If you’ve been reading Wellness Mama for long, you know that I’m not a fan of using chemicals that I can’t pronounce to clean my house or rubbing them on my face, where they can be absorbed in just a few seconds.
The logical extension of avoiding harmful chemicals is finding natural options for personal care products and makeup. I made my own shampoo and toothpaste (and started a company to share these recipes with others) but finding natural (and affordable) makeup options that I loved was more difficult.
I figured out a liquid foundation recipe that offers great coverage for acne and skin discoloration, but since I don’t wear makeup every day. Ultimately I wanted a light tinted face lotion that could be used daily for a tiny bit color, without looking like I was wearing makeup at all.
My solution? This lighter version of a liquid foundation, with extra moisturizing power.
How to Make Tinted Face Lotion or Moisturizer (Like BB Cream)
As I mentioned, this tinted face lotion is similar to natural foundation but thinner and with less coverage. Many companies call it beauty balm or BB cream. It doubles as a natural facial moisturizer.
With its slight bronzing effect, I can use it daily but it never looks or feels like makeup. It goes on smooth and dries to a powdery smooth finish.
I used a store-bought lotion in this recipe because it’s what I had on hand. If you don’t already have a good face lotion you can use the homemade face lotion from this recipe. It’s as simple as changing the powders we’re adding to turn it into a tinted lotion, instead of a foundation.
Finding Your Perfect Match
For the tint or color, there are several options. This recipe works really well with different skin tones and is easy to adjust so it’s a perfect match. This tinted face lotion recipe uses:
- organic cocoa powder and bronze mica
- OR natural mineral makeup in your shade
I used a mix of bronze mica powder and cocoa powder in mine. Note that mica powder does have a very slight shimmer, so if you don’t want that, stick to cocoa. You could also add in a little cinnamon for warm undertones. Just be sure all of your additives are a very fine powder for smooth application.
You’ll want to start with a small amount of cocoa powder and mica (if using), adding a little more at a time to match your shade. It looks a little darker in the jar than it does on skin, so don’t panic if it looks too dark!
And while you’re at it why not make some dry shampoo with the extra cocoa? 🙂
What Does It Feel Like?
It depends somewhat on the lotion you use, but it should sink into skin leaving it supple, moisturized, and lightly tinted. I find this goes on smooth and leaves behind a powdery finish, like if I’d lightly dusted on sheer foundation powder or bronzer.
Note that it’s not heavy and it won’t cover up acne, scars, or other blemishes.
The good news is, this uses healthy ingredients that feed our skin cells instead of masking the issue and over time can help improve skin tone. Cocoa powder is full of antioxidants and has a little caffeine to perk up skin. Plus rubbing chocolate-scented lotion on your face just feels decadent!
Tinted Face Lotion With SPF?
Unlike my homemade foundation powder, this recipe doesn’t have any sun protection in it. While I try to have safe sun exposure every day, there is such a thing as too much. If you wanted to add a little non-nano uncoated zinc oxide powder for SPF you can. It will change the texture somewhat though and provide heavier coverage the more you use.
The Best Moisturizer for the Job
Making this is super easy, especially if you’re using pre-made lotion. It can be as simple as two ingredients (lotion and cocoa powder or mineral makeup), or you can get a little fancier with it.
You want to choose a lotion that works well with the delicate skin of the face. Heavier lotions, like body butter, can be great for all-over skincare, but are too heavy for facial skin. Choose one that works well with your skin type and isn’t too greasy or dry.
No Time to Make it?
Here are some good store-bought options that are non-toxic and rank well on EWG:
- Physician’s Formula natural tinted moisturizer
- Raw Elements tinted daily face moisturizer
- Andalou Naturals Vitamin C BB Beauty Balm Sheer Tint
- Jane Iredale lightweight tinted moisturizer
Tinted Face Lotion
- Melt the shea butter, argan, or jojoba oil and emulsifying wax in a double boiler, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add the aloe, witch hazel, and Leucidal if using, whisking vigorously until smooth.
- Let cool completely. The fridge speeds up the process.
Tinting Your Face Lotion
- Mix the lotion (either homemade OR store bought) and the colors to get the desired shade. Start with a tiny amount of each color powder and slowly work up to get your desired shade. You'll want to use either cocoa powder and mica OR mineral makeup, not both. I started with ¼ tsp each of cocoa powder and mica, then added 1/8 tsp more at a time until it matched my skin tone.
- This will look darker in the jar than it does on skin. To get your perfect shade add a little more color at a time and test the color on your inner arm.
- Store in an air-tight container and use daily as desired for a smoothing/polishing, natural tinted lotion.
This article was medically reviewed by Jessica Meyers, MPAP, PA-C, RH(AHG), who specializes in herbal protocols and functional medicine. You can also find Jessica on Instagram. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Ever made your own face lotion or other makeup? Share below!