The best tinted moisturizers under $15

The drugstore moisturizers that won’t break you out

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas
Apr 10, 2020 · 3 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

The tinted moisturizer trend isn't going away. While beauty brands might not always agree on what qualifies as a tinted moisturizer, there are more options when it comes to choosing a drugstore tinted moisturizer than ever before.

The downside? Lots of drugstore tinted moisturizers have ingredients that can make acne worse by clogging pores. Others can irritate sensitive skin or cause dryness. You can check product ingredients using cosDNA, and these are the bad, sad ingredients I came across the most while doing research for this review:

  • Denatured alcohol

  • Ethylhexyl palmitate

  • Glycine soja oil

  • Isopropyl isostearate

  • Myristic acid

So, if you’re acne-prone, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 5 of the best drugstore tinted moisturizers, based on their ingredients.

1. elf BB Cream SPF 20

A dewy, medium coverage formula with mineral pigments and a light, breathable finish. But the SPF on this tinted moisturizer falls a little short — you should use sunscreen with at least SPF 30. With nourishing aloe, jojoba, and cucumber extract, it packs enough hydration for dry skin.

$6.00 for 0.85 oz ($7.06 per oz) via elf cosmetics

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2. Neutrogena Protect + Tint Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

This tinted moisturizer with buildable coverage and good SPF is especially great for mature skin. It has vitamin C to help boost UV protection and retinyl palmitate to help renew skin. Its ultra-moisturizing formula makes for a super glowy finish best for dry skin.

$9.97 for 1.10 oz ($9.06 per oz) via Neutrogena

3. ColourPop Hyaluronic Acid Tinted Moisturizer

An oil-free tinted moisturizer designed with oily skin in mind, this one works to keep skin hydration balanced while controlling shine — but it doesn’t have SPF. It has an impressive shade range (21 options!) with a natural finish, perfect for a no makeup look. This is a good tinted moisturizer for oily skin because dimethicone helps to seal in moisture while protecting skin.

$14.00 for 1.45 oz ($9.66 per oz) via Ulta

4. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30

With sheer coverage and a natural finish, Neutrogena’s newest release is more skincare than makeup — this one is for you if you’re all about a natural glow. It’s also one of the only non-comedogenic tinted moisturizers with broad spectrum sun protection for the price.

$14.99 for 1.10 oz ($13.63 per oz) via Target

5. NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil

This tinted moisturizer doesn’t have SPF (which is no biggie if you have a sunscreen you love already), but it’s still a versatile foundation product that won’t break you out. You can use it as a moisturizer or primer if you want to layer a full-coverage foundation on top, or by itself for light coverage with a luminous finish.

$13.00 for 0.90 oz ($14.44 per oz) via Ulta

So that’s what I know, as Curology’s resident beauty geek — for what it’s worth, we’re not affiliated with any of the above brands, and we never make a commission off of products we recommend on the blog. But do feel free to sign up for a free month of Curology, if you haven’t yet! You’ll pay $4.95 (+ tax) to cover shipping/handling on your first bottle of customized cream or the complete skincare set.

Product Links: Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements — but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas

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