The Best Tinted Sunscreens to Wear, According to Beauty Experts
As the weather begins to warm up, there's a good chance you'll be spending more time outdoors. And while you should always wear sunscreen year-round—whether you're indoors or out—most of us become more diligent about sun protection once the temperatures rise. One way to make sure you really are applying your SPF every single day? Make it part of your beauty routine. That's where tinted sunscreens, which are designed to deliver just subtle kiss of color along with sun protection, come in. Because they're more sheer than a classic foundation, they're a better everyday option, which ultimately means you'll reach for yours more often.
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, daily sunscreen application of at least SPF 30 or higher is a major part of any anti-aging strategy, which means applying some form of sun protection each day is a non-negotiable. After all, the sun is the number-one cause of early signs of aging, and skin cancer is nothing to joke around about. While chemical sunscreens are protective, Dr. Mudgil recommends mineral sunscreens (and mineral-based tinted SPFs) above all else. "This sort of sunscreen serves two purposes," he explains. "Most importantly, it helps prevent skin cancer. Second, by using a mineral sunscreen (one which contains titanium and/or zinc), which physically blocks UV rays, we can also significantly reduce sun-induced photoaging (wrinkles, sun spots, etc.)."
And if you're already wearing SPF-infused makeup and think applying a tinted sunscreen is just an extra, non-essential step, you'd be mistaken: Sephora beauty director Myiesha Sewell reminds us that it's best to wear a separate SPF formula underneath your cosmetics, even those with SPF, for optimal protection. "The amount of SPF recommended for adequate sun protection (about 1/4 teaspoon) is most likely more than the amount of complexion product someone might want to wear," she explains. Luckily, the tinted sunscreens ahead will have you ready to clear our your makeup bag and streamline your routine—they're really that good.
In Dr. Mudgil's opinion, you simply can't find a better sunscreen at this price. "This is wonderful for anyone with sensitive skin," he shares. "CeraVe products also contain niacinamide, which is great for blunting a flushing tendency."
Shop Now: CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Sheer Tint, $16.99, ulta.com.
With an SPF 50 rating, this creamy tinted sunscreen is great for folks looking for extra protection. "This line also contains antioxidants, including idebenone, which helps to combat free radical damage from harmful UV/UB rays as well as pollution," adds Shafer Clinic board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman.
Shop Now: Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF 50, $68, ulta.com.
Available in seven shades ranging from light to dark, this subtle tinted sunscreen is a favorite of board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. "It's chock full of skin soothing ingredients such as cucumber extract, aloe, and hyaluronic acid," she shares.
Shop Now: Clinique Moisture Surge Sheertint Hydrator Broad Spectrum SPF 25, $39, ulta.com.
If you want your tinted sunscreen to be as sheer as possible, Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Centers board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick recommends this one. "This ultra-sheer tinted sunscreen not only protects against UVA and UVB damage but also infrared rays without leaving the skin feeling greasy," she says, noting that it's especially good for those with light to medium skin tones. "In addition to UV protection, it also provides antioxidant protection, helping with free radical damage, [which can help] improve the overall appearance of the skin."
Shop Now: SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF 50+ Tinted Sunscreen, $68, dermstore.com.
This ultralight-tinted sunscreen is sold in one shade that blends into any skin tone for a gorgeous, glowing, protected visage. "This is a super-light, powerful sunscreen that goes on very elegantly," says Dr. Mugdil, admitting that it's one of his all-time favorites.
Shop Now: ISDIN Photo Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50, $66, isdin.com.
Oily and acne-prone skin types can greatly benefit from this best-selling formula. "It's oil-free and composed of a very light formula that does not allow your pores to get clogged," Dr. Green says. "It provides sun protection with a hint of color and gives your skin the hydration it needs."
Shop Now: Garnier Ombrelle Tinted SPF 60, $29.97, amazon.com.
If you have redness-prone skin, this color-correcting treatment SPF can help. "Apply this color-correcting treatment after your regular moisturizing routine to reduce redness, better support your skin's moisture barrier, and protect from environmental aggressors that can actually make redness worse," suggests Sewell.
Shop Now: Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30, $52, sephora.com.
Anti-aging at its core, this tinted SPF works to protect skin against sun damage while working to brighten and tighten the complexion as a whole. "This all-in-one tinted sunscreen hydrates, moisturizes, brightens, and evens out skin tone and can be used by all skin types," says Dr. Garshick. "It is easy-to-use and especially great for someone who likes a product that offers multiple benefits, making it easy to incorporate into a skin care routine. It provides UVA and UVB protection, and contains peptides to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as vitamin C to help even skin tone."
Shop Now: Revision Intellishade Original, $76, revisionskincare.com.
This tinted sunscreen features a universally-flattering soft peachy hue that subtly brightens all skin tones. "It's one of my personal favorite options for sun protection," says Sewell, noting that it works wonderfully beneath foundation, too. "The non-nano zinc oxide formula means that the SPF particles aren't small enough to penetrate the skin, making it ideal for oily skin types that tend to be breakout-prone."
Shop Now: Supergoop! Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 40 PA+++, $42, sephora.com.
In addition to adding a gorgeous tint to the skin, this SPF is also water-resistant, so it's great for hotter days where you may be more prone to sweat. "I love this easy-to-apply, water-resistant, non-pore-clogging formula," says Dr. Mudgil. "It's also full of antioxidants which provide an extra layer of protection against sun-damage AND contains the potent moisturizing ingredient du jour, hyaluronic acid."
Shop Now: EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Facial Sunscreen SPF 44, $35.50, amazon.com.
Available in five shades, this tinted sunscreen and moisturizer is great for folks looking to achieve a bit more tailored coverage. "This tinted moisturizer contains antioxidants A, C, and E in addition to SPF 30, providing a light feel with a hint of color great for normal to combination skin," Dr. Green says.
Shop Now: Neutrogena Protect and Tint, $8.47, walmart.com.
First Aid Beauty
Protective, tinted, and hydrating? We're sold. "I love this Tinted Moisturizer with SPF that not only hydrates as it contains hyaluronic acid but also provides broad spectrum UV coverage," Dr. Garshick says. "It is available in many different shades making it a great option for all skin tones. This lightweight lotion also contains vitamin E, colloidal oatmeal and allantoin which helps to soothe and calm the skin."
Shop Now: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $28, ulta.com.
This cult-favorite tinted moisturizer imparts a dewy, protected glow that's great for folks who like a no-makeup look. "This is an absolute classic tinted moisturizer with an updated formula that keeps your skin hydrated for longer and provides a smoother-looking, soft-focus finish," Sewell says. "Tinted moisturizer is meant to be sheer so one shade can work for a multitude of skin tones. To shade-match, narrow it down to the depth of your skin and then choose a shade based on your preferred undertone."
Shop Now: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $47, sephora.com.
Available in a single neutral tint, this SPF-infused moisturizer is especially fab for those with redness-prone complexions. "It helps to neutralize the redness and helps to even out the skin tone," Dr. Garshick says. "Additionally, this mineral sunscreen is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, making it a good option for those with sensitive skin."
Shop Now: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 20 for Redness Prone Skin, $11.49, amazon.com.
Ever since this tinted sunscreen launched, it's been beloved by beauty shoppers across the board. "Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte is a physical sunscreen that is 20% zinc oxide and comes in a universal tint that is perfect for everyday use on sensitive skin of any tone," Dr. Green says. "Glycerin, aloe vera, and raspberry seed oil are just some of the natural ingredients used in this SPF that help skin look and feel more youthful and hydrated."
Shop Now: Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, $36, sephora.com.
Best for the person who prefers a natural-looking glow, this SPF 20 face moisturizer provides light protection and a subtle, buildable tint. "It is oil-free and can be used as a daily moisturizer while also serving as a self-tanner," Garshick says.
Shop Now: Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer, $8.69, target.com.
Sold in over 20 shades, this lightweight serum is great for those looking for a bit more coverage. It's made with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and zinc oxide, which Green says make it a nourishing formula ideal for dry and oily skin types alike.
Shop Now: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation, $48, sephora.com.
So often when we think of protecting our faces, we think of our foreheads, cheeks, nose, and chin—but what about lips? "When it comes to sun protection, lips are usually not at the forefront of people's minds," Sewell says. "Luckily, all of Fresh's Sugar Lip Balms include SPF 15 and various nourishing oils to help protect your lips. Remember, if your lips are habitually dry, excessive sun exposure will only make it worse—so protect them."
Shop Now: Fresh Sugar Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 15, $24, sephora.com.