You've probably heard it countess times before: sunscreen is meant for every day wear. But the fact is that not all sunscreen formulas are optimal for every skin tone, especially those with darker complexions. Whether chemical or mineral, many sunscreens are known to not completely disappear on deeper tones even after they're rubbed in. "When formulated incorrectly, opaque ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can cause a white cast," Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Medical College, says. Rather than go without SPF entirely, Henry recommends looking for formulas that include micronized versions of their key ingredients, or incorporate the addition of masking pigments to avoid a ghostly cast.
Of course, we also recommend keeping an eye out for the right level of broad-spectrum sun protection and when it's time to re-up. "I recommend SPF 30 for daily use and SPF 50 whenever you are outside for more than an hour. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours," says Henry. To make it seamless for you to keep your skin protected from the elements, we've pulled together a few dermatologist- and editor-approved sunscreen picks from beloved Black-owned and buzzy tried-and-true brands, like Black Girl Sunscreen, EltaMD, and Fenty Skin that are perfect for melanin-rich skin.
Henry recommends Black Girl Sunscreen to her clients, which is a culty among shoppers who've looked high and low for SPF that genuinely disappears once it's applied to deeper skin tones. Plus, its vegan, fragrance-free formula makes this sunscreen even more versatile.
Not a fan of how sunscreen feels on your face? Consider adding an oil to your daily regimen instead. Mele's lightweight SPF 30 formula is created specifically for melanin-rich skin, and is made without alcohol, mineral oil, or parabens.
One of Rihanna's unofficial goals with her namesake brand Fenty Skin is make suncare glam—and effortless—for all skin tones and types. Enter: the Hydra Vizor SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer, which combines hydration and broad-spectrum protection into one easy step.
As a mineral option, Henry also suggests CeraVe's tinted sunscreen, which offers lightweight SPF 30 protection and features a subtle tint to even your skin tone.
With more than 3,000 reviews and nearly a five-star rating from Dermstore shoppers, Henry's next product pick for melanated skin is flanked with a serious cult following. EltaMD's UV Clear also is a great option for those with acne-prone skin, since it contains ingredients like niacinamide and lactic acid to control oil.
Here's a tinted mineral sunscreen from UnSun Cosmetics that's made with darker tones in mind. It also works well as a primer and color-corrector, in addition to being water-resistant for up to 80 minutes per wear.
Beauty editors and enthusiasts swear by Unseen Sunscreen from Supergoop!, since it not only rubs in invisibly, but is also oil-free and leaves behind a soft, velvety texture.
If you're a fan of Glow Recipe's watermelon-based skincare collection, consider adding this SPF from the brand to your range of essentials. Not only is it optimized for a wide range of skin tones, but it also features ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to soothe and plump skin.
Supermodel Winnie Harlow recently launched this broad-spectrum SPF 50 face moisturizer from her buzzy Cay Skin line, which is fragrance-free in addition to dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested.
This featherweight mineral SPF from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare effortlessly melts into all skin tones, thanks to its transparent, micronized zinc oxide formula.
Created by tennis pro Venus Williams, this fragrance-free sunscreen applies like your go-to serum, and contains 25 percent zinc oxide. Added naturally-derived skin soothers like prickly pear makes it a dream to wear every day.
Over 400 Credo Beauty shoppers and counting love using this moisturizing, reef-safe mineral sunscreen. In addition to providing broad-spectrum protection, it also uses a plant-based probiotic to fortify the skin's barrier.
Here's another tinted sunscreen from tennis star Naomi Osaka's Kinlò collection, which is an every day staple in her beauty routine. "I like to keep things simple for my day-to-day makeup as I don't really wear much, but to prep for meetings and interviews, I typically use our Kinlò Golden Rays Sunscreen," she tells BAZAAR.com. "It has a slight tint, which gives me a great glow on Zoom. It also helps protect my skin against damage from blue light."
This hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested sunscreen is ideal for both darker skin tones and sensitive skin, since it contains centella asiatica to help soothe irritation.
An equal part moisturizer and sunscreen, Bolden Skincare's fan-favorite SPF 30 formula includes brightening vitamin C and deeply moisturizing squalane to improve skin's texture and tone over time.