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What Is Tinted Moisturizer? How to Apply for a Flawless Summer-Proof Finish

Photo by JLco - Julia Amaral/ Getty Images

Whether you barely sweat or can barely keep makeup on your face once the weather hits 90 degrees and summer arrives, tinted moisturizer can be an absolute game changer for anyone trying to achieve lightweight coverage during months. 

Nowadays you can find “tint” in nearly every type of product, including sunscreen, balms, and BB creams, but how does tinted moisturizer differ? And more importantly, what is it used for and how can you incorporate it into your beauty routine? We tapped esthetician Erica Marie Gatt to get all the details about this powerhouse beauty product. 

About the Expert:
Erica Marie Gatt is an esthetician and founder of EM Skinin Hermosa Beach, CA.

What Is Tinted Moisturizer?

According to Gatt, “Tinted moisturizer is a skincare product that combines the hydrating and other beneficial ingredient properties of a moisturizer with a hint of color which provides natural coverage to the skin.” So, imagine the moisturizer you’re using right now with a few drops of your foundation in it. It’s still mostly moisturizer, just with a tint that offers the added benefit of blemish coverage.

“It is designed to even out skin tone and treat specific concerns like aging, keeping the skin hydrated and flawless, which makes this product super versatile because it can replace both your foundation and daily moisturizer in one step” explains Gatt. “Tinted moisturizers often have additional beneficial ingredients such as SPF for sun protection, antioxidants, and vitamins, catering to those who have specific skincare goals and concerns.”

However, unlike BB creams, tinted moisturizers do not also act like a primer. Gatt also adds that all skin types can benefit from using a tinted moisturizer if it fits their makeup coverage needs.

How to Apply Tinted Moisturizer

“First things first,” says Gatt, “while looking for the best tinted moisturizer, think about your skin concerns and goals.” 

“If you are looking for hydration and anti-aging benefits, make sure there is hyaluronic acid in [the moisturizer],” she says. “If you’re looking to help even your skin tone, make sure there is vitamin C and antioxidants. If you are seeking something that is going to help with your redness, make sure there is niacinamide, aloe, and hyaluronic acid.” Gatt recommends waiting 15 to 20 seconds between each of the steps below.

1. Cleanse Your Face or Exfoliate 

Wash your face with your favorite daily cleanser to ensure there’s no lingering makeup, residue, or dirt from the night or day before. “I do suggest exfoliating a couple times a week at night to help products absorb better into the skin by removing dead skin cells. This allows new skin cells to come to the surface to be able to drink up the product applied,” says Gatt. Reach for a product with AHAs or BHAs for gentle exfoliation. For a daily cleanser, we love FIRST AID BEAUTY’S Pure Skin Face Cleanser.

2. Sweep Toner Over the Skin

This helps balance the PH of your skin and get it balanced to absorb the skincare ingredients you’re about to apply.

3. Apply a Vitamin C Product 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution, UVA and UVB rays, and more. We love VITABIRD’S Vitamin C Serum for this.

4. Apply Hyaluronic Acid Product 

Hyaluronic acid is a powerful ingredient for dry skin that helps lock in moisture and restore the skin barrier.

5. Layer on SPF

Derms agree: You should be wearing SPF daily, even if you’re only going outside for a limited time. Choose a lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen, like SUPERGOOP’s Unseen Sunscreen.

6. Finish With Tinted Moisturizer 

Tinted moisturizer should be the final step in your skincare routine. We can’t get enough of the lightweight HEAD KANDY Go-Getter Tinted Moisturizer.  “I like to apply the tinted moisturizer with my fingertips (vs. a brush which won’t absorb into the skin as well), patting it on my face first and then lightly rubbing it in” says Gatt. “I sometimes add a couple of layers until I get the coverage that I like.” 

Want to find your next favorite tinted moisturizer and more? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated June 24, 2024 12:00 AM