The 7 Best Tinted Sunscreens to Easily Add SPF to Your Makeup Routine
Multi-tasking your morning routine with a tinted sunscreen can save time and help protect your skin from UV rays.
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Sun protection is a required step in all skincare routines, but having the protection already included in a tinted sunscreen expedites your makeup application. As the weather warms up and more SPF is required, it’s helpful to find a sunscreen product you love that will encourage daily wear.
Board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Aramore, Dr. Sarina Elmariah, recommends a minimum of SPF 30 for daily use on the face and tells us that many people don’t think about tinted sunscreen the right way.
“A common misconception is that tinted sunscreens are the same thing as a foundation or coverup product that includes SPF,” says Dr. Elmariah. “If you are relying on sun protection from your daily moisturizer or foundation that only achieves a SPF of 15 to 20, that’s probably insufficient.” She also advises finding a product that blends with your skin tone, as it’s “a good idea to apply sunscreen more than once throughout the day for optimal protection.”
The best tinted sunscreens
- Best overall: Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 Tinted Face Sunscreen
- Best budget: CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 30
- Best full coverage: Tower 28 Beauty Sunny Days SPF 30 Tinted Foundation
- Best for sun protection: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50
- Best for melanin-rich skin: Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
- Best for dry skin: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
- Best for oily skin: COOLA Organic Mineral Matte Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30
Best overall tinted sunscreen
Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 Tinted Face Sunscreen
Beloved by dermatologists and beauty lovers alike, Elta MD’s tinted sunscreen is a mineral-based face sunscreen with a tint. The oil-free and fragrance-free moisturizer helps to soothe sensitive skin types, won’t cause breakouts and includes hyaluronic acid to help hold in moisture. Elta MD is great for all skin types, whether you’re a little oily or a bit sensitive, and the tint effortlessly blends, helping to color correct and even your skin tone. P.S. Your face isn’t the only place you should be applying sunscreen—get one for your scalp, too.
- Absorbs quickly and easily
- Over 11,000 5-star ratings on Amazon
- Non-comedogenic, fragrance free and oil free
- Higher price tag
- Includes octinoxate, a common SPF ingredient that may affect hormone balance
Best budget tinted sunscreen
CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen with SPF
CeraVe’s 100% mineral sunscreen blends easily into a range of skin tones without leaving a cast. The hydrating sunscreen’s tint excels at evening out the skin, making it a great primer with SPF or even the perfect tinted moisturizer to wear on its own. Oil free and non-comedogenic, it contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help boost moisture and protect the skin barrier.
- Only $14 a bottle
- Lightweight feel that absorbs quickly and easily
- Non-comedogenic, fragrance free and oil free
- Great for a makeup minimalist, but the tint is pretty sheer
Best for full coverage
Tower 28 Beauty SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Foundation
Tower28 Beauty’s mineral sunscreen is fragrance free and offers buildable coverage, acting like your foundation while providing much-needed SPF. Safe for sensitive skin, this natural sunscreen helps to even out redness and protect from sun damage while providing a natural, non-greasy finish. It’s non-white casting and non-oxidizing, creating a flawless finish for most skin types. Psst! Prefer sunscreen sticks instead? We’ve got you covered.
- Lightweight, buildable coverage
- Fragrance free, non-oxidizing and non-greasy
- Available in 14 shades
- Suitable for most, but not all, skin tones
Best for sun protection
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50
La Roche-Posay’s tinted sunscreen is a best-selling, dermatologist-loved product with a universal tint, ensuring no white cast is left behind. With high UVA and UVB protection as well as a fast-absorbing, matte dry-down, the sunscreen’s glowing reviews are there for a reason. Great for sensitive skin, this non-greasy tinted SPF works under makeup or on its own. Use a simple face wash to remove the tinted sunscreen from your face at the end of the day.
- 100% advanced mineral sunscreen
- Fast absorbing, non-greasy and great for sensitive skin
- SPF 50 for extra sun protection
- Formula needs to be shaken well before use
Best for melanin-rich skin
Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
The best-selling tinted sunscreen from Unsun is a mineral sunscreen primer and color corrector all in one. This female-founded brand sells products for people of color who lack good options for SPF that don’t leave behind a white residue. Use the cruelty-free and vegan lotion alone or under makeup. It also helps to fight free-radical stressors while protecting your skin.
- Female founded and created for people of color
- Non-greasy and doesn’t leave a white cast
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Can take longer to rub in than other options
Best for dry skin
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint fuses skincare, makeup and sunscreen into one step, allowing for SPF protection and easy coverage. The lightweight coverage includes SPF 40 with non-nano zinc oxide to help shield skin from UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light and pollution. Plus, the addition of niacinamide, squalane and hyaluronic acid helps to lock in moisture, creating a dewy appearance.
- Available in 30 shades
- Over 2,000 5-star ratings on Amazon
- Lightweight, fragrance free and non-comedogenic
- Combines makeup, skincare and SPF in one
- Darker skin tones may struggle with the perfect match
Best for oily skin
Coola Organic Mineral Matte Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30
Coola is known for creating great SPF for a variety of skin types, and their organic mineral sunscreen is no different. For those with oily skin, this option helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles while also drying down to a matte finish. With a light tint, you can think of this SPF as a natural BB cream, allowing for protection and evening out skin tone without an oily or greasy feel.
- Ideal for combination and oily skin types
- Helps to reduce shine and provide lightweight hydration
- Vegan and fragrance free
- Some testers have noted that the newest addition (in a blue bottle) is not as fast absorbing as the previous version
How we found the best tinted sunscreens
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product and if it stands up to the test.
Is tinted sunscreen as good as regular sunscreen?
Yes, tinted sunscreens provide the same powerful protection as regular sunscreen. Dr. Elmariah notes that “tinted sunscreens typically contain minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which offer protection from ultraviolet (UV) and blue light. Because mineral-based sunscreens can cause an undesirable white cast once applied to the skin, some formulators add pigments to help offset this effect. The addition of pigment does not ‘dilute’ the efficacy of the SPF. What’s more important is to know the SPF of any specific product because this reflects what has been tested in the final formulation.”
Is tinted sunscreen good for daily use?
To help prevent skin cancer, Dr. Elmariah recommends a minimum of SPF 30 for daily use, and that protection can be from a traditional SPF or tinted SPF.
Is tinted sunscreen better than makeup?
Depending on what you are looking for in terms of makeup coverage, a tinted sunscreen can be all you need. Since the light pigment in a tinted sunscreen offsets a white cast and any small imperfections, it is a good light-coverage option. But if you’re looking for heavier coverage, an additional foundation might be necessary. Or, apply self-tanning drops for a natural-looking tan underneath the sunscreen.
- Dr. Sarina Elmariah, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Aramore
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