These sunscreens for dark skin won't leave a white cast
As temps continue to rise, daily sun protection is more critical than ever. And while some with darker skin tones assume they are exempt from the damage of the sun’s harsh rays, the truth is, melanin is not as resistant as one might think. No matter your skin tone, you need to be wearing sunscreen every day, without fail. Yes, even when you’re barely going to be outside!
What you don’t need is the dreaded white cast (and subsequent flashback!) that comes along with traditional sunscreens. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best sunscreens for dark skin tones that never leave you with that annoying residue.
1. Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
A contemporary fave in the sunscreen game, Elta’s calming and protective formula uses physical blockers versus chemical blockers for a welcome change. It goes on clear so you can go about your day without the fear of a white layer between you and your makeup.
2. Dr. Brandt's Liquid Sun Shield Daily Brightening Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
With a dropper bottle and serum-like formula, this mineral sunscreen means you don’t have to mess with thick creams again. Lightweight enough for summer months and moisturizing enough for cooler months, it’s an SPF that you’ll want in your rotation regularly.
3. Black Girl Sunscreen
Specifically made for people of color, this moisturizing lotion is infused with natural ingredients that soothe, moisturize, protect, hydrate, and heal your skin, leaving you with a smooth, consistent skin tone. No fragrances, no parabens, no silicones, no aluminum, and most importantly, no white residue.
4. Melé Dew The Most Sheer Moisturizer SPF 30
Created for dark skin tones, this easily absorbed SPF provides the invisible protection and hydration you need to really shine. It’s also formulated with niacinamide and vitamin E to fight signs of aging.
5. Eleven by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35
Created by tennis star Venus Williams and clean market Credo Beauty, this award-winning serum sunscreen is destined to be a long-reigning champ. The 100% mineral SPF keeps skin looking like (beautiful, hydrated) skin. And bonus points? It’s reef-safe, too!
6. Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen
Any beauty or skincare product from Rihanna is sure to be a winner, and this 2-in-1 moisturizer and sunscreen is no different. Designed to sit well with her other products and yours, the clear SPF offers light-as-air hydration, invisible sun protection, and brightens the skin while reducing the look of pores.
7. Glossier Invisible Shield
One of the first to realize the need for transparent sunscreen, Glossier created a grail with Invisible Shield. Beloved for its satin-like, colorless texture, the water-gel formula feels like a serum that protects against sun damage and skin cancer and works to neutralize harmful free radicals.
8. StriVectin Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 Illuminating Cream
When you have a darker skin tone, it can be tough to find illuminating products that suit your complexion. StriVectin’s SPF eliminates that concern with its super-fine shimmer particles that impart that “lit-from-within” glow you’re going for.
9. Tula Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Known for its prebiotic-based products, Tula ups the ante with their Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel, including papaya and pineapple enzymes to fight hyperpigmentation while guarding you against the sun.
10. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion
The drugstore legend has plenty of sunscreens to choose from, but this zero-trace formula is a must-have for your vanity, purse, and more. Quenching the skin with vital hydration, it delivers UVA/UVB protection with a water-light, refreshing feel.
You have to wear SPF, but you don’t have to look like it
Finding the right sunscreen is no easy feat— the SPF you reach for should work with your skin type and tone, your sensitivities, and the rest of your product routine. Whether you need added moisture, an illuminated base, or fragrance-free formulations, use this list of sunscreens for darker skin tones to explore your perfect match. No matter which you choose, you’ll be able to let your skin shine sans white cast.
1. "The Best Brown Girl-Approved Sunscreens That Don't Leave a White Cast," Allure, April 28, 2021.