If You Hate Heavy Facial SPFs, These Tinted Formulas Are Worth Knowing About

If you're anything like me, you'll know what it's like to absolutely loathe everything about facial SPF. Not only does it feel uncomfortable, sticky, and often greasy on the skin, but it also—more often than not—leaves behind a ghostly white cast and makes your complexion look impossibly oily. And don't get me wrong—I know that facial SPF formulas have come a long way, but let's face it: We're not quite there yet, are we?

And it seems everyone struggles with facial SPFs for different reasons. Some find that the ingredients irritate their dry and sensitive skin, while others struggle with the way that the oily formulas sit on their already oily skin. Personally, I'm in the latter category. I like a glow, but I find that so many SPFs make my pores look triple their size, and applying any sort of makeup over the top in an attempt to rectify the situation is out of the question. (Unless I actually want to chase it around my face all day.)

No, sometimes facial SPF is not the one, but we have to wear it. And I have definitely settled on my favorite formulas that I know not to stray from. But this year, there's a new type of facial SPF on the scene and I am all in. For days like these when applying a full face of makeup seems counterintuitive but I still want to feel like myself, I've been opting for tinted SPFs.

Before 2021, I must admit that the idea of pore-clogging, breakout-inducing tinted SPF would send shivers down my spine, but the new formulas are different. Sitting much closer on the spectrum toward high-protection skincare as opposed to makeup, they keep skin looking and feeling like yours and sometimes even offer up a bit more of a bronzed glow. Like what you read? Keep scrolling for the tinted SPF formulas that I'm wearing day in, day out.

This stuff has frankly blown me away. Blurring, hydrating (thanks to hyaluronic acid), and seriously glow-giving since it's formulated with vitamin C. It's an absolute winner. It's perfect for everyday wear, but if I was going out to sunbathe in the park I'd probably pack a broad spectrum SPF 50 just to be safe.

Great for those with sensitive skin that usually plays up with SPF application, this option from Bioderma is wonderfully soothing (and smoothing). 

Designed to work with all skin tones (as the majority on this list are), the thing that's most notable about this is how intensely hydrating it is. My skin loves it.

More obviously than some others, this stuff is an SPF first, so it's great if you're serious about your sun protection. The universal tint is just a fabulous touch to a really great, comfortable formula.

With vitamin C and melatonin this broad-spectrum SPF creates an even, perfected base in a matter of seconds. 

Best tinted spfs



Unlike other brands, Institut Esthederm (which, by the way, is widely regarded as just about the best suncare brand in the game among editors) doesn't use an SPF rating, as it doesn't believe it goes far enough to ensure skin is protected against all of the sun's damaging rays. This tinted formula is best suited to skin tones and types that don't burn easily as it also contains tan enhancers. It's protected tanning at its finest.

I have been a huge fan of La Roche-Posay's Anthelios face SPF for ages, and this tinted version is perfection. It's lightweight, dries instantly, and besides the natural-looking sheer tint, is invisible on the skin.

This is the perfect compact to keep in your handbag on hot, sunny days. Apply the solid BB formula over the face for skin-perfecting sun protection.

Not only does this smell divine, but the dewy coverage that it gives isn't too dissimilar from my go-to tinted moisturizer, except it's an SPF 30 sun cream. Oh, and as a big bonus, it's reef-safe.

This is great for paler tones that worry about sunspots and pigmentation. 

This is without a doubt my favorite facial SPF ever created. It's a broad-spectrum SPF 50, and although it doesn't contain obvious pigment, it does have a brightening tint. Whenever I wear this stuff, people always compliment my glow. My only gripe is that it's virtually impossible to get out the last of the product because it's in a glass container, which is a crime considering it's $144. 

Ultrasun is responsible for some of the best SPF products in the game, and this tinted fluid is no exception. I really rate this stuff for its fast-absorbing and glow-giving qualities. 

Best tinted spfs for summer



Derms love this option because it's gentle enough for the most sensitive skin types, and reviewers love it because it looks so darn good on the skin.

Where you'd normally find three or four generic shade options, this glowy CC cream comes in more than a dozen shades fit for all skin tones.

While the shade range could use some work, here's an option that's garnered a cult following among the sun-conscious consumer that's not willing to sacrifice nourishing moisture, even coverage, and clean formulation.

Reapplying your SPF throughout the day just got way easier.

This mineral option was formulated specifically with deeper skin tones in mind, so you can be sure the coverage will be super flattering.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

Next up, 15 Self-Tanning Lotions for People Who Think They Hate Self-Tanning Lotions

Related Stories