May 5th 2021
Like your facial suncream with a hint of colour? These are the newest and best tinted SPFs
August 10th 2020 / 0 comment
These sunscreens give you a subtle hint of colour and skincare benefits too. Find your match with our edit...
Experts are all 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 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, which is a whole lot of pigment. This is where the 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 several different formulas (liquid, cream, powder) as well as finishes (dewy, matte, satin) and feature super sheer, medium, and full-coverage options.
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.
This lightweight sunscreen is specially formulated for those with highly sensitive skin. It's a very slightly tinted cream that protects against UVA and UVB and pollution, while its SunSitive protection, Pre-Tocopheryl, Avene Thermal Spring Water and B-Protect give high-level sun and pollution protection. It contains microencapsulated pigments which release upon application delivering a subtle hint of colour, whilst keeping the skin hydrated and dewy. Our dark-skinned tester rated this one as one of her favourites.
Another firm favourite at GTG, this very lightly tinted lightweight shield is you 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 slight hint of colour, Drunk Elephant's Umbre Tint 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.
There has been a bit of a buzz around Jan Marini's skincare products, with celebrities such as Cher, Amber Valletta, Naomi Watts and Sadie Frost waxing lyrical about her superior sunscreen line. This weightless sunscreen features a universal tint and has a sheer, matte finish. The formula contains green tea extract, alpha bisabolol that provide enhanced free radical protection while soothing and calming the skin. It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and fragrance-free.
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.
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." It also highly moisturising and contains skin-calming active ingredients including bisabolol, derived from chamomile. No wonder it has so many five-star reviews.
A solid derm favourite, NeoStrata's Sheer Physical Protection sunscreen is known for its ultra-sheer, mattifying finish that provides UVA and UVB protection. It offers a sheer tint that complements every skin tone as it blends into the skin beautifully without leaving any white marks or uneven patches.
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.
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.
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.