Oh, sunscreen. One of the most misunderstood but essential beauty products we should all have on our vanity. I can't lie: I was once a melanated woman who thought my skin did not need sunscreen. Luckily, that myth is slowly being dismantled. Not only does SPF protect our skin from the important stuff like UV rays that can cause skin cancer, but, from a purely aesthetics POV, it also protects all that work you're doing when you're layering on serums to address skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and skin discoloration. I think it's safe to say no one wants to put in all that effort just for it to be undone by a lack of skin protection.
For those of us with melanated skin, I get it. Like the foundations of the past, sunscreens always left a white ring on the skin because let's face it, brands weren't prioritizing our skincare needs. So leave it to Black entrepreneurs to make space for themselves and others by formulating cast-free SPFs that get the job done and look good doing it.
Keep reading to learn more about the Black-owned brands crafting SFPs made with diverse skin tones in mind.
Black Girl Sunscreen
- Founded by: Shontay Lundy in 2016
- About the Brand: Black Girl Sunscreen is all about formulating sun protection options for melanated skin with natural ingredients like avocado, jojoba, and sunflower oils. In addition to crafting formulas that don't leave an unwanted white cast behind, Black Girl Sunscreen products are made without oxybenzone and octinoxate.
This OG sunscreen made for melanated skin is beloved by many—and rightfully so, thanks to its paraben-, fragrance-, oxybenzone - octinoxate-, silicone- and aluminum-free formula.
Bolden Skin Care
- Founded by: Chinelo and Ndidi in 2012
- About the Brand: With Bolden Skin Care, founders Ndidi and Chinelo seek to create effective skincare options that answer the needs of women of color. Since launching, they have expanded the line to include products for the face and body.
Sunscreen should protect the skin—and with Bolden's SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer, it also imparts a glamorous glow. Additionally, you won't get any pilling or be left with that sticky feeling some sunscreens can leave behind.
- Founded by: Robin "Rihanna" Fenty in 2020
- About the Brand: We all remember when Fenty Beauty dropped its 40 foundation shades in 2017. It was truly iconic. Since those early days Fenty, the brand founded by multi-hyphenate superstar Rihanna, has expanded into skincare with Fenty Skin. The line includes a cleanser, a toner, body care options, and of course, an SPF.
Leave it to Fenty to innovate. Aside from crafting an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula that brightens and plumps the skin with its infusion of ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, the packaging is also refillable—making this SPF a simple way to help minimize your carbon footprint.
- Founded by: Naomi Osaka in 2021
- About the Brand: Naomi Osaka, like many people with darker skin tones, assumed her skin was immune to sun damage. But after learning that even melanated skin needs sun protection, she set out on a mission to dispel old myths and educate along the way.
Not only is this formula waterproof, reef safe, and packed with skin-loving niacinamide, but this SPF 50 is also available in three tinted shades. I tried the "deep" shade, and it matched my skin tone to perfection and dried down with a beautiful matte finish. I'll be wearing this all summer long.
EleVen by Venus Williams
- Founded by: Venus Williams in 2020
- About the Brand: Not only is this iconic founder a tennis champion, but Venus Williams is also an entrepreneur. With her venture into clean skincare, Williams has partnered with Credo Beauty to serve up skin protection infused with 25 percent zinc oxide and skin-loving ingredients that provide white cast-free protection no matter your skin tone.
Since the launch of this SPF, it's been a hit. That's likely because it's a fragrance-free serum that feels light on the skin while keeping it protected.
This waterproof, sweat-resistant, dermatologist-approved body lotion offers SPF 50 protection while hydrating the skin with healing allantoin.
- Founded by: Dorion Renau in 2018
- About the Brand: With raw, organic shea butter at the core of the brand, Buttah Skin is all about crafting skincare products for melanin-rich skin tones that hydrate, even the skin tone, and protect.
This mineral sunscreen is all about protecting the skin barrier and goes on clear with a matte finish.
- Founded by: Dorian Morris in 2018
- Abou the Brand: Since its founding, Undefined's mission has always been clear: to democratize beauty and de-stigmatize plant-based solutions.
Formulated with zinc oxide, niacinamide, and tremella mushroom, this fragrance-free, non-nano-tinted mineral SPF 50 serum is water-resistant and perfect for a day out in the sun.
- Founded by: Winnie Harlow in 2022
- About the Brand: After getting severe sunburn and sun damage that permanently changed her vitiligo during an all-day outdoor photoshoot, the supermodel founded Cay Skin. Cay Skin products are silicone-free, vegan, cruelty-free, reef-friendly, and dermatologist-tested, formulated with sustainable, skin-loving ingredients.
A body oil that provides sun protection? We love to see it. Formulated with a coconut, argan, and grapeseed oil blend alongside sea moss and squalane, this oil thoroughly hydrates, protects, and leaves the skin with a natural glow.
Packed with 45 SPF, sea moss, nectar, and niacinamide, this moisturizer leaves the skin with a natural glow (sans any white cast) while protecting the skin barrier.
- Founded by: Pharrell Williams in 2020
- About the Brand: Founded with a mission to empower all people in their pursuit of wellbeing, the brand launched a three-step routine—including a Rice Powder Cleanser, Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator, and Humidifying Cream—with the consultation of Pharrell’s dermatologist, Elena Jones, MD.
Formulated with snow mushroom extract and blue light protection, this fragrance-free broad spectrum, mineral SPF 30 sunscreen leaves skin hydrated and protected with a sheer finish. And it's housed in packaging made with over 50 percent post-consumer recycled landfill plastic.
This water-resistant (up to 40 minutes) broad spectrum, mineral SPF 30 sunscreen —housed in packaging made with over 50 percent post-consumer recycled landfill plastic— is infused with squalane and snow mushroom, making it both a nourishing body cream and skin protectant.