Wondering what is the best sunscreen for black skin? Finding the right sunscreen can be a challenge, especially when so many sunscreens leave a white cast on our dark skin and make us appear ashy (um, not cute!).
Sun exposure can be especially damaging to dark skin (nobody wants to be sunburned!), which is why it’s so important to find a sunscreen that suits you and protects your beautiful complexion. But with all of the options out there, how do you choose what will work best for you?
In this post, I explore the different types of sunscreens available and share some tips on selecting ones specifically designed with black skin in mind. Read on to learn more about protecting yourself from UV rays while preserving your gorgeous glow!
The best sunscreens for black skin
Best sunscreen for dark skin
Black Girl sunscreen
[This is a black-owned business]
A lot of sunscreens cast an ugly white tint on our skin and leave our beautiful melanated skin looking ashy (um, yuck!). Black Girl sunscreen was created specifically for dark skin! When applied, it’s invisible, lightweight, and allows you to show off your melanin in all its glory! Plus, it includes ingredients like jojoba, Cacao & Avocado to hydrate and moisture skin.
Best sunscreen lotion for dark skin
[This a black-owned business]
Are you looking for a face and body lotion that provides optimum protection against harmful sun rays while keeping your skin hydrated? Look no further than Unsun Cosmetics Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion! This sunscreen lotion is specifically formulated for dark skin, offering broad spectrum SPF 30+ protection against UVA and UVB rays. It’s a lightweight formula that also includes aloe vera and sunflower seed oil.
Best tinted moisturizer with SPF for dark skin
Buttah Tinted Moisturizer
[This is a black-owned business]
What is a tinted moisturizer? It is a combination of a moisturizer and foundation that provides an even, natural skin tone. It is often used as an alternative to a foundation, providing lighter coverage while still evening out skin tone. Buttah tinted moisturizer is specifically designed for darker skin tones, providing an extra layer of protection from the sun while helping to even out your skin.
Best sunscreen for dark spots
[This is a black-owned brand]
Fenty sunscreen is a great choice for those with darker skin, as it is specifically formulated to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. It includes kalahari Melon (Wild Watermelon) which helps to hydrate the skin, Niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) to help reduce the look of dark spots, even out skin tone, and fight excess shine as well as Hyaluronic Acid and soothing Aloe vera to help hydrate and condition skin.
Best SPF facial Moisturizer
Cay Skin Isle Glow Face Moisturizer SPF 45 with Sea Moss and Niacinamide
[This is a black-owned brand]
Are you looking for a facial moisturizer that provides optimal skin protection while still providing nourishment to your skin? This antioxidant-packed daily face sunscreen is ideal for those with dry, dull, and uneven skin who want a subtle glow. Additionally, this moisturizer includes ingredients like sea Moss that strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, nectar to replenish moisture levels, and Vitamin B3)to nourish, tone, and smooth skin.
Best sunscreen for acne-prone skin
EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen
If you have acne-prone skin, you should consider using EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen. It contains niacinamide to help reduce skin irritation, plus lactic and hyaluronic acid to help keep skin hydrated as well as aid in evening out your skin tone. This sunscreen is completely clear and can be worn under makeup or alone.
Best sunscreen for dry skin
Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Sunscreen Lotion
The Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Sunscreen Lotion is a great choice for those with dark skin that is dry. This sunscreen offers broad-spectrum SPF protection of 30, and is non-greasy for a weightless feel.
Best sunscreen for combination skin
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen is an amazing mineral sunscreen option for those with dark skin tones. It has a matte finish that won’t leave a greasy or shiny residue and is packed with powerful antioxidants to fight free radicals. It contains red algae extract, which helps provide additional protection against UVA and UVB rays as well as Frankincense to help protect skin from environmental pollutants. Plus, this sunscreen is even beard friendly!
Best sunscreen for sensitive skin
Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen
If you have sensitive skin, it can be a challenge to find a sunscreen that won’t break you out! Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen is a great option for you. It’s an SPF 30 sunscreen that won’t irritate your skin, and it’s formulated with zinc oxide to provide broad-spectrum protection from UVB and UVA rays. Additionally, all of the ingredients in this sunscreen are also all listed as safe ingredients in the EWG database, so it’s clean-based sunscreen.
How to apply sunscreen on black skin
After you’ve decided what sunscreen to invest in, it’s time to apply it… but did you know there is a right and wrong way to apply sunscreen?! Yup, it is.
Here’s the right way to apply sunscreen on black skin:
- Squeeze a dime-sized amount of sunscreen in your hand and rub it on a clean, dry area. You do not want to apply sunscreen while you’re wet or after you’ve already sweated, as this can reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen.
- Spread the sunscreen evenly. Don’t just blot it onto your skin and call it a day. Instead, take the time to spread it out evenly across the area you want to protect. Be sure to cover areas such as your neck and hands, which is common to forget!
- For optimal protection, reapply the sunscreen every two hours throughout your day and always after swimming or sweating heavily. If you’re swimming, be sure to dry off and then apply sunscreen.
Do’s and don’t of sunscreen:
Do’s of sunscreen:
- Use a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and make sure it is a broad spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use a sunscreen that is water-resistant if you are going to be swimming or sweating heavily.
- Remember to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas of your skin, including your face, neck, and hands.
- Reapply the sunscreen every two hours throughout the day and after swimming or sweating heavily.
Don’ts of sunscreen:
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on cloudy days. UV rays can still penetrate clouds and cause damage to your skin.
- Don’t apply sunscreen immediately after taking a shower or swimming, as the water can reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen.
- Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen, even if it says it is water-resistant!
- Don’t use expired sunscreens, as they will no longer be effective.
- Don’t think just because you’re dark skin that, you cannot sunburn! Listen, chocolate melts in the sun! Dark skin can still get sunburned and get skin cancer, so it’s important to protect yourself.
With the right sunscreen and application, you can continue to enjoy your outside activities without fear of causing damage to your skin.
Benefits of Sunscreen on dark skin
Perhaps you’re wondering why do black people need sunscreen. While dark skin has a natural skin protection factor (SPF) of up to 13, black people should still use sunscreen.
Sun’s rays can cause premature aging, dark spots and discoloration, and even skin cancer. Yes, black people can get skin cancer too. In fact, studies have shown that survival rates for African Americans with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, are much lower than for other ethnicities.
Additionally, sunscreen helps protect against sunburn, which is still a risk for those with darker skin tones. Sunburns can cause inflammation and weaken the skin’s protective barrier leading to further damage.
As someone who has suffered from a sunburn before (and is dark skin), it can be quite painful. Sunburn can last up to several days and cause skin irritation, swelling, and blistering.
Using sunscreen on black skin can help protect against UVA and UVB rays, which are the major culprits in skin damage. Sunscreen can also help to even out your complexion and improve the overall texture and tone of your skin, as sunscreen can help protect you from hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is caused when melanin is overproduced in areas of the skin and results in dark patches or discoloration. Sunscreen can help reduce this.
Here are just a few benefits of using sunscreen for dark skin. Basically? USE IT!
Frequently asked questions: best sunscreen for black skin
Is SPF 40 good for black skin?
Yes, SPF 40 is good for black skin. Look for sunscreens that provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. SPf blocks out 97.5% of UVB radiation.
How can I protect my black skin from the sun?
One of the best ways to protect your black skin from the sun is by wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen helps to block out UV rays from the sun, which can damage and age your skin. When selecting a sunscreen for your black skin, it’s important to look for one that has broad-spectrum protection with a high SPF rating, such as 30+.
Another way to help protect your dark skin from the sun is to wear clothes that help block the sun, such as a hat or sun visor, a long-sleeve shirt, and long pants to cover exposed skin.
It’s also important to stay hydrated so your body can fight off the effects of UV rays, such as dehydration or sunburn. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will also help keep your skin moisturized, which helps protect against damage from the sun.
Finally, it is important to limit your time outdoors when the sun is at its strongest. If you are going to be outside during peak hours, try to find a shady spot or use a parasol or umbrella to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
By following these simple steps, you can help keep your black skin protected from the sun and its damaging UV rays.
Is tinted sunscreen good for black people?
The short answer is yes, but it depends on the individual. Tinted sunscreen can be beneficial for people with darker skin tones because it provides protection from the sun without leaving a white cast. Tinted sunscreen can also be beneficial because it blends in with your natural skin IF it’s the correct shade.
However, if the shade is too light or dark, it can create an uneven skin tone, and I find that more tinted sunscreens do not offer a variety of tones that are complementary to dark skin tones.
Most tinted sunscreens I’ve used left an ugly gray cast that made me look ashy. Therefore, it can be challenging to find a tinted sunscreen that matches our skin.
A tinted moisturizer I do like that actually flatters darker skin is IT Cosmetics CC foundation with sunscreen. It is a light foundation with an SPF of 40, so you’re getting light coverage with protection from harmful sun rays.
Shop: Foundation+ SPF
How to store sunscreen?
It is important to store sunscreen properly to ensure it remains effective. Sunscreen should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. Avoid putting it in warm, humid places such as bathrooms or cars. It should also be stored away from any heat sources, such as ovens and radiators. If the sunscreen becomes too hot, it can reduce its efficacy.
If possible, keep sunscreen in its original container to avoid contamination. If the sunscreen needs to be transferred to another container, make sure it is kept in an airtight one and away from any contaminating elements.
When traveling, sunscreen should be kept in an airtight container and placed in a bag away from windows to reduce exposure to direct sunlight. This can help protect it from degrading due to temperature fluctuations.
It’s also important to note that sunscreen has an expiration date. Sunscreen should not be used if it is past its expiration date, as it will be less effective and may cause skin irritation.
What level of SPF is most effective?
While there is no one-size-fits-all sunscreen for black skin, it’s important that you’re using sunscreen to protect your beautiful dark skin from harmful sun rays.
Not only does sunscreen protect skin from sunburns and general skin damage, but using the best sunscreen for black skin can not only provide extra protection for melanin-rich complexions but help prevent life-threatening diseases in the long term.
From understanding how to select the right SPF number to application and storage – now you have all of the information needed so that you’re well protected. Do you have a favorite sunscreen that you love? Tell me in the comments below!