If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that I've been on the hunt for the best lightweight summer foundations with SPF. Call me picky, but in addition to being lightweight, I also wanted a foundation that had enough coverage for any redness or acne scarring. Something that felt like my skin but better, that would protect me from the sun, and that I'd be comfortable wearing all summer long - to the pool, parks, beach and more. So, I asked all of you your top recommendations and tested the top five recommended products. Now, I want to share my findings with you!
Which Lightweight Foundations with SPF Did I Try?
I tested several lightweight foundations with SPF that I could wear all summer long when going on walks with Eleanor, to the pool, parks, the beach, etc. Here were the ones I tried:
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector
- bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer
- IT Cosmetics Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum
- ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint Foundation
- EltaMD Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer
How I Picked a Color When Ordering Online
My favorite thing about shopping online at Sephora is that there is an option to find the most accurate shade based on the current shade of whatever foundation you're using. I included a screenshot below, but essentially, you just select the current foundation brand you're using, select your shade, and it will tell you the best match to go with based on that information. The shade that was recommended for me was correct for all of the lightweight foundations with SPF I ordered.
How Do I Control My Oily Skin in the Summer?
As I mention below, while I have combination skin, I DEFINITELY skew oily. By the end of the day, with some foundations, I have a ton of shine in my "t zone." In order to control this, I typically wear a primer (this one is my absolute favorite), and I ALWAYS use this translucent powder (I mean, just look at the reviews!) Without it, I feel like I look like I spilled a pan of oil on my face - especially by the end of a hot summer day.
More About the Lightweight Foundations with SPF I Ordered
Here are the details about each of the summer foundations I tested. First, I just want to share a reminder that these are MY opinions based on my skin! I have combination (but skew oily), acne-prone skin. My face has scarring from struggling with acne throughout my life. I get shiny easily in my "T" zone. I need enough coverage to make me feel evened out, but I also want it to feel like "my skin" so that I don't feel like I'm wearing a full face of cakey makeup at the pool. So, here is some information about each of the lightweight foundations with SPF I ordered, as well as some of my personal pros/cons of each.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Link: Buy it here
Pros: I liked the coverage a lot when I first put this on (however, read the con!)
Cons: I felt like this seemed like it had decent coverage when I put it on, but it did not have lasting power for me. After a few hours, I felt like I didn't have any foundation on and that it was almost patchy/pilling for me a little.
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue
Link: Buy it here
Pros: I loved this. It blended seamlessly, had the perfect amount of dewy "glow," felt extremely lightweight but also provided enough coverage that I felt comfortable wearing it out and about. I also felt like it had great staying power even spending hours outside at a brewery on an 85 degree day.
Cons: I cannot think of any!
IT Cosmetics Nude Glow
Link: Buy it here
Pros: I thought this had really great coverage - I feel like it would transition well from "daytime" foundation to nighttime, because of the coverage. It did a great job of covering up any uneven skin tone, scarring, acne, etc. Also, this is weird, but I really liked that this one *smelled* like SPF. I really felt like I was protecting my skin by putting this on. If you don't like the smell of sunscreen, this could be a con for you!
Cons: I was SO, SO, SO shiny after just a few hours of wearing this. Yes - I know "glow" is specifically in the name, but if you have oily skin, I recommend staying away from this.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint
Link: Buy it here
Pros: I liked the coverage of this and loved that it did not make my face super shiny, even hours after wearing it. It had a nice balance between being dewy and matte. I also love that it has built-in skincare, and that you can wear it on its own as a tinted SPF or as foundation by building it up a bit. I will say: I would recommend this for dry or combination skin, but probably not OILY skin. You can use setting powder on top of it if it makes you feel too dewy!
Cons: I didn't love the smell of this. Thankfully, it goes away pretty soon after putting it on, but it's not ideal being able to smell it in the first place. Also, I thought the bottle could have been better - you use a dropper to get this out, vs. squeezing a bottle or using a pump. It can get messy.
EltaMD Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer
Link: Buy it here
Coverage: Very Light
Pros: This one is very highly recommended by dermatologists and is great if you are strictly looking for a tinted moisturizer (with very minimal coverage).
Cons: If you are looking for something that is *very strictly* tinted moisturizer vs. a lightweight foundation, this could work for you. That said, the coverage in my opinion was EXTREMELY light and felt borderline nonexistent to me, personally.
My Rankings: Lightweight Foundations with SPF
And now, for my rankings! Without further ado:
- bareMinerals Complexion Rescue
- ILIA Skin Tint
- IT Cosmetics Nude Glow
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
- EltaMD Tinted Moisturizer
The bareMinerals Complexion Rescue was BY FAR AND AWAY my #1! I couldn't believe how much I loved it - it was the perfect balance of lightweight and coverage, and really felt like my skin but better. Highly highly recommend!! It blended seamlessly, had the perfect amount of dewy "glow," felt extremely lightweight but also provided enough coverage that I felt comfortable wearing it out and about. I also felt like it had great staying power even spending hours outside at a brewery on an 85 degree day. I wore it in the pool as well, and it stayed better than I could have anticipated!
Are there any you think I'm missing? What are your favorites? Leave a comment - I'd love your thoughts!
Loved this!! Been in the market for a lightweight foundation with an spf of course!! This was so helpful. Thank you!
I’m also combination skin on the oily side. Laura Mercier & It have oil control foundations and have worked well w/ our skin type and I love them. Laura Mercier oil-free (black bottle) and the It is the Matte formula (blue bottle). If you’d like to try those instead of the regular formula you tried.
How did you decide between the different finishes with Bare Minerals? Thanks for your thoughts on all these!
I went with the radiant because it had more color options and "matched me" closest!!
I started using the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue a few years ago after I developed some dry patches on my cheeks, and really wanting to simplify my makeup routine. I literally ALWAYS come back to this one! I've strayed and tried other brands but this one is the G.O.A.T. in my opinion. Incredibly lightweight and easy to thrown on! It has truly rescued my complexion! Glad it worked well for you and you are a fan too!
I’ve been wanting to try that Bare Minerals one! Glad you loved it! I just checked out that shade finder feature and I really appreciate that it lists drugstore brands like Cover Girl and L’Oréal, not just exclusively Sephora brands. Thanks for sharing!
I have the old Laura Mercier one; found at Nordstrom Rack online and apparently that formula is way better than the new one. In case you want to try it. I agree with all your other feedback and thought the smell of Ilia was sooo offensive.
Shan M says
I use ilia but am tempted to try bare minerals now. Thanks for being our test subject as always! 🙂
bareMinerals complexion rescue is my FAV! It’s been my go to for years. I’ve wanted to try others, but never wanted to leave this one. Thanks for doing the work for us!! ♥️♥️♥️
Picked up the Bare Minerals on a prime day deal, wore to an outdoor concert in 90 degree heat and as soon as I got home I ordered another bottle before the prime day deal was over. Thanks for such a good recommendation!!
I’be been using the BareMinerals too! Question for anyone else who uses it too! Do you use primer underneath? If so, which one? I’m currently using it without and I’m def shiny! Thanks!
Yes!! This is my favorite primer to use under: https://rstyle.me/+A3bh2nd85LzDaHNHYZALbA