Nicole L. Townsend chats best sunscreens for women of color. 

Nicole L. Townsend chats best sunscreens for women of color. 

One of the biggest myths about skincare for women of color is that we don’t need to wear sunscreen. Who made up that lie? Yes, while it’s true that those with darker skin won’t necessarily burn as easily as someone with lighter skin, there’s still a risk for skin damage, exposure to harmful UVA/UVB rays, dark marks, or uneven skin tone.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone should wear a minimum of SPF 15 or higher on a regular basis to shield their skin from the sun. I mean, I get it. There are one hundred and one reasons why folks aren’t wearing sunscreen, but affordability or effectiveness ain’t one of ’em. Are these any of your concerns:

  • Sunscreen breaks me out
  • My skin is too oily for all that
  • I’m allergic
  • Girl, black don’t crack

The scenario’s go on and on, and while I’m an advocate for clear skin and keeping oily complexions in check, these aren’t valid excuses to skimp on the sunscreen. So, for the uber picky and downright stubborn, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite sunscreens (for both face and body) for you guys to choose from. Let’s end the summer with a bang, rockin’ the hottest sunscreens on the market, shall we? I mean, c’mon, you have to admit that beautiful, clear and protected skin is where it’s at, am I right?


MyChelle Coconut Sun Shield SPF 28: Hands down, this formula is probably one of the best facial sunscreens that I’ve ever tried. It’s jam-packed with aloe, vitamin E, zinc and titanium dioxide to help protect that skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. Also, it’s gluten and casein-free, free of parabens and phthalates, and it’s 100% vegan.

 Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration otion SPF 50: This lightweight formula provides 12-hour moisturization and broad spectrum UVA/UVB. It’s infused with shea butter and doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue.

 Copperton Oil-Free Faces SPF 30: This non-greasy formula is lightweight, and perfect for oily skin.  Aside from its lightweight consistency, I love that it’s fragrance and oil-free – but still armored with SPF 30 to protect my skin from the sun.

 Banana Boat Sport Performance Coolzone Broad Spectrum SPF 30: While I wouldn’t recommend putting this sunscreen on your face, this formula has a unique menthol component that provides a cooling sensation for those of y’all who’ve been chllin’ in the sun for too long. You can also reapply liberally without a greasy buildup or residue.

Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Daily Sunblock: Perfect for sensitive skin types, lightweight and it wears well underneath makeup so you won’t have to worry about looking like the pancake lady when you’re getting ready for work, or headed out for a night on the town. I try not to wear a ton of foundation in the summer, but when it’s required, I noticed that this sunscreen serves as a great makeup primer. It’s hypoallergenic and was awarded the National Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association. What’s there not to like about that?

Clinique Sun Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Face Cream: I’m a little biased when it comes to Clinique cosmetics and skincare, because it was my very first official job as a makeup artist. Aside from the ‘my first love’ notion, this formula is the jam because it’s infused with antioxidants that help to nourish and protect the skin against signs of premature aging, and it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin types. Its high level of SPF is perfect for a beach day, but like most sunscreens, you must remember to reply after swimming, or you won’t reap its full benefits.

What’s your favorite sunscreen? Share in the comment box below, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more beauty tips and tricks.