Magnificence Specialists Say These Are the Most Present-Worthy Sunscreens for Darkish Pores and skin Tones

The Greatest Sunscreens for Darkish Pores and skin Tones 2023 – Greatest Sheer SunscreensThe Greatest Sunscreens for Darkish Pores and skin Tones

[product-summary-view headline=” showheadline=”false”/>

    Is Sunscreen Necessary for Dark Skin?

    Real talk: We need to wear sunscreen daily.

    Yes, even indoors, if your giftee is exposed to direct sunlight! Our melanin, no matter how deep and beautiful it makes our complexion, only offers an equivalent of SPF 13. Experts at the American Academy of Dermatology suggest we use a sunblock with a minimum of SPF 30 broad-spectrum coverage.

    Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sumayah Jamal, M.D., says the most common misconception about sunscreen in the Black community is that we can’t get skin cancer, and therefore sunscreen isn’t necessary. “We do develop skin cancer, and it’s usually discovered at a later and more dangerous stage than in our Caucasian counterparts because of the lack of skin cancer awareness in our community,” explains Jamal.

    As the director of the Skin of Color Specialty Clinic at Schweiger Dermatology Group, Jamal is extremely well-versed in the latest findings regarding the health of dark skin tones. She says the risk of developing skin cancer is lower for people of African descent, but the survival rate is only 77%, as compared to 91% for Caucasians. “As such, it is prudent for everyone to take protective measures and wear sunscreen,” she adds.

    What Causes White Cast in Sunscreen?

    Every expert I consulted say their biggest gripe with sunscreen is white cast, which is that embarrassing gray or purple tint that leaves dark skin complexions looking, well, like that meme of Mark Zuckerberg surfing. But what exactly causes us to look so chalky?

    The physical blockers found in mineral sunscreens — most notably titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — cause a white cast on dark skin tones, notes Jamal. “You can avoid this effect by buying sunscreens without these ingredients or buying sunblocks with micronized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide,” she says.

    Mineral Versus Chemical Sunscreen

    Sunscreens fall into two categories: mineral and chemical. They are both safe and effective, but also have their benefits and limitations. Here’s an at-a-glance view of both types of sunblocks.

    Chemical Sunscreens


    • Lightweight
    • Does not cause a white cast
    • Readily available from familiar brands like Neutrogena, Banana Boat, and Coppertone


    • 15- to 30-minute wait time before sun exposure
    • Partially soaks into your skin, but “absorption does not equal risk,” says the FDA
    • Not naturally broad-spectrum, meaning you sometimes only get protection from UVA or UVB rays

    Common ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, and homosalate

    Mineral Sunscreens, aka Physical Blockers:


    • Offers immediate sun protection — aka no wait time
    • Naturally broad-spectrum
    • Considered a safer option
    • Gentle enough for sensitive skin and children
    • Typically lasts longer in direct sunlight
    • When white cast fades, it serves as a reminder to reapply


    • Feels heavier than chemical SPFs
    • More likely to cause a white cast

    Common ingredients: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide

    How We Chose

    The only thing better than finally discovering a non-ashy sunscreen that works for dark skin tones is to find the 13 best sunscreens for dark skin tones that have been cosigned by my peers. I also included a few standout options that earned a spot in my medicine cabinet.

    My favorite attribute about these suggestions is that most are founded by women from the Black and AAPI beauty communities. Because who wouldn’t want to shop for beauty products created for us, by us? A bonus: The best sunscreens for dark skin tones start at just $13!

    ” />

    Skip to Content