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The Best Tinted Sunscreens for full coverage with SPF Benefits

Best Tinted Sunscreens
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Updated December 28, 2023

Sunscreen is one of the most important skincare products that everyone, no matter how old or young you are, should use daily to protect your skin (the largest organ in your body) from sun damage, which can cause melanoma, dark spots, and premature aging. Many sunscreen formulas used to leave a chalky white residue on your face, but not anymore. Enter tinted sunscreens.

What is tinted sunscreen, and what does it do?

Tinted sunscreens use added pigments to create a shade that mimics various skin tones. They’re formulated with minerals, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, to filter out the sun’s damaging rays. This combination of ingredients creates tinted sunscreen. Sunscreens tinted with pigment color protect against sun and blue light damage and give you a slightly sunkissed look without exposing you to harmful rays.

Our top picks for the best tinted sunscreens

Like eye creams, tinted moisturizers, and other skin care products, the number of choices on the market for this type of sunscreen can be dizzying. “There are many tinted sunscreen products available on the market nowadays,” says Robert Cohen MD, a cosmetic physician and professor at UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health. “You want one with 40 to 50 SPF, and I like the ones with zinc and titanium oxide,” he says.

Another tip Dr. Cohen shares is to look up products on the EWG.org website to find out more about it before you put it on your face. “Tinted sunscreens are great, but you want to make sure what you are using will protect, not harm, your skin,” he says.

Best mineral-tinted moisturizing sunscreen: Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

This is a mineral-based 50 SPF sunscreen that does it all. Water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, a universal tint to enhance your complexion without residue, plus a powerful punch of UV defense minerals. It is also packed with antioxidant ingredients like artemia salina, an extract from the sea (plankton) to help shield you from all the environmental stress that can cause skin damage.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Zinc oxide
  • SPF: 50
  • Finish: Matte
  • Number of shades: Suitable for all skin types and shades (universal tint)
  • Amount: 1.7 fluid ounces
  • Cruelty-free: Yes

Pros:

  • High SPF
  • Contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide

Cons:

  • Expensive
Best mineral
Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

Best tinted sunscreen for acne-prone skin: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

Recommended by skin experts, this renowned European brand is known for its dermatologist-tested products. A mineral sunscreen with a color tint, it gives you high broad-spectrum protection with mineral filters like zinc oxide—a critical ingredient for filtering out UVA rays. This tinted sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, so it will protect you in the water, but you will need to reapply after you swim.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Titanium dioxide
  • SPF: 50
  • Finish: Matte
  • Number of shades: Suitable for most skin types and shades (universal tint)
  • Amount: 1.7 fluid ounces
  • Cruelty-free: No

Pros:

  • High SPF
  • Good for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • Only comes in one shade
Best for acne-prone skin
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen SPF50 for Face 1.7 fl. oz. (50ml)

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen SPF50 for Face 1.7 fl. oz. (50ml)

Best tinted sunscreen for oily skin: Australia Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen

Providing broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, this tinted sunscreen is great for oily skin. Accepted by the National Eczema Association as a safe-to-use product, this high SPF of 50 comes in a subtle tint in two shades (fair to light) and (medium to dark) with a powder-matte finish. Water babies will love that it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Titanium dioxide
  • SPF: 50
  • Finish: matte
  • Number of shades: 2
  • Amount: 3 fluid ounces
  • Cruelty free: Yes

Pros:

  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Good for oily skin

Cons:

  • Only two shades
Best for oily skin
Australian Gold 263476 3 oz Botanical Sunscreen SPF 50 Tinted Face Medium to Tan BB Cream

Australian Gold 263476 3 oz Botanical Sunscreen SPF 50 Tinted Face Medium to Tan BB Cream

Best tinted moisturizer sunscreen for dry skin: Supergoop! Glowscreen

Supergoop! is known for its protective skin lotions, and Glowscreen doesn’t disappoint. This tinted sunscreen is great for dry skin and gives you a sunny radiance. Its broad spectrum protection also filters blue light—so you can glow indoors and outdoors. Best of all, Glowscreen contains antioxidants and ingredients like vitamin B and sea lavender, which help hydrate and protect drier or delicate skin.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Octocrylene
  • SPF: 40
  • Finish: Matte with a little shimmer
  • Number of shades: Four
  • Amount: 1.7 fluid ounces
  • Cruelty free: Yes

Pros:

  • Non-greasy
  • More than one shade

Cons:

  • Expensive
Best for dry skin
Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40

Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40

Best water-resistant tinted sunscreen: Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Brush On

This mineral sunscreen uses a brush for application. It provides broad-spectrum protection that lasts up to 80 minutes in the water, making it the brand’s best water-resistant option. Suitable for all skin types and gentle on sensitive skin, the brush-on mineral powder makes it easy to reapply your sunscreen.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Zinc oxide
  • SPF: 50
  • Finish: Natural
  • Number of shades: Six
  • Amount: Net weight is .21 oz
  • Cruelty free: Yes

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • It lasts up to 80 minutes in the water

Cons:

  • A powder form sunscreen may not appeal to all
  • Small amount for the price
Best water-resistant
Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50

Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50

Best tinted sunscreen for sensitive skin: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer Mineral

This tinted moisturizing sunscreen comes in 20 shades, and because it’s non-oily and non-comedogenic (i.e., it won’t clog your pores), it’s a good choice if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. Sold as a tinted moisturizer rather than a sunscreen, you’ll want to either layer an actual sunscreen underneath for the same level of protection.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide
  • SPF: 30
  • Finish: Natural
  • Number of shades: 20
  • Amount: 1.18 fluid ounces
  • Cruelty free: Yes

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • 20 shades

Cons:

  • Only 30 SPF
Best for sensitive skin
bareMinerals COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid and Mineral SPF 30 Vanilla 02 1.18 oz

bareMinerals COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid and Mineral SPF 30 Vanilla 02 1.18 oz

Best tinted moisturizer sunscreen: Vichy Capital Soleil Tinted Velvety Cream

Vichy’s tinted velvety cream combines broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a lightweight, mattifying textured cream. You can wear it under makeup or alone, and with 50 SPF, it’s definitely beach-friendly. According to Vichy, this tinted moisturizing SPF smoothes wrinkles, brightens dark spots, and improves the longevity of your tan.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Titanium dioxide
  • SPF: 50
  • Finish: Matte
  • Number of shades: One
  • Amount: 50 milliliters
  • Cruelty free: Yes

Pros:

  • 50 SPF

Cons:

  • Only one shade, no deep coverage
Best tinted moisturizer
Vichy Capital Soleil Tinted Dry Touch Face Fluid SPF 50 50ml

Vichy Capital Soleil Tinted Dry Touch Face Fluid SPF 50 50ml

Best drugstore tinted sunscreen: Neutrogena Mineral UV Tint Face Liquid Sunscreen

Drugstore darling Neutrogena offers a tinted sunscreen with UVA and UBA protection, plus antioxidant Vitamin E for nourishing skin. It’s formulated to layer under makeup or wear alone and doesn’t contain parabens, oxybenzone, or fragrances, which makes it ideal for sensitive skin.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide
  • SPF: 30
  • Finish: Dewy
  • Number of shades: Four
  • Amount: 1.1 fluid ounces
  • Cruelty free: No

Pros:

  • Contains Vitamin E

Cons:

  • SPF 30 may not be strong enough
Best drugstore
Neutrogena Purescreen+ Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen Medium 1.1 fl oz

Neutrogena Purescreen+ Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen Medium 1.1 fl oz

Best tinted sunscreen for dark skin: SunnyDays Tinted SPF Sunscreen Foundation

This tinted sunscreen by Tower 28 comes in 17 shades and protects against sun and blue-light damage. It’s also the only complexion makeup product with the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance. Makers of SunnyDays kept in mind not only skin color, but also its undertones, such as golden, olive, or neutral, to help you find your perfect match.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredient: Zinc oxide
  • SPF: 30
  • Finish: Natural
  • Number of shades: 17
  • Amount: 1 fluid ounce
  • Cruelty free: Yes

Pros:

  • Tint includes shades and skin undertones for a better match

Cons:

  • The SPF is on the lower end
Best for dark skin
Tower 28 Beauty SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation 20 Mulholland 1 oz/ 30 mL

Tower 28 Beauty SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation 20 Mulholland 1 oz/ 30 mL

Best budget-friendly tinted sunscreen: CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen

CeraVe sells an affordable hydrating sunscreen with a sheer tint. This moisturizing sunscreen works on most skin types and contains niacinamide and hyaluronic acid that will keep your skin from drying out.

Specifications:

  • Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
  • SPF: 30
  • Finish: Natural
  • Number of shades: 1
  • Amount: 1.7 fluid ounces
  • Cruelty free: No

Pros:

  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • 30 SPF isn’t as high as some tinted sunscreen products
Best budget
CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen Sheer Tint Facial SPF 30 1.7 fl oz.

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen Sheer Tint Facial SPF 30 1.7 fl oz.

The best way to apply tinted sunscreen

First, wash your face and apply your everyday skincare products. Sunscreen works as a barrier, so you want to make sure it goes on last. Always use your hands to apply tinted sunscreen to make sure you get enough of it onto your face to protect your skin.

Dot the product on your face focusing on the nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin. Just like when you use corrective cream or foundation, smear the tinted sunscreen in long, smooth strokes and go up to the hairline so your forehead is fully protected. Blend all the sunscreen in, and remember to check all sides of your face and apply to the neck and chest, too.

What to consider when buying tinted sunscreen

When shopping for tinted sunscreen, check the SPF amount first. Also, since tinted sunscreen is also a cosmetic, consider if you want a sheer tint or a tint close to your complexion. Price is also a consideration—because you need to reapply tinted sunscreens every two hours, you may need to replace this product often, so it should be affordable for your budget.

How we chose the best tinted sunscreens

We analyzed the ingredients and reviewed all our products' SPF levels. By fact checking, talking to skin care experts and doctors, personally testing, and scouring hundreds of reviews, we selected our top picks from various retailers. Our comprehensive list covers tinted sunscreen options for all complexions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which brand of tinted sunscreen is best?

There are many great brands of tinted sunscreen available, but for full sun protection, look for one with an SPF of at least 40 or 50.

Are tinted sunscreens good?

Most tinted sunscreens are safe to use and protect against sun damage. “Tinted sunscreen is a revolutionary product that goes beyond traditional sun protection,” shares Cohen. “By incorporating iron oxides, it offers enhanced protection against blue light, preventing age-related skin damage and excess pigmentation.”

Is tinted sunscreen better than regular sunscreen?

Interestingly, Cohen says some tinted sunscreens may do a better job of blocking blue light than regular sunscreen because of the tint’s reflective properties. Choose one with a high SPF to ensure adequate coverage against UVB rays, plus make sure it offers broad-spectrum coverage.

How often should you apply tinted sunscreen?

All sunscreens, tinted or not, should be applied before you go out and reapplied every two hours. You may need to reapply more often if you are swimming or sweating.

Does tinted sunscreen look like foundation?

Some tinted sunscreens provide more coverage than others, depending on the brand. Overall, tinted sunscreens can even out skin tone and create a smooth matte texture, similar to makeup like foundation or concealer.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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