May 4th 2022
Like your facial suncream with a hint of colour? These are the newest and best tinted SPFs
June 9th 2021 / 0 comment
These sunscreens give you a subtle hint of colour and skincare benefits too. Find your match with our edit.
Experts are in agreement that sun protection is the one skincare step we all need to be incorporating into our daily routines. And while many foundations contain SPF, remember you'd need to top up with a teaspoonful on the face and neck every two hours to keep up the level of protection it says on the bottle. That's a whole lot of pigment! This is where tinted SPF comes into its own; it's sun protection first and foremost, but one you can top up throughout the day with that extra bit of colour or coverage.
These magical bases come in different formulas (liquid and cream) as well as finishes (dewy, matte, satin) and feature super sheer, medium, and full-coverage options. Some simply blur to unify your complexion rather than add a foundation-like shade.
A limitation when buying a tinted SPF is the shade range - we found mostly light-to-medium options and remember they are generally tints rather than foundation-like perfect matches. Some feature a hint of colour in one shade to dial down the whiteness that can come from zinc oxide in a physical barrier formula.
Here are the best tinted SPFs tried and tested.
Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 30, £15 for 15ml
This is a lightweight, pearlescent formula that creates a pretty, glowy finish, all the while protecting from broad-spectrum UV rays and blue light. It’s a chemical sunscreen and also includes hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 for moisture. It absorbs ultra-quickly and makeup applies perfectly on top with no slipping and sliding. Our tester says she never needs makeup on top, it has the same coverage as a tinted moisturiser gives such a healthy glow. It's one universal shade, which is more suited to lighter skin tones.
Bliss Block Star SPF 30, £19.99 for 40ml
New York spa Bliss has relaunched in the UK after a five-year absence and is back with a bang, with a product range including this mineral, broad-spectrum SPF. It gives a pretty, blurring, air-brushed look with just enough tint to cancel out any whiteness and has a subtle lavender scent, a nod to the brand’s spa background. It feels silky on application and isn’t at all greasy and leaves zero white cast. We think this one's great value.
SVR Sun Secure Blur SPF 50, £15.50 for 50ml
French pharmacy brand SVR's mineral SPF has a mousse texture with a subtle tint that blurs imperfections and makes your complexion look more even. It has niacinamide to boost your skin barrier while protecting against UVA, UVB and infrared.
Avene Antirougeurs Unify Unifying Care SPF 30, £19 for 40ml
Great for redness-prone and sensitive skin, this hydrates, gives SPF protection and creamy, peachy, sheer coverage. It disguises redness and soothes the feeling of over-heating with anti-irritation ingredients.
Dr David Jack All Day Long SPF 50, £89 for 30ml
Created by aesthetic doctor Dr David Jack, this mineral SP, has high-performing ingredients to back up the price tag, including hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and oodles of antioxidants to repair sun damage and protect against future damage. It's mineral, vegan, silicone-free and water-resistant as well as lightly tinted and smells refreshing (like a salad, if you ask us). You only need to apply it once for all-day protection, so a little goes a long way. It's great for dry skin, soothing dry patches too.
Another firm favourite at GTG, this very lightly tinted lightweight shield is your year-round sun and pollution protection. Its superfine hydrating texture means it sits perfectly under foundation, or indeed over it if you need a top-up. Prevage's signature antioxidants add extra environmental protection powers too. This mixed mineral and chemical sunscreen is one we have in our makeup bag all year.
If you want a definite hint of colour, Drunk Elephant's Umbra Tinte sunscreen is a perfect choice. The mineral formula is enriched with antioxidants drawn from sunflower shoot extract and grape juice which both work together to reduce photo ageing and encourage a younger-looking complexion. It doesn't contain any silicones or fragrance, a great option for those with dry, combination or sensitive skin.
SkinCeuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense 30, £34.95 for 30ml
For a mineral sunscreen, this universal tinted SPF from SkinCeuticals has an oilier, more hydrating feel, and is incredibly sheer. It makes a great option for those who want a weightless SPF that sits nicely under makeup. It gives both UVA and UVB protection, while its formula is infused with translucent colour spheres that blend easily on the skin, delivering an even skin tone, although we found it looked a little grey on dark skin.
It's great for when you want to skip the foundation and is also suitable for use after a chemical peel to reduce redness and protect it from harmful rays.
Rosalique 3-in-1 Miracle anti-redness formula SPF 50, £29.99 for 30ml
If you suffer from sensitivity, rosacea or redness – and even if you don't – this is one of our top choices for a tinted mineral-based, broad-spectrum SPF. It manages to give pretty much all the coverage of a foundation without looking like you have anything on making it the perfect lightweight coverage for summer. The secret is in its adaptive tint. It goes on green to neutralise redness and then blends away to somehow seamlessly look like your skin tone. Rosalique says that this universal cream works on skins that are light to olive "and even a little darker as long as there is a bit of a yellow undertone when you do have slightly darker skin." Our tester who has mixed white and black Caribbean skin says it made her face look a little ashy. It also highly moisturising and contains skin-calming active ingredients including bisabolol, derived from chamomile. It has many five-star reviews and constantly sells out.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Hydrating SPF50+ Tinted BB Sun Cream, £13.13 for 50ml
A favourite of our commercial partnerships manager Catherine, this is one of the thicker options on our edit, meaning it really feels like it's protecting the skin. She doesn't add foundation on top, just a powder to set it and she's good to go.
Neostrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF 50, £29.49 for 50ml
This oil-free translucent mineral sunscreen gives the subtlest sheer tint to nix the dreaded white cast you often get with a mineral SPF. A favourite of aesthetic doctor Dr Amiee Vyas, who showcased it on our Get The Gloss skin brightening masterclass, and recommended it for her clients of every skin tone. It has antioxidant ingredients including green tea and vitamin E keep skin moisturised and healthy and it's ultra-light on the skin (shake well first). Best of all? It undoes already existing DNA sun damage for a unified skin tone.
Sisley Paris Tinted Sunscreen Cream SPF30, £109 for 40ml
If you want an even tan after your holiday to St Tropez then Sisley's offering should be a no-brainer. Not only does it offer both UVA/UVB protection, but its non-greasy formula melts into the skin and helps to smooth fine lines and minimise dark spots without clogging the pores. Scented with sage and marjoram essential oils and enriched with camellia and shea butter oils, this SPF will hydrate, moisturise and protect. Available in Natural, Golden and Deep Amber.
Ultrasun Sun Protection Tinted Face Fluid SPF50+, £26 for 40ml
This tinted sunscreen shields your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, while giving your complexion that St Tropez glow. It is a universal tint that suits all skin shades and doesn't leave a white film upon application. The formula contains ectoin, a naturally-occurring enzyme that works to minimise photo ageing. It's also suitable for all skin types (including you sensitive lot) as it contains no perfumes or essential oils and is rich enough to take the place of a moisturiser.
Heliocare Colour Gelcream Brown, £25 for 50ml
Not only does this sunscreen have amazing reviews online, with users branding the product as a 'miracle worker' but it's also widely recommended by dermatologists and aestheticians. It's a great option if you hate going completely makeup-free at the beach and want more than a little bit of a tint in your skin but don't want to compromise on sun protection. Heliocare's sunscreen is lightweight, non-greasy and comes in two skin-enhancing shades that are designed to blend into every skin tone. The brand's 'Fernblock' technology provides antioxidant protection to prevent DNA damage within the cells. There are a few formula options including oil-free. This can easily take the place of a medium-coverage foundation.
Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Instant Radiance SPF40, £46 for 50ml
This tinted SPF is a powerhouse of a product, waking up the complexion, reducing redness and protecting against UVA and UVB rays. It’s available in two shades, medium-deep and light medium and gives a subtle glow to the skin. Two shades doesn’t sound like a lot, but it has a correcting complex in the formula which adapts itself to most skin tones.