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Updated October 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Revision Skincare Intellishade Original Tinted Moisturizer
Revision Skincare
Intellishade Original Tinted Moisturizer
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Multiple Benefits
Bottom Line

Tinted moisturizer provides hydration and sun protection, in addition to its lightweight coverage.

Pros

Formula evens and brightens skin tone with a sheer color. Has anti-aging benefits and works to minimize the look of wrinkles and fine lines. SPF of 45 with UV and UVB protection. Can be used on all skin types. Comes in a 1.7-ounce bottle.

Cons

This product is expensive. A few customers wished that it had more coverage.

Best Bang for the Buck
EltaMD UV Daily Moisturizer
EltaMD
UV Daily Moisturizer
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

A moisturizing, mineral-based sunscreen with a sheer tint that works well for those with dry skin.

Pros

Comes in a 1.7-ounce bottle and has 40 SPF. Doesn’t feel greasy and is fragrance- and paraben-free. Provides sun and free-radical protection, and uses hyaluronic acid for targeting wrinkles and lines. Sheer lotion can be used by itself, or can be layered under makeup.

Cons

The tint on this product may not be the best for fair skin.

Jane Iredale Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Jane Iredale
Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
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Many Shade Options
Bottom Line

A premium tinted moisturizer with skin-loving ingredients and SPF, this will work for most skin types and colors and is a good value.

Pros

Offers sheer, lightweight coverage in a creamy mineral formula. Wears all day, and creates a natural, healthy-looking glow. Provides SPF 15. Falls on the lower end of the price range compared to other high-end brands.

Cons

Doesn't come in as many colors as some competitors, and some shades may appear too light on some skin tones.

Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizing Tint SPF 30
Perricone MD
Face Finishing Moisturizing Tint SPF 30
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

Earns high marks for offering excellent moisture, versatile skin-enhancing tint, and superior sun protection in a formula that also feels nice on the skin.

Pros

Formulated with a pigmentation that works for most skin tones. Feels lightweight on the skin and provides a dewy, natural glow. Delivers an impressive SPF 30, and can easily be worn alone or under makeup. Has a mild, pleasant scent.

Cons

Tends to sell out quickly, but this is a testament to the loyal customer base it has earned.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF
bareMinerals
Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF
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Popular Pick
Bottom Line

This tinted moisturizer provides suitable coverage, hydration, and mineral-based SPF.

Pros

Available in multiple buildable shades. Contains ingredients such as hyaluronic acid that provide moisture for skin that feels more hydrated. Is fragrance-free. Comes in a 1.8-ounce tube.

Cons

Formula can be difficult to blend well.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best tinted moisturizers

Tinted moisturizers are the perfect lightweight product for those days when you don’t feel like applying a full face of makeup. A tinted moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated while evening out your skin tone and concealing minor blemishes and imperfections. The best tinted moisturizers also contain sunscreen for a true three-in-one product that offers moisture, sheer coverage, and UV protection.

However, there are so many tinted moisturizers on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to sift through all the options. Luckily, we're here to address your concerns and help you find the best tinted moisturizer for your skin type.

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Tinted moisturizers can brighten your skin and give it a healthy, natural glow.

Tinted moisturizer vs. foundation

How are tinted moisturizers different from foundations? While both are base products, there are key differences between the two.

The main difference between tinted moisturizers and foundations is the amount of pigment. In general, tinted moisturizers contain less pigment than foundations. Tinted moisturizers only offer sheer coverage, while foundations can offer sheer, light, medium, or full coverage. Therefore, tinted moisturizers can only even out the skin tone and conceal very minor blemishes and imperfections. Fuller-coverage foundations, on the other hand, can cover more serious acne and hyperpigmentation.

The other key difference between tinted moisturizers and foundations is the percentage of humectants. These ingredients bind water to your skin to keep it moisturized. Tinted moisturizers usually have a greater percentage of humectants than foundations, since they are meant to act as both your moisturizer and foundation. With a foundation, even a dewy one, it is best to use a separate moisturizer underneath.

Features to consider for tinted moisturizers

Let’s take a look at the most important features to consider to find the right tinted moisturizer for you.

Skin type

If you have dry skin, just about any tinted moisturizer will work for you. Oily skin poses more of a challenge. The moisturizing properties that work well for dry skin can just make oily skin shinier. Also, if you have acne-prone skin, you will probably want to steer clear of any oils. Those with oily or acne-prone skin should look for an oil-free tinted moisturizer.

You also have to think about the level of coverage you need. If your skin is prone to breakouts, hyperpigmentation, or redness, you might need more coverage than a tinted moisturizer can offer. Almost all tinted moisturizers offer sheer coverage. That said, tinted moisturizer is ideal for “no-makeup makeup days.”

Shade

The best tinted moisturizers come in a number of shades to suit every skin tone. However, tinted moisturizers tend to come in less shades than foundations because they are so sheer. Tinted moisturizers are less pigmented, so a single shade will work for a wider range of skin tones than one shade of a highly pigmented foundation. In fact, some tinted moisturizers come in just one universal shade, which is meant to blend seamlessly into most skin tones. With tinted moisturizers, you also don’t have to worry about matching your skin’s undertone like you do with foundations. As the name implies, tinted moisturizers only add a tint of color.

Weight

Tinted moisturizers should feel invisible on the skin. A tinted moisturizer that feels heavy might clog your pores and cause breakouts. Unlike with foundations, it’s not a good idea to build up tinted moisturizers with another layer. This could add too much of the moisturizer’s humectants to your skin, which will also clog pores. For extra coverage with a tinted moisturizer, spot conceal with a lightweight concealer to hide any blemishes or imperfections your tinted moisturizer doesn’t cover.

Longevity

Because they are lighter than foundations, tinted moisturizers tend not to last as long. However, a good tinted moisturizer should get you through the day without running or fading. You can often get a sense for how long a tinted moisturizer holds up by reading online customer reviews.

Sunscreen

Many tinted moisturizers include UV protection, usually SPF 15 to SPF 30. You should always wear sunscreen during the day, so a tinted moisturizer with built-in UV protection takes an extra step out of your morning routine.

Keep in mind, though, that the UV protection will only last as long as the tinted moisturizer stays on your face. If your tinted moisturizer is prone to running or wearing off after a few hours, you will need to reapply in order to avoid sun damage.

Supplemental ingredients

Some tinted moisturizers include vitamins C and E and other botanical extracts. These can help improve the look of your skin by giving it a boost of nutrients. You’re more likely to find these supplemental ingredients in high-end tinted moisturizers than in drugstore products, however.

While you may not need these extra ingredients if you’re already using other skin care products that have them, they’re undoubtedly a nice perk, especially on those days when it’s too hot and humid to use some of the other products in your beauty routine.

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Did you know?
Tinted moisturizers are much more forgiving when it comes to finding your shade than foundations. Because they are so sheer, they blend into the skin more than foundations.
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Tinted moisturizer prices

Tinted moisturizers can cost anywhere from under $10 for a drugstore product to over $50 for high-end brands. Usually, this difference comes down to the quality of the ingredients in the tinted moisturizer.

Inexpensive

If you spend less than $30, it’s possible that the tinted moisturizer may not stay on well or may clog your pores.

Mid-range

If you’re looking for a high-quality tinted moisturizer that will last you all day, we recommend spending at least $30. These products usually come in a number of shades and feel light and natural on your skin.

Expensive

Tinted moisturizers over $50 usually contain the highest-quality moisturizing ingredients, so one of these may be a good fit for you if you have very dry or mature skin.

Tips

  • You don’t need to use a makeup brush or sponge to apply tinted moisturizer. Just use your fingers. Blend from the center of your face outward, just like you would apply a regular moisturizer.

  • If your tinted moisturizer makes your skin look oily, pat on some translucent powder to soak up some of the shine.

  • Don’t forget to blend the tinted moisturizer down your neck for a seamless look.

  • If you need a little something extra to cover blemishes, apply concealer after your tinted moisturizer. Use a light-coverage concealer with tinted moisturizer. A concealer that’s too heavy will look unbalanced with a tinted moisturizer’s sheer coverage.

  • Keep the rest of your makeup minimal when using a tinted moisturizer. Mascara, some brow gel, and a lip balm or lip gloss is usually all you need.

  • Finish your look with a makeup setting spray to hold the tinted moisturizer in place and give your skin a radiant glow.
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Tinted moisturizers are the perfect choice when you’re in a hurry because you can quickly blend them in with your fingers like any moisturizer.

FAQ

Q. What’s the best tinted moisturizer for combination skin?

A. Tinted moisturizer should be quick and easy. If you have combination skin, purchase a tinted moisturizer for all skin types, and then use translucent powder to take down the shine on your oily areas.

Q. Will my tinted moisturizer expire?

A. Yes, like all makeup products, tinted moisturizers do expire, and liquid products expire faster than powders. Usually, after one year, it’s time to buy a new tinted moisturizer. Watch for changes in shade, smell, and consistency for an indication of when the product should be replaced.

Q. Do tinted moisturizers offer enough SPF for a full day in the sun?

A. Probably not. If you’re going to be outside all day, it’s a good idea to apply additional sunscreen and to reapply regularly to avoid getting burned.

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