The best sunscreen for dark skin is a sunscreen that won’t leave you looking like you took a swim in liquid flour. It also doesn’t melt off of your face after only a few hours. How many of us have been there too many times? Long gone are the days of ashy sunscreen. Lucky for us, there are a lot of different types of sunscreens that are very melanin friendly and don’t leave your face overly greasy.
A few quick but very important notes on sunscreen: You should wear sunscreen year round and especially when it’s overcast outside as your skin is still being affected by the sun (clouds are not natural sun protection). Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before you leave the house so that it has has time to settle into your skin. Mineral sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide start working immediately so there is no need to wait before you go outside. Since most sunscreens are also moisturizing, you can skip applying moisturizer to your face. SPF stands for sun protection factor. You should buy a broad spectrum sunscreen when possible as broad spectrum sunscreens filter both UVA and UVB rays. UVA and UVB rays are the ultraviolet rays that reach the earth from the sun. UVA rays penetrate your skin more deeply than UVB and are one of the key factors in skin aging, tanning and wrinkling while UVB rays are more responsible for sun burns and bright red skin.
According to SkinCare.org, The SPF number is not an amount of protection from the sun. Instead, it’s more of a time indicator of UVB rays to start affecting your skin versus without any protection. So SPF 15 means that it will take 15 times longer than without sunscreen. “An SPF 15 sunscreen screens 93 percent of the sun’s UVB rays; SPF 30 protects against 97 percent; and SPF 50, 98 percent. The Skin Cancer Foundation maintains that SPFs of 15 or higher are necessary for adequate protection.”
ALL NATURAL AND/OR MINERAL BASED
Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30: Mineral based and 100% natural, chemical-free.
Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50: A really great all around sunscreen at the top of the sunscreen game. Formulated with vitamin E, green tea and lactobionic acid and is also really great for mature skin.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Tinted Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen SPF 50: Great for sensitive skin.
ALL SKIN TYPES
Aveeno Active Naturals Protect + Hydrate for Face SPF 50: Absorbs fast and looks natural.
Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40
L’Oreal Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer Face Lotion SPF 50
Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30. A great classic go-to and works really great under makeup.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face and Body Stick Sunscreen SPF 70
Renee Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30: Great all skin types and especially for oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin.
SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50: Tinted, mattifying and works on all skin types.
Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist With Rosemary SPF 50: This is a great three in one refresher sunscreen that provides UV protection and also sets makeup and helps control oil and shine.
Solbar Zinc Sunscreen SPF 38: All all around winner and popular dermatologist recommendation. It’s great for all skin types and combinations. It also has has zinc oxide which makes this a win-win sunscreen.
NORMAL TO DRY SKIN
Clarins Sunscreen Stick For Sun-Sensitive Areas SPF 30
Clinique Sun Broad Spectrum Face Cream SPF 30
EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40: Best for dry skin. Can have a slight white cast if it’s not rubbed in well since it’s formulated with zinc oxide.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55
Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Lotion SPF 30?
COMBINATION AND OILY SKIN
Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer for Combination/Oily Skin SPF 15
Olay Professional Pro-X Age Repair Lotion SPF 30: Best for normal to combination and oily skin. Very oily or acne prone skin may find this is not strong enough to block oil all day.
Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening and Protection Lotion SPF 15: Fades spots, oil free and fragrance free for those who hate the sunscreen smell.
ACNE PRONE AND SENSITIVE SKIN
Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Face Stick SPF 50: Gentle enough for sensitive faces.
MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Crème Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30: Great for acne and rosacea-prone skin.
Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen SPF 30: A good choice for acne prone skin.
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60
Not many of us are going to be stripping off our makeup just to reapply sunscreen. Who really has time for all of that? That’s more than enough reason for you to check out our new favorite from the list that works on all skin types, Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist With Rosemary SPF 50. If you start with a broad spectrum under your makeup and aren’t directly in the sun all day, this is a good, must-have touch up sunscreen.
To healthy skin!