Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture SPF 15

by Aveda  Inner Light
$28 - 1.7 fl. oz.
Best Read Member Comments
Add To Faves»

Want to buy this product?

Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:
Jar Packaging:
Tested On Animals:

Inner Light Tinted Moisture SPF 15 is an outstanding tinted moisturizer that uses titanium dioxide as its sole sunscreen active.

It has a smooth, creamy texture that hydrates skin while leaving a satin finish, and is suitable for normal to dry skin, offering sheer coverage and a hint of color.

Seven shades are available and they are all excellent. Aspen is a real find for someone with fair skin. The "mineral" portion of the name is just Aveda capitalizing on the craze for all things mineral; in reality, this formula differ little from their previous Inner Light Tinted Moisture (the Mineral version is paraben-free).

This foundation’s rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you’re ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.

Note: Aveda calls out bergamot and lavender as being components of this tinted moisturizer's fragrance. The amount of fragrance in this product isn't high, and the amounts of these problematic plant extracts are most likely too low to be cause for concern.

Active: Titanium Dioxide (4.3%) Other: Water, Tricaprylyl Citrate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Jojoba Esters, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Capryloyl Glycine, Salix Nigra (Willow Bark) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Tourmaline, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Aluminum Hydroxide, Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate, Sodium Gluconate, Citric Acid May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica

Aveda, part of the Estee Lauder Companies since 1997, offers natural-themed products that have evolved from a simple premise: what you put on your body should be as healthy and natural as what you put into it. Plants remain the major focus but—as has been true from the beginning—a quick look at Aveda's ingredient listings reveals many substances that aren't edible in the least. Who would want to eat isostearyl benzoate, cetyl ricinoleate, diazolidinyl urea, or octinoxate (a synthetic sunscreen ingredient)? We could go on, but you get our drift.

The company vigorously promotes its use of natural "pure-fume" aromas that create each product's scent. Yet regardless of whether or not a product's fragrance is natural or synthetic, the potential for irritation is still there along with a host of other problems. In fact, many of the essential oils used in Aveda products have a documented history of unpleasant side effects, including allergies, phototoxic reactions, and dermatitis. They may smell wonderful, but fragrance isn't skin care.

Aveda would truly like you to believe that it is in fact the flower and plant essences in its products that are doing the "work." If that were true, why bother using so many of the industry-standard ingredients seen in products from other cosmetics companies? Many of the highlighted plant ingredients merely contribute to the fragrance of the products. That's an obvious draw, but it's not enough to ensure a great (or even good) product. It has also been well established that once many of these plants and oils are purified and processed for use in cosmetics, they retain very little of their original benefit—though that doesn't mean they are worthless ingredients for skin. Furthermore, the manner in which Aveda discusses many of their plant ingredients on their Web site speaks more to historic and folkloric use rather than to published research that establishes a genuine benefit. It may seem intriguing to consumers that some plants have been "used for centuries to cleanse the skin and hair," but lots of things used a long time ago would be a problem today, including lead in cosmetics, not using sunscreen, absence of barrier repair substances and cell-communicating ingredients, and on and on. History doesn't always translate to eternal efficacy or safety, and it shouldn't be a deciding factor when you're choosing a skin-care routine.

One natural point Aveda has every reason to be proud of is its ongoing commitment to the environment and use of sustainable resources, including packaging made from recycled (and recyclable) materials. The company has many programs in place that support its mission statement of caring for the world we live in and giving back to society. What needs to happen to complement the philanthropy is a focus on weeding out the troublesome plant ingredients (perhaps saving them for use in their scented candles instead), and creating products built around plants whose benefits for skin are unquestionable because they are supported by substantiated research rather than referring to cultural traditions.

For more information about Aveda, owned by Estee Lauder, call 1-800-644-4831 or visit

Aveda Makeup

Makeup has never been Aveda's strong suit, though it often bests their skin care line. They do their natural best to try to remain competitive and, lately, even trendy. Several of their complexion-enhancing products were reformulated, but with mixed results. For example, while the concealer improved and their already-great tinted moisturizer remained the same, the latest foundations and powders contain shine at levels ranging from subtle to showgirl. We're not opposed to shine, but am a proponent of using it judiciously and not over wrinkles because it only emphasizes them. Shade-wise, Aveda offers some surprisingly good foundation choices for fair to dark skin. The blush, eyeshadow, pencils, and most of the lip-enhancing options aren't impressive when compared to the best options in these categories from other lines, but they're by no means terrible.

In contrast and of note are the wonderfully soft, well-shaped synthetic-hair makeup brushes. They aren't as much of a beauty bargain as they were, but the improvements justify the expense and they still cost less than many department-store brushes. Overall, while Aveda's makeup isn't as extensive or all-encompassing as those from other Lauder-owned lines, there are a few genuinely superb products to consider if you watch out for the overemphasis on plant ingredients. Yes, most of the products contain plenty of plant extracts, emollients, and waxes. However, they're working in concert with many of the unnatural ingredients that are required to create modern textures and silky applications. Aloe and flax alone do not a spectacular eyeshadow make!

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Emily F
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 20, 2014
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • I liked this product, but after using it for a few days straight I realized I was sensitive or maybe allergic to something in it - my cheeks got red and rashy and eventually my skin went flaky all over, so I couldn't use it anymore (and it was somewhat pricey and I couldn't return it either). Bummer, because I liked how it looked and felt at first.

    Reviewed on Monday, December 02, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Excellent Tinted Moisturizer
    • I love this tinted moisturizer. It does have a dewy finish which is best for those with dry skin. I keep coming back to this product as other foundations with a more satin finish look dry and dull on my skin. This one gives me a glow! A dusting of powder can always be applied to tone down a shine. Coverage is sheer, but just right for that natural look. There is also a lot of product in this tube for the price which makes it an excellent value!

  3. B Kramer
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 29, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Best product I have ever used!
    • I use this product as a foundation. My skin is very fair, sensitive and hard to match a color to. This is light, sheer, with a hint of moisture that looks completely natural. If I have a blemish, I use a little concealer and the Aveda Inner Light blends so naturally. It does not irritate my skin. Love this product.

  4. HELENE G.
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 12, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Tacky Finish
    • I was really hoping for good results from this, but it was not to be. I have normal to slightly dry skin and did not intend this to be my moisturizer - rather a simple addition of a little finish to my skin. Unfortunately, the finish has too much sheen for my taste . The biggest problem is that it leaves a very tacky finish. I actually tried mixing it with primer and putting primer over it - rediculous! Returning product. Can't recommend.

You May Also Like These Products From Paula's Choice

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

View Media Highlights


The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

585631-IIS3 v1.0.0.326
Skip to Top of Page
20% Off AHA & BHA Exfoliants | FREE Shipping on $50+

Create an Account

Create Account»
  • »

New Customers

You will have the option to create an account after you have submitted your order.