Words by Sephora Landu
There’s a common myth that people with deeper skin tones don’t need sun cream. Wrong. Let trusted aesthetician, Mojisola, founder of the Moji Skin Clinic, explain: ‘Although skin of colour is naturally more protective from the harmful rays from the sun, melanated skin can still burn and can still be susceptible to sun-induced damage.’ Which means that if you’ve been forgoing this important step, you need to read on about the best sun creams for dark skin tones.
Sun damage does more than burning
And of course, there’s another reason for making sure you include this step. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, exposure to sunlight is responsible for up to 90% of visible ageing. And as we know, the best skincare routine really is worthless if you aren’t wearing a daily high factor SPF. This means that sun protection is important for everyone, regardless of skin colour. The problem is that even the very best sun creams on the market don’t seem to be made with dark skin tones in mind, despite sun damage being a universal issue. Instead, a majority of SPF moisturisers and facial sunscreens on the market today leave a chalky or greasy look on deeply melanated skin.
‘Although there are several products on the market, very few brands have nailed a formula which does not leave a white cast,’ says Mojisola. There’s no doubt more options need to become available. But in the meantime we’ve handpicked the ones stepping up to the magnificent melanin plate, and delivering daily sun protection minus the unwanted greyish/white residue.
It’s tricky to find a really good every day sun cream for dark skin that doesn’t leave behind a nasty white residue. Luckily we’ve done the hard work so that you don’t have to. We’ve found the best sun creams on the market that suit darker skin tones.
Shop our edit of the six best sun creams for dark skin tones
This is a cult favourite, not only does it have a high SPF, but it also leaves no white residue. Making it a must-have. This chemical sun cream is perfect for dry and sensitive skin, it’s non-greasy and, most importantly, coral reef friendly. This light formula is packed with La Roche-Posay’s exclusive thermal spring water loaded with natural ingredients nourishing the skin, whilst delivering broad-spectrum protection against UVB/UVA rays.
A light body sun cream with hydrating and soothing qualities. The sun gel cream is easy to wear due to its ultra-comfortable non-greasy texture and mattifying properties that create a dry touch feel. This is another clinically-tested chemical sun cream, that is free from octinoxate and oxybenzone, chemical ingredients that are environmentally unfriendly to coral reefs. Suitable for all skin types and all skin tones, leaving no white cast.
Made specifically with darker complexions in mind, this one offers a natural finish, sun protection for up to two hours and performs like a daily moisturiser. Organic ingredients such as avocado revitalise the skin, reducing signs of premature ageing and provides relief for sunburned skin. Black Girl Sunscreen shields against the sun’s harmful rays whilst aiding in moisture loss prevention. Making it a great sun cream for all skin types and tones.
Dermatologically tested, this colourless daily sunscreen has a lightweight water-gel formula that makes it breathable - and yes, you guessed it non-greasy. Ideal for all skin types, especially oily skin as it is non-comedogenic (meaning no clogged pores). This works perfectly with makeup, by leaving no white residue whilst defending against free radicals and potential sun-induced damage.
Recommended by Mojisola, this facial moisturiser with SPF 25 is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. Tailored for normal to dry sensitive skin, this protects the moisture barrier with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help calm and replenish the skin. "Being able to differentiate a tan and a burn could potentially be lifesaving. As we know, skin cancer does not discriminate," says Mojisola.
A cruelty-free formulated sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection. This light-touch clear serum blends seamlessly into the skin, containing a series of antioxidants, such as grape juice and sunflower shoot extract, perfect for minimising fine lines and inflammation. This light silky formula works with all skin types including sensitive skin.