The 18 Best Sunscreens for Dark Skin Tones

Sunscreens that will never, ever leave a cast.

Sunscreens for Dark Skin
(Image credit: Delmaine Donson / Getty )

Some skincare myths that need to be dispelled: Coconut oil is a good moisturizer (it's not); makeup wipes count as cleansing your skin (they don't); and not everyone needs sunscreen (they do). That last myth particularly irks me, because believing it can endanger your health. For so long, we've been told that people who have dark skin don't need to use sunscreen religiously, and it's just not true.

Yes, dark skin needs sunscreen, too.

In this myth's defense, there are some reasons why people might still believe it. For one thing, we've been taught that the main sign of sun damage is an itchy, red sunburn. For people with darker complexions, that sign is not always present. But redness is not the only sign of damage, even for people with pale skin. Sun damage caused by the sun's rays is present within skin cells and may not always be visible to the eye. Everyone, regardless of skin tone, is vulnerable to skin cancer.

Sunscreen hasn't always been formulated for darker skin tones.

While sunscreen should be worn every day, it's also true that there weren't always a ton of sunscreens available that were designed and marketed for people of color. So many sunscreens leave white casts that don't blend well on darker skin tones, for example.

But things are finally changing, and now many brands—including some truly incredible Black-owned beauty brands—are creating sunscreen formulated specifically for dark skin tones, designed to protect without leaving a messy cast. Our favorites, below.

Tatjana Freund
Tatjana Freund

Tatjana Freund is a Beauty Commerce Writer, covering makeup, skincare, and haircare products and trends. She's a fan of vodka tonics and creepy Wikipedia pages.