7 Best Sunscreens for Black Skin and Darker Complexions

WHETHER you're basking in sunshine abroad or soaking in the rays closer to home, having a good sunscreen in your skincare kit is absolutely essential.

Sunscreens work to protect skin against the damaging effects of the sun's rays, the most notable being melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Other benefits of adding an SPF to your skincare routine include the prevention of premature ageing as well as pigmentation.

However, despite how vital SPFs are, anyone with a darker complexion will know that applying sun protection can often mean contending with an unwanted white hue as well as an equally unwelcome oily shine. Dealing with these aspects of sunscreen is never ideal, particularly if you want to apply a full face of makeup or simply opt for a natural look.

Thankfully, this area of the skincare world has come a long way and there is now a plethora of great SPFs that mean compromising your complexion can now become a distant memory. Whether you're in search of invisible creams or fluids, there are many offerings that are sure to become a part of your cult skincare collection.

If you're in search of an SPF but are not sure where to begin, we have rounded up a tried and tested list of the best sunscreens for black skin and darker complexions that will allow you to enjoy the sunshine safely.

If you click on a link in this story we may earn affiliate revenue.

1. Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 30

  • Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 30, £20 from Glossier – buy here

Founded in 2014, Glossier has taken the beauty world by storm with its range of makeup and skincare staples. The assertion that it creates products that customers wish existed couldn’t be more apt, especially where the Invisible Shield Daily sunscreen is concerned. 

This SPF 30 cream works a treat under makeup thanks to its light consistency, which left our skin feeling super hydrated and smooth. In fact, it could be argued that any foundation and concealer would glide onto the skin effortlessly with this SPF as a base. 

As well as complementing any makeup routine, this SPF more than lived up to its reputation thanks to the fact that it didn’t leave any unwanted residue behind on our skin.  

The formula is particularly great for use in hot weather, thanks to how refreshing it feels when applied to the skin. It’s also breathable and transparent and smells amazing, which is always a great asset in a suncream (as many don’t). 

Although the price point may be slightly higher for the 30ml size, this is worth every penny. It’s also worth noting that this should be reapplied during the day to maintain a good level of protection.


  • Best SPF for faces
  • Best sunscreen for kids
  • Best face creams for women

2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF 50+

  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream 50ml, £13.50 (saving £4.50) from Look Fantastic – buy here

When it comes to quality skincare, La Roche-Posay ticks all the boxes and to say we were impressed with this invisible fluid would be an understatement.

The new and improved version of the Anthelios SPF 50 fluid deserves a place in every skincare collection, thanks to its high protection against UVA and UVB rays and its easy-to-apply formula. The fluid sinks in almost immediately, leaving no white residue or shine behind, and we couldn’t help but notice how soft our skin felt after application.

Although the 50ml capacity may seem rather small, rest assured that a little of this goes a seriously long way, which is possibly down to its light consistency. As well as being suitable for all skin types, this is hypoallergenic, which will be music to the ears of anyone who suffers from irritation.

After the all-important water test, we are happy to report that this fluid really does stay put making it the perfect accompaniment for any poolside breaks.

3. Rituals The Ritual of Karma Sun Protection Milky Spray SPF 30

  • Rituals The Ritual of Karma Sun Protection Milky Spray SPF 30, £18.47 from Amazon – buy here

This offering from Rituals, the master of all things zen, is perfect if you're on the hunt for an invisible SPF to cover not just your face, but your whole body. 

The spray tin makes for easy application to any areas you want to protect from rays and the super smooth and runny consistency means that you only need a little of this at a time.  

Although the milky formula may resemble SPFs that leave behind the dreaded white residue, don’t be fooled; this spray blends into the skin a treat leaving nothing but a subtle sheen. 

We were particularly impressed with the longevity you get from this spray: it has a 200ml capacity, which will see you through summer and beyond. Our skin felt beautifully hydrated and soft after application, too, which is a nice change from the tackiness of a lot of sunscreens.

True to the brand's spa roots, the spray contains a calming blend of white tea and ginkgo biloba, the latter of which is known for its anti-oxidant properties. This is the perfect pick if you're after an SPF that’s easy to apply during the day or after a dip in the pool on holiday, and at £18.50, you're getting a luxurious product at a great price point.

4. Eucerin Actinic Control MD Sun Cream SPF 100

  • Eucerin Sun Actinic Control MD Sun Cream for Face & Body SPF 100, 80ml, £25 from Boots – buy here

If you’re super serious about protecting your skin against the damaging consequences of sun exposure, Eucerin is the brand you’ve been looking for.

This SPF 100 cream helps to prevent actinic keratosis (a pre-cancerous skin disease) as well as non-melanoma skin cancer, and we were very optimistic about its protective properties.

At first glance after application, our skin was left with a gorgeous, healthy-looking sheen that was by no means overpowering or even oily looking. This is probably down to the fact that the fluid leaves a protective film on the skin to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

The formula is fragrance-free which is particularly great for those who have skin that is on the sensitive side. It’s also super light in texture, making it perfect for application in warmer weather.

Overall, this product does everything it says on the tin and if you’re after an SPF that is sure to have you feeling safe when out in the sun, then this is the one for you.

5. Ultrasun SPF50+ Tinted Face Sun Cream Tinted Honey

  • Ultrasun SPF50+ Tinted Face Sun Cream Tinted Honey, £19.50 from Look Fantastic – buy here

If ever there was a brand that knows all about creating products that protect skin from the sun, it’s Ultrasun. The fact that the brand vows to create products for all no matter their skin type, skin tone, lifestyle or age is clear to see with its extensive range of products.

We tried the SPF 50+ tinted moisturiser and to say we were excited to give this a whirl would be an understatement.  

The moisturiser is anti-ageing as well as anti-pigmenting and it’s suitable for sensitive skin, making it a real all-rounder: it’s perfect to use as a daily moisturiser and the tint made our skin appear smooth with a subtle, healthy-looking glow. 

We were particularly impressed with the fact that this provided a bit of coverage, making it perfect for days when you may fancy a fresher look. 

The moisturiser is available in one shade, which has been formulated to universally suit all skin tones. As well as protecting against the UVA and UVB rays this cream goes further and adds protection against Infrared A and blue light.  

The tinted moisturiser stayed put on the skin throughout the day, which was potentially down the brand's coveted Lamellar technology, which claims to provide long-lasting and high-level protection.

We also tested the SPF 50+ face fluid, which left no residue or colouring on the skin making it the perfect alternative for anyone who may not want to opt for a tinted moisturiser. 

6. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen  

  • Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, £15 from Cult Beauty – buy here

The name of this product couldn’t be more apt. When she started the brand, Supergoop! Creator Holly Thaggard had a clear mission to create products for all skin types, tones and lifestyles that could be used every single day, and it’s fair to say that the brand has nailed it with this product. 

The formula of the Unseen Sunscreen has completely blown us away. The product is clear in colour, proving that it truly is unseen, and the texture is out of this world.  

To say that this product melts into the skin would be an understatement: it is absorbed super-fast and left our skin feeling unbelievably soft. The product is suitable for use as a makeup primer and it's easy to see why: this made for the most amazing base to apply a full face which is down to the fact that it leaves no residue or film.

If that’s not enough, those who do not like fragranced products will be delighted to hear that this is odourless. Supergoop! recommends applying the Unseen Sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapplying when needed. 

If you’ve been on the hunt for a protective product that will not only change up your skincare game but also make a great addition to your makeup routine, then this is a must-have.

7. The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF 50 Multi-Protection Lotion

  • The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF 50 Multi-Protection Lotion, £22 from The Body Shop – buy here

It’s easy to see why this Skin Defence cream from The Body Shop is classed as one of the best sunscreens for black skin, as it leaves an invisible finish on the skin almost immediately. 

Although this may feel super light on the skin, this SPF 50 cream offers a high amount of protection making it essential if you're out and about. This formula also offers pollution protection, which is a great addition. 

As well as feeling great on the skin, this sunscreen is vegan-friendly and suitable for sensitive skin and has a very subtle, fresh scent that had us feeling summery. We couldn’t help but notice how healthy our skin looked after application which made this cream a real winner, particularly if you want to go au natural but still appear bright and dewy.  

Containing ingredients including vitamin C and red algae extract, this protects against premature ageing and helps to prevent discolouration caused by the sun's UVA rays. This offering from the cult skincare brand makes for the perfect daily moisturiser and better still, you can rest assured that you are getting a great amount of protection. 

Should I apply SPF all year round?

SPF should be part of your skincare routine all year round: although there is a common misconception that you should only focus on protecting your skin during the summer months when the sun is more prominent, UV rays are still present even on cloudy days. 

What's the difference between UVA and UVB?

According to The British Skin Foundation, UVA “accounts for 95% of the radiation that reaches the earth’s surface” — it penetrates the skin deeper than UVB and can lead to skin cancer, pigmentation and premature ageing.

UVB, on the other hand, can cause burning to the skin as a result of exposure. These rays account for most skin cancers.



8 Best SPF: Protect your skin from the sun and prevent signs of ageing


Best sun creams for 2022: stay grease-free and UV protected with these top picks


Nicky Clarke hairdryer review


We tried and tested two of FOREO's beauty devices, and we're obsessed

If you enjoyed our roundup of the best sunscreens for darker complexions, then you might want to check out our roundup of the best SPF moisturisers for men.

We've also tried and tested the best hand creams for 2022.

One of our writers tested these award-winning sustainable cosmetics, and they’ve revolutionised her skincare routine

    Source: Read Full Article