These Are the 10 Best Foundations With SPF—And We've Tried So Many

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Not all foundations are created equal. The fundamental formula differences are powder, liquids, creams, cushion compacts, fluids, and more. Then there's the coverage level. Are you going for a subtle tint to enhance your natural skin tone, or do you want a full face of foundation? There's no shortage of different finishes, too, ranging from glowy to matte and everything in between. But when shopping for your ace of base, don't forget about built-in sun protection.

It's important to shield your skin from the sun, and finding foundations with SPF makes it easier to do so. Still, there's one big caveat: The majority of foundations with SPF don't go much higher than SPF 25, which is below the recommended SPF 30 for daily use. So, your best bet is to keep using a separate sunscreen and think of the protection you're getting from your foundation as an extra insurance policy. After all, the more SPF, the better.

Other considerations when choosing a foundation with SPF are the formula, the level of SPF included, and the available range of shades.

Here are the best foundations with SPF that offer a little something for everyone.

Best Overall: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Works for all skin types

  • Hydrating

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Some may prefer more coverage

Find us a more aptly named foundation—go ahead, we'll wait. The coverage is medium, buildable, and easily tailored to camouflage any imperfection or simply to even out your skin tone. Speaking of, there are 21 shades available, all with varying undertones (it's no surprise that 88 percent of women agreed that it matches their skin tone). Add to that a perfectly demi-matte finish and SPF 15 for some serious makeup magic indeed.

Coverage: Buildable | Shade Range: 20 | Finish: Demi-matte | Size: 1 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget: Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Combination/Oily Skin SPF 15

4.2
Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin SPF 15
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Long-lasting

  • Doesn't settle into fine lines

What We Don't Like
  • Can oxidize

A long-wearing formula? Check. (We're talking about an awe-inspiring 24-hour wear time, by the way.) A matte finish that minimizes shine without looking chalky? Yep. A wide range of 31 shades? You bet. A very wallet-friendly price tag? Indeed. This drugstore staple meets all the exact requirements of its much pricier counterparts. It's a top pick for makeup artist and beauty expert Nick Stenson, who also lauds the buildable coverage.

Coverage: Medium to full | Shade Range: 43 | Finish: Matte | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Full Coverage: Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation SPF 25

Armani Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF 25

Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • A little goes a long way

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

For days or occasions when you want a foundation that really packs on the coverage, this cult-favorite can't be beaten. As a general rule, full coverage almost always means a heavier texture, but that's not the case with this base. Credit saturated yet ultra-fine pigments, which deliver an intense dose of color without feeling thick. It's also why a little goes a long way (try applying it with a makeup sponge or brush for the best spreadability and most even coverage), so one bottle will last quite a while.

Coverage: Full | Shade Range: 27 | Finish: Natural velvet matte | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Sheer Coverage: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

5
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation

 Courtesy of Credo Beauty

What We Like
  • Multi-purpose product

  • Hydrating

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Some may prefer more coverage

When you don't want to wear a full face of foundation but still want a little something-something, look to the subtle coverage of this multi-tasker, a favorite of Byrdie Editorial & Strategy Director Kathryn Vandervalk. The aptly-named formula acts as a serum, infused with skin-loving ingredients such as squalane, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, and delivers a hefty dose of mineral-based SPF. And while the coverage is undoubtedly light and dewy, it's definitely more than other tinted sunscreens we've tried.

Coverage: Sheer | Shade Range: 30 | Finish: Luminous | Size: 1 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Powder: PÜR Cosmetics Classic 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation

PÜR Cosmetics Classic 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation

Amazon

What We Like
  • Safe for sensitive skin

  • Multi-purpose product

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Can settle into fine lines

"This is an amazing pressed, mineral powder with buildable coverage," says Stenson of another one of his recommendations. "Use it alone or to set your liquid foundation and give it a velvety smooth finish." Also nice: The SPF here is mineral-based, from titanium dioxide, an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin who may find chemical sunscreen ingredients irritating.

Coverage: Medium | Shade Range: 26 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.28 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Tinted Moisturizer: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

4.8
Best Tinted Moisturizer
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Lightweight

  • Provides antioxidant protection

What We Don't Like
  • Some may prefer more coverage

Okay, so yes, technically not a foundation, but if you're anything like us, you likely often use a tinted moisturizer exactly like you would a foundation, so we thought this was worthy of an appearance on our list. Not only does it safeguard your skin with SPF 30, but it also contains antioxidant vitamin C, and it delivers, in our humble opinion, just the right amount of natural-looking coverage.

Coverage: Buildable | Shade Range: 16 | Finish: Radiant natural | Size: 1.9 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Mature Skin: Lancôme Régenerie Lift Makeup Foundation SPF 27

lancome-renergie-lift-makeup

 Courtesy of Lancome

What We Like
  • Doesn't settle into fine lines

  • Pump bottle

  • Non-comedogenic

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

For an instant youth boost, reach for this liquid formula. Think of its unique Micro-Lift technology like a bra for your face, where extra-fine waxes help instantly shape and lift. Since foundation settling into fine lines can also be a concern for those with mature skin, this contains microscopic bubbles that create air pockets, letting your skin breathe and preventing the makeup from creasing and settling into any imperfections, notes Stenson, who is a fan. And since sunscreen is of the utmost importance in any anti-aging arsenal, we're happy to report that this one touts SPF 27.

Coverage: Medium to full | Shade Range: 25 | Finish: Luminous | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation

L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation

 Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Long-lasting

  • Waterproof

What We Don't Like
  • Can settle into fine lines

Another great wallet-friendly pick, Stenson raves about the comfortable, breathable wear of this base, no small feat given its impressive staying power. To that point, it's not only waterproof but also transfer- and sweat-resistant, too. The coverage is on the medium to full side, though easily buildable, and no matter how long you wear it, the color always stays true and never changes.

Coverage: Medium to full | Shade Range: 40 | Finish: Natural | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Stick: BLK/OPL True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation SPF 15

Black Opal True Color Skin Perfecting Foundation Stick

Walmart

What We Like
  • Easy to apply

  • Provides antioxidant protection

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note stick may break easily

Stick foundations are crazy easy to apply and can also pull double (even triple) duty, acting as a concealer and contour color, too. This is one of the few sticks we've seen that includes SPF, as well as protective antioxidants. The pigment is long-wearing, they feel nice and creamy, and the range of 12 shades includes lots of nice options for those with darker complexions.

Coverage: Full | Shade Range: 24 | Finish: Velvet | Size: 0.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best with SPF 50: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full-Coverage Moisturizer

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Moisturizer

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • High SPF

  • Doesn't settle into fine lines

  • Developed with plastic surgeons

What We Don't Like
  • Not as long-lasting as other options

As we said, it's tricky to find a foundation with an SPF 30—so those with SPF 50 are true makeup unicorns. Byrdie Editor Holly Rhue loves this foundation unicorn, a creamy, full-coverage pick with other unique features besides just the high SPF. For one, it has a proprietary 3D Skin Flex Technology that ensures the color pigments "float" on top of the skin, rather than settling into lines or pores. It also contains diamond powder to leave skin looking radiant in the most natural way possible.

Coverage: Full | Shade Range: 12 | Finish: Radiant natural | Size: 1 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Final Verdict

The Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (view on Sephora) is indeed magical, our top choice for a great foundation with SPF. If you prefer your base to deliver full coverage, try the Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation SPF 25 (view on Sephora); if you prefer it be on the sheerer side, check out the Illia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 (view on Sephora), a multi-tasker packed with skincare ingredients, or the very lightweight NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 (view on Sephora).

What to Look for in a Foundation With SPF

The Formula

"SPF foundations are offered in all different varieties, from powders to liquids to creams, meaning you can get the consistency and coverage you are looking for," says Stenson. "If you feel passionate about your coverage or consistency, start by narrowing your search there," he suggests.

The SPF Level

Again, there's no shortage of options. The SPF levels in the foundation can range from 10 to over 50+, so again, if you feel strongly about a particular SPF level, start your search there. Also worth noting: SPF may not always be in the name of the product, so make sure to check the ingredient label as well, says Stenson.

Available Shades

As with any foundation, an SPF foundation should match your skin tone. Look for a brand that comes in a wide range of shades for every skin tone and undertone. Some stores offer testers or color matching to help you make the best choice.

FAQ
  • Is SPF in foundation effective?

    SPF in foundation effectively blocks UVB rays but may not be effective enough to provide adequate protection overall. It's recommended that an SPF of at least 30 be used daily. Most foundations contain SPF 15 and layering the product over sunscreen enhances the sun protection factor.

  • What does SPF mean in foundation?

    SPF stands for sun protection factor and is a measure of sun protection a product provides from UVB. You should use a minimum of SPF 30, which is able to block 97 percent of UVB. SPF 15 is typically found in foundation and blocks 93 percent of UVB rays.

  • Do I need sunscreen if my foundation has SPF?

    You still need sunscreen even if your foundation contains SPF. This is because the SPF levels in foundation are not typically adequate to provide enough sun protection.

  • Can I wear sunscreen under my foundation?

    You can wear sunscreen under your foundation. It is best under foundation and should not be skipped. Sunscreen is essential to protect skin against cancer risks and free-radical damage that leads to wrinkles and sunspots. Research shows that layering foundation with sunscreen enhances sun-protecting effects.

Why Trust Byrdie?

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. A devoted sunscreen user, she loves layering on SPF at all steps of her makeup and skincare routine, makeup included.

Meet the Expert

Nick Stenson is a beauty expert, licensed hairstylist, esthetician, and makeup artist, Nick is currently an Ambassador and celebrity stylist for L’ORÉAL/Matrix and Ulta Beauty's Senior Vice President for Store & Service Operations. He's also the founder of Curious Brushes.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15 percent of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any foundations with SPF from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Bukhari SNA, Roswandi NL, Waqas M, et al. Hyaluronic acid, a promising skin rejuvenating biomedicine: A review of recent updates and pre-clinical and clinical investigations on cosmetic and nutricosmetic effectsInt J Biol Macromol. 2018;120(Pt B):1682-1695.

  2. Lu P-J, Huang S-C, Chen Y-P, Chiueh L-C, Shih DY-C. Analysis of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in cosmetics. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2015;23(3):587-594.

  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Sunscreen FAQs.

  4. Kim MA, Jung YC, Bae J, Ha J, Kim E. Layering sunscreen with facial makeup enhances its sun protection factor under real-use conditions. Skin Res Technol. 2021;27(5):751-757. doi:10.1111/srt.13010

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