Everyone should think about using tinted moisturizer, because everyone’s skin is prone to doing weird stuff, no matter who you are. We're talking redness, dark circles, sallowness, blemishes, and pimples. The daily grind of being a person with a face.
Those blotchy-skin inconsistencies could caused by any number of factors: If you don’t get enough sleep, if you don’t drink enough water, if you have sensitive skin, if you’re stressed, if you’re acne prone, if you have dry skin, if you shaved improperly, if you got a little too much sun, if you aren’t getting enough sun (or rather, Vitamin D, namely in the wintry times), if you got bruised in a bar fight. It could be anything!
Almost always, we advocate treating those problems at the root, first by addressing the root causes (getting enough sleep, not getting punched in the face) and then by treating any area of concern with targeted skincare: maybe vitamin C, niacinamide, or retinol.
But some days—or every day—your skin just needs a little lift. That's where tinted moisturizer comes in. It's a product on the border between makeup and skincare that will ever-so subtly improve the look of your skin. Unlike a lot of products in this category, they're stupid-simple to apply. The best ones come in a huge range of shades, so you get an exact match for your skin tone—you're going to be the only person who can tell you're wearing it. Everyone else will just think you look great.
For the sake of simplicity, we can categorize three separate products under the big “tinted moisturizer” umbrella. Other beauty and grooming experts might say that they’re not all the same—and they’re right. But even within each of the below categories, no two brands will produce a product that does the same thing. Some of them nourish skin, some of them don’t. Some can be used in addition to a standard moisturizer. Some work well on most skin tones, and many don’t. Some offer SPF, some don’t. It’s a big mix. So, do your research on any and all products, so that you know exactly what it is you’re buying. But you can start by browsing the following three product types:
Tinted Moisturizer: Many tinted moisturizers will avoid name confusion and simply call themselves by the catch-all term. You’ll see a ton of different executions on these, from SPF to oil-free formulas. But generally, a product with this label will give you a subtle, only-noticeable-to-you coverage that soaks in like any other moisturizer.
BB Creams: The BB stands for “Beauty Balm”. Typically, these are sort of a halfway point between lighter tinted moisturizers and full-on foundations. They often have SPF and nourishing properties as well—but you should always double check.
CC Creams: These are “Color Correcting” creams. Usually, they focus on neutralizing redness or yellowness, with particles that help filter the discoloration and neutralize complexion. Again, they can come with all sorts of extra benefits, but each product is different.
So, which of the above is best for you? That’s not something I can answer without seeing you, but I would suggest you start with lighter products billed simple as “tinted moisturizer,” at least as your introduction to this category.
The Best Tinted Moisturizers (And BB Creams, and CC Creams) For All Skin Tones
Some brands try to sell “universal” tints. That's kind of bullshit if you ask us, particularly because it is darker-skinned guys who tend to have trouble with those. All four of these these brands have formulated a broad range of products so that everyone can match his or her tone.
Best Tinted Moisturizers for All Skin Tones
A broad-spectrum mineral SPF 30 moisturizer that comes in a whopping 20 shades. It's also oil-free, so you know it won't clog your pores. Great for all types of skin, too, from dry to oily.
Another broad-spectrum pick with mineral SPF 30 coverage, available in 11 tones. Also packs Vitamin C to combat dark spots and boost skin's natural brightness. This one is slightly heavier, making it better for dry and normal skin tones—oily skinned individuals should go with the bareMinerals.
Best BB Cream for All Skin Tones
Six shades of oil-free, oil-toning Amazonian clay, along with SPF 20. Tarte's BB cream won't clog pores and provides thorough complexion-toning coverage. It's a vitamin-rich top layer for your morning skincare regimen.
Best CC Cream for All Skin Tones
$38.00, Thrive Causemetics
Packed with broad-spectrum SPF coverage and skin-brightening Vitamin C, this color-correcting cream works well in short spurts—like for a morning when you need to nail an interview or and evening when you want to put your best face forward on a date. Available in 18 tones.
Here are three products that should form the foundation (yes, that's a makeup joke!) of your kit.
Originally Appeared on GQ