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Tinted Moisturizer: Why Do You Need One?

Tinted Moisturizer: Why Do You Need One?

A true minimalist already has a tinted moisturizer they love, but if you’re more of an all-or-nothing foundation person, you may not have explored the options available in these lower-coverage formulas.

Tinted moisturizers (and products like them) are designed to make your skin feel hydrated and give you just a bit of coverage all in one fell swoop. Using them can be a lifesaver during hot summer months when you don’t want as much product on your face, or during the winter, layered under your foundation to provide extra moisture.

Let’s talk about tinted moisturizers, how they work, and what other products you can use to hydrate and highlight your skin. Of course, we’ll also talk about why some tinted moisturizers have ingredients that aren’t safe for your skin, and how you can avoid them. 

What Is Tinted Moisturizer?

Tinted moisturizers, also sometimes called “skin tints,” are products that do double duty. They provide hydration to your skin and contain a small amount of color to give you a hint of coverage. If you love a bare-faced look but are more comfortable with a little coverage, a tinted moisturizer gives you the best of both worlds. 

Tinted Moisturizer vs. Foundation

Any foundation will contain enough pigment to give you at least light coverage. Foundations are designed to cover skin imperfections, add coverage to dark areas of hyperpigmentation, and create a more balanced complexion. 

Tinted moisturizers are designed to smooth out rough areas of skin, keep skin hydrated and dewy, and offer just a hint of color correction. 

Tinted Moisturizer vs. BB Cream

A BB cream, or “beauty balm” cream is a skincare product that contains light coverage and a few other skin-beneficial ingredients. For instance, most BB creams you find today have added sunscreen, so it’s possible to use a BB cream in place of a moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen. 

The problem with many BB creams is that they contain unsafe ingredients. Because BB creams usually include some type of ingredient to protect you from UVA and UVB rays, they may contain oxybenzone. This ingredient is a known allergen and toxin, and is also a carcinogen with potential reproductive interference. Bottom line, you don’t want it anywhere near your body. 

BB creams may offer other skin care ingredients that target specific skin concerns, but this also opens the door to ingredients that aren’t necessarily desirable. Silicones, talcs, mineral oils, and other chemical-based ingredients that can harm your skin and pose a threat to your body can be found regularly in BB creams. 

Thankfully, you can get the same kind of skin benefits with a natural, plant-based tinted moisturizer.

Is Tinted Moisturizer High Coverage?

No tinted moisturizer should be high coverage; that would make it more of a foundation and less of a “tint.” While some tinted moisturizers might be buildable, it’s better to add foundation on top of a tinted moisturizer for more coverage. 

A tinted moisturizer will contain hydrating, emollient ingredients that make layering it more difficult and can result in an oily complexion.  

Should Primer Be Applied Before Tinted Moisturizer?

We always recommend your skin be hydrated before you use a primer. Our favorite way to prep your skin is with our Beauty Oil.

If you’re using a tinted moisturizer, it would be best to apply it before your priming product. The primer creates a seal on the skin that doesn’t allow makeup to fill in your pores. As such, applying a moisturizing product after the primer wouldn’t allow the moisturizer to penetrate.  

Is Tinted Moisturizer Better for Dry Skin?

The best thing you can do for dry skin is use products that contain living ingredients. Ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, squalane, and jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is closest to the skin’s natural oil, sebum, which allows it to be easily absorbed by the skin. 

If you are using a foundation that is formulated with these hydrating, skin-nourishing ingredients, your dry skin will fare just as well as if you were to use a tinted moisturizer instead. It’s not so much the product that is the focus as it is the ingredients inside it.

Is Tinted Moisturizer Safe for All Skin Types?

Oily skin that is prone to breakouts is often dehydrated. When your skin is dehydrated, your sebaceous glands begin working overtime to compensate. The result is too much sebum that ends up mixing with dirt and dead skin cells to clog your pores and form blemishes. 

Oil-free products (including tinted moisturizers) that are marketed for oily skin usually have the opposite effect, leaving skin parched, and causing skin to produce excess oils.

If you have acne-prone skin, you can still use a skin tinting moisturizer. Look for ingredients that can help rebalance your skin’s natural moisture levels and prevent your skin from feeling excessively oily.

Can I Wear Tinted Moisturizer Every Day?

Sure! If you love your tinted moisturizer and it’s filled with hydrating, safe ingredients, there’s no reason you can’t wear it daily. 

There is a caveat: your skin still needs color-free moisture, especially at night. When you come home, always remove your makeup and apply a moisturizing product.

How Do I Use Tinted Moisturizer?

When you use a tinted moisturizer, remember that you’re going for a bare-faced look without the nakedness of a truly bare face. Here’s how to do it correctly and feel comfortable with our finished look. 

Start With a Clean Face

Cleansing your skin with raw coconut cream is a great way to keep your skin fully hydrated and eliminate excess oil and dirt. Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties to cleanse your skin, but it’s also loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids to nourish and hydrate your skin deeply. 

Apply a Lightweight Moisturizer

Applying a lightweight moisturizer prior to the tinted moisturizer will help the color in the tinted moisturizer grip your skin and stay in place longer. We recommend RMS Beauty’s Beauty Oil. This jojoba-based oil is lightweight, absorbs rapidly, and leaves your skin feeling smooth and supple. 

Apply Tinted Moisturizer

Apply your tinted moisturizer after your beauty oil. 

Pro Tip: You can make your own tinted moisturizer at home by combining a few drops of beauty oil with your favorite “Un” Cover-Up Cream Foundation

“Un” Cover-Up is a buildable product, and adding a little beauty oil to it will create a consistency that allows you the lightest coverage possible while hydrating your skin and giving you a radiant glow. 

The added bonus? It’s completely safe, vegan, and made with the cleanest and most effective ingredients you can use on your skin. 

Apply Concealer to Spots

Blemishes or sunspots need a little extra coverage. Opt for concealer on these areas instead of tinted moisturizer. Tinted moisturizer doesn’t offer enough coverage for concealing what you want it to. 

Add Blush

For a fresh-faced look, adding a little blush to your cheeks will help balance out the semi-matte finish of the tinted moisturizer, and help your skin truly glow. 

Two we love:

  • Lip2Cheek in Lost Angel. This coral pink has a hint of golden undertones to give your skin a realistic flush. 
  • Lip2Cheek in Beloved. This true red works well for all skin tones and adds a just bitten color to your lips and a subtle flush to the cheeks. 

A little product goes a long way. Using less keeps your look more natural and believable. 

The Bottom Line

Tinted moisturizers are a great option for days when you’d like less coverage, but still want a polished, finished look. These moisturizers offer subtle color correction and skin hydrating ingredients that do double duty for your skin.

You can easily mix your own tinted moisturizer with products you know and trust, to create flawless finishes from cosmetics you know are packed with the cleanest, greenest ingredients available. 

This summer, skip the three-step moisturizer-SPF-foundation process and opt for easier application and better ingredients. 

RMS Beauty is your home base for the cleanest, most effective skin products and color cosmetics in the industry. 


What is OXYBENZONE | EWG Skin Deep 

Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile | NCBI 

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