Latest beauty trends show that more and more of us are choosing to simplify our skincare routine and are opting to go for a more natural, minimalistic makeup look. If you have oily skin, wearing foundation can come with its own set of challenges such as breakouts and greasy shine. Tinted moisturisers are the perfect alternative to wearing a full face of makeup, as they still provide coverage, SPF protection and a healthy glow.
In this handy guide, we will reveal what to look out for when shopping for the right tinted moisturiser for your skin's needs. We'll share the best products available online from leading UK retailers such as Amazon, John Lewis and Boots from both affordable and high-end brands including Nivea, NARS, Chanel and Laura Mercier.
As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
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As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
Find out more about Marie and what are her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.
Moisturisation is essential when it comes to regulating the oil secretion of your skin. Tinted moisturisers can help you to not only lock in that moisture but also to minimise pores, offer sunscreen protection (which is essential regardless of whether you are being exposed to direct sunlight) as well as have a plumping effect. So read on to find out more about what you should be looking for!
Unlike foundation, tinted moisturisers are designed to provide only light coverage, but it is still important to pick a tone that suits your skin. If you are naturally fair-skinned but instead choose a tinted moisturiser with yellow undertones, it is unlikely to look flattering. Picking one a pink undertone will provide you with a much healthier, glowing look.
When it comes to people with darker skin tones, the tinted moisturiser market has thankfully significantly expanded in recent years to accommodate people of colour. The majority of products on our list come in a variety of shades, however, you will still want to check that the brand offers the shade you need.
The good news is that tinted moisturiser does not necessarily need to match your tone precisely (as long as it doesn't create any outrageous contrasts with your skin) since the product is designed to primarily offer skin benefits rather than colour, and to create a transparent veil on your skin with just a hint of pigment.
Often oil-free products will oxidise (set darker) if ingredients such as titanium dioxide are present. If ordering online, check reviews to find out how the colour wears as you may need to opt for one shade lighter so it dries to a perfect match.
Bronzing drops are a great addition if you catch a tan in the summer but don’t want to invest in multiple shades. Also, to avoid a chalky cast, deeper skin tones should try to avoid the popular sunscreen ingredient 'Zinc Oxide'.
Modern tinted moisturisers can also provide many skin benefits such as minimising pores, UV protection, delivering antioxidants to prevent skin damage and plumping up the skin. In this section, we will advise you on which ingredients you should be looking for to help you with your skin issues.
A common side effect of having oily skin is enlarged and/or blocked pores. Some tinted moisturisers can help with that issue, especially if they contain niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3 often used to treat acne.
Zinc is another excellent ingredient that provides a mattifying effect for oily skin. It does so by regulating and minimising sebum production. Plus, if your skin is prone to blocked pores, consider buying a tinted moisturiser with salicylic acid. This ingredient works by going deep into the pores and breaking down proteins that cause blockages.
As well as salicylic acid, moisturisers with ingredients such as witch hazel and aloe are likely to be light and non-comedogenic – or you can check the label for claims that the formula is non-comedogenic.
Using a tinted moisturiser rich in skincare benefits such as Salicylic and Niacinamide will keep your skin looking smooth and shine-free with makeup on, but it will also strengthen the skin's barrier underneath.
Particularly important for daily wear, not only will the tint protect your skin from external aggressors but you may find yourself wearing less make-up as your skin improves in texture and colour.
UV protection is another important aspect of skincare which is offered by most tinted moisturisers on the market today. Getting a suitable moisturiser with SPF included can be really beneficial if you have oily or blemish-prone oily skin, as the fewer products you pile onto your face, the less chance of clogged pores and shine.
Most products provide a minimum of SPF 15 protection which is generally sufficient in the UK climate, though really, the higher the better. In the summer, too, you will want to increase your SPF protection or perhaps wear an additional sunscreen if your tinted moisturiser can't provide it.
Opting for a tinted moisturiser with a strong SPF avoids layering extra sun protection, this is particularly important for oily skin because more layers can create a greasy film.
For protection against ageing and burning look for tints that cover both UVA & UVB rays - regardless of whether you are in direct sunlight or indoors most of the day, you will always be vulnerable to damage. To minimise the chance of break-outs, particularly for acne-prone skin, go for a non-comedogenic version.
When it comes to plumping up the skin, one of the most popular ingredients you are likely to see listed on the packaging is hyaluronic acid. Although the name "acid" may sound scary to some, this is, in fact, a natural compound that is already found in our bodies, particularly in the skin, connective tissues and eyes.
A topical application of products with hyaluronic acid will hydrate and plump up the top layer of the skin and help you to achieve that dewy, 8-hour beauty sleep look.
Often oily skin is dehydrated which is what triggers the over-production of sebum - the skin is trying to nourish itself with oil when what it really needs is water. To reduce shine you want to hydrate the skin with water-based products such as hyaluronic acid; this miracle worker will attract moisture and reduce the appearance of texture and fine lines.
Much like regular moisturisers, tinted moisturisers come in a variety of different textures, though they most commonly fall into one of three main categories: cream, gel or liquid. Happily, most of them are easy to apply and relatively light – great for oily skin.
The cream version of tinted moisturisers is likely to be the richest one consistency-wise, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be heavy. The gels tend to be a bit lighter and less prone to blocking pores, while fluid formulas tend to be very light and provide the least coverage.
However, the best way to find out which texture of tinted moisturiser suits your skin best is to try different ones. There are no set in stone rules!
Due to the slick nature of moisturisers, most will have a cream texture that can sometimes feel too rich for oily skin. To combat this lookout for formulas such as 'semi/demi-matte', 'satin' these will dry down into the skin and not leave a tacky finish. Water-based formulas will feel lightweight and thinner in consistency versus silicone-based which can help to tame the grease but may clog the pores.
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Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
The Complexion-Enhancing Cult Classic
HydraQuench Tinted Moisturiser
Leaves the Skin Supple, Soft and Smooth
Effaclar Duo+ Unifiant Tinted Moisturiser
Lightweight Hydration for Blockage-Prone Pores
Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser
A Light Complexion-Correcting Grape-Based Cream
Award-Winning Formula for Acne-Prone Skin
Easy to Apply and Perfect for Everyday Wear
Translucent Bronzing Tint
Contouring and Brightening Elixir Great for Sensitive Skin
LES BEIGES Water-Fresh Tint
Watery, Hi-Tech Beauty Enhancing Gel
Light Tinted Day Cream
Versatile and Budget-Friendly
Skin Paradise Tinted Moisturiser
An Affordable Sheer Water-Cream
Over the years, this oil-free tinted moisturiser has earned itself the title of a cult classic due to its dreamy silky texture which can be applied onto the skin to create a totally natural look. The range consists of 12 shades which can be even mixed together to create your own, bespoke tint.
As well as an SPF of 30, this product provides a strong boost of moisture to the skin without clogging the pores or feeling heavy, and its bounty of plant-based ingredients deliver a bright, natural glow. The best part is that a little goes a very long way, providing great value for money.
This reasonably-priced tinted moisturiser by Clarins is the perfect light hydration option for oily skin. Although it does not have a huge range of shades in its range, the four options are very adaptable to different skin tones and offer a natural-looking, satin finish.
As a pleasant bonus, it also uses katafray bark extract which is an ingredient used to enhance the skin's natural hydration mechanisms. At the same time, the hyaluronic acid complex will penetrate the top layer of the skin and create a dewy, plump effect. Overall this is great value for such a multi-functional product.
Designed to be applied after cleansing and toning, this French pharmacy favourite works like a treat on acne-prone oily skin. Its light cream-gel formula ensures that your skin does not feel greasy throughout the day and its light pigment is just enough to provide you with sufficient coverage.
The best part is that it contains niacinamide and salicylic acid. The former tackles those pesky spots and regulates oil production, whereas the latter unblocks pores. Sadly, though suitable for daytime wear, it does not contain an SPF. You may also want to be cautious if you are out it the sun, since salicylic acid can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Caudalie has been making products using grape-seed polyphenols since 1995. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidant molecules that can prevent ageing and are also naturally high in hyaluronic acid.
This particular tinted moisturiser is an excellent choice for anyone with oily skin because this product is non-comedogenic and the grapevine shoot extract is excellent at balancing oil secretion. The only drawback of this moisturiser is that its SPF is not particularly high, so if you are using it in the summer you may want to apply some extra sun protection on top.
This tinted moisturiser by Laura Mercier has been designed specifically with oily skin in mind. Its shine-controlling, oil-free formula will help you to achieve that much-desired "barely there" look, and the semi-matte texture provides the perfect healthy finish.
Enhanced with Vitamin E, it also offers the perfect amount of moisture and stays on well even in humid British weather. The only drawback of this tinted moisturiser is that you have to make sure to keep it upright at all times because sometimes, the product can leak out from under the cap.
This lightweight, oil-free mattifying tinted moisturiser is available in 20 shades which guarantees a natural, healthy look for every skin tone. Although it has a light texture, the pigment is also buildable which allows you to achieve the coverage you desire without the heaviness of foundation.
As well as hyaluronic acid, the product also contains squalane, a substance derived from olive oil which helps to keep the skin hydrated throughout the day without clogging the pores. The additional SPF 30 is a pleasant bonus, and means this natural moisturiser would be well suited to wear during the summer months.
This liquid tint is a little different to all the others on this list since it is designed for all skin shades. Providing a much-needed hit of moisture without the grease, this product has a slight bronzing effect rather than providing coverage. However, it still has the effect of blurring and softening imperfections.
Its light formula is perfect for those who are worried about oily skin and breakouts. Plus, Dr. Hauschka pride themselves on making natural and organic cosmetics using medicinal plants, so if you enjoy natural cosmetics and your skin is prone to irritation, this product might be for you. However, it is definitely on the pricey side given the size of the bottle.
This product created some major waves in the beauty community upon its release. With its unique watery-texture, this ultra-moisturising yet very light tint is great for oily skin and was designed with the use of microfluidic technology – in other words, droplets of encapsulated pigment that melt into the skin.
The product comes with an ergonomic brush which makes the process of mixing the droplets and application a lot easier. This tint provides an instant hit of glowy moisture to the skin without the shine; just be aware that it does not offer any SPF protection or any other benefits beyond moisturisation and light coverage.
As many of us know, German personal care brand Nivea offer a variety of essential everyday products at low prices. This particular cream is a no-frills moisturiser which provides 24-hour moisture and a gentle tint. The formula contains tocopherol (also known as vitamin E) which helps to heal blemishes and skin damage.
The formula also contains a special blend of colour pigments which reflect the light in a way that helps to mask imperfections, so it would suit those wanting to disguise enlarged pores. The cream contains SPF 15, which may be fine for cloudy winter days but won't be sufficient in the summer.
This tinted moisturiser is a good drugstore equivalent to many of the pricier products on the market. Inspired by Korean skincare, it comes in a cute elegant tube which makes it easy and hygienic to apply. Its watery formula includes aloe vera and witch hazel, both known for their soothing and oil-regulating properties.
This moisturiser offers 24 hour-long hydration and also helps to even out the skin tone. Unlike many other drugstore tinted moisturisers, it comes in many shades. It is good to be aware of the fact, however, that this product also contains ginger extract which in some people may cause sensitivity.
A tinted moisturiser is a lightweight lotion designed to provide skincare benefits such as oil control and SPF protection, but also a light coverage thanks to the added pigment. Its aim to hydrate the skin and to provide a glowing, healthy finish, allowing you to get the benefits of both makeup and skincare all in one product!
It is important to distinguish between tinted moisturisers and BB creams because the two are often confused – they may sound quite similar but they are, in fact, quite different.
In short, BB creams can offer a lot of the same benefits as moisturisers, but their main purpose is to provide a foundation-like coverage. Tinted moisturisers, on the other hand, are aimed at primarily providing skin benefits and only a light touch of coverage.
"Tinted moisturisers have a creamy texture that often won't dry completely matte. You can ensure a shine-free finish by sandwiching your tint with an oil-free primer underneath and set with oil-absorbing powder on top."
"Skin prep should be minimal before make-up, avoiding heavy creams and textures as they would create too much slip and shine - a light-weight, oil-free gel/serum base would be the best option - keep your multi-step skincare routine for the evenings."
If you're looking to change up your skincare routine for the better, you're in the right place! Why not try out a few more of our recommendations designed especially for oily complexions? The buying guides below will help you find your perfect match.
Whether you are new to makeup or are trying to simplify your usual routine, tinted moisturisers are a fantastic way to get that put-together glow while avoiding heavy coverage and minimising the chance of breakouts. We hope you have enjoyed our guide and have found the perfect one to suit your complexion and needs.
Author: Maria C
Buying Guide Reviewed by Marie Dancer
No. 1: NARS | Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
No. 2: Clarins | HydraQuench Tinted Moisturiser
No. 3: La Roche-Posay | Effaclar Duo+ Unifiant Tinted Moisturiser
No. 4: Caudalie | Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser
No. 5: Laura Mercier | Tinted Moisturiser
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