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 — and 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 have a tendency of casting 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 left on the 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 spent my time compromising my comfort for sun protection — until I stumbled across a few sunscreens that have made white films a thing of the past.
If you are looking for a sunscreen 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.
7Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30
Meant to be used alone or under makeup, this SPF moisturizer is formulated for all skin types. The SPF will protect your skin from sun damage while the green tea corrects discoloration.
8Palmer’s Eventone Suncare Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
It doesn’t get much better than this SPF moisturizer, which evens skin tone. This lotion will leave your skin looking absolutely radiant.
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, but it effortlessly blends into it any skin tone.
14Olay Regenerist Cream Moisturizer with SPF 30
A powerful anti-aging moisturizer that includes sunscreen. It has everything your skin needs for summer.
15ROC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 SPF 30
This moisturizer takes sun protection to another level.
16 Soopergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
This virtually invisible sunscreen will protect your skin while holding your makeup in place.