Bare Minerals (Bare Escentuals)

Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30

for $ 29.50
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Brand Overview

Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream won’t rescue your complexion unless it’s dry and in need of moisture, so the first thing to keep in mind is that despite the ballyhoo heralding this product’s arrival, it’s essentially a tinted moisturizer. It just happens to be a very good one that provides gentle, mineral-based sun protection, and handily earned our highest rating!

What makes this fragrance-free formula so great isn’t the mineral water and impressive-sounding “215% increase in skin’s hydration after just one week” claim (more on that in a moment). Rather, this tinted moisturizer is wonderful for normal to dry skin because it moisturizes, provides anti-aging sun protection, and adds radiance while providing sheer, natural-looking coverage to enhance already-great skin. This isn’t the product to consider if you need moderate to full coverage, but that’s not a ding; rather, it’s a hallmark of tinted moisturizers, which traditionally provide sheer, translucent coverage.

The formula’s lovely gel-cream texture applies easily, setting to a satin-like dewy finish that adds a healthy glow. The finish is too moisturizing for those with combination or oily skin, though if you have slightly oily skin you may find it workable—but have some powder ready for the shine-prone areas. This is worth trying if you have breakout-prone skin that’s also dry, and it is also well suited for sensitive skin.

As for the claim of boosting hydration by 215%, bareMinerals seems to be referring to the mineral-infused water in this product. As the story goes, they “reverse engineered” a standard tinted moisturizer formula so the water is the first thing to touch your skin. The problem? It’s not with the science behind the formula, but the claim; if the water is what’s responsible for the huge jump in hydration, that’s not good! Why? Skin actually doesn’t like or need a lot of water to be hydrated. In fact, too much water is bad for skin, as it begins to break down the intercellular matrix, which are the substances (like ceramides) that keep skin healthy, smooth, and intact.

Thankfully, this tint moisturizes skin not with water (which really isn’t all that moisturizing, minerals or not)  but with proven emollients and water-binding agents such as propanediol, trehalose, and squalane. Those ingredients, not the mineral water, are what makes Complexion Rescue feel so smooth, moisturizing, and, yes, comforting over dry skin. But admittedly, the mineral water makes for a better story!

bareMinerals offers a very good range of warm to neutral shades, with options for fair (but not porcelain) to dark (but not very dark) skin tones.  The only shade to be careful with is Suede, which tends to dry too pink. The shades marked as “Cool” do tend to be a cool (pink-based) but have enough warmth (gold tones) so they still look natural.


  • Elegant, gel-cream texture smoothes and hydrates dry skin.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Natural-looking coverage highlights rather than hides skin.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Very good range of shades for most skin tones.
  • Contains some intriguing plant-based antioxidants.


  • Exaggerated marketing claims.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 6.2%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Coconut Alkanes, Propanediol, Squalane, Trehalose, Isostearic Acid, Glycerin, Silica, Agar, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Globularia Cordifolia Callus Culture Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Melilotus Officinalis Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene Glycol, Lauroyl Lysine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinoglycan, Polysorbate 60, Cellulose Gum, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Hydroxide, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance

Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. Founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s Bare Escentuals was one of the first brands to introduce the concept of loose powder foundation. Since then, they have moved beyond it to include liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and an ever expanding line of color cosmetics as well as skincare products.

The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skincare products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.

We should note that loose powder makeup does take some practice to get the hang of, yet there is no denying that this type of foundation has its fan base. There is a lot to love about Bare Escentuals, even if mineral makeup isn't your thing (especially their price ranges, which have remained affordable in comparison to many of their neighbors at Sephora).

Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; some impressive foundations; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.

Weaknesses: Some of the loose powder products have texture and finish concerns; some of the skincare contain potentially problematic ingredients.

For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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