A deeply harmful skin-care misconception that just won’t die is that those with darker complexions don’t need to wear daily sun protection. Now, melanin may be magical, but it isn’t sun-resistant. No matter your skin tone, you should be wearing sunscreen every day, even when it’s cloudy or you’re staying indoors.
Without wearing sunscreen you increase your risk for skin cancer. Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, shared with Allure that even though darker skin types have some natural protection against UV light, the highest possible level is SPF 13, which is below the recommended level of SPF 30. People with darker skin may not be more susceptible to skin cancer, but, Henry says, “When those with darker skin are diagnosed with skin cancer, the outcomes are typically worse likely because they are found at later stages.”
In addition to increasing the risk for skin cancer, it also worsens any existing hyperpigmentation. If you’re trying to even your skin tone through treatments, what’s the point if you aren’t using sunscreen? You are reversing any of the magic you want to happen.
Public service announcement aside, let’s face it — not all sunscreens are made the same. A lot of options on the market are just not formulated with darker skin tones in mind, so they end up looking chalky. And who wants to look ghostly? That said, more and more sunscreens are erupting on the market that blend seamlessly on darker complexions, so try one of these formulas to keep your skin protected from the sun’s rays — without any white cast or chalky residue in sight.