The best sunscreens for brown skin, according to a woman of color
Though melanin may be magic, it doesn’t protect people of color from skin cancer, sunburn, or other forms of skin damage caused by sun exposure. At this point in the beauty game, people of all shades need to know how important it is to include sunscreen in their daily skin care routines—not just during summer.
It can sometimes be difficult to find a sunscreen that is suitable for darker skin tones, and as a woman of color, I know this firsthand. Many of the active ingredients in sunscreen result in a white film on the skin, which is especially unappealing for those on the darker end of the spectrum. We often end up trading in sun protection for an uncomfortable white cast on our skin, and it further discourages us from giving sunscreen a permanent place in our beauty routines.
Since my first time experiencing a sunburn as a woman of color, I’ve made it my duty to wear sunscreen daily, year-round. For years, I compromised my comfort for sun protection. That is, until I stumbled across a few sunscreens that have made white films a thing of the past.
If you’re looking for sun protection that won’t make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost, here are 16 different sunscreens that are absolutely POC-approved.
1Clinique Sunscreen Face Cream SPF 50
This dermatologist-tested sunscreen is formulated to protect sensitive skin. Lightweight and gentle protection at its best.
2Julep No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel
This completely clear, vitamin-enriched essence gel is sourced from Jeju Island — one of the least polluted areas of the world and the mecca of skin care.
3Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50
This mineral-based sunscreen is a skin’s dream. It’s suitable for all skin types and loaded with the purest form of green tea extract to protect your skin’s DNA.
4L’Oréal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil SPF 30
If your skin needs some extra hydration with your SPF, this facial oil is the answer. It protects against UVA/UVB damage while also providing a healthy glow to your skin over time.
5 La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In-Sunscreen Milk SPF 60
This super fast-absorbing sunscreen melts into the skin in a matter of seconds. It’s also formulated for the face AND body. It’s a win-win.
6Murad City Skin
This sunscreen should be called magic. Not only does it protect from UVA/UVB damage and help even skin tone, but it also protects from light damage on your electronic devices.
7Urban Skin RX Complexion Protect SPF 30
If your skin is prone to dark spots and hyperpigmentation, you’ll want to check out this moisturizer. It contains everything your skin needs for recovery.
8Covergirl Full Spectrum Matte Ambition Mattifying Skin Primer + Ensulizole Sunscreen SPF 20
If the thought of sunscreen on your oily skin makes you cringe, try this SPF primer. It has lightweight protection that controls the excess oil in your skin.
9Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50
Enjoy this fast-absorbing, oil-free, and lightweight sunscreen that protects you from sun damage.
10Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant SPF 50
This luxurious sun protectant also controls excess oil on the surface of the skin, which is a nice bonus.
11Glossier Invisible Shield
Keep your skin healthy and radiant with this lightweight water-gel sunscreen. It’s perfect for those who usually hate SPF.
12Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Protect your face, body, and hair with this multi-purpose SPF spray. It blends into the skin nicely, too.
13Unsun Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Not only was this sunscreen made by women of color for women of color, it effortlessly blends into it any skin tone.
14Olay Regenerist Cream Moisturizer with SPF 30
A powerful anti-aging moisturizer that includes sunscreen.
15ROC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 SPF 30
This moisturizer takes sun protection to another level.
16 Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
This virtually invisible sunscreen will protect your skin while holding your makeup in place.
17Black Girl Sunscreen SPF30
Created for black women by black women, this sunscreen offers cast-free protection for all shades of melanin. And now it’s available at Target.
18 Aveeno Protect Hydrate Face Sunscreen Lotion With – SPF 50
Aveeno doesn’t disappoint when it comes to products for sensitive skin, including this sunscreen lotion.
19TonyMoly My Sunny Watery Sun Essence
If you’re a fan of Korean skin care, this hyaluronic acid-infused essence will deeply hydrate your skin and provide sun protection without the sticky residue.
20Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Illuminating Face Lotion w/ SPF 15
Protect your skin while you glow—this illuminating face lotion is the perfect moisturizer to add to your summer daytime skin regimen.