Can I Use a Moisturiser Underneath a Tinted Moisturiser?

Tinted moisturisers are godsends for fast-paced lives. We investigate whether you should rely on one moisturiser or layer up with an untinted counterpart.

With a sweet-shop-worthy range of skincare products available to you, understanding the skincare layering rule has never been more important. This is the rule of applying skincare products in a particular order to maximise effectiveness.

For best results, you want to follow essence with serum, serum with moisturiser, and moisturiser with facial oil. With each step, products become thicker and more substantial.

But what about tinted moisturiser? Is it an exception to the layering rule? If you use a tinted moisturiser, can you or should you use your regular moisturiser underneath?


Can I use a moisturiser underneath a tinted moisturiser?


The skincare layering rule: why it exists

If you were to follow the skincare layering rule to a T, you'd apply your usual moisturiser after your tinted moisturiser. Your intuition tells you this makes no sense, but you might not know exactly why.

The skincare layering rule is designed to maximise the effectiveness of products in your regimen. It's based on the science of penetration, which concludes that the thicker the product, the longer it'll take to absorb. Some products may feel like they've absorbed, while in fact they're still close to the surface of your skin, blocking the absorption of other products.

Tinted moisturisers are formulated differently than untinted versions. In fact, tinted moisturiser is in a category all its own, between makeup and skincare.

The differences between moisturiser and tinted moisturiser

Tinted moisturiser is not designed to absorb deeply. Although light in texture, the ingredients that provide tint are obviously intended to stay on the top layers of skin.

Many tinted moisturiser formulas also include SPF and blurring ingredients to defend from UV light and hide imperfections. These ingredients need to rest on the top layers of skin to fulfil these tasks most effectively.

The final difference between moisturisers and the tinted kind is that the latter contain more film-formers. These are ingredients, such as silicones, that help a small amount of product distribute evenly over the skin. They also elongate wear and help provide a water-resistant finish.

While you want all the active ingredients in a regular moisturiser to penetrate your skin as deeply as possible, a tinted moisturiser should remain mostly on the surface of the skin. This is why the skincare layering rule doesn't apply to tinted moisturisers.


Can I use a moisturiser underneath a tinted moisturiser?


Can you use a regular moisturiser underneath a tinted moisturiser?

By now, you realise that tinted moisturisers, even though called 'moisturisers', are significantly different from untinted ones. That's why we recommend always using a regular moisturiser underneath a tinted version.

Untinted moisturisers are formulated to combat specific skin concerns, whether that's dryness, acne, ageing, or sensitivity. To do this, the ingredients need to reach multiple layers of skin, and moisturisers provide the best vehicle to help them do this.

While moisturisers tackle internal skin concerns, tinted ones secure the perimeter, so to speak. In short, the two products work synergistically, complementing each other.

Some of our favourite tinted moisturisers include:

All of which you can happily layer over your current moisturiser.

Browse Adore Beauty's full tinted moisturiser shop. If you require any direction in choosing a product that's appropriate for your needs, contact our friendly team of skincare advisors via email at or by telephone on 03 9486 7179.


Can I use a moisturiser underneath a tinted moisturiser?