I went to the dermatologist a few months ago for the first time in a long time (I blame it on COVID), and just as I’d predicted, my derm wasn’t happy with me. In short, he said that in the last two-ish years, I’d spent far too much time in the sun and spent far too little time applying and reapplying sunscreen. And he was right. When the weather permitted during lockdown, I spent hours on my rooftop laying in the sun. When I wasn’t doing that, I was hanging out in a park (socially distanced of course) or running outside—all either sans sunscreen or with very little sunscreen on.
Suffice to say, I left my appointment on a mission to finally take proper care of my skin, starting with my SPF routine. As someone who spends a lot of time scrolling on TikTok, my mind went straight to sunscreen of the tinted variety. Thus, I set out to find a tinted sunscreen that worked for my skin—one that gave me a no-makeup-makeup look while simultaneously protecting my skin from damage.
First things first, I called on Debra Jaliman, an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist, to give me the low-down on sunscreen in general. Sun damage is cumulative,” Jaliman tells me. “Even on a rainy day, you will get ultraviolet damage because the UV light goes through the clouds. That’s why it’s important to wear sunscreen every single day rain or shine.” According to her, there are three simple rules of thumb when purchasing and using sunscreen: 1) Stick to an SPF of 29/30 or higher, 2) use about a half teaspoon of product, and 3) reapply every two hours (more if you sweat or go swimming). Tinted or non-tinted, tinted moisturizer with SPF or tinted sunscreen—none of these things matter really. It’s all about those three things. Well, those, and the concentration of zinc oxide, which she says should be above 9%, especially if you have sensitive skin.
With a wealth of knowledge in tow, I test-drove eight tinted sunscreens, the likes of which are in heavy rotation on my FYP. There’s EltaMD’s UV Daily Sunscreen, which Hailey Bieber has shared on her TikTok page (check out this Vitamin C she also uses). And of course, there’s Supergoop! Glowscreen, which has a cult-like following of its own on the app. But despite what Beauty TikTok might have you believe, those aren’t the only two tinted sunscreens on the market. In fact, neither received my number one ranking.
See which one did and read all about my tinted-sunscreen journey below.