Raise your hand if you’ve ever grown frustrated trying to rub in sunscreen that leaves a ghostly white tinge all over your body. Sunscreen is important for everyone—even people with dark skin tones—but many sunscreens are tinted or white cast. Because that doesn’t work well with more melanated skin, people with darker skin tones can be tempted to skip the SPF.
Dark skin needs sunscreen, too
“Anyone can get skin cancer regardless of race, ethnicity or skin tone,” the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) warns. “Although skin cancer is rare in people with melanin-rich skin, when they do get it, it’s often diagnosed at a later stage.”
Sun protection is critical, even on overcast days or for brief periods outside.
“No matter your skin tone, you need sun protection and you need to reapply it. Your skin is damaged by sun exposure over your lifetime, (i.e. the damage is cumulative), whether or not you burn and regardless of your skin tone,” said Patricia Boland, VP of Research and Development at Colorescience. “Going unprotected on an overcast day can lead to skin damage. Similarly, those quick outings on sunny days like walking to the mailbox, shuffling the kiddos to and from school, or even walking the dog can add up to hours of unprotected UV exposure.”
Top sunscreens for dark skin
So how do you balance an intense desire to not cosplay as Casper with the need to protect your skin? SkinSpirit recommends these options by Colorescience when you’re on the hunt for sunscreen for dark skin.
First up is Colorescience Total Protection™ No-Show™ Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50, a new product that was named 2023 Best Mineral Sunscreen by InStyle Beauty Buys. No-Show™ Mineral is a sheerest-of-the-sheer, all-mineral sunscreen that blends in easily.
Next, there’s Colorescience® Sunforgettable ® Total Protection™ Face Shield Flex SPF – SkinSpirit, which comes in three shades: Medium, Tan, and Deep. This one’s a lightweight, mineral sunscreen with tinted color coverage that immediately evens skin tone for a flawless look.
Everyone should be wearing sunscreen, every day and reapplying when spending time outside or in the water. Remember: Sunscreen not only reduces your UV exposure and risk of skin cancer, it also prevents premature aging. Find your favorite—at least SPF 15, please!—and keep it handy all year long.