Hot take: Wearing foundation in the summer can be a tall order. Sweat and heavy makeup don’t exactly play well together, and who wants to spend time layering on a full beat only to sweat it off an hour later? That’s exactly why I’m currently obsessed with tinted sunscreens—they’re lightweight, and they fuse your moisturizer, SPF, and skin care all into one perfect product.
Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, a Miami-based dermatologist, says tinted sunscreens are a great addition to your makeup bag, as they give you great sun protection minus the white tint of some sunscreens. “Most tinted SPF products are physical blockers, which means they either have zinc or titanium dioxide,” she says. “The reason why they’re tinted is because zinc and titanium give a white or gray hue on the skin, so one of the ways to mask that is to add a tint so it’s almost like your skin color. And you’re turning it almost into like a lightweight makeup so [that] you don’t see the gray discoloration.”
When you’re rocking a tinted SPF on your skin, it can lead to seriously covetable radiance—especially if you follow some pro tips. Merrady Wickes, makeup artist and head of content and education at clean beauty boutique The Detox Market, notes that mineral sunscreens can sometimes be drying, so she recommends applying them over a face oil or balm while it’s still dewy. Pro tip: For perfectly even coverage, Wickes says to pat, never rub.
While these products tend to sheer out to match your complexion, this doesn’t always necessarily work for darker complexions. Dr. Woolery-Lloyd suggests finding a product that has a deeper tint if you find it still leaves behind a white tinge. Keep scrolling for our must-have tinted sunscreens to slather on all summer long.
This tinted moisturizer comes in 12 shades and is perfect for dry, dull, or red skin. It’s got colloidal oatmeal and vitamin E, which both help soothe skin, and hyaluronic acid to keep things hydrated. It also contains finely milled minerals that reflect light, making your skin look ultra-radiant.
Lancôme Expert Mineral CC Cream SPF 50 ($39)
If you’re looking for a bit more of a flawless finish, this CC cream has got you covered. It comes in five shades and provides buildable, medium-to-full coverage without feeling cakey—and it protects against pollution, too.
Clinique’s sweat-friendly tinted SPF goes on creamy, giving you smooth coverage without streaks. It comes in seven shades and makes you look like you’re wearing an uber-natural foundation, only you’re getting waterproof sun protection as you blur any skin redness.
This dermatologist-made product instantly removes dullness and redness for an otherworldly radiant (and sun-protected) glow. Beauty and fitness editor Rachel Lapidos swears by this moisturizer, and was shook by how well it blended. “I’ve used tinted SPFs before that are on the more orange side, or that are thick and cakey—this one melts perfectly into my skin, and makes me look like I’m rocking a filter over my face,” Lapidos says. “I don’t even need to blot on concealer over it—it’s truly magical.”
This OG tinted SPF has been dependable for years for its smooth coverage, skin hydration, and solid sun protection. There are 15 shades to choose from, so it’s easy to find your match for a fresh complexion that’s moisturized all day long.
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