11 Best Sunscreens For African American Skin – 2024

Keep your skin protected from heat and UV rays with specially formulated products.

Reviewed by Becky Sturm, Esthetician Becky Sturm Becky SturmEsthetician facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Sakshi Bahal MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Edited by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Rajeshwari Das MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Sunscreens ideally protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. But generic sunscreens may also leave a residue if your complexion is a bit darker. Thus, for a darker complexion, you need the best sunscreen for African women. These sunscreens are specially formulated to blend with darker skin colors. Unlike conventional sunscreens, these sunscreens do not make your skin appear chalky or ghostly. A sheer or tinted sunscreen goes well with this complexion. In addition, dermatologists recommend sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, ideal for dark complexion. In this article, we compiled the best sunscreen for African women. Check them out below!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Overall:EltaMD UV Sport Full Body Sunscreen
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For Daily Use:La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Sunscreen
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best Fragrance-Free:Thrive Natural Daily Defence Sunscreen Balm
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best Water-Resistant:Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For All Skin Tone:Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best Anti Aging Formula:Ultrasun Face with SPF 50 Plus
Price on Amazon
Best Cruelty-free:Coppertone Glow Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best Travel-Friendly:La Prairie Cellular Swiss UV Protection Veil
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For All Skin Types:SPAfrica Broad Spectrum SPF 29 Sunscreen Spray
Price on Amazon
Best Cruelty-free:Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen
Price on Amazon

Top 11 Sunscreens For African American Skin

1. Best Overall:EltaMD UV Sport Full Body Sunscreen

The EltaMD UV Sport Full Body Sunscreen is the perfect sunscreen for those with an active lifestyle and people who love spending time outdoors. It is a mineral-based and water-resistant sunscreen. You don’t have to worry about it washing off in the water or burning your eyes when you sweat.

The antioxidant-rich sunscreen protects against free radical damage caused by UV and IR radiation. You get broad-spectrum sun protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen is formulated with zinc oxide and is suitable for use on the face and body. It does not leave a whitish cast on the skin.

Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 2 x 7 inches | Weight: 3 Ounces

Pros
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Oil-free
  • Water-resistant
  • No white cast
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50
  • Travel-friendly packaging
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-drying 

Cons

None

protip_icon Remember
Make sure to store your sunscreen at a cool temperature and away from the sun to maintain its efficiency.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 10,079 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

2. Best For Daily Use:La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Sunscreen

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Sunscreen is a perfect choice if you have sensitive skin. It is a dermatologically tested moisturizing sunscreen and is free of oxybenzone and octinoxate. You get a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB filter, which helps prevent sun damage and premature aging. It is particularly effective against short UVA rays due to the presence of professional-grade Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) in the formula.

The moisturizing effects of this sunscreen keep the skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. The non-greasy, lightweight formula is suitable for use under makeup. With so many promising benefits, it is hardly surprising that this sunscreen has won multiple beauty awards since the time it was launched.

Product Dimensions: 2.13 x 1.5 x 3.8 inches | Weight: 3.4 Ounces

Pros
  • Suitable for use under makeup
  • Non-sticky
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 15
  • Provides 24-hour hydration
  • Allergy tested
  • Octinoxate free
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • PABA-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons
  • Contains parabens

3. Best Fragrance-Free:Thrive Natural Daily Defence Sunscreen Balm

The Thrive Natural Daily Defence Sunscreen Balm is a skin repairing face moisturizer that also provides sun protection. The broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen lotion nourishes, hydrates, and rejuvenates your skin while treating any damage caused by the sun and environmental stressors.

The clinically tested sunblock formula is infused with antioxidants to protect against free radicals. It is a lightweight composition formulated with a zinc oxide mineral base, making it a healthier and safer alternative to chemical sunscreens. It is perfect for dark complexions as it is non-tinted and leaves no white residue on the skin when applied.

Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.1 x 4.8 inches | Weight: 2 Ounces.

Pros
  • Reef-safe
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30
  • No chemical sunscreen filters
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • GMO-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Vegan
  • Made in the USA

Cons
  • Not moisturizing enough

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use the two-finger rule while applying sunscreen. Dispense some amount of the sunscreen along the lengths of your index and middle fingers. This amount is said to be enough to cover your face and neck.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 2,539 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

EltaMD UV Sport Full Body Sunscreen
Best Overall
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Sunscreen
Best For Daily Use
Thrive Natural Daily Defence Sunscreen Balm
Best Fragrance-Free
Dimensions 1.4 x 2 x 7 inches 2.13 x 1.5 x 3.8 inches 1.5 x 1.1 x 4.8 inches
Weight 3 Ounces 3.4 Ounces 2 Ounces.
Rating
Reviews10,0791,7022,539
Price$28$33.99$23.92

4. Best Water-Resistant:Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil

The Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil is ideal when you want lightweight moisturization along with your sun protection. It has a non-greasy formula that leaves your skin with a dewy, radiant glow without feeling heavy. The skin-nourishing ingredients in this sunscreen oil include meadowfoam seed oil, marigold extract, and grape seed oil. Take a look at this video review to learn more about the reviewer’s experience of the product.

The high SPF in the sunscreen provides fantastic UV protection and prevents the signs of UV damage. The spray oil is rich in antioxidants, giving the skin superior sun protection. It also helps that the formula is water-resistant, so you can have your fun-filled day at the beach without worrying about getting burned.

Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 0.9 x 3.4 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces

Pros
  • No greasy residue
  • Provides intense hydration
  • Adds a dewy glow to your skin
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50
  • Water-resistant
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Lightweight formula
  • Clinically tested
  • Paraben-free

Cons
  • May cause breakouts.

5. Best For All Skin Tone:Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion is an excellent sunscreen for African American skin tones. It is an intensely moisturizing lotion, enriched with the goodness of shea butter and coconut oil. The sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so it serves you well for a day at the beach. Remember to reapply at regular intervals.

The formula also contains vitamin E and offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection. It is specially formulated to leave a sheer radiance on the skin without any white, pasty residue.

Product Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 1.6 inches | Weight: 7.2 Ounces

Pros
  • Suitable for all skin tones
  • Sheer finish
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30
  • Provides intense hydration
  • No white residue
  • PABA-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons
  • May irritate sensitive skin.

6. Best Anti Aging Formula:Ultrasun Face with SPF 50 Plus

The Ultrasun Face with SPF 50 Plus offers moisturizing, anti-aging, sun protection. It is an advanced blend of lamellar broad-spectrum SPF50+ protection with GSP-T for Infrared protection and Ectoin. Regular use of this sunscreen helps restore moisture levels to dehydrated skin.

The anti-aging properties of this facial sunscreen help reduce the appearance of signs of aging caused by the sun, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and large pores. The composition is impressively lightweight and non-greasy. It gets absorbed quite easily, making for a quick and hassle-free, even application. You may check more about this product in this video where the reviewer tests the products.

Skin Type: Sensitive | | Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.22 x 4.84 inches | Weight: 3.14 Ounces

Pros
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Clinically tested
  • Water-resistant
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50
  • No added perfume
  • Mineral oil-free
  • No emulsifiers
  • Preservative-free

Cons
  • Expensive

7. Best Cruelty-free:Coppertone Glow Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion

The Coppertone Glow Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion gives you a shimmery glow while keeping your skin protected against sun damage. The lotion contains illuminating shimmer particles that sparkle in the sun and look particularly gorgeous on dark skin tones.

The lotion is also intensely hydrating and makes your skin feel silky soft and smooth. The formula is safe for daily use and especially useful for the time at the beach or pool, as it is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. The lightweight lotion dries quickly and gets absorbed easily.

Product Dimensions: 3.11 x 1.87 x 6.89 inches | Weight: 4.96 Ounces.

Pros
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30
  • Water-resistant
  • Paraben-free
  • PABA-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Oxybenzone-free

Cons
  • Contains added fragrance.
  • Packaging may be half-empty.

8. Best Travel-Friendly:La Prairie Cellular Swiss UV Protection Veil

The La Prairie Cellular Swiss UV Protection Veil is a luxury sunscreen lotion with a lightweight yet intensely hydrating formula. It is naturally enriched with trace elements and minerals that keep your skin moisturized for a long time. The composition also includes a licorice-based brightening complex that controls melanin production and improves skin tone.

The SPF 50 serves as a powerful sun barrier, especially against UVA rays that can cause premature skin aging. This high-performance sunscreen is sheer enough to be layered over a moisturizer in case of dehydrated skin. It also doubles up as a primer for the final step in a skincare ritual.

Product Dimensions: 7.09 x 2.36 x 3.94 inches | Weight: 2.1 Ounces

Pros
  • SPF 50 UVA protection
  • Travel-friendly packaging
  • Melanin-friendly
  • Lightweight formula
  • Provides long-lasting hydration
  • No white residue
  • Gets absorbed easily
  • Non-drying

Cons
  • Expensive
  • Availability may be an issue

9. Best For All Skin Types:SPAfrica Broad Spectrum SPF 29 Sunscreen Spray

The SPAfrica Broad Spectrum SPF 29 Sunscreen Spray provides daily sun protection, keeping your skin safe from UV damage that causes premature aging in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. The nourishing spray formula is lightweight and gets absorbed quickly into your skin.

The moisturizing sunscreen is also free of synthetic fragrances that can irritate your skin. The absence of other harsh chemicals also helps, making this sunscreen sensitive-skin-friendly. It leaves no whitish cast when applied and is particularly well-suited to darker complexions, including African American skin tones.

Skin Type: All

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 29
  • Non-irritating
  • No artificial fragrances
  • Paraben-free
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Made in the USA

Cons
  • Availability may be an issue.
  • Contains octinoxate

10. Best Cruelty-free:Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen

The Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen has a lightweight, transparent, water-gel formula. It does not leave any greasy residue or whitish cast after application. While it is perfect for everyday use, the fact that this sunscreen is not water-resistant makes it unsuitable for a beach or pool day.

It is a sunscreen that feels like a serum and is filled with active microcapsules that are instantly absorbed into the skin. You can layer it with makeup and not worry about the product sitting heavy on your face. It prevents sun damage, neutralizes free radicals, and protects your skin from sunburn. Check out this video to learn more about the tester’s experience with the product.

Pros
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Transparent finish
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 35
  • Paraben-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons
  • Expensive
  • May irritate sensitive skin
  • Not water-resistant

11. Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen

The Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen simultaneously works as a sunscreen, primer, and color corrector! Impressive, right? That’s not all. It is available in several different shades to cater to a wide range of skin tones, ranging from olive to dark chocolate, and does not leave behind that annoying white residue.

The hydrating facial sunscreen helps minimize pores and is formulated with all-natural, reef-safe ingredients to make it safe for your skin and the ocean. The powerful sun protection also comes with the goodness of vitamin E, shea butter, coconut oil, and multiple fruit extracts.

Number of Items: 1

Pros
  • Suitable for all skin tones
  • Reef-safe
  • Cruelty-free
  • No white residue
  • Available in different shades
  • Mineral-based sunscreen

Cons
  • Thick consistency
  • May cause breakouts
  • Availability issues

Infographic: Sunscreen For African Women: Ingredients To Look For, How To Apply, And Sun Safety Tips

Sunscreens are essential. They protect the skin from harmful sun rays and prevent premature signs of aging. Sunscreens for people with dark skin tones will prevent discoloration and reduce the risk of skin cancers. The infographic below provides detailed information about how to choose a sunscreen for people with darker skin, how to apply sunscreen correctly, and tips to protect yourself from the sun.

Sunscreen For African Women (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Constant exposure to the sun can damage your skin and set on early signs of aging. Sunscreens are part of a regular skincare routine that protects your skin from harmful sun rays. Traditional sunscreens may leave residue on darker skin tones and make you look ashy, but these sunscreens for African American skin care are formulated to match your skin tone and avoid chalky appearances. If you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, the EltaMD UV Sport is a good choice due to its UVA and UVB sun protection formula. Those looking for a sunscreen for daily use that offers a non-sticky finish can go for the La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX, while the Glossier Invisible Shield offers a smooth finish without leaving a white cast. In addition, these are cruelty-free, water-resistant, and provide long-lasting hydration. However, some products might irritate sensitive skin and cause acne breakouts. Choose skin-friendly formulations that blend well and do not cause breakouts.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Sakshi Bahal, has a keen interest in makeup and skin care products. She is familiar with the whitish residue that generic sunscreen leaves behind and has, therefore, found a solution for the benefit of her readers. After reviewing every online product review, she has compiled a thorough list of the best sunscreens for African American skin. These products do not make your skin look chalky after application, and the sun rays are kept at bay.

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Becky Sturm

Becky SturmEsthetician

Becky Sturm is a multi hyphenate beauty maven who has been in the salon and spa industry for 30+ years as a hairdresser, esthetician, as well as product development and product expert. After graduating in the HORST/Aveda Institute Advanced Training program in 1985, she went on to do an apprenticeship at The Red Carpet Salons for three years in Minneapolis...read full bio

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