What if we told you that that there is a potion that can help prevent wrinkles, dark spots and sagging? Well, there is: sunscreen. Daily protection helps fend off all the aforementioned ills, which is why you should incorporate one into your regimen, regardless of your complexion. Don’t believe the myth that brown skin doesn’t need SPF, even if you’re not prone to burning, you still need a shield from damaging UV rays. Finding a formula that doesn’t leave skin ashy can be tricky though, so we put a bunch to the test. Here are the ones we’ve vowed to use, come rain or shine.
1. L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Facial Oil with SPF 30
If you have dry or mature skin, this blend of 8 essential oils like camellia and rose fruit should be your new go-to. The lightweight oil contains the dermatologist recommended minimum of SPF 30 and it completely “disappeared into my olive brown skin,” says Priya Rao, senior fashion writer. Though it did make the foundation she put over it "a little dewy for my taste,” she says.
L'Oreal Paris | $18
2. Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Multi-Protection Tint SPF 50
This ultra-light, oil-free liquid has a hint of tint (it’s available in 3 different shades). Our mocha-skinned senior credits editor, Lashauna Williams, choose the deepest shade and said, “I couldn’t even detect that I had sunscreen on—whereas most formulas usually leave an ashy cast on my brown skin.” Even better, this fluid is formulated with a whopping SPF50 plus antioxidants like white tea to protect against free radical damage.
3. Elta MD UV Clear SPF46
This dermatologist favorite and frequent Best Beauty Buys Winner contains 9% zinc oxide and doesn’t feel thick and goopy like other physical blockers. Great for acne prone skin, the formula packs lactic acid, which helps keep pores clear. The best part: “It sinks in quickly and disappears into skin—whether you’re fair or dark,” says beauty editor Sheryl George.
4. Avene Mineral Light Hydrating Lotion
If your skin reacts to chemical sunscreens, a combination of minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide is the way to go. This fragrance-free SPF50 formula is a great pick for sensitive types. “It went on seamlessly and didn't pill, but it took a bit of rubbing to get rid of the slightly white residue,” says Rao.
Avene | $36
5. Dr. Jart Every Sun Day UV Illuminating Sunscreen SPF36
This creamy pick isn’t heavy, but it’s hydrating enough that you can skip moisturizer. The addition of mica and opal pearl extracts give a soft sheen to the skin. “It’s subtle, definitely not disco ball, but it leaves my skin looking a little brighter,” says George.
Dr. Jart+ | $34