The 10 Best Makeup Products with SPF of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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Out of 36 products tested, these 10 deliver a healthy boost of SPF and make skin look beautiful.
When it comes to sun protection, nothing can (or should) ever replace a heaping dose of sunscreen. After all, it’s our number one defense against cancer (not to mention a slew of superficial hazards, like fine lines and wrinkles). To make a long story short, applying face sunscreen should be a nonnegotiable step in every skincare routine.
But why not give yourself a little sun-protection superboost? It’s not all that hard to do given the recent influx in high-performance makeup products that feature SPF (and all its glorious benefits) baked into the formula. And we’re not just talking tinted sunscreen — these days you can find SPF in everything from lip-plumping glosses and shimmer shadows to ultra-luxe foundations and do-it-all multisticks.
That being said, not all makeup products with SPF are made equal. SPF is notoriously difficult to work with in formulas, and even without the protective benefits, the makeup still has to perform well. That’s why we took the trial and error into our own hands, testing 36 different SPF-packed makeup products in both our lab and the real world over a two week period. Through our testing, we thoroughly analyzed how each product performed, taking notes on the coverage, blendability, finish, and shade options of every foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lip product; as well as taking into account how easy each formula was to apply, whether the SPF had any white cast, and how the product held up over the course of a day.
In the end we narrowed the list down to 10 stellar formulas that make skin look beautiful and provide a boost of extra sun protection.
Related:The 13 Best Face Sunscreens of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Most Univeral: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Color Balm SPF 50
What We Love: The multi-use balm has a surprisingly creamy, blendable texture despite its stick format.
What We Don’t Love: The pigment is quite strong, which can be problematic for lighter skin tones.
When it comes to cream multisticks, it’s hard to find one that checks all the boxes — we want something creamy but seriously long-lasting, with top-notch color payoff and a natural, hydrating finish. Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Color Balm delivers on all fronts, not to mention the added sun protection benefit thanks to its SPF-infused formula.
The balm performed exactly how a high-quality cream blush should: We found it to be ultra-blendable and subtly hydrating, plus, it imparted a natural flush of color that lasted all day long. These qualities make the additional sun protection (at a whopping SPF 50) feel like an impressive feat.
Bear in mind that the pigment is certainly strong. We noticed that one to two swipes was perfect for those with medium to dark skin tones, but the same was a little overwhelming on lighter complexions. That being said, the product is both buildable and blendable, meaning color payoff can easily be customized by blending the product into the skin (for a lighter finish) or layering swipes (for more of a pop).
As a bonus, the balm can also be used on lips! “You can’t forget the lips when it comes to sun protection,” Dr. Shari Sperling, a New Jersey-based board certified dermatologist warns. “The lips can still burn if they’re not properly protected. This is a great option with SPF 50.”
Price at time of publish: $34
SPF Level: 50 | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.32 oz
Best Matte Foundation: Armani Beauty Power Fabric Full Coverage Liquid Foundation with SPF 25
What We Love: The transfer-proof foundation gives a matte, your-skin-but-better finish.
What We Don’t Love: For those with dry skin, the formula can settle into fine lines and wrinkles.
Armani Power Fabric+ Foundation promises 24-hour, transfer- and water-resistant wear with a soft matte finish. And if our wear test was any indication, the liquid-to-powder formula lives up to those claims. We found the matte foundation to be both long-wearing and virtually transfer-proof, while still feeling lightweight on the skin. The added SPF 25 feels like the cherry on top of an already good product rather than a make-or-break-it factor.
Interestingly enough, this foundation performed far better in our real world test versus in the lab — we believe this is because we paired it with a primer in the real world. When used with a primer, we were able to get more coverage with less product, and our complexion still looked fresh at the end of the day. Because of this, we definitely recommend using a primer in tandem with the foundation for the best results.
The formula also wore beautifully with combination, normal, and oily skin types — but it was notably less favorable for those with dry skin. Drier skin types may find the foundation dehydrating and cakey, settling into lines around the eyes and mouth. Still, proper preparation and the use of a hydrating primer can greatly reduce those effects.
Price at time of publish: $69
SPF Level: 25 | Shades: 30 | Size: 1 oz
Best Foundation for Sensitive Skin: bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation SPF 15
What We Love: The powder turns into a light cream upon application, which makes blending a dream and keeps patchiness to a minimum.
What We Don’t Love: We found that the darker hues have an underlying white cast, likely due to the added SPF coverage.
Made with just five mineral ingredients, the simplistic, talc-free formula worked beautifully on sensitive skin (no irritation, even with a full day's wear!), masking uneven tone and noticeable pores with ease despite a somewhat-tricky application process.
We really had to take our time applying and building up the powder — it just didn’t provide an even finish when we went in with a lot of powder from the jump. But when applied correctly, little by little, the foundation seamlessly buffed into skin for a true our-skin-but-better finish that’s nearly undetectable as makeup.
Our biggest issue with the product is the slight white cast it gives medium to deep complexions. While this problem could theoretically be helped by opting for a color a few shades darker than your go-to, it makes for a confusing shade-matching process. Still, we think this is a great option for all skin tones — and Dr. Sperling agrees, especially because it’s easy to reapply this throughout the day.
Price at time of publish: $38
SPF Level: 15 | Shades: 30 | Size: 0.28 oz
Best Foundation for Oily Skin: La Mer The Soft Moisture Powder Foundation
What We Love: The powder formula curbs shininess without being cakey or settling into fine lines.
What We Don’t Love: We expect far more than 11 shades from our foundations, especially one with such a high price tag.
Using the words “moisture” and “powder” in the same product description feels…wrong. But when it comes to La Mer Soft Moisture Powder Foundation, the wording is spot-on. This option instantly sopped up excess oil (an impressive characteristic that earned it our best for oily skin superlative), but it also left our skin feeling soft and silky, with a velvet-y finish. While most powders dry skin out, this one was oddly moisturizing and enhanced our complexion by blurring imperfections, softening fine lines, and creating a more even-toned appearance.
Simply put, this is not your grandmother’s stuffy powder foundation. And while the formula gets all credit for the weightless, silky texture, the included dual-sided sponge allowed us to really customize coverage: The softer side created a sheer, luminous finish while the textured side built coverage and helped conceal imperfections.
Given its stellar performance, it’s a shame the foundation only comes in 11 shades, the latter half of which seem very orange. So while the formula itself is a win, it’s not going to serve a whole lot of people due to the lack of inclusive shading.
Price at time of publish: $140
SPF Level: 30 | Shades: 11 | Size: 0.34 oz
Best Foundation for Dry Skin: Dior Dreamskin Fresh & Perfect Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 50
What We Love: The foundation provides airbrush-like coverage while still feeling lightweight and hydrating on the skin.
What We Don’t Love: The three-option shade range is pretty abysmal.
There aren’t many cushion compact foundations in the U.S. market — the format seems to be far more popular overseas. Luckily, we have Dior Dreamskin Fresh & Perfect Cushion, which seriously delivers on the dream skin front. Infused with hydrating ingredients, like vegetable glycerin, this foundation did wonders for dry skin in our test, keeping it moisturized and comfortable through an entire day's wear.
Despite being so moisturizing, the light, buildable coverage felt barely there on our skin and gave us a natural, slightly dewy finish that didn't settle into any fine lines or wrinkles. Truly, we were overall impressed with how it left our skin looking somehow matte and luminous in all the right places.
Here’s our issue: Though La Mer’s 11-option shade range is disappointing, Dior somehow manages to do even worse, with just three shades that range from very light to lighter-medium. It’s disappointing to say the least, not to mention a disservice to what is otherwise a great product.
Price at time of publish: $90
SPF Level: 50 PA+++ | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.5 oz
Best Powder Foundation: PÜR Cosmetics Classic 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation
What We Love: This powder has light but buildable coverage and feels like nothing on the skin.
What We Don’t Love: A lot of product is needed to cover blemishes and imperfections.
Powder foundation, especially powder foundation with SPF, is often used more as a setting powder than as a true, all-over foundation. Thinking about the PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup in that way, it delivers on nearly all fronts. Sure, the matte powder can be used as an all-over foundation, but we found that its strengths shine brightest with targeted use.
The light coverage and natural finish didn’t feel heavy or particularly drying on our skin, and the skincare-infused formula — which features shea butter, vitamin E, ceramides, and lactic acid — helped reduce the appearance of our dark circles, redness, and uneven skin tone.
Because it’s light coverage, expect just that — light coverage. To truly conceal blemishes and imperfections, we recommend doubling up on the product or using a heavier concealer underneath.
Price at time of publish: $30
SPF Level: 15 | Shades: 26 | Size: 0.28 oz
Best for Eyes: Supergoop! Shimmershade Illuminating Cream Eyeshadow SPF 30
What We Love: The cream shadow melts into the lids upon application and dries down into a no-crease powder.
What We Don’t Love: We noticed it weirdly performs better without a primer.
“People often neglect the eyes when it comes to skincare and sun protection,” Dr. Sperling says. “The eye area is more delicate [than other areas on your face], and you absolutely need to protect it from the sun.” Luckily, Supergoop! Shimmershade Illuminating Cream Eyeshadow is perfect for those of us who prefer some glam but still want that extra sun protection.
With a buttery smooth formula that melts into the lid, the cream shadows are low effort in terms of application with some seriously high-impact results. They gave us the perfect pop of color and shimmer for an everyday look — they’re certainly pigmented and luminous, but not overwhelming or outright glittery. Best of all, once the product dried down it did not budge; we’re talking no creasing, no smudging, and absolutely no fading throughout the day.
Oddly enough, we found that the shadows were harder to apply and more prone to creasing when used with a primer. Meanwhile without a primer, the shadows glided across the skin and stayed put for hours, so we’d recommend skipping the prep step on this one.
Price at time of publish: $24
SPF Level: 30 | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.18 oz
Best Tinted Lip Balm: MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30
What We Love: It leaves lips hydrated without looking too shiny.
What We Don’t Love: The formula is likely not moisturizing enough for those with actively dry lips.
Like Dr. Sperling said before, lips need sun protection too! And what better way to give them that protection than with an SPF-infused, subtly tinted balm? Packed with shea butter, avocado oil, and olive oil for long-lasting moisture, MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm was developed by dermatologists — so it’s legit. In our lab and real world tests, the product clung to our lips without feeling sticky and deposited the perfect tint of color. And, with seven different shades to choose from (including a non-tinted option), there’s bound to be the perfect hue for everyone.
The balm sits in the sweet spot between matte and outright glossy, making it a great everyday lip product. While the tints are somewhat muted, they’re easily buildable and allow for complete customization. Perhaps best of all, we were thoroughly impressed with its lasting power — while some balms require touch-ups every half-hour or so, this one lasted multiple hours without the mad urge to reapply all the time.
One important thing to note: If you’re actively dealing with dryness and flakey lips, this might not be the balm for you. While it is certainly hydrating, it simply didn’t pack enough punch in the moisture department for those with very dry lips. That being said, even those of us who needed a bit more on the moisture front were thoroughly impressed by the smooth texture and gorgeous tint.
Price at time of publish: $23
SPF Level: 30 | Shades: 7 | Size: 0.15 oz
Best Lip Plumper: Sunnie Skin Plump It Lips w/ Hyaluronic Acid
What We Love: The product feels surprisingly hydrating.
What We Don’t Love: The plumping properties may make lips (and the surrounding skin) turn bright pink or even red.
Sunnie Skin Plump It Lips With Hyaluronic Acid might be the first lip product we’ve ever found that simultaneously plumps, protects, and moisturizes. It wears like a true gloss — tacky and slightly oily in texture with a high-shine finish — but performs more like a balm: It provides deep hydration and protects from sun damage, which is a pretty remarkable feat given it also acts as a plumper.
While the gloss itself is clear, the plumping effects gave our lips a slight pink/red tint. And it really does work to plump the lips — we noticed a natural sort of swelling almost akin to temporary filler (though no topical treatment will ever truly match the effects of injectables). Luckily, the plumping feels fairly subtle, and is more cooling and tingly than hot and itchy. Just be careful not to apply too liberally, as we found that the swelling sensation can irritate the surrounding skin. A little goes a long way with this sort of product.
With an SPF of 30, it feels like the ultimate multifunctional lip product. It looks good, provides long-lasting hydration, and keeps the lip protected from sun exposure. What more could you ask for?
Price at time of publish: $45
SPF Level: 30 | Shades: 1 | Size: 0.14 oz
Best Lip Gloss: Cay Skin Isle Lip Balm SPF 30 with Sea Moss and Aloe Stem Cells
What We Love: It gives the appearance of a gloss while performing like a balm.
What We Don’t Love: Because it’s so glossy, the balm can feel slightly tacky.
Cay Skin Isle Lip Balm is a balm that behaves like gloss. That is to say, it hydrates and nourishes lips but leaves an ultra-glossy finish and sheen that rivals some of our favorite lip oils. And not only does it protect against sun exposure, but it also features sea moss and vitamin E to protect against environmental aggressors and pollution. Plus, it has a subtle (but delicious) vanilla brown sugar flavor.
Packed with aloe stem cells, the balm effectively soothed redness and irritation while nourishing our skin. Plus, the brand recently launched two new hues in addition to the clear iteration — a neutral, rosy pink and a luxe berry shade that work as well on no makeup days as they do alongside full glam.
Because this performs like a gloss, we found that it does have that slightly tacky texture that so often comes with a gloss. But the added benefits and protection more than make up for the few strands of hair that might get caught in its trap.
Price at time of publish: $14
SPF Level: 30 | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.35 oz
Our Testing Process
After extensive research based on expert recommendations, online customer reviews, and award-winning products, we compiled a list of the top 36 makeup products with SPF on the market. Next, we sent samples of each product to our esteemed InStyle testing lab where a diverse group of beauty experts, editors, and everyday people (with a range of skin types and skin concerns) tested a selection of the products both in the lab itself, and in the real world for two weeks and reported detailed notes on their findings.
They paid attention to important factors like coverage, blendability, finish, shade options, and ease of application of every foundation, blush, eyeshadow and lip product. They also took notes on whether any of the products left a white cast, and how the product held up over the course of a day. After analyzing the data, we narrowed our list down to the 10 best makeup products with SPF that received the highest praise.
What to Keep in Mind
As a very general rule of thumb, we always want the highest SPF possible. That being said, both Dr. Sperling and Boston-based board certified dermatologist, Dr. Ranella Hirsch agree that makeup with SPF should be looked at as an opportunity for bonus coverage and protection, not as your main source of SPF.
When it comes to SPF in makeup, you’re rarely, if ever, going to use the amount of product needed to get the full benefits. Realistically, you’d need to use about a third of a teaspoon to get adequate protection from your makeup with SPF, which, when applied to your face “would look like spackle,” says Dr. Hirsch (i.e. not a cute look).
As for straight sunscreen, Dr. Sperling suggests using an SPF of 30 at minimum. But when it comes to SPF in makeup, the number itself isn’t so important — just think of it as some extra protection. As New York City-based professional makeup artist, Brittany Lo puts it: “Makeup with SPF only helps and is better than wearing no SPF at all, but it won't work as effectively as using sunscreen directly on your skin.”
From a formulation standpoint, working SPF into a makeup product is tricky. And because any protection you get from makeup should just supplement your main source of SPF, we suggest only incorporating makeup products with SPF that you’d use regardless of their sun protection. This is especially true considering the fact that you likely won’t use enough product to get the full SPF benefits listed.
For example, we love the Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Color Balm because it has gorgeous, buildable color payoff and a creamy texture that blends with ease. The SPF is just the cherry on top of an already great product. “If it's a strong enough formula, it should feel and apply like it doesn't have SPF in it,” Lo says. “You shouldn’t have to worry about a white cast or anything like that”
Also keep in mind that most makeup products with SPF fall into the complexion or lips category — think foundation or lip balms. There are also some eye products, like Supergoop! Shimmershade Illuminating Cream Eyeshadow, that contain SPF, but these formulations are few and far between.
You should consider skin type when it comes to makeup products with SPF, the same way you should consider skin type when choosing traditional makeup products, sunscreens, and skincare. If you struggle with dry, flakey, skin, then you should steer clear of mattifying powders like bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation — the addition of SPF shouldn’t change your usual preferences. Instead, opt for something formulated with your skin concerns in mind, like Dior Dreamskin Fresh & Perfect Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 50. The same goes for those with oily skin: Opt for powder or matte formulations like La Mer The Soft Moisture Powder Foundation or Armani Power Fabric + Foundation.
Your Questions, Answered
Does makeup with SPF really work?
Yes! SPF in makeup definitely works, but it’s unlikely that you’ll receive the full SPF protection listed on the packaging. Unless you use around a third of a teaspoon worth of product (which is a quite substantial amount), you’re not getting the SPF coverage advertised. That’s why both Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Sperling suggest wearing sunscreen underneath makeup with SPF in it. “That’s always my recommendation,” Dr. Hirsch says. “Wear sunscreen to get the job done and the makeup with SPF as a bonus.”
Do I need to wear sunscreen under makeup that includes SPF?
You should absolutely still wear sunscreen under makeup that includes SPF. “I’m never going to have someone rely on SPF in makeup alone,” Dr. Hirsch explains. And Dr. Sperling agrees: “One should definitely still wear sunscreen in addition to makeup with SPF in it for more coverage.”
How do I reapply makeup with SPF?
Here’s where makeup with SPF really comes in handy — by reapplying throughout the day, you can keep your makeup looking fresh while giving yourself even more sun protection. For this reason, powder foundations with SPF like La Mer The Soft Moisture Powder Foundation and PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup are perfect to throw in your bag for on-the-go use.
Why Shop With Us
Danielle Cohen is a freelance beauty writer and editor with more than five years of experience reporting on the beauty industry and testing products. As a member of InStyle’s commerce team, she swatches, sprays, and samples countless beauty products. For this story, she compiled results from our in-lab and real world makeup with SPF tests and selected the highest-rated products that really excelled. She also consulted with two dermatologists, Dr. Shari Sperling and Dr. Ranella Hirsch, for their expert opinions on all things SPF, as well as New York City-based makeup artist and founder of Beia Beauty, Brittany Lo to learn more about the makeup products themselves.
Related:The 12 Best Travel-Sized Sunscreens of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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