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A huge misconception is that darker skin tones do not require sunscreen, but let me tell you a little not-so-funny story. During a visit to Barbados, I took a rum punch-induced nap on a sparkling beach which made me feel like I slept in a frying pan. NOT COOL. After a terrible sunburn, I started wearing sunscreen every single day and never looked back.
Dark skin tones may not wrinkle as easily, but they are much more prone to sagging. These skin tones may be less susceptible to skin cancer too, but those who are diagnosed with it are normally done so at later stages thus resulting in worse outcomes and more difficult treatment.
Finding a great sunscreen became a mission for me. After trying seemingly hundreds of them, I discovered that not all sunscreens are great. Most left my dark skin looking ashy, chalky and just plain unnatural and terrible.
Before we get started with some great sunscreen recommendations, let’s understand how sunscreen works.
There are physical sunscreens which quite literally sit on the skin and reflect the rays of the sun, preventing burns. There are also chemical sunscreens which are absorbed by skin and also absorb UV rays. Both physical and chemical sunscreens are great options for everyone to use, but admittedly, physical sunscreens tend to make dark skin tones look ghostly.
Read on to see which ones make the cut:
Vivier Sunscreen Lotion S.P.F. 30

Those with normal to oily skin will love this sunscreen. It’s water-based, absorbs into skin really quickly and is perfectly sheer. The skin on my chest is quite sensitive, so this gentle and light sunscreen protects that area without causing breakouts or irritation
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

This clean chemical sunscreen goes on nice and clear, minus the hours of rubbing in to make it vanish into skin. This new coral reef-safe formula is also a fantastic makeup primer.
EltaMD UV Clear

This wonderful sunscreen is highly effective at blocking out the sun rays, protecting the sensitive skin of the face. Bonus: it contains niacinamide, a powerful acne fighter.
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

This cruelty-free sunscreen is lightweight, completely translucent sunscreen is a crowd-pleaser thanks to its blend of antioxidants (blocks all sorts of environmental nasties), skin soothers, and does a great job at hydrating skin. It fights UV rays while giving you a really nice glow too.
Coola Full Spectrum 360 Sun Silk Drops Organic Sunscreen SPF 30

This award-winning, organic sunscreen is plant-derived, reef-friendly and hugely nourishing. Coola’s Full Spectrum 360 technology allows this sunscreen to block out harmful blue light emitted by our favourite devices (great for us Instagram addicts) and environmental stressors such as pollution. I mix a few drops of this sunscreen into my foundation to create a nice little tinted moisturizer.
With all sunscreens, don’t forget to apply liberally to skin 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply liberally if swimming or sweating heavily.
Let us know what your favourite sunscreens are!
Dominique Baker is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa's black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. Dominique has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Flare, CBC and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

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