These Are the Best Tinted Sunscreens for a Variety of Skin Tones and Types

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When it comes to sunscreen shopping, there are a few non-negotiable boxes that have to be checked. One, making sure it’s a broad-spectrum formula (AKA that it shields your skin from both UVA and UVB rays). Two, it should (ideally) have at least an SPF 30, the minimum protection level recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.

But after that, the choices are pretty much up to you. Do you want physical or chemical protection? As a quick reminder, the former uses minerals that sit on top of your skin to deflect rays; the latter penetrate your skin to prevent UV rays from damaging the skin cells. Lotion, powder, or stick? There’s also the question of tinted or not.

Again, it’s totally your call, but allow us to sing the praises of tinted sunscreens for a minute. A little bit of tint helps counteract any chalky residue, ensuring you don’t end up looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost; this is especially important for mineral formulas. “Mineral sunscreens can leave behind a white cast on the skin, and adding a tint helps counteract this so that the formula blends in better,” explains dermatologist Dr. Rina Allawh of Schweiger Dermatology Group in King of Prussia, PA. Also worth noting: The ‘tint’ in many tinted formulas comes from iron oxides, which just so happen to protect your skin from blue light exposure, according to Allawh. Not to mention that tinted formulas are ideal for daily use, providing that oh-so-important sun protection while also evening out your skin tone and camouflaging blemishes in one fell swoop. 

Convinced you should try one? Check out the best-tinted sunscreens below.

Best Overall: Alastin Skincare HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36

Alastin Skincare HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36

 Courtesy of Alastin

What We Like
  • Easy to blend

  • Gives skin a glow

  • Fragrance-free

What We Don't Like
  • Silicone-based formula

Forget sunscreens, this is arguably one of our favorite skincare products of all time. We recommend it to at least five people weekly and won’t leave home without it. What makes it so good? For starters, it delivers what we deem the perfect amount of hydration—creamy enough that you can skip moisturizer if you’re in a rush, but still lightweight enough that it never feels heavy or greasy. It blends in beautifully, and the universal tint delivers a surprising amount of coverage, not to mention works well on most skin tones. Bonus points for the radiant finish that makes it ideal to wear solo, though it layers beautifully under makeup, too.

Type: Liquid | Active Ingredients: 8.9% titanium dioxide, 3.4% zinc oxide | SPF: 36 | Size: 2.6 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Overall, Runner-Up: SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

Courtesy of Dermstore

What We Like
  • SPF 50

  • Goes on smoothly

  • No white cast

What We Don't Like
  • Feels a little greasy

Ideal for all skin types, even the sensitive set, this mineral block is paraben and fragrance-free, as well as non-comedogenic. Translucent color spheres give it a subtle tint that’s just enough to even out your complexion, and because it’s water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, it’s one of our go-to's for outdoor workouts or beach days. Also worth noting: It contains a plankton extract that increases your skin’s resistance to UV- and heat-induced stress, according to the brand. Yes, please.

Type: Lotion | Active Ingredients: 6% titanium dioxide, 5% zinc oxide | SPF: 50 | Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Drugstore: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 50

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50
What We Like
  • SPF 50

  • Feels light on skin

  • Ideal for sensitive skin

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more hydrating

Drugstore skincare fans should check out this affordable pick, one of Allawh’s favorites. She lauds the lightweight texture, great for those who don’t want a thicker-feeling cream. It also delivers SPF 50, making it a great option for beach or pool days. (Just make sure to reapply after 40 minutes in the water.)

Type: Liquid | Active Ingredients: 11% titanium dioxide | SPF: 50 | Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Give it a good shake before using.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Avène Mineral Tinted Compact SPF 50

Eau Thermale Avene
What We Like
  • Helps absorb oil

  • Stays matte all day

  • SPF 50

What We Don't Like
  • A little heavy

This mineral protector is ideal for even super sensitive skin types and offers a non-greasy matte finish, which is a great choice if you skew oily. The cream-to-powder packs buildable coverage, too, and there are shades for both lighter and darker complexions. Toss it in your purse for easy reapplication throughout the day.

Type: Cream to powder | Active Ingredients: 18% titanium dioxide, 4.9% zinc oxide | SPF: 50 | Size: 0.4 oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Powder: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50

Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral Powder

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to reapply

  • Helps absorb excess oil

  • Ideal for sensitive skin

  • Comes in four shades

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Breaking news: You really should be re-applying sunscreen every two hours. It’s an admittedly lofty goal, but pick up this guy and trust us, you can do it. One of our all-time faves, it’s easy to quickly brush on this block wherever, whenever. Because it’s a powder, it won’t mess up your makeup, and it also comes in four shades. And let’s not forget to mention that it protects against UV rays, pollution, radiation, and blue light.

Type: Powder | Active Ingredients: 22.5% titanium dioxide, 22.5% zinc oxide | SPF: 50 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Fair Skin: Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Lotion

Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Courtesy of Sephora 

What We Like
  • Gives skin a glow

  • Contains antioxidants

  • Easy to blend

What We Don't Like
  • Feels a little greasy

This all-mineral option promises to shield your skin with a combo of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, then ups the ante with antioxidants vitamins A, C, & E meant for extra protection. Though it only comes in one shade, it blends well with most light to medium skin tones. And we’re especially big fans of the subtle luminosity it imparts, thanks to the addition of diamond (yes, diamond) powder.

Type: Liquid | Active Ingredients: 1.93% titanium dioxide, 19.24% zinc oxide | SPF: 45 | Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Medium Skin: EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41

EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41
What We Like
  • Fragrance-free

  • Good value

  • Has multiple skincare benefits

What We Don't Like
  • Can leave a trace of a white cast

A favorite of Allawh’s, she says this contains those great iron oxides mentioned earlier, along with a synergistic combo of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to offer broad-spectrum protection. Fragrance- and oil-free, it’s a great pick for sensitive and acne-prone skin alike. It only comes in one tone, a good, middle-of-the-road option that works for most medium complexions.

Type: Lotion | Active Ingredients: 9% titanium dioxide, 7% zinc oxide | SPF: 41 | Size: 3 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Dark Skin: AbsoluteJOI Daily Hydrating Moisturizing Cream with Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

AbsoluteJOI Daily Hydrating Moisturizing Cream with Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40
What We Like
  • Provides even coverage

  • Hydrating formula

  • Ideal for sensitive skin

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

At long last comes a tinted sunscreen that’s dedicated solely to those with darker skin. This formula is in fact super hydrating; think of it as a moisturizer that just happens to contain your daily dose of SPF (SPF 40, to be specific) and a perfect amount of light coverage. Speaking of, it comes in two dark skin-geared shades, both of which blend beautifully with many skin tones. 

Type: Lotion | Active Ingredients: 2% titanium dioxide, 1% zinc oxide | SPF: 40 | Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Sheer Coverage: Bliss Block Star Invisible Daily Sunscreen

Bliss Block Star Invisible Daily Sunscreen
What We Like
  • Silky texture

  • Feels light on skin

  • Not greasy

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

The color in this newbie is super sheer, better for imparting just a little bit of a glow rather than coverage (but because it's so feather-light, it works even on darker skin). It’s also one of the smoothest, silkiest mineral ‘screens we’ve ever tried and boasts an affordable price tag to boot.

Type: Lotion | Active Ingredients: 4.1% titanium dioxide, 11.5% zinc oxide | SPF: 30 | Size: 1.4 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Dry Skin: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Courtesy of First Aid Beauty

What We Like
  • Comes in nine shades

  • Hydrating

  • Rich texture

What We Don't Like
  • Contains chemical sunscreen

Promising to hydrate skin for up to 12 hours (thank you, hyaluronic acid), and with radiant, buildable coverage, this is a top-notch tinted moisturizer in and of itself. Added SPF protection is just the cherry on top, coupled with the fact that there are also nine colors—the most of any product in this round-up.

Type: Cream | Active Ingredients: 3% avobenzone, 7.5% octinoxate, 5% octisalate, 7.5% octocrylene | SPF: 30 | Size: 1 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Oily Skin: Cotz Face Prime & Protect SPF 40 Tinted

 COTZ Face Prime & Protect Tinted Mineral Sunscreen and Facial Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 40
What We Like
  • Wears well under makeup

  • Goes on smoothly

  • Feels light on skin

What We Don't Like
  • Can leave a trace of a white cast

“This is an excellent product for those with acne-prone or oily skin,” says Allawh of this oil-free guy. We also love it because it does in fact act as a primer, meaning it layers beautifully under makeup. (So yes, you’ll actually want to put it on every morning.) And those who prefer to go makeup-free will appreciate how silky it feels, even on its own.

Type: Liquid | Active Ingredients: 8% titanium dioxide, 3.8% zinc oxide | SPF: 40 | Size: 1.5 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best With Benefits: Isdin Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

Isdin Eryfotona Ageless Tinted Mineral Sunscreen
What We Like
  • Has multiple skincare benefits

  • SPF 50

  • Gives skin a glow

  • No white cast

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Sure, the name is a mouthful, but this formula is all business. Along with the requisite broad-spectrum SPF 50 that helps prevent future sun damage, it contains a unique ingredient, DNA Reparisomes, which work to help undo existing damage, according to the brand. There are also anti-aging peptides and protective antioxidants in the mix, too.

Type: Liquid | Active Ingredients: 10.7% zinc oxide | SPF: 50 | Size: 3.4 fl. oz. | Free of: Oxybenzone, parabens | Water-resistant: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Final Verdict

Use a tinted sunscreen once, and we’re very willing to bet that you’ll never go back. The Alastin Skincare HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36 (view at Alastin) is our ride-or-die favorite because it's plenty hydrating and leaves skin beautifully glowy. For those with dry skin, the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 (view at Dermstore) can’t be beaten, and also comes in an impressive array of nine shades. Speaking of, anyone with darker skin should check out the AbsoluteJOI Daily Hydrating Moisturizing Cream (view at AbsoluteJOI), while the featherweight La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen For Face SPF 50 (view at Ulta) and super sheer Bliss Block Star Invisible Daily Sunscreen (view at Bliss) are your best bet if you’re all about wallet-friendly skincare.

What to Look for in a Tinted Sunscreen

Iron Oxides

According to Allawh, if you can find a formula that contains these you’ll get extra bang for your buck since they help shield skin from blue light, which can also be damaging.

SPF Rating

As always, make sure you’re using a formula that contains a broad spectrum of at least SPF 30, the level recommended for daily use by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Consider Your Skin Concerns

There are plenty of tinted moisturizers out there that suit all different skin types. For example, if you’re prone to breakouts and/or have oily skin, look for oil-free and non-comedogenic formulas. Meanwhile, if you have dry skin, look for a formula that includes hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

FAQ
  • Is tinted sunscreen like foundation?

    Yes. Tinted sunscreens can even out and blur skin texture like a foundation, but come with the built-in benefit of sun protection. Packed with hydrating ingredients, many have a silky texture and can replace both moisturizer and primer, making them convenient 4-in-1 products.

  • Do tinted sunscreens clog pores?

    Like any occlusive makeup products, tinted sunscreens have the potential to clog pores. But choosing an oil-free, lightweight tinted sunscreen free of silicone can help keep pores clear.

  • Do I have to wash off tinted sunscreen?

    Yes. As you would with the rest of your makeup, you should wash off your tinted sunscreen at the end of the day. Using a gentle cleanser or cleansing oil should wipe away most traces of your tinted sunscreen—whether or not it's marketed as being water-resistant.

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. Sunscreen is hands down her favorite beauty product, particularly a tinted option. (Specifically, she’s OBSESSED with the Alastin option on this list.)

Meet the Expert

Dr. Rina Allawh is a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in King of Prussia, PA. She has a special focus on skin cancer prevention and management.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% 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 enough tinted sunscreens from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. 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. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Sunscreen FAQS.

  2. Latha MS, Martis J, Shobha V, et al. Sunscreening agents: a reviewJ Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2013;6(1):16-26.

  3. Skin Cancer Foundation. All about sunscreen.

  4. 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. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.09.188

  5. Chen W, He M, Xie L, Li L. The optimal cleansing method for the removal of sunscreen:Water, cleanser or cleansing oil? J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020;19(1):180-184.

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