Although individuals with darker skin have some natural protection against sunburn, the extent of protection depends on the amount of pigmentation. Irregardless, it is important to protect your skin year round, especially when spending prolonged periods outside. Though a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 may work, depending on the extent of sun exposure, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends a sunscreen product with a SPF of 30, and with broad spectrum protection. This indicates protection against both the sun’s ultraviolet longer (UVA) and shorter (UVB) waves. Furthermore, some sunscreen ingredients are better than others. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) cautions against sunscreen products with retinoids (vitamin A related) as in conjunction with sunlight, this can pose health risks. Whereas other ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are better. There are many sunscreen products from black owned brands. Accordingly, you can review the descriptions, ingredients, and SPF levels to decide which products (whether for the face or body) work best for you. See the product links below.
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- Black Girl Sunscreen offers a moisturizing sunscreen for the face and body (SPF 30). Similarly, a moisturizing sunscreen for kids is also available (SPF 50). Black Girl Sunscreen is available at Target (advertisement) and Ulta (advertisement).
- BLK + GRN (advertisement) USE the discount code shopwithleslie to receive your benefits when shopping. Find black girl sunscreens for adults (SPF 30) and children (SPF 50).
- Eleven By Venus Williams (advertisement) offers a selection of sunscreens that include lip balms (SPF 15) and broad spectrum sunscreens (SPF 30 & 35). Products are also available on Amazon (advertisement).
- The Lip Bar (advertisement) offers a selection of 3 in 1 tinted skin conditioners in 8 colors (SPF 11).
- Unsun (advertisement) offers diverse SPF products that can be found on their products page. These include SPF 30 mineral face sunscreens, a SPF 15 hand cream, and an everyday SPF 15 body lotion.
- Unsun sunscreen for the face is also available on Amazon (advertisement).
- Urban Hydration (advertisement) offers a moisture locking body lotion that is formulated with castor oil and Shea butter (SPF 30).
- BLK/OPL offers a skin perfecting stick foundation in 16 colors (SPF 15). An even true oil free moisturizing lotion is also available (SPF 15). Products are also available on Amazon.
- Bolden offers a hydrating broad spectrum SPF 30 brightening moisturizer as a part of their facial line of products. It is also available on Amazon (advertisement).
- Bree & Milly offers a natural sunscreen with coconut oil, edelweiss extract, Shea butter, and other ingredients with natural sun protection.
- Joy Lorraine Cosmetics offers an advanced protection sunscreen (SPF 30) for the face that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Creme blend foundations (SPF 15) are also available.
In reviewing these sunscreens, I hope you find one or more that work for you.
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- American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). “Sunscreen FAQs.” https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs
- Environmental Working Group. “The Trouble with Ingredients in Sunscreens.” https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/#.WyG3viAnaUk
- Environmental Working Group. “EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens.” https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/#.WyGx1iAnaUl
- Paula, Elle. “Dark Skin & Sun Protection.” 8 July, 2017. https://www.livestrong.com/article/79484-hyperpigmentation-dark-skin/