Why Darker Skin Tones Still Need Sun Protection

It’s SPF time! Well technically, it should always be SPF time but during these hot summer months, it is especially important to layer on the sunscreen no matter what skin tone you have!
Oftentimes people with darker complexions assume that sunscreen isn’t necessary because their skin doesn’t burn at the same rate as those with fairer skin tones.


While this may indeed be true, and skin cancer does appear to be less common in Black and Latin communities, it doesn’t mean that melanated skin is immune from harsh UV rays from the sun.

In fact, due to a lack of understanding of the way skin conditions and disorders manifest in people with darker skin tones, it is even more important that Black people protect themselves by putting on sunscreen. Even though black people are affected by skin cancer at lesser rates, black people are more likely to be diagnosed at a much later stage making it even more dangerous.

Other types of skin damage caused by the sun

Skin cancer is the extreme when it comes to sun damage, several other types of skin damage are caused by the sun including hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and age spots. While melanin does offer some form of protection, its natural Skin Protection Factor (otherwise known as SPF) is around a 13, and dermatologists recommend sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. This is why people of all skin tones need to layer on that SPF especially if you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors.

You need sun protection indoors too

And don’t think that just because you have an office job that you can skip it. UV rays can penetrate glass, so if you work near a window or some other transparent barrier, the sun’s rays could still affect you. An easy fix is to simply integrate sunscreen into your daily regimen. That way it becomes a habit and you can be assured that you are protecting your skin.


But for many darker skin tones, the thought of putting on sunscreen and having that thick white residue is super unappealing. Luckily, more and more brands have begun producing sunscreen that is more “dark skin-friendly”. Check out some of the brands below!


1. SUPERGOOP! Unseen sunscreen
50ml- $34/£33

2. Glossier Invisible Shield
30ml- $25/£20

3. Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen spray

177ml- $18/£24

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