9 Sunscreens That Work Best on Brown Skin

The message about sunscreen hasn’t changed. We need skin protection, no matter what color complexion we have. Melanoma, the most common of skin cancers, is nothing to play with, and it’s far more deadly in people of color. But truth is, some brands of sunscreen have a bad rep for leaving a white residue on darker skin. No wonder so many of us go without. Luckily, sunscreens have become more melanin-friendly over the years. Below find a handy list of products that absorb well into the skin while protecting it from the harsh rays of the sun.

Eventone Suncare Moisturizing Sunscreen Cocoa Butter, $9.99

You recognize Palmer’s from its popular cocoa butter. So, it’s no surprise that its sunscreen line is formulated with cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil. It contains no white residue, and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. The added CocoaPlex technology also helps prevent dark spots and an uneven tone, and premature aging.

Did you know? Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays.

It’s touted as the sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen. Sound like you? Well, Glossier’s Invisible Shield has a clear watergel formula filled with active microcapsules that instantly absorb into skin with no greasy residue and zero white cast — a win for dark complexions. The formula also works to prevent sun damage and skin cancer. But it isn’t water-resistant so try a water-resistant sunscreen if you’re swimming.

UNSUN’s Mineral Tinted Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen, $29

Created from a blend of shea butter, vitamin E, coconut oil and five different fruit extracts, this zinc oxide and titanium dioxide broad-spectrum sunscreen blends into skin without a trace. Perfect for olive to dark chocolate skin tones. Its moisture-rich formula offers SPF 30 sun protection.

Did you know? All sunscreens should be applied approximately every two hours or according to time on the label, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.

Looking for vegan sunscreens? E.L.F.’s cruelty-free moisturizer is infused with replenishing ingredients to provide lightweight hydration. Its breathable performance formula is designed to be sweat resistant to help keep you looking shine-free on hot, summer days.


Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen With Broad Spectrum SPF 70, $9

From Aveeno, this moisturizing lotion with a powerful SPF is made with soothing, active natural oats to help nourish and hydrate your skin. The result? Soft and healthier looking skin. The exclusive sunscreen lotion formula is fast-absorbing, won’t cause blackheads,  and is oil-free to protect your pores.

Daily Defense Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion With SPF 30, $40

On the pricier side, ExtraShade’s sunscreen includes ingredients like kiwi extract to improve dullness and reduce dark circles around the eyes. Gotta love that! It also has a revitalizing hyaluronic acid to give your skin a smoother feel.

Did you know? The FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least three years. 

Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil With SPF 30, $13

Beautiful skin needs protection as it ages, too. Take on the sun’s rays and maintain youthful-looking skin with L’Oreal’s Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil. It has 8 essential oils to penetrate into skin’s surface layer for long-lasting hydration, ultra-soft comfort and a healthy glow.


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