The Best Sunscreens for Darker Skin Tones


It’s summer and now that warmer weather is upon us it’s time for the infamous skincare chat. No need to panic, we get it, you’re no amateur, after all, the number of moisturizers you own would put Sephora to shame. You’re an exfoliation queen, a mask maven, a pore-less dream! As I said, we don’t doubt your fluidity nor is this a “Throw your routine out in light of the new season” post. Our update is simple...We come in peace, and hope that you leave with.... an SPF! That’s right, we’re here to talk sunscreen. What is it? what’s up with that chemical vs physical war? And most importantly, which one should you add to your skincare entourage without fear of white cast?

With all the interesting skincare misconceptions surrounding sunscreen floating around (not to mention all the different product options), we came up with a guide highlighting Three of our favorite sunscreen products that offer maximum protection without the white cast! y

But first, Do black people even need sunscreen?

Everyday sun exposure is in the most part unavoidable. Especially during those warmer months where beaches, and backyard play are common, however, getting too much sun does come with a number of risks that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only is sun exposure your skin's greatest enemy when it comes to sunburn and photoaging but getting too much sun unprotected can also increase your chances of getting skin cancer. Now, it's true that people of color are less likely to develop skin cancer but we still need sunscreen to protect us from developing or worsening hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions. This is why dermatologists, moms, and estheticians alike love to push the importance of sunscreen.

Sunscreen is the only product on the market that protects against the sun’s harmful UV radiation.  Sadly, only about 33% of the population wears sunscreen and out of that 33%, only 5% know the difference between a physical sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen.

So what is the difference? Does it matter?

Physical, or naturally based sunscreens, contain active mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium which work by sitting on top of the skin offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays, whereas, chemical formulas) work by penetrating both the epidermis and dermis changing UV rays into heat and later releasing that heat from the skin. Outside of the ingredients, the key difference between a chemical and physical sunscreen is the wear time. Chemical sunscreens offer a longer wear time than a physical sunscreen, chemical sunscreens last an average of six hours whereas physical sunscreens require you to re-apply every two-three hours. Our estheticians usually make SPF recommendations based on the clients' lifestyle, for example. If you're outside for long periods of time without time to re-apply we recommend choosing a chemical sunscreen, however, if you're home often or have frequent breaks within your day we recommend reaching for a Physical SPF.


Now that you know the importance of sunscreen and that, Yes, black people do indeed need sunscreen too, I'm sure you're wondering which sunscreens won't leave you looking pasty or purple. As promised we've rounded up a list of sunscreens that work perfectly with darker skin tones and we promise they won't disappoint!


1. Black girl sunscreen


Black girl sunscreen was created specifically by black women for people of color. Black girl sunscreen is a chemical sunscreen that dries completely clear so it’s perfect to use before any outdoor activity or even under your favorite makeup products. We recommend this product for those with more of a Normal to dry skin type as it contains Jojoba oil and maybe a little too much in consistency for oily skin types. Ready to buy? You can purchase black girl sunscreen right here on


2. Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer


Bolden is a Black-woman owned business that’s committed to making beauty products that really work well for women of color. Their SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer is a chemcial sunscreen that combines advanced ingredients with broad-spectrum sunscreen to visibly improve the look and feel of skin. Nourishing moisturizers and robust antioxidants help restore hydration and radiance while SPF 30 sunscreen guards against UV damage. Vitamin C lies at the heart of our formulation, providing brightening corrective properties and counteracting daily oxidative damage. This amazing Sun protector is available for purchase here


3. UNSUN Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen

Unsun is a Black woman-owned brand created by Katonya Breaux and made especially for people of all complexions, this is a 100% mineral sunscreen primer and color corrector in one! This sunscreen was formulated to cover a range of skin tones from olive to dark chocolate without leaving behind a ghostly residue. Allow Unsun to minimize your pores and moisturize your skin. Feel free to wear alone or as a primer under your makeup. The incredible blend of natural extracts (see ingredient lists for them all) adds to this amazingly clean, non-animal tested, and reef-safe formulation. Stay protected! You can pre-order the unsun restock here.

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
You have successfully subscribed!