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The best tinted moisturizers for light coverage with a radiant finish

At times, all we wish is to step out without wearing any makeup but also don a beautiful skin swathed in a natural, barely there finish. When out on a beach, we slather on some moisturizer and sunscreen, silently wondering if only it could give us some sort of sheer coverage. Call it the hot and humid weather or just one of those days when we don’t want layers of makeup on our face, the idea of wearing even a BB cream sounds too much. It is during those times that tinted moisturizers prove to be a saviour.

Formulated to fit the best of both worlds, skincare and makeup, a tinted moisturizer is also a great solution to everyday makeup woes. Whether you’re looking for a product that lends a natural finish without any effort, you’re simply not in a mood to deck up, or you’re looking for a fuss-free alternative to your everyday foundation and BB cream, tinted moisturiser makes for a great indulgence.

It is essentially a hydrating and nourishing moisturizer that also offers a flawlessly sheer skin tint. It slightly blurs the imperfections and makes the skin even. Often, it is also infused with SPF to provide protection from UV rays and sun damage and can be used underneath makeup or worn as it is.

How to choose the best tinted moisturizers?

Skin type

Like any other skincare or makeup product, your skin type is the first thing to consider when buying a tinted moisturiser. If you have dry skin, look for formulas that are extra hydrating and are also infused with moisturizing ingredients including hyaluronic acid, shea butter and ceramides. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, gel and water-based formulas that are oil-free and non-comedogenic work the best. For sensitive skin, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and gel-based formulations with soothing ingredients like aloe vera and Jeju hydrangea leaf extract should be the go-to.

Sun protection

We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen every single day, no matter what. Hence, look for a tinted moisturizer that also offers good sun protection, be it mineral-based or chemical-based. You can also use regular sunscreen underneath to add an extra layer of protection, especially when stepping out in sweltering heat.

Skin shade

While a lot of tinted moisturizers come only in a single shade that universally works on all skin tones, a lot many also offer a wide range of shades just like a foundation. Hence, always look for a tinted moisturizer that not only suits your skin type but also your skin tone.

Guide on choosing the best moisturizer for every skin type.

Check out some of the best tinted moisturizers:

(Main and Featured Image Courtesy: Rodnae Productions/Pexels)

The Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator by Wet n Wild is made with hyaluronic acid and vegan squalane to ensure intense hydration and nourishment that lasts all day. It has a buildable, sheer-to-medium coverage in a semi-matte finish that delivers a naturally flawless glow. The lightweight and multi-purpose formula glides seamlessly on the skin and makes for the perfect base for any makeup routine. It is a cruelty-free and vegan formula that is best suited for normal and dry skin and comes in 11 shades.

Rating: 3.9/5

Image: Courtesy Wet n Wild


A three-in-one multitasker that defines makeup with skincare benefits perfectly, the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue is one the best tinted moisturizers out there. From providing intense 24 hour hydration and a broad spectrum SPF 30 sun protection to offering a naturally flawless finish, it does it all. It creates a dewy, healthy-looking glow by offering a sheer-to-light coverage that blurs imperfections and evens out skin tone. Its key ingredients include hyaluronic acid, olive-derived squalane and titanium dioxide (mineral-based SPF). It’s oil-free, dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic with colour range varying across 20 shades.

Rating: 4.7/5

Image: Courtesy bareMinerals


Yet another product that reduces your base makeup steps is the Smashbox Halo that’s a primer, tinted moisturizer and sunscreen. This all-in-one product is available in 20 shades. Developed for all-day wear and a healthy glow, it keeps your skin hydrated for up to 24 hours and does the job of priming, perfecting and protecting (with broad spectrum SPF 25) all at once. It is made with 81 percent of skin-caring ingredients like niacinamide, rose extract, peptides, hyaluronic acid and goji berries.

Rating: 4.4/5

Image: Courtesy Smashbox


With a hydrating and soft formula that feels comfortable on the skin and can be worn every day, the Innisfree Simple Label Tinted Moisturiser keeps your skin nourished and glowing. It gives you an even-toned skin for a natural makeup look and also provides SPF30+/PA+++ mineral-based sun protection. It has a vegan formula that is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested and mild for the skin. It also contains jeju hydrangea leaf extracts, and protects your skin from external irritation and soothes it. This moisturiser comes in four basic shades.

Rating: 4/5

Image: Courtesy Innisfree


The Pixi H2O SkinTint is a tinted face gel with a water-based formula that evens out skin tone and gives your complexion a flawlessly natural no-makeup look. It keeps your skin feeling hydrated and looking fresh all day. It has a cooling and rejuvenating formula that’s more breathable and comfortable than a regular foundation. It is even water-resistant, super hydrating, fragrance-free and vegan. It comes in 19 different shades and is suitable for all skin types.

Rating: 4.5/5

Image: Courtesy Pixi


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What does a tinted moisturizer do?

Answer: A tinted moisturiser helps in keeping your skin hydrated and nourished, while also providing a sheer and natural coverage that blurs imperfections and lends it a natural glow and healthy radiance.

Question: What's the difference between a BB cream and a tinted moisturizer?

Answer: BB creams are in liquid form, an all-in-one makeup product that acts both as a primer and foundation, offering a buildable medium coverage with added benefits like sun protection, shine control and hydration. Whereas, tinted moisturizers are primarily a moisturizer that also offer a touch of sheer coverage and sometimes even sun protection. Additionally, BB creams have more coverage than tinted moisturizers but less than foundation. Also, tinted moisturizers tend to have a lighter formula than BB creams.

Question: Can tinted moisturizers be used daily?

Answer: Yes, they can be used daily and are perfect for everyday makeup.

Question: Is tinted moisturizer better than a foundation?

Answer: It totally depends on what you’re looking for and expecting from your makeup look. If you’re looking for a finish that covers up discolouration, age spots, blemishes and other such concerns then a foundation is what you should be reaching out for. However, if you’re looking for intense hydration with hints of pigment for that dewy and glowy look, a tinted moisturizer would make for a better choice.

Question: Can I wash off a tinted moisturizer?

Answer: No matter what makeup or skincare products you use, you should always remove them and cleanse your face at the end of the day. It can be noted that a tinted moisturizer can fit well in your morning beauty routine.

The best tinted moisturizers for light coverage with a radiant finish

Divya Arora

With an academic background in Public Relations, Divya has a flair for writing about topics spanning genres like lifestyle, beauty, fashion, travel, FnB, tech and entertainment. She fancies everything that's a wholesome blend of contemporary finery and timelessness. Quirky earrings and tees are her weakness. When not creating content, you will find her devouring food, snuggling in with a book and a cup-a-chai, admiring skies or revisiting Hogwarts.


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