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.
- Alaffia offers a daily face lotion with broad spectrum protection (SPF 15).
- Blk + GRN offers a broad spectrum tinted mineral sunscreen for the face by Unsun (SPF 30). A broad spectrum black girl sunscreen (SPF 30) is also offered.
- Bolden offers a hydrating broad spectrum SPF 30 brightening moisturizer as a part of their facial line of products.
- Bree and Milly offers a natural sunscreen (SPF about 15) in a deodorant container for easy travel.
- Clear Essence offers a moisturizing body lotion (SPF 15), and a moisturizing skin milk (body toning lotion) with a SPF of 15 that protects against UVA and UVB sunlight. Finally, a medicated fade cream (SPF 15, with UVA and UVB protection) to reduce dark spots is available.
- Iman Cosmetics offers an oil free moisture complex (SPF 15) and an all day moisture complex (SPF 15) for the face.
- Fashion Fair offers a perfect finish cream to powder foundation (SPF 12) in 16 colors. Also, several products in their “Vantex” line for uneven skin (i.e., dark spot corrector, skin bleaching cream, and true tone moisturizer) have a SPF of 15.
- Joy Lorraine Cosmetics offers an advanced protection sunscreen (SPF 30) for the face that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Creme powders (SPF 20, broad spectrum) and creme blend and stick foundations (SPF 15) are also available.
- Nyraju offers a daytime solar defense mineral moisturizer (SPF 30) that blends into the skin.
- Specific Beauty offers a water resistant and broad spectrum (SPF 30) active radiance day moisturizer that is light weight and oil free.
- The Butter Bar Skincare offers a natural (SPF 15) melan-in skin nourishing lotion for the body.
- Tyra Beauty offers flawsome face (SPF 30) in 9 tints. The 3 in 1 product provides moisture, sun protection, and evens out skin tone.
- Unsun offers diverse SPF products that can be found on their products page. These include a SPF 30 mineral face sunscreen, a SPF 15 hand cream, and several SPF 18 lip tints.
- Vera Moore Cosmetics offers a broad spectrum SPF 25 sunscreen.
More information about sunscreens can be found in the references.
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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/