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The Best Tinted Sunscreens of 2022 (Vegan + Shade-Inclusive Options)

by Katie Muirhead

May 20, 2022

We all know that we should be wearing sunscreen every day, no excuses. However, when you're running out the door in the morning, taking the time to apply your skincare, sunscreen and makeup can feel like a chore. Enter, tinted sunscreens. Instead of the sticky, chalky formulas you may remember from years ago, there are now some excellent options on the market that will revolutionize your morning routine. Glowing, even skin that is protected from sun damage? Yes, please!

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About The Products

As always, we have only included products from brands that have been checked and approved by Cruelty-Free Kitty. Our mission is to end animal testing in the beauty industry and make it easier for consumers to make conscious purchases. This list also includes vegan formulas (marked with a "V" on the image) to help you make an informed decision when choosing your next cruelty-free tinted sunscreen.

What we look for in a tinted sunscreen

SPF30 or more

This one is simple - the sunscreens we use need to actually be effective! The sun is the leading cause of skin damage and ageing, and increases our chance of developing skin cancer. One of the issues with sunscreens is that people rarely apply enough, especially to their face (two-fingers worth, people!) To account for this and the inevitable inconsistencies with application and wear, it's important to choose a high SPF.

Reef safe mineral formulas

While there are still many unanswered questions about the science of exactly how sunscreens affect reef and marine life, research suggests that common chemical filters such as oxybenzone or octinoxate are harmful to our fragile coral reefs. To reduce our overall impact, we have only included mineral sunscreen formulas in this list. These use physical filter ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and are generally understood to not be harmful to our precious reefs.

Easy to blend and apply with a natural skin finish

Mineral sunscreens often get a bad rap for being hard to apply or leaving a white cast. While mineral formulas often do need to be worked into the skin more than chemical sunscreens, the products we've chosen in this list will make it easy for you to reach for your tinted sunscreen every morning.

We've included matte, natural and glowy finishes. As mineral ingredients naturally reflect more light (this is how they reflect the sun!), you may prefer to set your tinted sunscreen with powder. If not, these products are loved for providing a gorgeous, healthy glow!

As many shades as possible to cover all skin tones

Most tinted sunscreens typically come in a single shade: a light-medium tone that doesn't match most skin tones. At most, these products come in 2-3 shades. We've dug deeper in order to find products that match practically every skin tone from light to dark.

Note that the less pigmented tinted sunscreens will blend out and provide little coverage, meaning they're more forgiving even if the shade doesn't match your skin perfectly. However, for the most pigmented options I suggest mixing two shades together for your perfect match if you're in-between shades.

The Best Tinted Sunscreens

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan, inclusive shade range
Active IngredientsTitanium Dioxide 4%, Zinc Oxide 4%

Meet the affordable tinted sunscreen that ticks all the boxes: SPF 50, fragrance free, non greasy and no white cast. At only around $15, this is a formula you'll actually want to wear every day.

While the sunscreen is thick when applied, it dries down to a matte-yet-glowy finish that is perfect alone or as a base for makeup. It has no white cast, and has recently expanded its shade range with two new, darker shades that are blendable and adaptable. If you are very pale, however, the lightest shade may still be a bit too dark.

This tinted sunscreen is a staple for those with sensitive skin, and can be used if you deal with skin conditions such as acne or eczema. It is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it perfect for the beach or sweaty summer days, and does a good job at not running or stinging your eyes.

Active IngredientsZinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide

This hydrating tinted sunscreen formula is great on its own or as a primer base for makeup. It has a sheer tint with a natural, glowy finish. If you have oily skin, try skipping the moisturizer before or layering with a touch of powder. While both shades can look a bit gray straight out of the packaging, this disappears when properly rubbed into the skin to leave no white cast.

It has a light fragrance but is still suitable for sensitive skin and eyes, and is water resistant for those hot summer days. Treat this as a hydrating, protective daily color corrector for both makeup & no makeup days.

Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 20%

This tinted sunscreen is a great option for normal day-to-day wear. Formulated to layer well over serums or moisturizer, it can be the final step in your routine or a base for makeup. The gel-like texture is unique for a mineral sunscreen, and added antioxidants make it suitable to help protect against the pollution of city living.

This sheer formula blends to cater for a range of light-medium skin tones, but if you are very fair or have darker skin it may not be the best option for you.

Best Finish

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan, inclusive shade range
Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 12%

This your-skin-but-better skin tint is so good that it is loved as a makeup product on its own, with the added bonus of SPF 40. With an impressive 30 shades, this lightweight formula is fairly thin and comes with a dropper bottle. Apply it with your fingers or a makeup sponge to achieve a lustrous, natural finish that doesn't feel too heavy or cakey.

The light, fragrance and oil free coverage makes this a great choice for daily wear. Finish the look with makeup or a more heavy duty SPF for beach days.

Best Tinted Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan, inclusive shade range
Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 12.6%

A natural tint that is suitable for even the most sensitive skin? Yes, please! The buildable coverage of this lightweight tinted sunscreen makes it a perfect option for "no makeup" makeup days and can be worked with to provide extra color correction on the areas that need it. Apply it with your fingertips for light coverage, or use your favorite foundation tool to build it up.

There is no white cast and an extensive shade range, making this a formula that is inclusive for most skin tones and undertones.

Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 13%

This mattifying, lightly tinted formula does away with the general reputation of tinted sunscreens being heavy or greasy. The mattifying effect provids a gentle blur to pores, while the tint helps to even out any discoloration. This is a great option as a makeup base, especially for those with oilier skin types that find it hard to wear mineral sunscreens.

The sheer coverage makes the one available shade versatile for many light-medium skin tones, however darker skin may find that this leaves a cast, and very fair skin may find it too tinted.

EthicsCruelty-free, inclusive shade range
Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 15%

This sheer tint is a great option for glowing skin and daily SPF 35 protection. The liquid consistency feels more like a serum than a sunscreen, making this a lightweight step to add to your morning skincare. The dewy finish is perfect to add some glow to dry skin, but oilier skin types may prefer to set it with a touch of powder in areas.

While there are an impressive 14 shades, they are all still blendable so can be worn throughout different seasons. 1-2 pumps applied with the fingertips will add some natural looking glow to your skin all year round.

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan
Active IngredientsTitanium Dioxide 2%, Zinc Oxide 17%

This lightweight formula evens out skin tone and mattifies, making it a perfect daily SPF or primer for makeup. Suitable for sensitive skin, acne and eczema, this is a product that you won't mind reaching for every morning. It is water resistant, making it wearable on those sweatier days in the summer or for swimming.

It comes in one universal shade that does a surprisingly good job at adapting to deeper skin tones when blended in properly, without leaving a white cast.

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan, inclusive shade range
Active IngredientsTitanium Dioxide

This multipurpose product acts as a moisturizer, skin tint and daily sunscreen. The lightweight gel-cream makes it a comfortable step in your morning skincare routine, and the formula is slightly buildable to even out any discoloration.

With 20 shades, this formula works for most skin tones and undertones. Apply it with your fingertips or a foundation brush to go from natural to slightly more satin finish.

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan
CoverageZinc Oxide 20%

This glowy formula acts as a BB cream to keep your skin hydrated, even and protected with SPF 30. There is a sheer (untinted) version and three tinted options that each blend well to provide light coverage. This tinted sunscreen works well under makeup, and is a great option for dry or sensitive skin.

Best Tinted Sunscreen For Rosacea

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan
Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 20%

This lightweight product is a true skincare gem, especially if you have very fair skin that is not often catered for by tinted sunscreens. This is also a formula loved by those with rosacea, as it protects the skin without triggering it. It is moisturizing with a smooth consistency, making it easy to blend as the final step or as a primer for makeup.

The shade range goes from very fair to medium, so is only suitable for skin tones lighter than about a deep olive. It is important to note that because this formula is made with iron oxide pigments (rather than dyes), each batch may differ slightly in color. As it is sheer and blendable it shouldn't be a problem, but don't be alarmed if there is some shade difference between tubes.

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan, inclusive shade range
Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 20%

This easy-to-apply formula is water-resistant and lightweight for those sweaty summer days. It applies evenly and easily and gives the skin a natural glow. While there are only four shades, each shade is blendable and adaptable, so most skin tones will find a shade of this product that works.

Glo Skin Beauty C-Shield Anti-Pollution Moisture Tint SPF30

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan, inclusive shade range
Active IngredientsZinc Oxide 20%, Ethylhexyl Salicylate (Octisalate) 5%, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone) 3%

This glowy formula provides the anti-oxidant protection of vitamin C with SPF30 to create a perfect daily product to fight the skin stressors of modern living. The sheer coverage evens out any uneven skin tone and is non-irritating to acne-prone or sensitive skin.

The ten available shades are suited most skin tones and undertones without leaving a white cast, and the natural mineral properties work to diffuse the light and create a subtle blur to the skin.

Note: This product is not mineral, however we included it because of the large shade range.

Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Active IngredientsTitanium Dioxide 6%, Zinc Oxide 6%

This unscented formula is a great, affordable tinted sunscreen option for sensitive skin. It is moisturizing and easy to apply with the fingers, making it an easy choice for daily wear. There is only one shade, so while it is blendable this product is more suited to those with light-medium skin tones.

The glowy finish is perfect for those with dry skin, or can be set with a touch of powder for those with an oilier skin type.

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+ Show Comments (3) - Hide Comments (3)
  • Jen says:

    Any thoughts on Beauty Counter’s tinted moisturizer?

  • Dian Webbink says:

    Thank you so much.
    Everything you do is amazing.
    Too bad a lot of the brands are not common in Europe.
    I live in The Netherlands.
    Are you cooperating with an organization in Europe?
    I am very passionate about cruelty free cosmetics and perfumes.
    Keep up your work.
    Love from Dian a huge lover from animals, cosmetics and perfumes!

  • Amy C says:

    I love my Australian Gold sunscreen. I use the medium-tan, and I don’t find that I need any makeup over it. It blends super well, even if you only use your fingers, and its super affordable.

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