Best sunscreens for dark skin tones
There is a common misconception that darker skin tones do not need to use sunscreens or other SPF products to protect their skin from genetic damage or skin cancer. In fact, dark skin tones are absolutely susceptible to sun damage and UV radiation. Dark skin tones should use sunscreens daily, just like light skin tones.
One problem that might arise when looking for the right sunscreen for your dark skin tone might be the sheer white finish of many classic mineral sunscreens. Light colored sunscreens can leave light colored residue on dark skin which can resemble dead or dry skin; this does not make for great beach photos. Dark skin tones should look for tinted sunscreens that compliment their pigment, while also keeping in mind whether they have oily or dry skin.
To help you find the perfect tinted sunscreen to compliment your dark skin tone, we’ve narrowed down some of the most effective choices with options for any skin type.
Black Girl Sunscreen has created a sunscreen for every day use, filled with key ingredients, that will protect your skin from the sun and doubles as a moisturizing lotion.
Black Girl Sunscreen dries completely clear so it’s perfect to use before any outdoor activity or even under your favorite makeup products.
Our first pick is Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield SPF. It is one of our favorite tinted sunscreens that offers significant broad spectrum radiation protection. This sunscreen blocks UVA, UVB, blue light, infrared, and even pollution based damage.
Made without oils, this sunscreen is safe for use on acne prone skin types as it does not clog pores. It is safe for use on dry skin types too as it hydrates and moisturizes the skin.
This sunscreen is completely free from chemical additives and is considered hypoallergenic. Rich in antioxidants, this sunscreen also helps bind free radicals on the skin caused by prior sun damage. If you have a dark skin tone and are looking for an oil, sulfate, and fragrance free sunscreen good for any skin type, consider this product!
Another Colorescience product, the Sunforgettable Total Protection brush-on shield SPF 50 is a great choice for sun protection on dark skin toned people who prefer dry application sunscreen. This product applies dried sunscreen onto the skin with a brush, building contour on the face with its rich color and hydrating the skin with non-comedogenic ingredients.
This bronze tinted dry sunscreen is easy to apply, portable, and can be used over makeup without concerns of smudging or running colors. Water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes, this sunscreen is great for prolonged sun exposure, pool days, or outings on the boat. If you’re looking for a tinted sunscreen to use with your makeup products without risk of acne, this might be the perfect sunscreen for you!
EltaMD UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF Tinted Sunscreen is great for smoothing the skin and treating dark spots along with playing a role in many great anti-aging regimens. Made of only natural ingredients, this product is rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals from many kinds of radiation. This tinted sunscreen has a rich color that can be blended into many dark skin tones and it is suitable for all skin types.
As an oil free, non-comedogenic, vegan, and paraben free product, there is no risk of clogged pores or acne from use of this product. This product is recommended by dermatologists as safe for both oily or dry skin.
ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 gives the skin protection from a broad spectrum of radiation. The main mineral component of this sunscreen is zinc oxide, a popular ingredient known for its ability to reflect damaging radiation way from the skin.
As well as protecting from new sun damage, this sunscreen helps the skin produce more collagen which treats pre-existing wrinkles and fine lines. This tinted sunscreen provides a rich, versatile color to the skin that can be used under or over most makeup products. Filled with ingredients like peptides, antioxidants, and DNA Repairsomes®, this sunscreen is a great choice for resistant skin types looking to treat fine lines and wrinkles with their sunscreens.
MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Tinted Lip Balm SPF 30 is a moisturizing sunscreen designed for dry skin types who aren’t prone to acne. This sunscreen is rich in hydrating oils like olive oil, avocado oil, and shea butter. Because of these oils, this product has a creamy, luxurious texture with no sticky finish. Just like all MDSolarSciences products, this formula is gentle on the skin and free of chemical additives. With a balanced, gorgeous tint, this product will not clash with your makeup or leave unsightly white patches on the skin.
As this product is rich with oils, some of which are comedogenic, it is not recommended for acne prone skin types. If your skin is dry, the rich and hydrating ingredients in this product can be a wonderful addition to your skin care routine this summer.
Avene Mineral Tinted Compact SPF 50 Beige is 100% made of mineral ingredients that offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF protection. Designed to be a part of your makeup routine as foundation, this compact is perfect for blending color and keeping the skin safe. It even includes a mirror for easy application on the go! This sunscreen is safe to apply before going swimming, as it is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes before needing a reapplication.
As a powdered product, this sunscreen does not leave a greasy finish, and the final appearance on the skin is a matte finish. This non-irritating sunscreen is safe for even the most sensitive skin and is available in two shades. Just like many other tinted sunscreens, this product does not leave white streaks when dried.
Vichy Capital Soleil Tinted 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 60 is great for a long day outdoors for people with acne prone, oily skin. This sunscreen contains no oils or comedogenic, pore-clogging ingredients. As well as being oil free, this product is also paraben free, allergy safe, and resistant in water for up to 80 minutes.
This sunscreen takes a short while to start working on the skin, so it is recommended to apply liberally 15 minutes before getting direct sun exposure. This sunscreen contains ingredients that have been proven to strengthen the skin barrier and treat skin aging such as titanium dioxide and mineral rich volcanic water. This sunscreen is perfect for a long day on the water for those with acne prone, oily skin.
Obagi Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Warm is a technologically advanced formulation that grants skin protection against a broad spectrum of radiation. Hypoallergenic and free of fragrances, this product is safe for daily use and creates a layer on the skin that keeps it safe from various kinds of free radical oxidation.
On top of all those benefits, this product never leaves a white or greasy residue on the face. This sunscreen is great as a daily morning product to use with makeup or the rest of your skin care routine.
SkinMedica Total Defense Repair SPF 34 Tinted is designed to treat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines caused by skin aging and sun damage. This product is effective in alleviating the depth of wrinkles by helping the skin produce more elastic collagen. This product styles itself as far more than just a sunscreen, but as a “rejuvenating superscreen” filled with antioxidants and broad spectrum protecting ingredients.
With an SPF of 34, this sunscreen should be reapplied every few hours when exposed to direct sunlight. Even with dozens of beneficial active ingredients, this product poses no risk of clogging the pores of acne prone skin or drying out dry skin.
Glyone Acne Tinted Spot Treatment is designed for application onto clogged pores, not the entire face. If you have acne, this product is great for drying and clearing oily blackheads. It can even be applied alongside makeup without resulting in further acne.
This product is best used to target specific acne afflicted spots on the face, not the entire face. It is recommended to apply this product between 1-3 times per day unless excessive dryness occurs. If your skin gets too dry from using this sunscreen, reduce daily use. Overuse of this product can result in dryness; acne treating products like these often strip oil from the skin to reduce clogged pores.
What to keep in mind
If you have a dark skin tone, you are still vulnerable to many kinds of solar radiation and long term sun damage; it is critical to find the right sunscreens for your plans this summer to protect yourself from skin cancer. Dark skin tones have the same skin concerns as light skin tones, from sun damage to acne care. For that reason, not all sunscreens are right for all skin types. As we have gone over, tinted sunscreens can be formulated in many ways to cater towards many kinds of skin. Some sunscreens are designed to hydrate the skin with oils, while some sunscreens are designed to dry the skin and treat acne. At the end of the day, the best sunscreen for your skin depends on your particular skin type and concerns, as well as your plans this summer. There are water resistant, powdered, and sun protective makeup products, meaning there is never a shortage of options when looking for your next favorite sunscreen!