Contrary to popular belief, people of color need sunscreen, but what do the best sunscreens for dark skin tones need to include? One board-certified dermatologist tested out numerous sunscreens and came up with eight that work wonders for dark skin tones.
HOW TO TELL WHETHER A SUNSCREEN IS SUITABLE FOR DARK SKIN TONES
If you are a dark-skinned woman and you are using a chemical sunscreen, stop now and step away. What you actually need is a mineral-based sunscreen that is tinted with iron oxide, according to Dr. Alexis Stephens. Using a chemical sunscreen on melanated skin can worsen your hyperpigmentation, while mineral-based sunscreens work as a sunblock against ultraviolet radiation.
Once you have selected a mineral-based sunscreen, you need to make sure it contains UVA and UVB protection. UVA protects your skin against aging and hyperpigmentation, while UVB protects your skin from burning which can cause skin cancer.
Chemical VS Mineral Sunscreens
Chemical Sunscreens have an invisible finish and tend to be harsher than a mineral sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens are widely available, but are not the best for people with sensitive skin or dark skin tones. Mineral sunscreens are more gentle on the skin and usually feel like you are applying moisturizer. They also are more sustainable and friendly to the environment.
What is Iron Oxide?
Iron Oxide adds a tint to your moisturizer and protects your skin from visible light. It is derived from natural minerals which you can find in most mineral-based sunscreens. Visible light can lead to darkening of the skin and hyperpigmentation. Sunscreens that include iron oxide work to block your skin from further hyperpigmentation. This is a very gently ingredient that is safe for your skin and works well for sensitive skin types.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
SPF 30 or higher is great in proving almost 100% protection again damaging sunlight. While SPF protects against UVB radiation, it is important to not pick the highest UVB protecting sunscreen. According to the Insider, as the UVB protection, in a sunscreen, goes up, the UVA protection goes down. It’s best to find a more balanced sunscreen that equally protects against both.
Zinc oxide is an FDA approved ingredient that provides protection against the sun and needs to be included in your sunscreen. It protects your skin cells and slows aging, while preventing dryness in the skin.
A DERMATOLOGIST’S PICKS OF BEST SUNSCREENS FOR DARK SKIN TONES
This is an environmentally safe sunscreen that has anti-aging properties. It protects your skin from the sun, while leaving your skin hydrated.
This sunscreen is great for every type of skin, but specifically those with sensitive skin types. This sunscreen rubs nicely into the skin and will calm the effects of visible light.
Venus Williams is not only known for tennis, but creating a great sunscreen for melanin-rich women. This mineral-based sunscreen is vegan and packed with ingredients needed to protect your skin from the sun.
This product is all three packed into one. You not only get protection from the sun, but skin care benefits and a silky makeup finish.
This is a hydrating sunscreen that will leave you with a polished finish. It contains nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
This is a 3-in-1 sunscreen that protects you from UVB and UVA radiation. It contains amazing ingredients that fight anti-aging and leaves your skin feeling hydrated.
This vegan sunscreen is perfect for day to day use and leaves your skin with a natural glow.
If dewy is not your thing, then you can opt for this sunscreen that will leave you with a matte finish. It minimizes the appearance of pores and provides sun protection for all skin types.