So, you’re on the hunt for the best sunscreen product—the miracle UVA and UVB protector that won’t feel goopy or look chalky. It sounds easy, but if you’ve struggled with a white cast or battled to accept the thickness that typically accompanies zinc or titanium dioxide-based mineral formulas, you know the search is far from simple. The good news: One of the best tinted sunscreens will check every damn box…and then some. The color will cancel out any chance of a white cast (we dive into the science-y stuff below) and double as a lightweight foundation, while the star ingredient, zinc oxide, gives the added benefit of blue light protection, which isn’t always guaranteed with a run-of-the-mill SPF.
Convinced? Not convinced? Keep reading. Here, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Lindsay Zubritsky helps us break down the many benefits that come with tinted sunscreens. Plus, we’re sharing the editor-approved favorites that deserve a spot on your shelf. From matte finish SPFs that will replace your makeup altogether to glow-giving sunscreens with SPF 50+ protection, here are the best tinted sunscreens in the game.
The Benefits of Tinted Sunscreen
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While any good SPF is going to do the job, tinted sunscreens offer a special set of benefits—and it all boils down to the ingredient list. Tinted sunscreens contain something called iron oxide, which is what gives the SPF, and in a lot of cases makeup, its color. “Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the main ingredients in physical sunscreen and these minerals are white in nature. Combining iron oxides with zinc oxide helps to eliminate the white cast typically associated with mineral sunscreens," explains Dr. Zubritsky.
And leave it to iron oxides to go above and beyond. Dr. Zubritsky explains that they’re also great at protecting against blue light, which is emitted from the sun and our electronic devices. “Blue light can contribute to aging, hyperpigmentation, and worsening of certain skin conditions like melasma.” In fact, a handful of recent studies have found that tinted sunscreens containing zinc oxide are “beneficial for patients with hyperpigmentation disorders.”
The Best Tinted Sunscreens
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Dry Skin
For a lil' extra hydration this summer, consider adding this tinted mineral formula into your routine. Hydrating ingredients like glycerin will help your skin retain moisture on the hottest of days. I’m personally a huge fan of this SPF because of the way it layers under makeup. It doesn’t pill, separate, or look cakey under foundation.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Uneven Skin Tone
“This one comes in several different shades, so there’s an option for everyone,” says Dr. Zubritsky. She adds that because the coverage is buildable, it’s the *perfect* foundation substitute. A thin layer is going to instantly even out your skin tone, provide a blurring effect, and, most importantly, offer protection.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Glow
Want a little glow? A little dewyness? Dr. Zubritsky recommends scooping up this Sun Bum SPF. The elegant chemical formula glides on like a second skin and sinks in nearly instantly. While this is going to check all the boxes of an A+ SPF, it goes the extra mile too. Thanks to kakadu plum, a fruit with high levels of vitamin C, this sunscreen is going to amp up your skin’s natural radiance over time.
The Best Multi-Tasking Tinted Sunscreen
We love a multi-purpose product over at Marie Claire—and this product is one of our all-time faves. The vegan formula truly does it all: It offers UVA/UVB and blue light protection (thank you iron oxides), tints, moisturizes, and acts as a glowy primer.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Oily Skin
If you have acne-prone skin, an oil-free sunscreen is going to be your BFF, and it doesn’t get much better than this Nudeskin mineral lotion. It’s hydrating enough to keep skin nourished, but won’t leave you looking shiny or greasy. Pro tip: If you’re on the paler side and want to look a *little* tan, mix the “cool” shade with a dot of “warm” for a bronzed finish.
The Best Drugstore Tinted Sunscreen
CeraVe is loved by dermatologists for its no-fuss formulas that work well with sensitive skin. This particular tinted moisturizer with SPF is lightweight, non-greasy, and comes with a pretty tint to boot.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
Odds are, you've seen a celebrity whip this baby out in an Instagram video. This formula is great for anyone with sensitive skin, as it's fragrance-free and lightweight, which means no pore clogging.
The Best Lightweight Tinted Sunscreen
All beauty lovers know that French drugstores are a treasure trove of skincare goodies, and that's because they stock brands like La Roche-Posay. Dr. Zubritsky loves this mineral SPF’s “elegant and lightweight” texture because it's one of the easiest formulas to rub in.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Environmental Protection
Not only does this mineral, zinc-based SPF protect against sun damage and pollutants, but it leaves a glowy finish behind. When it comes to application, we love to mix this in with our moisturizer to create subtle (and hydrating) skin tint.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Radiance
If your skin acts up from heat alone, don't sleep on this dermatologist-loved SPF. In addition to zinc and titatium dioxide, this formula is fortified with a plankton extract that helps calm the skin down the hot temps. An added bonus? The universal shade truly works for all skin tones.
The Best Luxe Tinted Sunscreen
Sisley knows a thing or two about skincare, and this tinted SPF proves it. It has a beautiful tint that leaves the skin looking refreshed and healthy, all while protecting it from sun damage.
The Best Sheer Tinted Sunscreen
This dermatologist- and aesthetician-founded brand has created the ultimate tinted sunscreen. There's no white cast—ever. If you're a makeup lover, you'll be happy to hear that it won't disturb your base either.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin
If you’re dealing with breakouts, this lightly tinted, full-spectrum mineral moisturizer should stay top of mind. The formula isn’t sticky, won’t clog pores, and helps heal current blemishes while preventing new ones.
For Uneven Skin Tone
Available in two blendable shades, this sunscreen will defend your skin from harmful rays while helping to even out your skin tone and cover redness. Apply this color-correcting formula in the morning to give yourself a dewy glow for the day ahead.
The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Mature Skin
Just applying sunscreen will help to prevent premature aging, but this sheer, subtle tint offers extra protections. It's packed with antioxidants to neutralizes damaging free radicals and boost collagen production.
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.