If you know or have heard anything about skincare, you’d know sunscreen is a big deal.
It’s one the essential skin care products for everyone but it can be difficult to understand and navigate your way through the various sunscreen products out there especially if you’re dark-skinned and new to the skincare game.
So we spoke to Desire Uba, a Pharmacist, certified in Cosmetic Sciences, and a skincare advocate on the importance of sunscreen and what to look for in a sunscreen product. Plus some sunscreen recommendations for anyone, specifically dark skins.
We hope this helps in your skincare journey.
Are sunscreens really that important?
“YES! Sunscreens protect you from the harmful effects of the rays from the sun - especially UV and visible light. These rays interact with the skin cells, damaging them and leading to premature skin aging shown by fine lines, wrinkles, and some skin growths.”
She went on to tell us how these rays can also lead to conditions like acne, rosacea, dyschromia (discolored- light or dark or discolored areas/ spots on the skin), and various forms of skin cancer and pre-cancer too.
“In the short term, these rays may not seem to do much, but as we grow older, their effects will accumulate and can lead to these undesired effects. Yes, this applies to Black/ dark skin too.”
“In fact, with darker skin, there’s a higher risk of skin dyspigmentation because we tend to be more affected by visible light rays.”, Desire added.
When should we wear Sunscreen?
Desire admonishes us to wear them every day.
“Overall, come rain, sun, and cold, as long as it is daytime, you should wear sunscreen because the sun is still out. However, you should not use it at night.”
What to look for in a sunscreen product
“My golden rule for sunscreen is that the best sunscreen is the one you enjoy using and will consistently use. This differs with individual preference.”
She pointed out that some UV filters can leave a white/ grey cast on the skin, so for us darker-skinned people, it can be uncomfortable and unsightly to look at.
When getting a sunscreen product, she advises that you should scrutinize the label on your sunscreen.
“Depending on the country of manufacture, you should look out for SPF 30-50/ broad-spectrum/ high or very high protection, the UVA circle, or PA+++/ PA++++.”
What are some recommended sunscreen products for dark skins?
Some of Desire’s favorite sunscreens for dark skin that meet most (or all) of the necessary criteria are:
1. SOS SPF 50 Sun Cream
2. Rohto Mentholatum Skin Aqua SPF 50+/ PA++++
3. Nivea Super Water Gel SPF 50/ PA+++
4. La Roche Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Sun Fluid (also called Shaka Fluid)
5. Black Girl Sunscreen
6. Max Block Sunscreen SPF 50
7. IsnTree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel SPF 50/ PA++++
8. Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Face Fluid SPF50+
9. Kose Suncut Perfect Essence SPF 50+/ PA++++
10. Missha Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+/ PA++++
There are many options on the market but those are some of her favorites (that don't leave a white cast) and she has reviews of some of these on her Instagram page.
“Tinted sunscreens could give additional protection against visible light but many of them don’t have darker shades. The two I can recommend (for now) are the La Roche Posay UVMune 400 Tinted (Coloured) Sun Fluid and Tower 28 Beauty Sunny Days SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen.”
She recommends the Cotz Flawless Complexion Tinted SPF 50 or the EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Broad-spectrum SPF 44 for people who would prefer mineral-based sunscreens although it’s important to note that they have the risk of leaving a white/ grey cast
Another thing to put in mind is that we need to apply and reapply sunscreen in large quantities daily, getting a bigger-sized sunscreen is also great!
Follow Desire on Instagram and check out her blog