Our Fave Tinted SPF's That Really Live Up To The Hype  

I am the type of person that needs to face the day with some sort of coverage. And while I used to be a full face of foundation type of gal, these days I’m way more low key in the base department (*read: I now have way too many kids and way too little time).

Anyway, if you’re like me and can’t run out the door without a lil’ coverage then maybe using a tinted SPF will be your jam. Like it is mine. You see, tinted SPF is lightweight, can even out your skin tone and is super easy to reapply. Plus, with a little concealer action over your dark circles/blemishes/pigmentation wearing less makeup can actually be really great for your skin. 

Does A Tinted SPF Double As My Sunscreen?

When it comes to tinted SPF there is one thing that we should be aware of, and that is that you can’t rely on it solely for adequate SPF protection. This is something Journalist and Call Time on Melanoma Founder, Lisa Patulny taught me and now I share this info with anybody I chat with far and wide.

You see, Lisa points out that experts advise you should apply at least 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon of sunscreen to your face, neck and ears for adequate protection. However, the issue with tinted varieties is that you wouldn't ever apply this much - imagine applying half a teaspoon of foundation!

"Best practice is to first apply a standalone sunscreen, wait for it to sink in, then apply your tinted sunscreen as a makeup base," explains Lisa.

So it’s kind of like doubling up on the SPF protection - which I’d much prefer to do than deal with the consequences. However, I get that tinted SPF can wear more like a skincare product, so it might not be a product for everyone. Hence why of course you could wear one under a fuller coverage BB or CC cream instead, because fun fact: tinted SPF can make an excellent primer as well. 

The Difference Between Tinted Moisturisers, CC & BB Creams:

They all sound kinda similar, right? So what makes tinted SPF/moisturisers, BB and CC creams all that different? Well, let’s break them down.

BB Creams

BB cream stands for ‘beauty balm’ (or sometimes blemish balm). It originated in Asia and was really one of the first products that cemented Asian beauty into the Western beauty world. The coverage of a BB cream is a sheer, medium hybrid between a moisturiser and a foundation and is designed to even out skin tone and correct blemishes, (hence the name). Many BB creams will also often come with added skincare benefits, such as SPF, hydration, and perhaps a little antioxidant action.

Perfect for: light, minimal makeup looks that provide more coverage than a tinted SPF.

CC Creams

CC creams are like BB creams super-luxe cousin. They’re designed to ‘colour correct’ and the products can even out redness, blotchiness and even hyperpigmentation. They also offer similar skincare benefits to BB creams, but might additionally include some to calm redness in the skin. Anyway, due to their colour correcting properties if you have issues with your skin (like skin discolouration) I’d opt for a CC over a BB cream. They’re both quite similar in coverage, however the textures between brands is likely to differ – so never be afraid to ask for samples!

Perfect for: days you want to conceal redness/discolouration in the skin but still want a lightweight finish.

Tinted SPF/Moisturisers

Tinted SPF/moisturisers are made for good skin days. They will leave you looking and feeling your most natural self although they do provide the most minimal coverage because they’re essentially just moisturisers – with a slight tint and nothing more. However I do like to use a moisturiser under my tinted moisturiser or tinted SPF, on the days I opt to use one as a base, as I never feel like they provide adequate hydration. 

Perfect for: off days when you just need a hint of colour/coverage and want to let your skin breathe.

What Are The Benefits Of Wearing Lighter Coverage?

Call it what you like, but real skin is in and with so many complexion-perfecting products on the market now having an all in one hydrator, SPF and tint can save you time and money in the long run. Plus, as you get older lighter coverage just seems to work better on the skin because there’s nothing worse than having your foundation crease in your fine lines. S

Sydney based makeup artist Amelia Singson, additionally advises that while products with lighter coverage can seem easier to apply, we should never dismiss the process of application!

“I love a light base. My favourite way to apply these guys is with a brush because I can get the most coverage out of them. Fingers are great too, however, I find that when I want to build the coverage a brush gives me more control.”

Now onto products to try!

Light enough for the ‘no makeup, makeup look’, but still enough coverage to hide redness, blur imperfections and make you look naturally glowy. If you tend to suffer from dry/dehydrated skin the added boost of hydration will be perfect for you. I recommend using a sponge to apply this one as it gives you the smoothest, most natural-looking finish.

The coverage of a light foundation wrapped up with the benefits of a BB cream. This product provides a natural finish and has a slight shimmer to it that helps brighten the skin. Also formulated as an SPF30 which everybody can get around. Only downfall is the shade range, as it’s a little limited - and if you've got oily skin, forget it. This bad boy is best for normal-dry skin types (it's super dewy).

A sheer tinted BB, with coverage you can build. Provides max hydration and is made with nourishing ingredients to support dry/sensitive skin. I honestly love everything this brand does. Plus, it offers great protection and is gentle for use on every skin type. One of my favourite fail-safe tinted sunscreens that won’t wreak havoc on your face. 

This is a perfect tinted moisturiser for dry skin, and while the coverage is quite sheer, it is very dewy and incredibly hydrating. Plus, whenever I need a little extra boost I just use this and top up with concealer over the areas that need it most. Honestly though, it’s products like these that are changing the sunscreen game. Try it and you’ll never go back. Also four-hour water resistant making it perfect during the warmer months.