The 10 Best Sunscreens for Dark Skin Tones

Felicia Walker Benson
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Felicia Walker Benson has been blogging since 2006, pouring her heart and soul into her passion for beauty. Walker Benson, who serves as editor in chief for top-rated beauty blog ThisThatBeauty, is a highly sought-after authority in the industry. She has appeared on TV programs like the Today show and in beauty publications such as Allure, Ebony, and Marie Claire. Each month, Walker Benson gives Byrdie readers tips and recommendations on the best in hair and beauty for women of color. If it’s happening in beauty, Felicia is on it—with red lips in tow!

We’ve all read magazine articles where your It girl du jour is asked, “If stranded on a deserted island, what’s the one product you cannot live without?” The response is usually some exclusive miracle cream that’s guaranteed to set you back half a week’s salary. I’m always surprised that the answer isn’t “sunscreen.” Sunscreen is the one skincare product that addresses a myriad of concerns, particularly the skincare concerns of women of color. As a beauty editor, I’m constantly asked by other women of color, “What’s the secret to clear, even-toned skin?” Like a broken record, I always respond “sunscreen!” My response is usually challenged with a firm, “But our skin doesn’t need sunscreen.” In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In my experience, when it comes to skincare for women of color, we aren’t too worried about lines and wrinkles, particularly in our 20s, 30s, and even 40s. Our top skincare concerns typically revolve around uneven complexion, hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and dark spots. This is why the daily application of sunscreen is so crucial. It protects skin from the sun's rays that can lead to uneven skintone and exacerbate the presence of hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Broad-spectrum sunscreen also helps to shield skin from wrinkle-causing UVA rays. No one needs pre-mature wrinkles—no one!

Picking the right sunscreen can be an overwhelming task for women of color. Some are super thick and leave behind a gray or white tint. If you wear makeup, you definitely want a sunscreen that won’t battle with your foundation.

Read on as I share the best women of color–approved sunscreens. Each is guaranteed to protect and perfect.

Are you SPF ready for summer? Share your favorite sunscreen picks with us!

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