I don't wear foundation. Is that because I have clear skin? Or do I have clear skin because I don't wear foundation? This is one of the great skin-care-versus-makeup, chicken-or-the-egg questions. Or perhaps they have nothing to do with each other? The world may never know.
But this does not mean I completely forgo a little extra boost of cover-up confidence. I've just found a workaround: tinted sunscreen. Every morning after I moisturize, I slather on a layer of SPF with a matte tint on my face to even out my skin tone and protect me from the sun on the regular. Bonus:
Some experts believe SPF with a tint can actually protect your skin better than its clear counterpart. That is what I call a win-win.
I opt for a tinted sunscreen over a BB cream for its higher sun-protection power, since I'm already getting the skin-care benefits from my cream (and, hey, SPF is anti-aging, too). And for those who could never give up their base makeup, the light coverage of a tinted sunscreen is a great option if you don't want to go bare-faced at the beach or pool.
Ahead, tinted sunscreens for your perusing pleasure.
Those looking for coverage
sun protection will dig this matte tinted moisturizer. It manages to conceal minor blemishes and discoloration with ease while protecting the skin with an SPF of 30.
Velvet Matte Skin Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $44, available at
This formula works particularly well for those with medium to deep skin tones because there is absolutely no white residue. Plus, not only does it help prevent sun damage, it's very moisturizing, too!
Umbra Tinte™ Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, $36, available at
Those looking for an extra hit of coverage should reach for this compact. The zinc-infused formula will cover minor blemishes and discoloration with ease, plus its hit of SPF boosts your protection, too.
UV Protective Compact Foundation, $28, available at
The Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector not only guards your skin against the sun with broad-spectrum SPF 43, but also protects against environmental pollution (city girls, looking at you). It also doubles as a makeup primer and has some skin-care benefits, too. Bonus: Unlike some of its counterparts with limited color options, this formula comes in three shades!
Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 43, $32, available at
Is it a tinted sunscreen, or a tinted moisturizer that just happens to have sunscreen? Hard to say, but this full-coverage cream has been at the top of every best-seller list since its release. The UVA/UVB broad-spectrum SPF is unbeatable, the amount of natural-looking, color-correcting coverage is exceptional, and the infusion of anti-aging ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants is just another reason we (and everyone else) can’t get enough.
Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, $38, available at
If you’re looking for a worthwhile splurge, this smooth-as-silk tinted sunscreen is packed with anti-aging benefits and will make your skin glow as you recline poolside, mojito in hand. No moisturizer needed.
Tinted Sunscreen Cream SPF 30, $170, available at
Not only does the sheer formula in this cushion compact have an SPF of 50, it instantly evens out redness and slight discolorations while feeling weightless on the skin.
Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+, $60, available at
From one of our favorite French pharmacy brands, this is a great option for those with darker skin tones. Bonus: Its powerful, antioxidant-rich, SPF 50 mineral formula is great for those with sensitive skin. What's even better, it comes in various formulas and is well-tolerated by those with sensitive skin.
Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid, $33.50, available at
This is the sunscreen I use every day in place of foundation or BB cream. It gives full, yet light, coverage and also protects against free-radical damage and the supposed stuff we may (
or may not be
) getting from our computer screens. It's a little pricey, but wearing it makes me feel like I am doing my part in the skin-care struggle.
Total Defense + Repair SPF 34 Tinted, $68, available at
From another derm-favorite brand comes a more affordable UVA/UVB broad-spectrum, tinted face sunscreen. This formula works on most skin tones and packs SPF 50!
Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, $34, available at
This ultra-light sunscreen has less of a tint and more of a shimmer. It works on most skin tones and is a great base for makeup. But it stands on its own, providing a perfect day-at-the-beach glow.
ZO Skin Health
Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF 50, $70, available at
ZO Skin Health
This unique SPF 50 formula comes in compact form, perfect for easy beach or poolside touch-ups for those who swear by foundation on the regular. It's also great for sensitive skin.
High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50, $36, available at
This lightweight, tinted formula is water-resistant up to 80 minutes, making it a perfect addition to your beach bag this summer.
Mineral Tinted Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA-UVB Sunscreen, $32, available at
This botanical blend of sunscreen and moisturizer offers up a slight coverage that works perfectly in the summer months. Acne-prone skin types will benefit most from the green tea that soothes and calms inflammation and irritating red spots.
Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15, $72, available at
So the price isn’t exactly reasonable, but the legions of fans who swear by this top-of-the-line BB cream will attest that, should you be looking to drop $100 right now, this might just be the best use for it. Like the product description says, this is not your usual tinted moisturizer — it’s a real-deal skin-care treatment that brightens, moisturizes, and protects like nothing else on the market.
Perfect BB Cream SPF 40 PA+++, $100, available at
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