3 Dermatologist-Approved DIY Tinted Moisturizer Recipes to Try at Home

three different shades of diy tinted moisturizer

 Stocksy

When it comes to face makeup, foundation and concealer often get all the praise, but that’s not to say that other face makeup products aren’t equally as worthy of your attention. Case in point: tinted moisturizer. 

Tinted moisturizers are exactly as they sound—hydrating products that have a slight tint to make skin look its absolute best. They’re less about full coverage and more about letting your natural skin shine through while still acting as a slight filter. 

While beauty stores and drugstores have plenty of tinted moisturizer options to choose from, we’re here to let you in on a little secret: You can whip up your own tinted moisturizer with items already in your home. And while one surefire way is to add a bit of your foundation to your favorite foundation, there are a few other ways (that boast more skin benefits) to DIY a tinted moisturizer recipe.

Don’t believe us? We chatted with S.W. Basics founder and Skin Cleanse author Adina Grigore to get three efficacious DIY tinted moisturizer recipes (one for dark, one for medium, and one for light skin tones). And, to back her up, we had board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick weigh in on all the benefits of the color-perfecting kitchen items Grigore recommends. 

Ahead you’ll find five different DIY tinted moisturizer recipes geared toward dark, medium, and light skin tones, as well as common red and blue undertones.

Meet the Expert

  • Adina Grigore is a natural beauty expert, the founder of S.W. Basics, and the author of Skin Cleanse.
  • Dr. Marisa Garshick is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology in New York City.
01 of 05

For Dark Skin Tones: Clove-Based Tinted Moisturizer

deep diy moisturizer

 @kosas

Grigore adores clove for dark skin tones. Its rich color can be totally customized based on how much you sprinkle in. In regards to its skin benefits, Garshick says that clove is thought to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an especially great option for those with acne-prone skin. “Additionally because it is an antioxidant it may help to fight free radicals down and help with signs of aging,” she adds.

To whip up a clove-infused tinted moisturizer for dark skin, follow the instructions below. 

Materials:

  • A small jar
  • A spoon
  • Your favorite moisturizer
  • Ground cloves

Instructions:

  1. Spoon a tablespoon of your favorite moisturizer into a small jar. 
  2. Sprinkle a touch of the ground cloves to the moisturizer and mix with the spoon. 
  3. Continue to sprinkle cloves into the moisturizer until the desired color is achieved. 
  4. Mix thoroughly to avoid any clumps of cloves. 
  5. Test the product on the inside of your wrist to match color and evaluate the potential for any irritation. If the patch test goes smoothly, make a larger batch to enjoy over the weeks and months to come. 

How Long It Lasts: Dried ground cloves last two to three years so, given moisturizers typically last up to 12 months after opening, you don’t have to worry about the addition of cloves making the product go bad at a faster rate. 

02 of 05

For Medium Skin Tones: Cocoa Powder Tinted Moisturizer

medium toned tinted moisturizer

Stocksy 

Grigore recommends cocoa powder for medium-toned skin thanks to its warm brown hue. Garshick approves, noting that the powder does far more for the skin than simply delivering color. “Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants as it contains flavonols, so it helps to fight free radical damage and improve the appearance of the skin, specifically as it relates to elasticity in the skin,” she explains. “Additionally, it contains polyphenols, another type of antioxidant, which may help protect against UV damage.” (Of course, that’s not to say it replaces SPF—applying regular sunscreen is always a must.) Lastly, Garshick says that, since it’s high in fatty acids, cocoa powder can even add hydrating properties to tinted moisturizer mixes, so it’s especially great for folks with dry or combo skin types. 

 To whip up a cocoa-infused tinted moisturizer for medium skin, follow the instructions below. 

Materials:

  • A small jar
  • A spoon
  • Your favorite moisturizer
  • Cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Spoon a tablespoon of your favorite moisturizer into a small jar. 
  2. Sprinkle cocoa powder into the moisturizer and mix with the spoon. 
  3. Continue to sprinkle cocoa into the moisturizer until the desired color is achieved. 
  4. Mix thoroughly to avoid any clumps.
  5. Test the product on the inside of your wrist to confirm the color and ensure no irritation occurs. If the patch test goes without a hitch, whip together a bigger batch to use for the days, weeks, and months ahead.

How Long It Lasts: Cocoa powder lasts one year after it’s opened. Therefore your best bet is to create smaller batches of this tinted moisturizer so that you don’t add near-expiration coca to a full jar of brand-new moisturizer.

03 of 05

For Light Skin Tones: Nutmeg Base

light skin tinted moisturizer

 Getty

Nutmeg can be used to even out skin tone and improve discoloration. Additionally, it can serve as a mild exfoliant, improving skin texture as well as tone. "As with any exfoliants, it is important to avoid using it too aggressively as it can cause injury to the skin barrier," says Garshick. "It can also help to reduce bacteria and inflammation making it an option for those with acne-prone skin."

 To create a nutmeg-infused tinted moisturizer for light skin, follow the instructions below. 

Materials:

  • A small jar
  • A spoon
  • Your favorite moisturizer
  • Ground nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Spoon a tablespoon of your favorite moisturizer into a small jar. 
  2. Sprinkle ground nutmeg into the moisturizer and mix with the spoon. 
  3. Keep adding nutmeg into the moisturizer a little bit at a time until the desired color is achieved. 
  4. Blend thoroughly to avoid any clumps.
  5. Test the product on the inside of your wrist to ensure it matches your skin and doesn’t cause any irritation. If the patch test goes smoothly, feel free to blend a bigger batch to use as your new go-to.

How Long It Lasts: Ground nutmeg lasts around two years. This means you can add it to any of your favorite moisturizers without worry about it affecting their shelf life.

04 of 05

Mix-In for Redness-Prone Skin Tones: Sage

sage on cutting board

 Getty

If you have red undertones, Grigore says that mixing a sprinkle of sage into any of the above mixtures can help counter them. She adds that sprinkling sage into concealers is especially helpful. 

Beyond the color-correcting goodness of sage, Garshick says that the ingredient has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant benefits, making it a helpful ingredient in skincare. “Additionally it is thought to help to promote collagen production, making it helpful for antiaging,” she says. 

05 of 05

Mix-In for Skin Tones With Cool Blue Undertones: Ginger

ginger

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Alternatively, if you have cool blue undertones, Grigore says that sprinkling ginger into any of the three recipes above can help balance them out. 

As you may have guessed, ginger does more than just fine-tune the color of the tinted moisturizer. According to Garshick, it’s a rejuvenating ingredient that can relieve inflammation. “Additionally it contains antioxidants, specifically gingerol, which not only helps to fight free radical damage but also can even skin tone, making it a good option for those with blemishes or discoloration,” she says.

A Final Word

See? Creating quality tinted moisturizers at home isn’t so difficult after all. Grigore wants folks to know that these recipes are totally customizable. Which is to say that, if you like the sound of the benefits of a particular light-, medium-, or dark-recommended ingredient, you can always try to mix a little (or a lot) into your moisturizer to achieve the color you’re aiming for. After all, since those are all brown, they can be tailored to various neutral hues. 

While these tinted moisturizer recipes absolutely can benefit the skin, Garshick admits that you should exercise caution when using kitchen ingredients on your skin, as you don’t want to cause any unnecessary sensitivity or irritation to the skin. Good news though: She says that those side effects typically only coincide with high concentrations of kitchen ingredients, so sprinkling a little here and there shouldn’t hurt. Nevertheless, if you do experience any sort of irritation, be sure to keep the ingredients you used on hand so that you know what to tell your dermatologist if need be. 

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