Growing up, my family spent countless weekends driving down the Jersey shore for and basking in the sun and sand of Long Beach. I have countless memories of splashing around in the water until my arms grew tired, and laying on my beach towel blissfully drinking sodas out of the family’s cooler. The only thing missing from those memories: the feeling of my mother slathering on thick globs of chalky sunscreen over my body. There are no photos of me as a chubby toddler with zinc splashed on my nose to be found. It simply never happened.
That’s why when I started experiencing hyperpigmentation in my late 20s and early 30s, I was horrified to learn that a big key to my future glow-up would involve lots of SPF. I just knew dark-skinned people were exempt from having to purchase such a product (and, admittedly, I almost took pride in it).
Alas, once I finally accepted and came to appreciate the value of it, I realized just how difficult it is to actually find one that suits dark skin tones. It’s as if the industry also collectively agreed that SPF isn’t for us, conspiring to only make products that leave that awful chalky glaze on anyone who has a natural tan.
After some deep dives though, I found a few of my new favorite options for SPF and I’ve never looked back. Here are a few of the best au natural SPFs for women of color.