Sunscreen for dark skin: sunscreens that don’t leave a white cast

Sunscreens of the past were a nightmare for people of darker skin tones, leaving behind a ghostly appearance that doesn’t go away. But today’s sunscreen formulations go on just as easily as moisturisers, with options from dewy to matte finishes. Sun protection has become increasingly important in the past decade, with skincare brands not only considering those with fairer skin but extending to include dark skin tones as well.

suncreen sensite skin

Does dark skin need sunscreen?

The notion that black people—or people with dark skin in general—do not need sunscreen is a myth. All skin tones require sunscreen to shield the skin from UVA and UVB damage, as well as prevent the development of skin cancer. Although people with dark skin do not get sunburned as easily as fairer skin, that does not mean that the former are invulnerable to sun damage. This myth that has been perpetuated for the past decades causes damaging results in the long-term for dark-skinned people, as it generates less preventative methods to protect the skin from sunspots, wrinkles and skin cancer. Thus, to put it simply, yes, dark-skinned folk are in need of sunscreen as much as their lighter-skinned counterparts.

Is SPF 50 good for black skin?

As mentioned before, dark-skinned people are still capable of attaining sun damage. It has been advised that people of all skin tones should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of strength up to SPF 30. As such, upping your sunscreen strength to an SPF 50 is perfectly alright for black skin, and in fact, an extremely favourable thing to do for the long-run. This is because the SPF number indicates how long it would take before the sun’s rays burn your skin in comparison to when you don’t wear sunscreen. According to an article by Skin Cancer Foundation, an SPF 30 permits 3 percent of UVB rays whilst an SPF 50 only allows 2 percent to come through. Hence, going up an SPF strength is a better option, regardless of your skin tone.

Why does my sunscreen leave a white cast?

Simply put, there are two types of sunscreens: physical and chemical sunscreens. Before we settle the question, there is a need to distinguish between the two sunscreens. Physical sunscreens merely sit atop the skin to reflect the sun’s rays to bounce off the skin; chemical sunscreens penetrate into the skin, absorbing UV rays and discharging them from the body. Physical sunscreens are ideal for sensitive and drier skin types, as it has a heavier texture. Chemical sunscreens are water-resistant and sweat-resistant, and so are ideal for people who enjoy swimming or other forms of exercise.

Physical sunscreens are the main perpetrator of the white cast effect in comparison to chemical sunscreens, and this is due to what is on its ingredients list. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are white substances that are insoluble when coming into contact with water and simply settles as a white layer on the surface of the skin.

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Which sunscreen doesn’t leave a white cast?

The brand Heliocare offers a range of different sun care products that blend well into all skin tones and shades, without leaving the dreaded white cast. These products come in a variety of formats, from your traditional fluids to cushion compacts and sprays. Heliocare’s Colour Cushion Compact SPF 50+ is an oil-free, tinted formulation that epitomises a ‘skincare-meets-makeup’ mentality. Being in a compact, this is ideal for people on-the-go, and for reapplications throughout the day. This sunscreen formulation is non-comedogenic and does not clog pores, as well as being offered in two shades, for light and dark skin tones.

Heliocare 360: Gel Oil-Free SPF50

How do you avoid white cast on sunscreen?

There are various methods to avoid or cover the white cast left from sunscreen. One method is to apply sunscreen earlier to allow it time to blend and sink into the skin. How long it takes to fully absorb and blend into the skin depends, as it varies from person to person, from around 15 minutes to an hour. Don’t forget to blend and pat it into the skin.

Another method to avoid white cast from your sunscreen is to apply a foundation or tinted moisturiser that contains no SPF on it over your sunscreen. This will help alleviate the harsh white mask from the sunscreen. But getting a chemical sunscreen—depending on what finish you prefer—is a good alternative, as it absorbs then deflect rather than simply reflect the sun’s rays.

An overview of facial sunscreen by dermoi!

What type of sunscreen is best for dark skin?

As mentioned above, physical sunscreens tend to leave a white cast. However, modern sunscreen formulations have made it so that physical sunscreens do not leave a white cast. Heliocare’s Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF 50+ is one such physical sunscreen that is proven to not leave a white cast, making it ideal for the use of dark skin tones. This broad-spectrum sunscreen shields the skin from both UVA and UVB damage, as well as infrared damage. Heliocare’s Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF 50+ helps prevent the formation of sunspots, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Using sunscreen daily is the main age prevention treatment and delivers long-term results. Remember: prevention is more economical in the long-run than correction.


What sunscreen do dermatologists recommend?

One such dermatologically recommended chemical sunscreen is iS Clinical’s Eclipse SPF 50+, containing both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, as well as vitamin E to neutralise free radicals and offer potent antioxidant protection. This sunscreen is oil-free and water-resistant, as well as having a matte finish, thus making it ideal for combination with oilier skin types. It blends well into the skin and does not leave a white cast.

Heliocare’s Gel Oil-Free SPF 50 sunscreen has been formulated with its unique, patented ingredient Fernblock, as well as Heliocare’s innovative Photo-immunoprotection System, which gives maximum antioxidant and sun protection to the skin. As suggested by the name, this formula is oil-free and non-comedogenic, making it perfect for oily and acne-prone skin types. Its dry touch formula allows it to sink quickly into the skin and not leave behind a greasy layer, and it is also proven not to leave behind a white cast.

When should you use sunscreen in your daily skincare routine

Should I apply sunscreen on before or after moisturiser?

Sunscreens should be the last step of your morning routine, and thus should be applied after moisturiser. This is due to the fact that when you apply moisturiser over sunscreen, the properties of the latter can change. Moisturiser applied over sunscreen can dilute the effects of sunscreen, which is what you don’t want to happen since its purpose is to protect your skin from UV damage. Allow the moisturiser to sink into the skin fully first before applying your sunscreen.


Author: Charlene M Teressa