The best tinted moisturizers are multi-taskers which rise to the challenge of hydrating and protecting your skin from sun damage, while also helping you look a little more polished in the process. If you want glowier skin without the heavy coverage of a full foundation, you may want to consider adding one to your routine.
“The simplest way to think of tinted moisturizer is as a regular moisturizer plus pigment,” says Uchenna Okereke, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Boston, MA. Depending on your skin needs, the pigment could be used for color-correction or simply to add a glow to your natural skin tone.
They also come in many forms, the simplest being a face moisturizer with an added skin tint to it for a natural glow (that can feel like a light foundation), and usually has some SPF component to it. There are also moisturizing makeup slash skincare products like BB creams and CC creams which share the moisturizing properties of a moisturizer and the blurring, color-correcting effects of a sheer foundation. You’ll usually find added SPF benefits in those, too.
Just remember that while many of these products do have some element of sunscreen protection, you probably don’t want to stop there. Dermatologists typically recommend that people wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. They also note that while BB creams and CC creams can provide some sun protection, you’re still going to get the best coverage (especially if you’ll be in the sun for extended periods of time) if you layer a dedicated sunscreen on top.
When you’re choosing a tinted moisturizer, a good place to start is with your skin type, says Dr. Okereke. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, go for one that’s oil-free and non-comedogenic (i.e. it’s been formulated to avoid clogging pores). Or, steer clear of fragrance or harsh ingredients that could cause irritation, like alcohol or witch hazel, if you have sensitive skin. For normal, combination, or dry skin, Dr. Okereke recommends tinted moisturizers with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or squalane.
If you’re ready to add tinted moisturizer to your morning routine, here are some of the best tinted moisturizers that come with the seal of approval from dermatologists and makeup artists.