Showdown: Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF40 vs Kosas Tinted Face Oil

Everybody’s talking about the new Ilia Super Skin Serum Skin Tint SPF40 on the clean beauty front and I get it. Skincare, makeup AND SPF in one product? Sign me up! The last time I remember makeup lovers creating such a buzz was when Kosas released their cult-status Tinted Face Oil.

Both of these products boast a skincare serum with just the right amount of coverage, so I thought I would do a little head-to-head action! Let’s get down to business.

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF40 vs Kosas Tinted Face Oil

wearing shade ST7 in Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF40

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint

From Ilia’s website:

Your tinted SPF will never be the same. This first-of-its-kind formula fuses skincare, makeup, and sun protection into one easy step: a weightless serum that leaves your skin looking like skin. Boasting SPF 40 coverage with non-nano zinc oxide (safely shielding skin from UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light, and infrared) in an unprecedented 18 shades. Created with a blend of Hyaluronic Acids, plant-based Squalane, and Niacinamide, ILIA’s Skin Tint evens tone, softens fine lines and imperfections, and dries down to a natural, dewy finish. And this super serum doesn’t stop there: it also creates a natural barrier for your skincare—sealing in hydration, plumping skin, and boosting any antioxidant effectiveness by 200%. Plus, it’s silicone-free, fragrance-free, chemical screen-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and safe for sensitive skin. This is SPF, made super.

I have one word for you. DEWY. If you are after a dewy finish, you will LOVE the Super Serum Skin Tint.

Here are the two shades that match my skin tone best. Notice the higher number! These run light in my opinion.

from top to bottom: ST7 and ST8

Key Ingredients
A blend of Hyaluronic Acids
Plant-based Squalane

Full details on shade selection plus everything else can be found in this video.

Kosas Tinted Face Oil

wearing shade 4 in Kosas Tinted Face Oil (I also wear 3.5 or 5, at my darkest)

From Kosas’ website:

Tinted Face Oil is a feather-weight medium coverage foundation and deeply hydrating skin elixir. Three types of pigment are delivered in a base of six active botanical oils to instantly even skin tone, minimize pores, and erase imperfections. Designed to be as easily applied as a daily serum or moisturizer, the breathable silky formula’s oils are quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving behind a perfecting layer of self-adjusting color with a velvety finish – no blending required.

I personally love the satin matte finish and featherweight feel of the Kosas Tinted Face Oil. It works for me because I already have sunscreens that I love to use so I’m not really looking for that addition. Also, for women over 40, I think a satin matte finish gives a smoother look to skin as opposed to a shiner one.

Here are the two shades that match my skin tone best.

from top to bottom: 3.5 and 4

Key Ingredients
Avocado Oil
Meadowfoam Oil
Red Raspberry Oil
Jojoba Oil
Camellia Seed Oil
Rosehip Seed Oil

My full review of the Tinted Face Oil is in this video.

Here are both products on my bare face – Kosas on the left and Ilia on the right.

My overall thoughts:

Both of these products are great and you really can’t go wrong with either! It’s just a matter of preference. While they both give a nice medium coverage, are easy to apply (with fingers!), have tons of skincare goodness, and wear well throughout the day, the two biggest differences are finish and sun protection.

If you want dewy, Ilia. If you want less shine, Kosas. If you want SPF, Ilia. If you already have SPF in another product and/or don’t care to wear SPF, Kosas.

I personally lean towards Kosas because I prefer a satin matte finish over a dewier one. (Dewy can get tricky when you are 40+.) Also, Kosas feels featherweight on my skin whereas the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint can feel heavier on my face due to the sunscreen.

They both are great additions to the tinted skin serum market for sure. Any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments!

  1. Stephanie

    April 10, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Thanks for this! I’ve been wondering about the difference. I currently use Josh Rosebrook tinted nutrient day cream. How would you compare these to that? Also, is one better for dry vs. oily skin?

  2. whoorl

    April 10, 2020 at 10:19 am

    So different. Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream is primarily a sunscreen with a hint of color. It isn’t a foundation. These two products have much more pigment – so they are more of a foundation with a side of SPF. :)

  3. Kelly Kirkpatrick

    April 12, 2020 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been using Suntegrity Impeccable Skin in Buff after reading your review of it. I’m about to finish my current tube (and about to turn 40!) And trying to decide whether to repurchase or try something new. How do the Ilia and Kosas compare to Suntegrity?

    • whoorl

      April 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm

      The Suntegrity is much thicker. Kosas and Ilia are serum-based.

  4. Claudia D

    April 14, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    I’m tending towards the Kosas because I too am over 40 and prefer the finish on that one. What sunscreen do you use and do you apply it before or after the tinted face oil? Thanks!1

    • whoorl

      April 14, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      I use this one and it’s applied before the tinted face oil. https://shrsl.com/1zk0w

      • Rose Reppert

        May 1, 2020 at 6:06 am

        I’m wondering if the Fitglow SPF and Kosas would be a good pick for the summer with heat and humidity? The Ilia does look too dewy like it would slide off and melt!

        • whoorl

          May 1, 2020 at 9:22 pm

          That’s my combo. :)