The 10 Best Sunscreens for Black and Brown Skin, According to a Black Beauty Pro

It's time to find your favorite new SPF and get that skin glossed up.  

Summer is in full swing, and while it may feel like it’s passing by in a blink of an eye, it’s here and we need to be responsible about it. One of the summer’s biggest threats: harmful UV rays from the sun. But that doesn’t mean you should stay indoors away from the sun (we believe it’s good for the soul to get some safe R&R), it just means you need to use SPF, even if you have Black or Brown skin

For those of us blessed with the 8th world wonder that is being melanin-enriched, there tends to be a misconception that SPF is irrelevant and our skin is impervious to the suns’ rays. The myth is that our skin has built-in SPF, and while that may be true it doesn’t mean we can’t get sunburned or develop skin cancer. But another reason people with Black and Brown skin don’t wear sunscreens is that many formulas leave an ashy residue behind and don’t blend into our skin. 

sunscreens for Black and Brown skin

“Historically, chemical sunscreens were most elegant because their ingredients contain smaller molecules that are not necessarily opaque,” explains Michelle Henry, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist. “However, physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can leave a white cast because they are larger molecules.”

Over the years, technology has advanced and sunscreens are being more inclusive as they are evolving. “Many companies have started using micronized or nano-sized zinc and titanium to reduce the cast and have also added a tint to make it easier to blend in with all skin types,” explains Dr. Henry.

As people have become more informed on the benefits of using SPF and formulas have advanced and become more inclusive (Note: there is still a lot of work to be done), many people have started using sunscreen more often. In case you need a reminder though, here’s a list of glow-giving, non-white-casting SPFs for your face and body:

Best facial sunscreens for Black and Brown skin:

Best body sunscreens for Black and Brown skin:

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