Tinted Moisturizer vs Regular Moisturizer: What’s the difference?

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When the phrase “tinted-moisturizer” is discussed, there tends to be a coupling with the word “foundation.” Foundation and tinted moisturizers are individual things and tend to react differently to a person’s skin. Moisturizer, though it is tinted, does not cover-up blemishes and scars as a foundation would when used on someone’s face. However, the foundation for your face doesn’t contain the moisturizer that a tinted moisturizer has.

This idea of foundations versus tinted moisturizer is fine, but there is a clear difference between them. While it is not suggested that anyone use both a foundation and a tinted moisturizer, the idea behind them is separate: foundation covers and tinted moisturizer colors and moisturizes.

Tinted Moisturizer

Despite the obvious answer of what a tinted moisturizer is—a moisturizer with pigment in it to create a tint on your skin—there can be a little more complexity to the cream that what it may seem.

While it does tint your skin, it can also give a polished look that may appear to be like a makeup foundation but is not quite as heavy. The ingredients in tinted moisturizers may vary. However, most contain humectants, antioxidants, and other ingredients like iron oxides and titanium dioxide.

The main advantage of using a tinted moisturizer is that it can cover a large part of your skin (or face) by only using a little bit. While this moisturizer doesn’t provide the proper coverage of foundation, the purpose of it works to moisturize your skin. This type of lotion is excellent for those who have dry or combination skin since it will help your face stay moisturized all day.

Other advantages of tinted moisturizer can be that the consistency is thinner than other creams; this makes it feel more lightweight on your skin. It does come in a wide variety of hues, and it will hydrate skin while applying. Some disadvantages of using tinted creams over regular creams are that it stays on less time and will give less color to your skin (as opposed to a foundation). SPF ingredients are not as high, the hues don’t contain as deep of pigments as other creams, and a tinted moisturizer may not be suited for those who have oily skin because the extra hydration may enhance moisture.

If your skin has few blemishes and a tone you aren’t looking to cover, then go with the tinted moisturizer.

The “tint” in a moisturizer can be created by many things. With the market moving more toward natural, cruelty-free, and vegan products, many brands are adding natural tints to their moisturizer to give you the best hues of color. Some fruit, vegetables, and vitamin oils are added to correct any damage that may come from too much sun.

Regular Moisturizer

A regular moisturizer doesn’t have the tint that a tinted moisturizer does, so it cannot be switched out for foundation. If you have dry skin, it is essential to moisturize your face each time you get out of the shower. Ingredients to help keep your dry skin moisturized are the same as in tinted moisturizers such as humectants, occlusives, emollients, and other elements that vary based on the brand.

Moisturizer Ingredients

The reason humectants are important in tinted and regular moisturizers is that they attract water from the dermis layer of your skin and bring it to the epidermis layer of your skin to keep your face hydrated. When the humidity is 70% or higher, humectants also pull water from the atmosphere into the epidermis layer.

Humectants are the equivalent of a natural moisturizing factor, and recent studies show that glycerin will help break down the corneodesmosome that holds skin cells together. This breakdown will effectively lead to a consistent shedding of the outer layer of your skin.

Occlusives increase the water content of your skin by slowing the evaporation of water. The ingredient tends to be greasy and is most effective when you apply it to wet skin. Mineral oil is used most often because of its texture but does not work well for preventing moisture from evaporating. Lanolin can be used but tends to be expensive, and only certain skin types can use it. Silicone doesn’t have the option to be greasy, but it does have a limiting effect on moisturizing. Silicone ingredients are so active at shaping moisture away that it will sometimes be added to petroleum to make it feel less greasy.

Emollients are part of the ingredient that will act as a lubricant in a moisturizer. These will help maintain the appearance of skin to help it look soft and smooth. They often fill in crevices that are in the process of shedding.

Other ingredients do vary depending on the brand of your moisturizer; however, they are added to create a unique effect on your skin, even if your skin is dry or damaged. Ascorbic acid, free radicals, and tocopherols slow oxidation in your skin while citric acid, tartaric acid, and EDTA will enhance other active ingredients.

If you are looking for “natural” ingredients, look for products that have beet color, white tea, cucumber, acai, pomegranate, grape seed, avocado, or oils. All-natural ingredients listed promote healthy skin, moisturize well, and give your tinted moisturizer a vegan base that is also cruelty-free.

Conclusion

While the differences between a regular moisturizer and a tinted moisturizer have more to do with ingredients, make sure to check what kind of lotion works best for you. If your skin is even-toned and dry or combination, you can get away with using a tinted moisturizer that matches skin tone instead of purchasing a foundation. The benefits of using a tinted moisturizer would be that you won’t have to use as much moisturizer as you do foundation and your skin will stay hydrated all day.

If you choose to use regular moisturizer, note that the ingredients will vary from brand to brand. But, if you are looking for a lotion that keeps your skin hydrated for longer, check the item list to ensure that your chosen cream has humectants, emollients, and occlusives.

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