I know that black doesn’t crack and all, but it is the year of our Lord 2019 and guess what? Black women need sunscreen too!! Once I started taking my skincare very seriously, I read a lot about the importance of sunscreen especially when using products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or retinols, which make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Without sunscreen, the pesky dark spots or hyperpigmentation that many black women struggle with only get darker. Which is literally the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish. Anyway, over the last two years of my skincare journey I’ve tried many a sunscreen, and I’ve identified five of the best sunscreens for black women that don’t leave a white cast.
P.S. Sunscreens are usually classified as either mineral/physical sunscreens or chemical sunscreens. Mineral/physical sunscreens contain natural products like zinc or titanium oxide which reflect sun rays (and often are responsible for the white cast). Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals like avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octinoxate that absorb sun rays and convert them to heat before releasing them. There is ongoing debate on which is better for your skin and for the environment, so do your own research to decide if you prefer one particular kind.
Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen SPF 42 – If you struggle with oily/combination skin, this sunscreen was made for you because it is MATTE. It has a light and watery consistency, which makes it easy to spread, especially over other skincare. Mineral & chemical sunscreen.
Dermalogica PowerBright TRx Pure Light SPF 50 – If you’re not into a 17 step makeup routine and want a sunscreen that also helps even out your skin tone, then this is the product for you. It also contains hyaluronic acid so great to use as a one step moisturizer/sunscreen combo, but will leave you on the more glistening side. Chemical sunscreen.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 – This was actually the first sunscreen that I used and fell in love with, because it is specifically made for acne prone skin. It contains niacinamide and lactic acid so is another skincare sunscreen combo that is great for troubled skin, and I would say the finish is somewhere between the Shiseido matte and the Dermalogica glisten. Mineral & chemical sunscreen.
Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 – Now I had to include a body sunscreen in here because our bodies need sunscreen too, and I recently took this product with me to the beach and shook my head in sad remembrance of all the minutes I’ve wasted trying to rub in body sunscreen until the white went away. This spray on formula goes on white but immediately rubs on clear, making it a must-have for your beach bag. Mineral sunscreen.
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 – I haven’t tried it myself because my local Target won’t let me be great but I’m including this brand because I’ve heard SO so many great things about it. Buying black owned products is always a plus, but apparently this lives up to its promise of absolutely no white cast. It does contain a lot of oils so I’m not sure how it holds up for oily/combo skin (some reviews say it’s on the oilier side), but at this price, it’s worth a try. Chemical sunscreen.