April 11, 2021

The 20 Best Sunscreens for People of Color in 2020

4 min read

While skin cancer is less common among Black and Latinx populations in the U.S, melanin is not a magical, sun-resistant shield that repels damaging UV rays. Skin cancer is usually identified at an advanced stage for people of color, which makes it that much more deadly. And on a short-term timeline, sun damage can contribute to the development of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and acne. Needless to say, you should be wearing sunscreen every single day regardless of your skin tone.

But not all sunscreens are created equal. For people of color, white cast from sunscreen residue in a major problem. Below, we’ve gathered the 20 best sunscreens for women of color that have no white cast. From trendy millennial brands to women-of-color-owned businesses, you’ll have no choice but want to apply.


Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++

This gel primer is loved by Youtuber Jackie Aina for three reasons: it’s colorless, blurs the appearance of pores, and doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue.


SPF50 Reef-Friendly Body Sunscreen

Everyday for Everybody

If you’re particularly sensitive, this unscented body sunscreen is the way to go. It quells inflammation and deeply moisturizes thanks to radical-fighting matcha, soothing cucumber, and hydrating jojoba oil.


Sheer Flesh

Flesh Beauty


Feeling a bit dry? This milky serum drenches skin in hydration thanks to plumping pomegranate extract, water-attracting glycerin, and moisturizing honey extract.


All Natural Surf Mud



Make every day a little sweeter with this cocoa-infused sun balm, which is inspired by the Mayan chocolate mask. Once massaged into skin, it leaves behind a water-resistant, makeup-gripping canvas without a ghostly white cast (despite being a mineral formulation).


COSRX Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun Cream SPF 50+

Snail secretion is one of K-beauty’s most valued ingredients for its ability to fade acne scars, hydrate, and heal. It’s the star ingredient of this lightweight fluid, which melts into skin within seconds and leaves behind a dewy glow.


Glow Stick SPF 50



In need of convenient on-the-go application? This glow-enhancing, dry oil sunscreen stick has you covered.


Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen



Meet your perfect beach companion. This water-resistant sunscreen is formulated with a technology that works harder when you’re exposed to heat, sweat, or water.


Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30



Don’t let this stark white, zinc oxide sunscreen throw you off: the generous use of squalane oil helps it to seamlessly blend into skin. The only thing left behind is a dewy finish.


The Beet Shield

Krave Beauty


Seeking to correct dark spots? This silky fluid is chock-full of brightening vitamin C and beetroot extract to help promote an even skin tone.


Full Spectrum 360°Sun Silk Drops Organic Sunscreen SPF 30

Most chemical sunscreens do not offer blue light protection. This ultralight serum is an exception. It is formulated with a proprietary complex that is clinically proven to reduce the effects of blue light exposure.


Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30

After feeling left frustrated by the white cast left on their skin from traditional formulas, founders Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa created Bolden. The moisturizer provides SPF 30 sun protection, vitamin C to brighten and correct discoloration, and a hydrating formula to moisturize and nourish the skin.


Unseen Protection SPF 40

Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen goes on like a body oil so you don’t have to worry about any white residue. The product is so light you won’t even remember you’re wearing sunscreen.


Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30

Two for the price of one: Mario Badescu’s Daily Moisturizer delivers hydration that works (I personally use this in the morning) and SPF 30 protection. It’s perfect for those in a time crunch (or those who are perpetually late.)


Invisible Shield SPF 35

This gel-like colorless formula is great for all skin tones and types. Oily gals won’t have to worry about clogged pores while those with darker skin won’t have to worry about residue thanks to a smooth and invisible make up. 


SPF 30

Black Girl Sunscreen


This all-natural formula was created (yet again!) out of frustration with the lack of options for women of color created by a woman of color. The formula is free from minerals and zinc oxide which commonly cause the white residue on darker skin tones. 


Protect and Hydrate SPF 30

This wallet-friendly sunscreen is one of our favorite drugstore finds. It provides hydration, protection, and goes on like a hydrating lotion.


Broad Spectrum SPF 46

If your skin is prone to hyperpigmentation and discoloration, this is the sunscreen for you. It contains hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, both of which promote cell turnover and even out your complexion. The formula also leaves no residue while it protects from harmful UV rays.


SPF 30

Brought to you by singer Frank Ocean’s mom, Unsun is a mineral-tinted sunscreen that protects and nourishes the skin with shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E.


UncompliKated SPF 50

A makeup setting spray complete with SPF 50? Yes, Kate Somerville created this almost-too-good-to-be-true product. Round out your beauty routine with a spritz of this and see just how easy it is to stay protected.


Chem-Free Active Defense SPF30

NYDG Skincare


The perfect sunscreen for folks with sensitive dark skin. David Colbert, an NYC-based dermatologist, created this chemical-free face and body lotion for the most sensitive of skins. You don’t have to worry about breakouts, rashes, or any white residue.

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