Natural Tinted Face Lotion Recipe (Like BB Cream)

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Natural tinted face lotion
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Natural Tinted Face Lotion Recipe (Like BB Cream)

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 love playing with these DIY eye shadow recipes. 

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:

Natural tinted face lotion
5 from 2 votes

Tinted Face Lotion

This tinted face lotion goes on smooth and dries to a powdery finish. It's lightweight enough to wear every day for a fresh look.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Yield: 1 ounce
Author: Katie Wells


Homemade Lotion



Homemade 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.


If using pre-made lotion, this will have the shelf life of the lotion you are using. If you’re using aloe vera without a preservative (the one linked to above is preserved), then this should be stored in the fridge and used within 10 days. 
If you want to add a natural, broad-spectrum preservative it will extend the shelf life to about 6 months. Be sure to keep in a cool, dry place, away from excess heat and moisture for best results.

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!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


22 responses to “Natural Tinted Face Lotion Recipe (Like BB Cream)”

  1. Jeanmarie Avatar

    Hi Katie! Can you substitute beeswax for the emulsifying wax in this recipe?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Beeswax is oil soluble but it will not help the water-soluble ingredients to mix in. Emulsifying wax is necessary to keep the oil and water phases from separating in the lotion.

  2. Charlotte Avatar

    5 stars
    What a great way to create my own tinted moisturizer! I followed your tip to put some mineral powder foundation together with moisturizer. I use Bare Minerals Original Mineral Foundation and my moisturizer is Caribbean Sol’s Natural Kukui Body Silk. Thanks to you, Katie, I have kissed Cover Girl goodbye! I’ve been working through the oil cleanse regimen to get my skin in order and now it looks and feels great. I’m so thankful for my dear friend who pointed me to your website a few months ago!

  3. Patty Avatar

    This is my first time posting here. I have made a couple of your recipes and love them! I am interested in some others. I see you recommend mica powders. I did a bit of research on them and they can contain titanium dioxide which has recently been shown to be carcinogenic. Unfortunately the specific mica powders you recommend do not show the ingredients. Do you know if they contain titanium dioxide? I am toxic in lead an mercury and am also trying to stay away from other metals that could cause problems. Are there other things I can use that would not contain potentially harmful ingredients? Thanks.

    1. Kelsey Davis Avatar
      Kelsey Davis

      Could you link your mica powder again or tell me what brand you use? It is not linking for some reason. Thanks!

  4. Erica Avatar

    First off, I LOVE your blog. Everything is so easy to follow for a DIY newbie like me. I wanted to ask about a homemade moisturizer for oily skin (mine). I’m worried about using coconut oil, as it has clogged my pores in the past. I’m interested in making a whipped moisturizer, but am wondering about different oils/butters to use instead? I’ve also read about using beeswax as an emulsifier, but that seems a little shady to me. Any experience with beeswax on your face? Thanks!!

  5. Johanna Avatar

    First off I love your website!!! Lately I have been making more and more products for my body myself. However I am curious to how you know the length of shelf life. I sell some of the lip balms I make and they seem to be used before I know time frame but when it comes to making makeup I have no idea. Your help and information on the life span of these wonderful natural organic products would be great! Thanks in advance.

  6. Aimee Avatar

    Do you use anything for eye cream? I’ve read a couple articles recently about how every woman should use one, but I absolutely refuse to buy one with chemicals! I use coconut oil as my moisturizer twice daily, do I really need something else specifically for under my eyes?

  7. Julie Avatar

    Not all moisturizers will accept mineral makeup powder, and it will be streaky on your skin. I think this happens with lotions that have a high water content. Adding jojoba oil helps the minerals mix in well with the lotion. For years I’ve made my own sunscreen by combining non-nano zinc oxide with bronzer, then adding a little jojoba oil.

  8. Joli Tripp Avatar
    Joli Tripp

    For those of us with freckles or blotchy skin, this sounds wonderful! How much coverage do you get? I rarely wear foundation but would love to have something moisturizing giving a bronzed look. Sounds like this may be it. Do you have a recipe that adds SPF to it?
    And where is a photo of you with it on your skin? (Very big grin!)

  9. Gabrielle Avatar

    The link above says homemade face lotion but when I clicked it, it takes me to the natural liquid foundation recipe. Is this the right recipe or should it be the lotion recipe?
    Love your site! Have made so many of your natural recipes already and learned so much. Thanks!

  10. Arkay Avatar

    As long as it’s clean, moisturized and sunscreened, my face is healthy and looks perfectly fine. Have saved thousands of dollars over the years by not using any makeup; not going to start now, even with the more natural ingredients shown here.

    1. Alia Avatar

      Then why bother reading (and commenting on) this? Most of us are not as blessed as you to have such perfect skin. BTW, what are you using to moisturize your skin? Pretty sure it’s a lotion of some sort, which is EXACTLY what this recipe is.

      1. Arkay Avatar

        Why bother? Because it bothers me that so many women have bought into the cosmetics industry hype that they all need to “improve” their looks, when healthy skin looks far better than paint any day.

        My red-haired, milky white-skinned sister’s complexion finally cleared up from severe acne when we convinced her to stop slapping cosmetics onto her scars. Several weeks of just cleansing and moisturizing with natural products lessened her acne scars to pretty much not there anymore, and she looks great.

        I used a challenge to the female soldiers under my command who thought they couldn’t survive severe field conditions without painting their faces. First, they didn’t understand that their cosmetics attract insects, and the scents could be tracked by good scouts (or Military Working Dogs). Second, water and sleep are precious commodities in the field; lose either to a cosmetics regimen and very soon we had unfit soldiers. Third, no one in the field looks good and no one cares — getting the mission accomplished is the goal — why were they trying to be “attractive” out there? So the challenge was to bring to the field nothing but unscented natural products. After three weeks, every woman who followed the program had improved skin. Quite a number of them decided to shuck all the face colors afterward, and it didn’t seem to negatively affect their social lives.

        My skin is no more perfect than anyone else who uses natural products. The difference is that I am comfortable with my face’s natural colors and don’t add any colorization to those products.

        What do I use? Depends on the weather, frankly.

        Cleaning: Olive oil or coconut oil as a cleaner, baking soda as exfoliant (also cleans sink or shower at the same time)
        Facial: Honey/ground oats/fresh lemon juice

        Moisturizing: Pure coconut oil or shea butter. If additions seem necessary, it’s usually tea tree oil (melaleuca alternafolia) and/or an essential oil(s) appropriate to the season

        Sunscreen: Great big wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (mandatory if you live in Texas). If a sunscreen is absolutely called for, it has to be unscented and frankly, I haven’t settled on anything in all these years that consistently does the trick. Open to suggestions.

        Burns, scrapes, shallow cuts, etc.: Honey. Once I started using just honey, I noticed my left cheek’s acid burn from high school was no longer starkly visible. Many years later and it’s not visible at all.

        Being nasty allergic to all adhesives except surgical super glue, I frequently have to deal with rashes after a visit to the cardiologist. For rash alleviation, depending on severity:
        Coconut oil and cool moist compresses
        Olive oil and honey and cool moist compresses
        Honey and bee pollen powder blended into a paste
        Tomato puree, lemon juice and cayenne pepper blended into a paste
        Any of the above with Benedryl and maybe prednisone if it’s really, really bad (like the one I’m dealing with now) and cool moist compresses
        Frankly, the cool moist compresses are the key. Most recommend compresses 3-4 times daily. I go for as many as possible, because they work wonders for discomfort relief.

        All of these are readily available on the internet nowadays.

  11. Esther Avatar

    What can I use as a substitute for mica powder or isn’t there any substitute???

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