This Tinted SPF Serum Is My Secret to Flawless, Glowing Skin While Traveling — With No Makeup Bag Required

My 40-something skin has never appeared more youthful and moisturized.

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Ilia Tinted Serum Review Tout

Travel + Leisure / Reese Herrington

Entering your 40s is full of empowering perks, from being more confident in your own skin to truly learning which friends are the ones you want to invest your energy in. But aging is not without its struggles. As a busy 43-year-old mom, I find my skincare routine becoming increasingly focused on evening out my skin tone, keeping my face moisturized to the max, and avoiding things like under eye circles or fine lines. 

On a recent vacation (with one of those 40-something forever friends), I realized I had forgotten to pack my foundation so, while shopping, we wandered into a makeup store, where I begged for help. As I listed my concerns — fine lines, dry skin, feeling the constant need to exfoliate to keep my skin looking radiant — the employee led me to the section of the store where Ilia Beauty was stocked. He suggested the brand’s Super Serum Skin Tint and, while I was familiar with serum foundations, I was hesitant to go all in. After all, wouldn't something serum-based make my skin appear greasy?

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40


To buy:, $50

Always one to listen to the expert, I decided to try something new and purchased the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint. The $50 price tag seemed well worth it considering it contained SPF 40 and lots of skin-healthy ingredients, like hydrating squalane, moisturizing shea butter, and anti-aging niacinamide (a powerhouse that improves texture, smoothness, brightness, and fine lines). I took it back to our hotel, ready to apply it before our evening dinner plans. 

The first thing I noticed about the serum was how lightweight it was. While I expected it to have an oily, greasy texture, it was anything but. The serum went on smoothly with my makeup sponge and I immediately thought, “Maybe I don’t need to wear concealer and powder over this.” I tested out the theory, adding no additional makeup to my face other than some mascara and light blush. I looked well-rested. My complexion appeared more youthful. I finally had the dewy, glowy vacation skin that everyone always seems to be after.

Since that night, I’ve continued using Ilia with the same results. Whether I’m applying light makeup to run a few errands or getting full-face glam for a date night with my husband, Ilia has become the foundation of every makeup look. It covers my skin flawlessly and, unlike a lot of heavier formulas, never settles into the fine lines around my eyes or on my forehead. Whenever I use it, my skin looks glowing and super-moisturized — without looking oily.

I’m not the only one who loves this skin tint serum. Reviewers praise its formula for blending seamlessly, being lightweight, and providing moisturizing coverage. “If this ever is discontinued, I’ll be in ruins,” shared one fan.

Ilia Tinted Serum Review

Travel + Leisure / Esther Carlstone

To buy:, $50

“Absolutely love this skin tint,” wrote another. “Applies easily with your hands and leaves a gorgeous glow to the skin. It has a sheer coverage but just enough to cover my redness. I have dry skin and this gives a perfect boost of moisture.”

While some reviewers also commented on the “slight clay smell” of the serum, it’s not something I find to be an issue. The smell is earthy with notes of sunscreen, something that makes sense to me since it’s full of SPF.

Since purchasing this holy grail beauty product, I’ve found I pack way less makeup when traveling as a result. Gone are the days when I traveled with a full makeup bag that contained foundation, powder, and concealer. My skin looks and feels so glowing and moisturized that I save valuable packing space and use this product as my sole form of face makeup. And, since it’s got such a high SPF content, I even use it for a day at the beach or the theme park, when I’m makeup-free.

If you’re on a journey to minimize the products you travel with, Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint is a great way to bring less face makeup along on your journey. My daily routine these days is the serum, mascara and blush, and I’m out the door — ready to have an adventure and keep my skin protected with an SPF.

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