ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint Review (Pros + Cons)

July 2, 2021

Is the ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint worth it? We get this question all the time, since it made a splash with its release. My honest thoughts and a full ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint review, including the pros and cons and swatches, if you keep reading.

A woman opens a ILIA liquid foundation bottle.

IN THIS POST:

Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 is probably one of the most heavily reviewed products of 2020. I mean, I’ve seen everyone covering it, from OG lifestyle blogs like A Cup of Joe and Wit + Delight, to major publishers like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Southern Living and Glamour. 

And it makes sense because ILIA Beauty is a bigtime crossover brand, meaning you will see it in mainstream stores like Sephora and Nordstrom but also conscientious beauty stores like The Detox Market and Vert…I’ve actually even seen it in Walmart. 

So, why all the hype? While some of this coverage could be paid or affiliate promotion, it doesn’t account for all the buzz, or the nearly 6000 reviews on the ILIA website. Mostly, the world won’t stop talking about ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 because it brings something to the market that we have never seen before: sunscreen, skincare and foundation all rolled into one. 

My personal experience with ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 has been a hot/cold one, and my wishy-washy-ness is apparent if you keep reading. Like doing shots of limoncello, hooking up with an ex or binging Felicity. Seems so good in theory but once you get into it….second thoughts start creeping in. And I’m bringing you into the whole process with this ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint review.


Here’s what I love…

This formula is skincare-forward—and I love it. With the addition of squalane to balance skin, hyaluronic acid to help plump and hydrate and niacinamides to smooth. 

High SPF: I love that we are seeing 40 SPF, which is higher than most everyday wear SPFs. 

I like how the Skin Tint settles into the skin. For me, it gets better as the day goes on, turning from a dewy finish to a radiant glow (as long as I don’t apply too much). 

ILIA’s Super Skin Serum Tint is shade-inclusive. With 30 shades (and more being added), I love the inclusive shade range.

Here’s what I flip flop on…

The SPF 40 seems aspirational. I personally think there is a huge gap between the amount of product you need to truly achieve SPF 40 coverage AND the amount of product you want on your skin so you get a balanced glow (read more about how I apply it here). 

For me, I refuse to layer this product for more coverage. I treat this more like a tinted moisturizer that offers light coverage rather than a foundation. And if I’m not layering it to get full coverage, am I getting the full SPF 40 benefit? I can’t be sure.

It’s, like, really DEWY. When you try this formula, the first thing you will notice is the finish. IT’S DEWY. But the plot thickens. Some reviews say this formula offers “buildable coverage.” But the more you build and layer this product, the dewier (aka, wetter and greasier) it finishes.

This is all coming from someone who LOVES a dewy finish and only recommends liquid foundations. So, it’s not an inherently bad thing that it provides a major glow factor. But it’s even a little much for me—and that’s saying something. I will also mention that I have normal skin. Not oily and not dry. 

RELATED: The best organic foundations + BB creams.

Swatches of ilia beauty's skin tint next to each other - one right out of the bottle, one 1 minute later.

The ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 oxidizes (big time). This 👆 is a pic of the shade 12.75 straight out of the bottle, compared to one minute later. There is a stark difference here. 

It’s also been a huge undertaking to try and figure out what my “best match” shade is. I’ve tried 9 of them, and I’m still not sure. I’ve gifted the ones that didn’t work for me, but right now I’m playing with these four 👇. 

Shades of ILIA Beauty's tinted SPF swatched on a white arm.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint swatches.

And, want to know what’s even more interesting than that? I can actually get both ST6 ORA as well as ST12.75 PAPAKOLEA to work on my face. Check it out.

woman wearing ILIA super serum skin tint
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint in shade ST6.

woman wearing ILIA super serum skin tint
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint in shade 12.75.

So interesting right? I think this also speaks to the fact that buffing out the product enough to get the right finish can also take down the pigment (as well as the SPF coverage).


How to use the ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

As a work-around to the extreme dewiness I mentioned already, I like to apply this formula with my fingers and then blend with a brush. Blending it with a brush takes down the dew a little bit and it also helps blend color so it looks uniform. Like this…

If I need more coverage, I will spot treat with a concealer like ILIA’S True Skin Serum Concealer or RMS’s Un Coverup. And then I do one pass with ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40. This seems to be my happy place.


woman applying ILIA makeup

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint review: pros + cons 

By now, you can see how I go back and forth about using ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint. I feel like I rarely am excited to put it on, but when I do, I’m surprised by how much I like it. It’s not my favorite or my go-to, but each time I wear it, I find more things I like about it. So here’s the full pro/con list that goes through my head…

Pros: 

  • Not your mama’s white-ace SPF.
  • ILIA recognizes that “tinted” doesn’t mean just one color and offers this product in 30 shades.
  • Fragrance free (smells like zinc a little).
  • Brings life to the skin via a glow like no other. 
  • Treats skin with skin supporting ingredients.
  • Offers 40 SPF which is higher than most everyday wear SPFs.
  • Blurs imperfections and redness.

Cons: 

  • Way too dewy for some people. 
  • Some sites say this is a buildable foundation but I don’t think it is. Layering this product just makes it greasier. 
  • Can collect on dry spots and in laugh and smile lines. 
  • Need to find that balance of “enough product” to achieve SPF 40, but not too much where it greases out. 
  • Color oxidizes so you may have some trial and error with what shade to pick. 
  • The wear changes as the day goes on. It’s super dewy at first but then evens out becoming less so the more it sits on the skin. 
  • Avoid applying on eyelids and too close to eyes (sunblock in eyes = annoying). 
  • Not good as an eyelid primer or foundation. 
  • Can cause hairline to look greasy if applied too close. 
  • Tends to sit on top of the skin when initially applied, you will have to work it in to get the look you want. 
  • This is a SHEER to LIGHT coverage. This is just enough to blur hyperpigmentation and some redness but not enough to really cover any imperfections or blemishes. 
  • Not buildable.
  • Best on exfoliated skin as it will catch on texture.

RELATED: My favorite ILIA Beauty products (with pros and cons).


woman opening ILIA foundation

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 dupes 

There really isn’t a dupe for ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 because no other line offers an incredible shade range like this. BUT if you are looking for a tinted (meaning non-white) face SPF that also doubles as skincare, check out Suntegrity’s 5 in 1 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30. It’s available in 5 shades and offers light to sheer coverage. Check out pros + cons plus application pics here

Also, if you’re looking for a true foundation, lean into ILIA’s True Skin Serum Foundation (which happens to be one of my favorite foundations ever). This weightless, light-coverage, liquid foundation delivers a natural look that truly mimics how your skin looks and feels. I mean, it’s literally undetectable to the naked eye when applied, which is by far my favorite part.

RELATED: The best nontoxic tinted SPF.

Have you tried the ILIA Super Skin Serum Tint? What do you think?

TOG Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TOG uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TOG stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint Review
  • Price
    (4)
  • Ingredients
    (4)
  • Effectiveness
    (4.5)

Summary

A dewy tinted SPF product that comes in 30 different shades and not only protects from the sun, but its formula includes ingredients that nourish the skin. Has a higher SPF protection than normal SPFs and the best part: is all clean!

Overall
4.2

Pros

  • Not your mama’s white-ace SPF.
  • ILIA recognizes that “tinted” doesn’t mean just one color and offers this product in 30 shades.
  • Fragrance free (smells like zinc a little).
  • Brings life to the skin via a glow like no other. 
  • Treats skin with skin supporting ingredients.
  • Offers 40 SPF which is higher than most everyday wear SPFs.
  • Blurs imperfections and redness.

Cons

  • Way too dewy for some people. 
  • Some sites say this is a buildable foundation but I don’t think it is. Layering this product just makes it greasier. 
  • Can collect on dry spots and in laugh and smile lines. 
  • Need to find that balance of “enough product” to achieve SPF 40, but not too much where it greases out. 
  • Color oxidizes so you may have some trial and error with what shade to pick. 
  • The wear changes as the day goes on. It’s super dewy at first but then evens out becoming less so the more it sits on the skin. 
  • Avoid applying on eyelids and too close to eyes (sunblock in eyes = annoying). 

By Lisa

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Andi

    I agree with you on the dewiness and lighter coverage cons! I’m an ST9 Paloma and have repurchased due to the excellent sunscreen coverage, but I don’t feel it provides the best foundation coverage. Since I have combo skin, I feel I’m also constantly fighting the dewiness, especially in the hotter summer months. But I still reach for it in the summer to provide the best protection in the sun. If they would improve the coverage, this would be an absolute home run for me.

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