Best natural tinted moisturizer – Radiant and protected skin

Tinted moisturizer is not something I used very much in the past. I either went for a foundation with medium to full coverage or left my skin bare, just moisturized.

But more recently I find myself wanting something to help cover up the redness of my skin and give me some SPF protection but I don’t want to feel made up – spending more time at home and less time in the office or at meetings definitely has had an impact.

I have researched and tried several natural tinted moisturizers with SPF coverage and below I have highlighted my favourites.

The importance of Vitamin D

Firstly before we go into it I want to start with a controversial opinion – I do not think I need to wear sunscreen every day.

Vitamin D is important for many aspects of our health but possibly the most important is the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, as well as facilitating normal immune system function. It is important for growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as better resistance against some diseases.

Many of us are vitamin D deficient because we do not get enough sunshine daily. Your body produces vitamin D naturally when you are exposed to the sun. The problem is the amount of sun exposure we need to ensure healthy levels of Vitamin D varys from person to person and place to place – if you have naturally darker skin you absorb less than fairer skinned people etc.

It is all about balance – to get enough vitamin D but not too much sun exposure. The time of day can help – first thing in the morning or last thing at night are the best times to get some sunshine.

If you want to know more about Vitamin D and how to increase your levels check out this comprehensive article.

Daily Sunscreen or not?

Traditional sunscreen has lots of nasty chemicals in it – they are not good for you or for the environment. See my blog post on best natural sunscreens for babies – it has a lot of the background info on what to avoid in mainstream sunscreens.

So using them daily or not really depends on your lifestyle. For office workers who get exposed to the sunlight for a short time in the morning and afternoon daily use of SPF should be unnecessary. That amount of exposure should only be good for your vitamin D levels and if you use sunscreen you will be depriving your body of a key nutrient.

Of course if you live on the beach then this doesn’t apply to you!

I am lucky because my skin tans easily – I definitely do burn but nowhere near as easily as my husband. When I was working full time in an office I didn’t apply moisturizer or foundation with SPF. However now I am out and about much more during the day with the baby I am exposed to the sun much more.

Generally I will assess my potential exposure before I leave the house – if I am going on a long walk I will put some SPF on but if I am just going to the playground that I know is shaded I will go without.

The danger of course is when plans change and you end up being out for longer in the sun – I tend to carry my tinted moisturizer with me just in case.

Also, tinted moisturizer or foundation with SPF gets over the problem of the white face that you often get with natural sunscreen. The biggest complaint people have when it comes to physical sunscreens is that they make you white and it is often difficult to rub in completely – if you use a tinted SPF this is no longer a problem!

Foundation vs. tinted moisturizer

To use a foundation or a tinted moisturizer, I think comes down to preference and circumstance. I have friends who swear by tinted moisturizer – they have clear, even skin and don’t need much coverage. I, on the other hand have quite clear skin but a fairly uneven tone with patches of redness that I like to cover up hence why in the past for work I have always gone for something with fuller coverage.

However, nowadays I find things have changed – being at home is the main difference.

But generally I think there are three key reasons to use tinted moisturizer instead of foundation:

1. Time – no time for a full skincare and makeup regime, a tinted moisturizer is a good hybrid

2. Weather – in the summer a lot of makeup can be pretty uncomfortable, it can make you sweat even more…so a tinted moisturizer with SPF that absorbs easily into the skin might a quick one stop shop option.

3. Skin type – if you have dry skin then you may find your foundation settling into the particularly dry areas or it may start to cake as the day goes on. Tinted moisturizer will not do this because of the moisturizing properties and lighter coverage.

If you want foundation then check out my post on my current favourites here.

Key ingredients to avoid in top tinted moisturizers

There are a lot of tinted moisturisers on the market with and without SPF.

You can look up your products or their ingredients on EWG Skindeep database or on think dirty app. And check out my general rules for assessing dangerous chemicals in cosmetics.

Some of the best-selling products have ingredients that I really would not want near my skin ever…let alone on a regular basis, see a few examples below.

Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer

This is a cult product that is loved by lots of people but it is full of nasty additives.

  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate is used to protect against UVB radiation. It is a known endocrine disruptor – it effects estrogenic and thyroid activity. Rated 6 on EWG.
  • Parabens – Methylparaben, propylparaben. Range 4 and 8 respectively.
  • Cyclomethicone – this is a silicone and is controversial for example it is in Wholefoods unacceptable cosmetic ingredients.

Nars Pure radiant tinted moisturizer SPF 30

  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds) are widely used as thickeners and softeners. They are known to cause dermatitis even in very low concentrations. They range from a 3 to an 8 rating on EWG.
  • Fragrance is a blanket term that can include a lot of different chemicals and companies are not required to divulge the formulation. Fragrance is rated an 8 on EWG.
  • BHT are used to extend the shelf life of a product. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage. Rated a 4.
  • Phenoxyethanol is a common synthetic preservative. It is a potential neurotoxin and it can depress the nervous system but it is found in lots of products including ones marketed as natural and organic. Rated 4 on EWG.
  • Dimethicone is a silicone compound, it is rated 3 on EWG. These are very common in a lot of cosmetics and whilst they haven’t been proven to be harmful to your health, they do blog your pores.

Bare minerals complexion rescue tinted hydrating gel cream SPF 30

Bare minerals is a brand that many people associate as low tox and clean. And although it is better than some other big name brands out there it is still not very clean.

  • Phenoxyethanol is a common synthetic preservative. It is a potential neurotoxin and it can depress the nervous system but it is found in lots of products including ones marketed as natural and organic.

These are just 3 examples of super popular tinted moisturizers – you can see they are full of nasty chemicals.

The best natural tinted moisturizers – in my opinion

So if you are keen to try something with less nasty chemicals then these are my top picks of the best natural tinted moisturisers on the market.

My selection criteria is:

No nasty ingredients: Ingredients are rated 3 or lower on EWG database – it is important to look at individual ingredients not just the overall rating of the product. And if you have a particular area of concern you should be even stricter but it may be different eg: if you are concerned about fertility issues vs. having sensitive skin

High performance – from my own point of view and also from a broad range of reviews across a spectrum of consumers.

W3ll people Bio Tint multi action moisturizer SPF 30

W3ll people is a brand that I discovered fairly recently but I am really impressed with their products. It was founded by a makeup artist, cosmetic dermatologist and a tree hugging entrepreneur – quite the combination.



  • This is a skincare/makeup hybrid. Using active phytonutrients and pure zinc to protect, brighten, hydrate
  • Main active ingredient is zinc oxide – this provides the sun protection
  • EWG verified – meaning it has passed their most stringent testing criteria


  • Available in 4 shades
  • For a tinted moisturizer it has pretty good coverage so covers redness well
  • The formula is not too thick and very easy to apply


Juice beauty Colour Correcting Cream SPF 30

Juice beauty was started when it’s founder was pregnant with her first child and couldn’t find safe, effective skincare. Juice beauty was one of the earlier clean beauty brands on the market and they have a specific focus on avoiding endocrine disrupting ingredients.



  • It blends zinc broad spectrum SPF 30 mineral coverage, with nourishing antioxidants – apple, grape and aloe botanical juices
  • Hydrates with organic plant oils of coconut, sunflower & jojoba
  • EWG rating – 1 and all ingredients are 2 or below


  • Available in 5 shades
  • Has a good consistency that absorbs into the skin easily, no need to rub in like with many natural sunscreens
  • Gives a lovely natural dewy glow – light coverage
  • Some people don’t like the scent – love it or hate it, it will go away quickly.


Suntegrity “5 in 1” natural tinted sunscreen SPF 30

Suntegrity was launched after the founder’s mother died of skin cancer. In their own words: “most of the sunscreens on the market use chemical UV blockers and contain a lot of toxic ingredients. It didn’t make sense to me to use these types of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer only to get another kind of cancer”



  • The active ingredient that protects you from the sun UV rays is Zinc oxide. It also has anti-inflammatory properties so suitable for people with rosacea and acne.
  • Hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin, red algae provide hydration
  • EWG rating – 1 and all ingredients are 2 or below
  • This product is titanium dioxide free.


  • Available in 5 shades
  • It is slightly thick to apply but you can always add a drop of serum to it and it will go on much better
  • Gives a creamy, dewy finish


Ilia Sheer Vivid tinted moisturizer SPF 20

Ilia started in 2011 in Canada, initially focused on Lip care but their tinted moisturizer has become one of their best-sellers. With many people comparing it to Nars and bare minerals in terms of performance.



  • Moisturising through the aloe vera
  • Sodium hyaluronate boosts skin micro-circulation and helps to smooth and firm the complexion.
  • Sun protection is from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
  • Contains Dimethicone so if you are wanting to avoid silicones then this is not for you. More details about dimethicone can be found in this comprehensive article.


  • Available in 6 shades
  • Another one with a slightly thick formulation – best to apply an oil or light serum underneath or blend together
  • Evens out skin tone with a light coverage



These are 4 tinted moisturizers that I feel are both effective and safe from harmful ingredients. Depending on where you are shopping some are easier to find than others. This is a result of these brands still being small, founder run organisations.

My current favourite is w3ll people and I am using quite a lot at the moment because Hong Kong is scorching hot!

If you are looking for foundation have a look at this post where I review my favourite natural foundations that have really super performance.






  • Karen

    June 3, 2018

    This is a great informative review on tinted moisturizers and I use one every day. I prefer a tinted moisturizer instead of heavy foundation, however, I never really knew about the harsh chemicals they contain.
    Thanks to your review, I think I’m going to switch to W3LL People and will look for it at Wholefoods or Target.

    • Allie

      June 4, 2018

      Great Karen, so glad you found the article helpful. Yes if you are based in the US you can get hold of W3ll people easily. Let me know how it goes once you have tried it.

  • Jacqueline Thornhill

    June 3, 2018

    I have tried tinted moisturizers in the past and have not liked them much. I found them to be too dark. Wow, there are so many out there now. Like you I tend to not like foundation in the summer, but prefer nothing other than my Boomstick Color. So so these moisturizers apply all over the body? Do you find them an adequate replacement for foundation if one wants to do full makeup?

    • Allie

      June 4, 2018

      Hi Jacqueline, yes there are so many aren’t there and they come in increasing numbers of shades so you should be able to get one to match your skin tone. 

      These are face moisturizers and I wouldn’t use them when I wanted to have a made up look – then I would go for my foundation as all the tinted moisturizers only provide a light coverage.

  • Danielle

    March 20, 2019

    Another great safe tinted moisturizer with SPF is Beautycounter Dew Skin!

    • Allie

      March 23, 2019

      Hi Danielle, Yes I would love to try Beautycounter products I am a huge fan of the CEO Gregg Renfrew. Only problem is you don’t ship overseas & I tried to buy some but needed a US credit card. Will definitely find a way one of these days.


Leave a Reply to Karen Cancel reply