Black Women Share The Sunscreens They Actually Wear Every Day

aimee simeon

Sun damage doesn't discriminate by skin tone. Every one who spends time in the sun without sunscreen is susceptible to sunburn, irritation, and even skin cancer — regardless of how much melanin you have. Unfortunately, all sun-protecting formulas aren't made with brown skin in mind.

Many Black girls will tell you — there are a lot of mediocre sunscreens out there. Some formulas leave behind a noticeable gray tint or, even worse, cover your face with a greasy film. Both results can make you want to forfeit the step all together. However, a few bad apples in the bunch shouldn't deter you from getting the daily sun protection a dermatologist recommends.

There are products on the market that blend into brown skin flawlessly, and we've found them by trial and error. Ahead, we asked several Black women to share their hands-down favorite, holy-grail sunscreens. These picks won't leave you looking ashy or cause a breakout to erupt. Now, you have no more excuses.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer

"In general, sunscreen leaves my brown skin an ashy, blue-ish tint that is not at all cute, but I don’t have that problem with the Superscreen from Supergoop. It’s invisible from the first moment I put it on my face, leaving my skin glowy and hydrated. Even though it’s a bit thicker than the average face lotion, I haven’t had any problems with breakouts since I’ve started using it. I’ve even recommended this sunscreen to several friends, and I’ve heard no complaints." — Jessica Cruel, deputy beauty director

Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer, $38, available at Supergoop!

Glow Recipe Blue Ray Sun Gel

"I was on a press trip to the Hamptons with K-beauty brand Glow Recipe, and Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Gel was stocked in a display by the pool. I grabbed a couple of bottles to bring home and have been hooked ever since. I love it because not only does it cool down my skin while providing UVA and UVB protection, but I'm never greasy or ashy." — Channing Hargrove, fashion writer

Glow Recipe Blue Ray Sun Gel, $32, available at Glow Recipe

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

"I've struggled with sunscreen purchases foreve. Either the smell was off, the texture was chalky, or – the worst of the bunch – it would leave a white cast on my skin. Unseen does none of these things! It goes on matte and completely disappears. The smell is chill, and I never feel like it's clogging my pores. It gets bonus points for making my concealer application smooth, too." — Diana Cenat, Refinery29 first impressionist

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40, $32, available at Sephora

Vichy Aqualia Thermal SPF 25 24-HR Hydrating Fortifying Lotion

"A lot of people complain about sunscreen making their skin look and feel greasy, but when your skin is dry (like mine), extra moisture is critical. This Vichy formula is thick and hydrating, but it absorbs quickly into my skin — so it doesn't look like my face has been deep fried. Even though it dispenses out of the pump white, the product disappears once it's rubbed in, so you don't have to worry about looking ashy either." — Aimee Simeon, beauty writer

Vichy Aqualia Thermal SPF 25 24HR Hydrating Fortifying Lotion, $31, available at DermStore

Elemis Travel Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30

"I never thought that applying sunscreen daily could feel like a luxurious experience — until I used this Elemis formula. It has a cooling sensation when it first touches the skin and a lightweight, gel-cream texture. Oftentimes when I'm wearing it, I forget I'm even wearing sunscreen." — Simeon

Elemis Travel Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30 15ml, $45, available at Elemis

Specific Beauty Active Radiance Day Broad Spectrum Facial Moisturizers

"This formula does the opposite of what you'd expect from a sunscreen. It gives brown skin a golden highlight, versus an ashy cast. I love using it on my bare-faced days to give my skin a natural-looking highlight without having to apply makeup." — Simeon

Specific Beauty Active Radiance Day Broad Spectrum Facial Moisturizers, $34.99, available at Target

Palmer's Moisturizing Sunscreen Sheer Spray SPF 30

"Palmer’s is one of the few brands that has never let me down when it comes to sun protection. I’m never left with a purple cast, and I can forgo lotion because it contains natural moisturizers like cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil. Plus, it blends in quickly to my skin, so reapplying is always quick and mess-free." — Kareen Jeanty, sales and education administrator, Charlotte Tilbury

Palmer's Moisturizing Sunscreen Sheer Spray SPF 30, $11.99, available at Palmer's

Glossier Invisible Shield

"The consistency of this sunscreen isn't creamy, which I like, and it applies very smoothly under my makeup. As a brown girl, I'm always looking to make sure that my sunscreen doesn't make me look ashy or washed out, and this product doesn't do that at all! I love that I can wear this with or without makeup and not feel caked down with an additional step when I'm getting ready. Oh, and a little goes a long way, which is great when you're trying to do skin care on a budget." — Jame Jackson, style & beauty Writer, BuzzFeed

Glossier Invisible Shield, $25, available at Glossier

Neutrogena Hydroboost Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion

"This formula has been one of my favorites because it's easily accessible in drugstores and moisturizes my skin better than a lot of high-end creams. It's infused with hyaluronic acid, which is beneficial for all skin types. It's so hydrating that I've been able to cleanse, apply this SPF, and retain moisture all day long. Easily the best lazy girl hack." — Ashley White, licensed esthetician

Neutrogena Neutrogena Hydroboost Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion , $7.99, available at Target

Black Girl Sunscreen

"The name of this sunscreen drew me in, but the performance made me a believer. It applies like butter and works so well underneath makeup, so there's no excuse for not fitting it into my morning routine. The moisturizing formula avoids the mineral ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that are known to leave a white cast on darker skin tones. It's also free of fragrance and drying alcohols, which is ideal for my fellow eczema sufferers and others with sensitive skin." — White

Black Girl Sunscreen Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30, $18.98, available at Black Girl Sunscreen

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