3 Safest SPF Products for Women of Color

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Stave off cancer and decelerate aging with these 3 game-changers.

No matter your skin tone, heritage, age or gender, wearing a daily SPF is non-negotiable. A well-formulated sunscreen will not only protect you from skin cancer but also decelerate aging.

A darker skin tone does not exempt you from UV damage. While higher levels of melanin might keep you from burning as badly as your lighter toned counterparts, you still need SPF to prevent cancer and maintain a youthful complexion.  

Unfortunately, for women who don’t fall at the lighter end of the spectrum, the struggle is real. Not only do you have to worry about finding a sunscreen that won’t leave behind a white cast, but you also have to watch out for endocrine-disrupting ingredients. This has left a gap in the market, largely because the best clean and safe SPF products use ingredients known for leaving behind that unwanted, grayish-white cast.

All this discrepancy has started to shift in recent years, but room for improvement remains. You will notice that this list is short and sweet. While there are several brands designed for women of color, they are left out for containing endocrine-disrupting and environmentally unfriendly ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate or homosalate. So without further ado, here’s a quick SPF roundup for every skin and every tone:

Unsun Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

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Created by Frank Ocean’s mother, this tinted mineral sunscreen provides full spectrum UVA/UVB protection with an SPF 30. Unsun is a lightweight option for all skin tones, though reviewers find it works best for medium to deep skin tones. If you’re on the darker end of the scale, you may want to give Unsun a test run before committing long-term.

Devita Moisture Tints

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If you’re more into the idea of a BB cream, Devita Moisture Tints comes in light, medium and dark shades with a broad spectrum SPF 15 for all skin types. Typically we want to use a minimum of SPF 30. But since we have limited options, if Devita is the only brand you can find to work for your skin tone, it’s still better than going without sun protection.

Krave Beauty The Beet Shield

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The Beet Shield wears like a moisturizer without leaving a white cast, thus making it a great option for deep skin tones. Here’s the kicker: You won’t see SPF or the word sunscreen on any packaging because Krave Beauty utilizes a variety of newer, more advanced UV filters that aren’t yet approved by the FDA. Don’t let that turn you off though! The Beet Shield is advertised as an Antioxidant Day Fluid, and it’s the same formula as their Beet the Sun SPF sold in South Korea.

This Antioxidant Day Fluid has been tested and approved in South Korea with a rating of SPF 50+ PA++++. And a little pro tip: South Korea is known for having some of the best sunscreens in the world!