We independently select and review the products we recommend. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our affiliate links below. Learn more about how we review products and our sources of information.
Tinted moisturizers offer skincare benefits and a touch of coverage. They’re time-saving practical products you can use to quickly put together a natural, effortless, everyday look. But some of the most popular tinted moisturizers are as expensive as full-coverage foundations. And a quick run to the drugstore will show you that there’s an underwhelming number of options to choose from when it comes to affordable, budget-friendly tinted moisturizers. Well, among those are a handful of tinted moisturizers that rival those expensive ones you find at Sephora. So chin up!
In case you’ve never used one before or don’t know how they differ from other complexion products, here’s the recap on tinted moisturizer vs. BB/CC creams and the like. A tinted moisturizer is basically a moisturizer that gives you a hint of tint. Compared to BB and CC creams, the coverage you get is less but the skincare benefit you get is more.
Most tinted moisturizers will prioritize your skin type to properly hydrate your skin without aggravating any skin problems. Some of them are formulated with sunscreen so that you don’t need to layer multiple skincare products. And because they’re packed with moisturizing ingredients, they care for your skin, leaving it plumper and healthier.
They feel much lighter than a typical foundation, so they’re easier to use all day long. A thin layer will simply warm up your complexion with a nice tint to conceal minor imperfections. Basically, they’re skincare and makeup hybrids. And they’re totally worth the investment.
While some things are clear like this, others can get confusing. You’ll see different brands naming a tinted moisturizer something else like a skin perfector or some other vague term, which makes it difficult to understand what exactly it offers. But don’t worry. It doesn’t matter what it’s called. I’ve got below the best tinted moisturizers you can find at the drugstore that offer nothing less than a high-end tinted moisturizer.
Best Drugstore Tinted Moisturizers
1. Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
This one checks all the boxes and packs everything you need in your morning routine all wrapped up into one product. It’s a multi-tasking daily moisturizer that has a gentle vitamin C derivative to improve your skin tone. And it’s got mineral SPF 30 for daily UV protection. The consistency is very lightweight and easy to apply, blend, and layer. And the formula is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. And because this works like a color corrector, it’s perfect for concealing discolorations, especially redness like rosacea. The coverage you get is light but buildable and the finish is radiant. That’s why this looks amazing on dry, dull skin that could use the glow-up.
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free, vegan, non-comedogenic
2. Wet n Wild Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator
Ever heard of hydrators and moisturizers? The difference is that a typical moisturizer contains emollients such as jojoba oil or ceramides whereas a hydrator is usually something water-based and made with humectants like hyaluronic acid. And this tinted hydrator is made with that logic and packs hyaluronic acid, squalane, and glycerin. The comfortable consistency makes it an amazing tinted moisturizer for people with oily, acne-prone skin. The coverage is light/medium and the finish is natural. That’s why this won’t give you that super smooth skin effect or cover up acne. But it covers up redness and uneven skin tone and makes the skin look fresh and awake.
Size: 0.91 oz/27 ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, vegan, cruelty-free
3. Milani Glow Hydrating Skin Tint
First off, this is a skin tint. That’s why it’s a surprise to get that much coverage from it. It’s that good! The creamy formula is made with 29% squalane. And while that’s good news if you have normal skin or dry skin, it can feel uncomfortable or even heavy if you have oily skin. That’s because of squalane. But other than that, the glowy finish looks amazing, especially when you pair it with a nice bronzer.
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free
4. Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer
This is one of my all-time favorite tinted moisturizers because of the fresh look it leaves on my sensitive skin. It’s made with hyaluronic acid and coconut water. It comes out a bit thick at first but quickly spreads out and settles in nicely as you blend it into the skin. With medium coverage and a super fresh natural-looking finish, the tinted moisturizer is perfect for everyday, grease-free makeup no matter your skin type. The only thing missing from this is SPF.
Size: 1.45 oz/43 ml
Good To Know: Oil-free, cruelty-free
5. L’Oreal Water Infused Tinted Moisturizer
Alright, this is supposed to be 70% water which makes it incredibly appealing for people with oily skin, combination skin, or blemish-prone skin. After all, water is pretty unlikely to clog your pores. And you’re right. On top of that, the tinted moisturizer is oil-free and packs aloe water and witch hazel too. The coverage is light and the finish you get is natural that’s on the radiant side. There’s SPF 19 in it too which is as good as non-existent for me. But this can work amazing for people with very oily skin looking for something as light as skin tint. The water-based formula has light coverage and can be built up to medium.
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Oil-free
6. Neutrogena Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Alright, the shade range of this one is outrageously narrow. But the reason I want to mention it is that this is one of the few drugstore tinted moisturizers that offers a proper amount of SPF. It has a creamy consistency and I feel like this feels more like a tinted sunscreen than a tinted moisturizer because it’s got very low coverage. But it’s pretty rich in antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and A. And that makes it great for people with mature skin or aging skin with wrinkles and fine lines, and sun damage. Besides a hybrid sunscreen, meaning that it’s both mineral and chemical sunscreen, the tinted moisturizer packs squalane to hydrate and leaves a natural-looking tint on your skin.
Size: 1.1 oz/32 ml
Good To Know: Oil-free
7. Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Tinted Moisturizer
This is for those of you who are looking for a tinted moisturizer mostly because of the moisturizing aspect. Even if you had no interest in any sort of coverage or makeup, this is going to give you a touch of tint to wake up the skin and make it look more put-together and fresh. It’s actually a really moisturizing formula with squalane, coconut oil, and sunflower seed oil. So it gives you that plump, hydrated look a typical face cream gives. The coverage is sheer and the finish is radiant.
Size: 1 oz/28.3 gr
Good To Know: Cruelty-free
It becomes a daunting task to put on a flawless face and another one to maintain it. Meanwhile, a proper tinted moisturizer costs an arm and a leg. But these drugstore tinted moisturizers are both affordable and effective. And Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective Tinted Moisturizer is an absolute gem because it offers everything you need from a tinted moisturizer plus broad-spectrum sunscreen. It’s suitable for all skin types too.
What To Look For in Drugstore Tinted Moisturizers
If you’ve never used a tinted moisturizer before, you might want to know what to look for or what to watch out for in a tinted moisturizer. Scroll down for things to keep in mind!
Your skin type is the first thing to keep in mind when choosing a tinted moisturizer. After all, it’s still a moisturizer. So your skincare rules apply. If you have dry skin, opt for a tinted moisturizer with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. For oily or acne-prone skin, choose an oil-free and non-comedogenic formula to prevent breakouts. Similarly, normal and dry skin types could go for a radiant finish while oily skin types might find matte or natural finish options to be more comfortable to use, especially in summer weather.
Coverage is not a priority but it’s still something to keep in mind. But because this is a makeup skincare hybrid, it’s best to keep the coverage between medium and low. If you prefer a sheer and natural look, opt for a tinted moisturizer with light coverage. If you prefer more coverage, look for a buildable formula that will allow you to layer your tinted moisturizer without looking heavy.