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The Best Tinted Sunscreens for All-Day, Everyday Wear

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Written by Jenna Cartusciello

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Summer may be over, but the hunt for the best tinted sunscreen is still on. Tinted sunscreens, which are usually mineral based, are a great pick because they provide broad-spectrum protection against the sun — that is, protection against both UVA and UVB rays, which cause skin aging and sunburn, respectively. Wearing a tinted sunscreen all year round can therefore slow down skin aging significantly.

However, tinted sunscreens have their downsides. Since many of them are mineral as opposed to chemical, they can leave a white cast on medium to dark skin tones. Mineral sun protectants like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide also give formulas an unpleasant, chalky feel and dry out the skin. Companies have worked to reduce these issues, but it isn’t always easy to avoid them. To help you in your search for the best tinted sunscreen, we’ve created a comprehensive list of the best products on the market based on quality testing, reviews, SPF ratings, white cast ratings, ingredients, finish and price per ounce.

Finding the Best Tinted Sunscreen

What is a tinted sunscreen, exactly? In the simplest terms, it’s a sunscreen that has a skin-like color. Most tinted sunscreens are mineral based, because the tint helps counteract the white cast effects of sun protectants like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. However, some companies create tinted chemical sunscreens due to popular demand. Many consumers love buying tinted formulas since they have a makeup-like effect, meaning they blur pores and even out skin tone.

Tinted sunscreens thus serve many different purposes in the realms of skincare and beauty. They not only provide sun protection but also provide foundation-like coverage. Many formulas are also hydrating enough to replace moisturizers and soothing enough to replace serums and other anti-inflammatory forms of skincare. In effect, there are so many multi-purpose options out there that it can be difficult to narrow it down and find the right product based on your needs. We recommend sticking to the below five factors when searching for the best tinted sunscreen.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tinted Sunscreen

Ingredients

If you have sensitive skin, sunscreen is a tricky product to get right. Certain ingredients like para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and fragrance can cause irritation, but so can the active ingredients. Chemical sun protectors like oxybenzone and octinoxate may lead to breakouts, while physical sun protectors like zinc oxide can dry out the skin.

You can avoid the irritation caused by active ingredients by choosing products that contain soothing hydrators such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, but you may need to undergo some trial and error to get it right.

SPF Rating

The FDA recommends using a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15, but a product with an SPF of 30 or higher will offer you the most protection. It’s also important to check a product for independent testing. Brands that have their sunscreens independently tested want you to know that their formulas truly offer the protection they claim. Ultimately, there’s no way to be sure of a company’s SPF claims unless the product has been independently tested.

Sun Protectants

Tinted sunscreens can be mineral based, chemical based or both, and knowing what type of protection you want can help you narrow down your options. Mineral sunscreens physically block the sun’s rays from penetrating your skin, so they work quickly after application but need to be reapplied more frequently. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat, and they typically take about 15 minutes to work after application. On the plus side, chemical sunscreens don’t need to be reapplied as frequently.

Viscosity

Tinted sunscreens can have many different textures that range from thin and liquid-y to thick and creamy. Thin formulas tend to be lightweight and you can apply multiple layers to get even coverage. Creamy formulas sit more heavily on the skin, but you can apply just one layer to get enough coverage.

White Cast

Unfortunately, the color of tinted sunscreens is difficult to get right. Mineral-based sunscreens naturally leave a white cast on the skin, and a tint helps counteract that effect. But the color of a tinted sunscreen may not look good on all skin tones. In particular, people of color have the hardest time finding a tinted formula that truly blends into their skin; most tints blend well on light to medium skin tones only.

What Are the Different Types of Tinted Sunscreens?

Mineral

Mineral-based sunscreens contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or both. Both ingredients are physical sunscreens, meaning they reflect the sun’s rays so they don’t penetrate the skin cells. Mineral-based sunscreens often leave a white cast on the skin, so a tint can help counteract this effect and provide a better skin tone match.

Chemical

Chemical-based sunscreens may contain one or more chemical sun protectants: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, cinoxate, dioxybenzone, ensulizole, homosalate, meradimate, octisalate, adimate O and sulisobenzone. The FDA labeled these sun protectants as “category three ingredients,” or ingredients that may not be as safe to use as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Research is still ongoing.

Mineral and Chemical

Some tinted sunscreens contain a combination of mineral and chemical active sun protectors. A mix of active ingredients can help create broad-spectrum coverage and a high SPF, which means impressive protection against the sun. Note that mineral and chemical sunscreens may still leave a white cast.

1

Best Overall: CōTZ Flawless Complexion Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum

Pros

  • 1/5 white cast rating
  • Lightweight
  • Natural finish

Cons

  • May appear shiny on oily skin
  • Slight white cast on dark skin tones
  • A little tacky when dry

For a sunscreen that can handle just about any skin type, dry, oily, combination, acne prone, we chose the CōTZ Flawless Complexion Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen. This broad-spectrum formula works on a broad range of skin tones and hydrates without feeling heavy. We also love that it has a silky feel and doesn’t settle into fine lines, making it a great pic for mature skin, too.

Note that the natural finish may look shiny on certain skin types, especially if you apply a moisturizer beneath it. In addition, Black creators noted that the white cast disappears after about 15 minutes, but people with very dark skin may still experience a chalky tinge that reduces their skin’s natural radiance.

2

Best Drugstore: Sun Bum Mineral Tinted Sunscreen

Pros

  • 2/5 white cast rating
  • Works as makeup primer
  • Great for oily skin

Cons

  • Silicone texture
  • May feel chalky
  • May dry out skin

Usually less than $20, the Sun Bum Mineral Tinted Sunscreen is a steal. It’s an improvement over the brand’s traditional mineral sunscreen, which leaves a white cast even on light skin tones. We also love that it has a silky feel and matte finish, making it a great pick for normal to oily skin types or those who don’t want to apply powder or foundation over their sunscreen.

While this formula works well on fair to brown skin tones, it leaves a slight white cast or gray, chalky tinge on very dark skin tones. The formula also contains silicones to help it glide across skin, but that silicone-y texture may be off-putting.

3

Best Splurge: AziMD Skincare HydraTint BB

Pros

  • 2/5 white cast rating
  • 3-in-1 sunscreen, serum, primer
  • May improve complexion

Cons

  • Not available at most retailers
  • Transfers
  • May leave white cast on darker skin tones

For a silky, lightweight sunscreen that also works as a serum and makeup primer, choose the AziMD Skincare HydraTint BB Sunscreen. This dermatologist-designed formula is non-comedogenic, fragrance free and cruelty free, and ingredients like zinc and hyaluronic acid may also improve your complexion.

Bear in mind that this formula transfers, though it isn’t as bad as other tinted sunscreens. In addition, it may leave a white cast on darker skin tones.

4

Best for Oily Skin: Bliss Blockstar Invisible Daily Sunscreen

Pros

  • Matte finish
  • 2/5 white cast rating
  • Glowy appearance

Cons

  • White cast on dark skin tones
  • Lavender may cause irritation
  • Transfers

The Bliss Blockstar Invisible Daily Sunscreen is a fan favorite among people with light to medium skin tones for many reasons: It has a silky-smooth application, a matte finish and a glowy appearance that leaves the skin radiant. It dries down quickly and never feels heavy, and it blurs pores to create an even complexion. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty free.

Though many buyers find the lavender scent soothing, the essential oil may cause irritation on very sensitive skin. This formula also leaves a white cast on dark skin tones, even though Bliss claims that it works on every skin tone. Lastly, the formula transfers, so you may need to apply it more frequently than other sunscreens.

5

Best for Acne Prone Skin: EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Face Sunscreen

Pros

  • Broad spectrum
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Contains octinoxate, which damages reefs
  • White cast on dark skin tones
  • May leave a shiny finish

EltaMD is best known for its untinted daily sunscreen, but the tinted version is just as good. Like the untinted version, it contains a combination of mineral and chemical sun protectors— zinc oxide and octinoxate, specifically. The duo creates broad-spectrum coverage, and the non-comedogenic formula is lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. All in all, this is an excellent option for acne-prone skin because it’s non-irritating and highly recommended by dermatologists.

Unfortunately, octinoxate is known to damage marine ecosystems, so it’s best not to wear this product if you go swimming near reefs. Also, the zinc oxide may create a gray or purple tinge on dark skin tones.

6

Best for Dry Skin: CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen, Sheer Tint

Pros

  • Lightweight, non-greasy formula
  • Affordable
  • Natural finish

Cons

  • May be shiny
  • Slightly tacky finish
  • White cast on darker skin tones

Many tinted sunscreens dry out the skin because mineral sun protectants like zinc oxide have a drying effect. However, the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen is an exception. It contains hyaluronic acid which helps reinstate moisture and counteract the effects of zinc oxide, and ceramides which repair dry, flaky skin.

However, this product may leave a shiny and tacky finish, especially if you have oily skin. It also tends to leave a white cast on darker skin tones.

7

Best for Brown Skin: Hueguard 3-in-1 Broad Spectrum Mineral Primer

Pros

  • 1/5 white cast rating
  • Warm, yellow undertone
  • Primer and moisturizer

Cons

  • White cast/unnatural shade on dark skin tones
  • May feel tacky, especially with multiple layers
  • Dewy finish may look shiny

Created by South Asian beauty entrepreneur Deepica Mutyala, the Hueguard 3-in-1 Broad Spectrum Mineral Primer was designed to eliminate the white cast that mineral sun protectors cause. The tint is a warm, yellowish color which blends better on brown skin than pink tints. Plus, it works as a primer and moisturizer to help simplify your beauty routine.

Unfortunately, reviewers with dark skin still notice a slight white cast or unnatural shade when applying the product. Other buyers have disliked the dewy finish and tacky feel after the formula dries.

8

Best for Black Skin: CōTZ Mineral Sunscreen Richly Tinted

Pros

  • 0/5 white cast rating
  • Natural to dewy finish
  • Soothing ingredients for acne-prone skin

Cons

  • May feel tacky
  • Transfers easily
  • May look shiny

If you want absolutely no chance of a white cast and you have dark skin, consider the CōTZ Mineral Sunscreen in the Richly Tinted shade. This formula is truly dark enough to counteract the white cast caused by zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, unlike many mineral sunscreens that have a dark-tint option. Moisturizing ingredients also help nourish the skin, and the non-comedogenic formula is great for acne.

Unfortunately, the rich tint means this product is prone to transferring — just like makeup. The formula may also feel tacky, especially if you apply moisturizer beneath it, and the finish may look shiny on oily skin.

9

Best Runner-Up for Black Skin: SunnyDays Tinted SPF Sunscreen Foundation

Pros

  • 17 different shades
  • Natural finish
  • Buildable coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May feel too heavy to apply in layers
  • May be drying on dry skin

In terms of color options, the SunnyDays Tinted SPF Sunscreen Foundation is one of our top choices. It comes in 17 different shades so you can find your ideal match, and the finish falls between natural and matte. The coverage is also buildable, so you can also wear it as a light to medium-coverage foundation.

However, some reviewers have found that the formula pills. Others have found it closer to a foundation than a sunscreen, which means it feels too heavy to apply it in multiple layers. It doesn’t offer as much moisture as other sunscreens, so people with dry skin may need to apply a moisturizer underneath.

10

Best for Creating Radiance: Wander Beauty Pack Up and Glow Priming Mineral Sunscreen

Pros

  • Natural to matte finish
  • Glowy appearance
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Hard to apply; watery consistency
  • May cancel out natural radiance of dark skin
  • Expensive

Hoping to create a natural-looking glow on your skin with just one product? The Wander Beauty Pack Up and Glow Sunscreen is the one for the job. We love the natural radiance this formula creates, and the natural to matte finish cancels out shiny or greasy skin. It also works as a makeup primer.

The downsides: While the white cast is barely there on dark skin tones, this sunscreen may cancel out the natural radiance of darker skin because it has a light tint. The watery consistency also makes this product a little difficult to apply.

11

Best Sunscreen Foundation: Dermablend Continuous Correction Tone Evening CC Cream

Pros

  • Contains antioxidants to fight sun damage
  • 14 shades
  • Natural finish

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide as much coverage as traditional foundation
  • Expensive
  • Settles into fine lines and wrinkles

If you want to even out your skin tone and smooth your complexion with just your sunscreen, try the Dermablend Continuous Correction CC Cream. This product is primarily a foundation, but it provides impressive sun protection. It also contains antioxidants to fight sun damage, and it comes in 14 shades.

As a sunscreen, this product comes in an impressive number of shades, but it’s a foundation first — and it would be helpful if it had a broader shade range. It’s also expensive at $41 for just one fluid ounce, and reviewers with mature skin note that it settles into fine lines and wrinkles.

12

Best for Sensitive Skin: SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Dewy finish
  • Non-irritating formula

Cons

  • Expensive
  • White cast on darker skin tones
  • Product may separate (shake well)

Mineral sunscreens may cause irritation because it requires a lot of physical blending and contains zinc, which can dry out the skin. Fortunately, the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen contains non-irritating ingredients that help counter the effects of zinc. The tint is also a flexible color that works on many skin tones, so you won’t need to work it into the skin to get it to blend.

If you have darker skin, however, this product isn’t ideal; it may leave a white cast. It’s also one of our more expensive recommendations at $42 for 1.7 ounces. The product may separate in the bottle and create an uneven tint on your face, so make sure to shake it well before applying.

13

Best for Mature Skin: TiZO Mineral Sun Defense, Tinted

Pros

  • Smooths out skin
  • Glowy appearance
  • Natural to matte finish

Cons

  • May look too much like foundation
  • Not ideal for acne-prone skin
  • Expensive

Tired of sunscreens that collect in fine lines and wrinkles? Rather than a liquid-y formula, choose a cream-based formula that smooths out the skin’s appearance, like the TiZO Mineral Sun Defense. We love that this product glides across the face and creates a glowy appearance.

Bear in mind that this sunscreen may look like foundation, which can be a downside if you want a more natural appearance. It may not be good for acne-prone skin, as some customers have found that it causes mild breakouts. This product is expensive at $45 for 1.75 ounces.

14

Best for a Glowy Finish: Supergoop! Glowscreen

Pros

  • 4 shades
  • Independently tested
  • Broad spectrum protection

Cons

  • May be too shimmery for daytime wear
  • Too hydrating on oily skin
  • May separate in bottle (shake well)

If you want your skin to look absolutely radiant with little to no work, just apply the Supergoop! Glowscreen. Even though this product doesn’t have mineral sun protectants (which cause a white cast), it comes in four shades so that it will create a glowy finish no matter your skin tone. We also love that this product has been independently tested and shown to provide broad-spectrum sun protection.

However, some buyers think the glowy finish is a little too shimmery for daytime wear. Those with oily skin report that it’s a bit too hydrating, and the product may separate in the bottle — so shake well.

15

Best Skincare and Sunscreen in One: Paula’s Choice Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense Sunscreen

Pros

  • Antioxidant-rich formula
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Hydrating

Cons

  • Expensive
  • White cast on darker skin tones
  • Dupes reported on Amazon

Looking for a sunscreen that not only protects against the sun, but also improves your skincare routine? We like the Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense from Paula’s Choice. It contains multiple antioxidants to counteract the sun’s effects and reduce inflammation, and gentle hydrators to counteract the dryness of zinc.

As with many tinted sunscreens, this one will likely leave a white cast on darker skin tones. It is also expensive at $37 for two ounces. Be careful if shopping through Amazon: Some reviewers have reported receiving dupes of the product instead of the real deal.

16

Best Color Variety: Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint

Pros

  • 30 shades
  • Dewy to radiant finish
  • Winner of many clean beauty awards

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May feel too much like makeup
  • Shiny on oily skin

It’s not easy to find a tinted sunscreen that comes in multiple shades, which is why products like Ilia are so helpful. The Super Serum Skin Tint is available in 30 different shades to help you match your exact skin tone, and it also works as a foundation. It has a dewy to radiant finish that helps create a glowy appearance.

Some reviewers believe that this product feels too much like makeup to be skincare, so you may not want to apply it all over your face. If this is your case, you may want to apply another sunscreen beneath it to make sure you’re getting enough sun protection. Also, the dewy finish may look shiny on oily skin.

People Also Ask

  • Q: Is sunscreen with a tint better?

    A:Tinted sunscreen isn’t necessarily better than non-tinted sunscreen in terms of performance and protection against the sun. But if you’re going to choose a mineral sunscreen, a tint can help counteract that signature white cast.

  • Q: How much should I expect to pay on a tinted sunscreen?

    A:Most tinted face sunscreens cost anywhere between $10 and $50 for one to three ounces. For a high quality product, expect to pay between $20 and $40.

  • Q: What is the best affordable tinted sunscreen?

    A:We like the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen with a sheer tint, because it’s under $20 and works for a wide range of skin types.

  • Q: What is the best tinted sunscreen moisturizer?

    A:If you have dry skin, we recommend trying the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen, CōTZ Flawless Complexion Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen, Supergoop! Glowscreen or SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense.

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At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

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Author photo

By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

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