brand knows when to evolve. A few years ago, it updated the cult classic to make it more inclusive (with 20 shades), hydrating and better for your complexion. The brand put a focus on skincare benefits and reformulated with the addition of hydrating macadamia, kukui seed oils and tamarind seed extract. Vitamins C and E were also added to the mix to protect skin from environmental damage, and the sunscreen level increased from SPF 20 to 30 for more protection. This tinkering of the formula also allowed for five darker tones to be added to the lineup.
What the expert says: With all these tweaks it’s no wonder 19/99 Beauty lead makeup artist Simone Otis (whose clients include Sandra Oh and Tilda Swinton) is a big fan. “It has a lovely dewy finish along with ingredients to soften fine lines and hydrate your skin,” she says.
IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow SPF 40
For those wanting lighter coverage than the brand’s beloved CC+ Cream SPF 50, IT Cosmetics recently created this CC+ Nude Glow, a buildable medium-coverage formula that focuses on skincare and comes in 22 shades. Infused with hyaluronic acid to plump skin and minimize the appearance of fine line and wrinkles, niacinamide to boost collagen production and brighten and green tea extract to protect from environmental stressors, the lightweight tint is perfect for mature skin. And users are especially into the fresh, radiant glow it gives.
What the reviews say: “I am 44 and have typical signs of mature skin,” says one fan of the product. “When I started wearing this, people asked me why I was aging backward. It is flattering, glowy without being glittery and mistake-proof. Highly recommend!”
This updated tinted moisturizer is designed specifically for those with oily skin, or anyone wanting to switch to a more mattifying product for the hot summer months. The new formulation—which like the acclaimed original hydrates with squalane, provides buildable coverage and protects against sun damage with a mineral-based SPF 30—now dries down to a beautiful matte finish. The brand claims that the mineral-rich ingredients even reduce oil and sebum overtime.
What the expert says: To get the full benefits, BareMinerals global makeup artist and brand educator Carly Giglio says to give the tube a good shake. “It has the gorgeous mineral powders within it that absorb those oils, so by shaking, you’ll mix it up best for an even application.” Reviewers also stress using a sponge or brush for a more flawless application.
For her clients who prefer a clean formula, Otis likes Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30. Designed with problem or sensitive skin in mind, the formula uses a combination of prickly pear and aloe vera to even redness, soothe stressed skin and repair the skin’s barrier. For its healing efforts, SunnyDays became the first tinted sunscreen to receive the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Another notch on its belt: The zinc oxide-based SPF miraculously doesn’t leave a white cast.
What the expert says: “You can build this mineral-based formula for a very natural finish,” says Otis of the 14-shade collection.
Saie’s Slip Tint is everything you need in a tinted moisturizer with SPF. It’s packed with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, argan and grape seed oil to flood skin with hydration; licorice root to brighten; and pansy flower to fight free radicals. It also delivers a really pretty dewy glow and powerful sun protection with SPF 35. Be warned: Those with combination to oily skin might find the formula—which comes in 14 shades—too rich.
What the reviews say: “It’s so good for my sensitive skin,” says one user. “The color match is perfect. The only thing is that it’s a bit oily.” Her solution: skip using moisturizer before applying and you’ll be fine.
If you’re prone to breakouts, hyperpigmentation and rosacea, this oil-free, fragrance-free and noncomedogenic tint is for you. Created by dermatologist (so you’re already in trustworthy hands), the award-winning formulation works to calm and protect reactive skin types with a cocktail of niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid. But we can’t talk about this product without stressing its hero ingredient, the SPF 40 zinc oxide, which blends in without the zombie-esque white cast of most mineral sunscreens.
What the reviews say: It’s worth noting that this tint gives very light coverage. One user who recently took it on vacation says, “The coverage isn’t the best as a makeup alternative, but it’s much better than normal sunblock.”
The days when you want to look a little extra polished and blur hyperpigmentation, reach for Nars’ classic. It provides a bit more coverage than a typical tinted moisturizer. And there are more reasons why Nars’ Pure Radiant is on everyone’s list year after year: The oil-free formula, which comes in 16 shades, contains broad spectrum SPF 30 and hydrates, refines and brightens with French Polynesian kopara and vitamin C.
What the expert says: “This tinted moisturizer is buildable for light to medium coverage and a beautiful skin-like finish,” says Otis about the fan favorite.