Protect Your Melanin: The Best Sunscreens for Dark Skin Tones
Over the years, when I mention to family and friends that I am going to Spain, there are 2 things that come up – The great weather and how much I have tanned since they last saw me! Clearly, the sunshine has a big part to play in life in Spain and I love it. Yet I am also surprised that many people assume (and are curious to see) that people with darker skin shades do tan and get sunburn. Let's stop assuming that Black don't crack, and find some brands that work well with our skin!
Darker skin tones have a natural SPF of around 13.4, while White paler skin tones are about 3.4 - everyone else fits along that spectrum. Regardless of where our skin tone fits into this spectrum, we all need sun protection. Sunscreen will not only protect us, shielding our skin from wrinkle-causing UV rays, but it also helps with keeping our skin clear and healthy - This includes skin concerns such as skin cancer, uneven complexion, hyperpigmentation, blemishes and dark spots.
Luckily, there are many beautiful natural and nourishing brands that will offer sunscreen in summer and will work wonderfully for people with Brown and Black skin tones. These products are perfect for any time of the year and as summer is here, it’s a great reminder to take extra care of our beautiful skin in the sunshine!
Choosing a safer and natural option
Taking care of our physical Self is greatly influenced by our awareness to what we put in and ON our body. That includes sunscreen, where many brands are chemical sunscreens that contain include ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene and Avobenzone. These ingredients have been known to accumulate in our body.
Another option is using mineral sunscreen, which works differently - Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays, allowing UVA rays to penetrate into deeper layers of skin. Mineral sunscreens form a barrier on top of skin and reflect UV rays. It’s worth researching this deeper and getting to know more about what our beauty products contain in general.
Here are a few nature inspired brands to explore:
As with many products, there is a wide range out there and it’s great to explore different options. Here are some brands that focus on natural options.
“The most protective sunscreen available for rich complexions”. This brand celebrates nature and offers daily defense maximum broad spectrum sun protection for optimal skin health and total wellness – Infusing their products with natural ingredients and celebrating people with brown and black skin tones.
“The Alba Botanica brand was born in 1979 and follows a simple mission – to Do Beautiful.” Not only does it provide gorgeous nature-inspired products and sunscreens, it is also supports and works with the organization CARE - The founding partners of the Empower Her Through Education Campaign, breaking down the barriers of education that some of the 31 million girls around the globe in developing countries face by improving access to education.
This brand has been on a holistic journey since 1972, offering natural, vegan, cruelty-free and holistic beauty products.
A firm favorite! This brand offers fantastic sun protection and many other products for every aspect of beauty and health.
Mineral makeup can also offer some form of sun protection. This brand has a wonderful selection of mineral foundations that gives SPF15. I have been using this for many years and love their quality.
There you have it! If you subscribe to the myth that "Black don't crack" and "Beige don't fade" you'll end up playing yourself. Why? Because skin is skin, and the sun doesn't care about our melanin when it's shining down! It's true that we have some built-in protection; however, by adding a suitable sunscreen to your daily beauty routine, you'll fight ageing, fine lines, wrinkles, and real, visible damage to your precious skin!
Keep shining, and stay moisturized!
Tera Kaur is an African-Spanish life-long traveller and TCK (Third-Culture-Kid), growing up in different countries. Working as a yoga teacher and holistic therapist (Tera Kaur Yoga), she is currently based in both London and Barcelona. Healthy natural living and travel is her true passion and she loves to share this in her blogs OM Barcelona and Holistic Locs.