CN Digital StudioShannon R., SELF magazine
Foundation used to just be for correcting skin tone and diminishing the appearance of imperfections. Now it foundations contain ingredients that fight aging, reduce acne, brighten skin tone and more! And, as if there weren't enough products to choose from, the surge of tinted moisturizers claiming to hydrate while evening skin tone just makes things even more confusing! Let's take a closer look at these two products to help you decipher what is best for your skin type.
How are these products similar?
I took a look at the ingredients of a couple major brands and here is what I found - tinted moisturizers and foundations are pretty darn similar. Both products use a solvent (water) and they both contain mixtures of humectants (chemicals that bind water to skin) and emollients (oily chemicals that smooth skin and create a moisture barrier). Since these are emulsion-type products (contain oil and water), they both use surfactants to keep the water- and oil- soluble ingredients mixed together in a creamy base. They both contain preservatives (to keep them microbe-free!) and ingredients to control the thickness and pH. Of course, since both are designed to give your skin a bit of color, they contain pigments like iron oxide, titanium dioxide and mica.
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Are there any differences?
While they are similar, they are not identical. The amount of color pigment used in tinted moisturizer is usually less than foundation. Also, tinted moisturizers appear to have more humectants, so they should hydrate your skin better. But overall, they both are basically delivery vehicles for skin-tinting pigments. Finally, there is a wide variety of consistencies and product aesthetics among both foundations and tinted moisturizers. That is really a case of personal preference and what feels best to you but is not necessarily related to product efficacy.
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What is best for your skin type?
Tinted moisturizers are usually best for women with dry skin and women that don't need quite as much coverage. Foundations usually work best for women with oily skin (look for oil-free versions) and women that need a bit more coverage. However, you may find that a foundation from one brand provides the same coverage as a tinted moisturizer from another brand. This is really a case of experimenting with both products to see what feels and works best for you. Unfortunately, there is no magic answer that will work for everybody. However, you certainly don't need to use both products at the same time since they function so similarly!
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Tinted moisturizers and foundations are two names for products that do essentially the same thing. It is more a case of personal preference than anything else. However, I do find that I prefer the lighter feel of tinted moisturizer in the summer (with SPF of course!) when I want a little less coverage and a foundation in the winter when I feel like I need more skin perfecting.