5 Black-Owned Sunscreen Brands to Get for SummerMar 13, 2021 08:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
The saying is “Black doesn’t crack”, but that doesn’t mean you need to skimp out on wearing SPF. There is a belief that Black people being highly melanated naturally protects their skin from the sun and its harmful UV rays. However, that isn’t necessarily the case.
“An African American person has melanin (a natural skin protectant) that blocks UV light up to SPF 13,” said dermatologist Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon in an interview. “This isn’t as strong as the sunscreen (SPF 30 is recommended) which is created for skin protection. Yes, sunscreen is needed.”
We picked five Black-owned sunscreen brands that offer all the protection from UV rays, great skincare benefits, and avoid leaving you with a white cast or purple tinge to your skin.
Founded by Venus Williams, former World No. 1, and seven-time Grand Slam singles champion tennis player, created EleVen to give women quality activewear that allowed them to feel great and perform better. EleVen’s Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 is a transparent, SPF-spiked serum that dries into a velvety finish. EleVen also has their On-The-Defense Sunscreen that’s non-chalky and semi-matte.
Founder Shontay Lundy thought it was time to create a natural non-white residue sunscreen brand for women of color. "Thanks to our melanin, we do have some natural protection from the sun's harmful rays. But make no mistake, we are all susceptible to the damage caused by the sun," she told Business Insider. Black Girl Sunscreen is known for being a sunscreen for women of color. Lundy created the brand specifically so everyone could have a sunscreen that caters to their skin tones' needs. The Black Girl Sunscreen's Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a dream for women of darker complexions because it is a lightweight vegan formula that leaves behind no white cast.
Unsun Cosmetics products contain only natural ingredients like vitamin E, coconut oil, shea butter, and a variety of fruit extracts, so your melanin stays moisturized and protected. Founder Katonya Breaux established Unsun in 2016 due to frustration by the lack of options within the world of clean sunscreen products for women of color. Unsun’s Minted Tinted Face Sunscreen with SPF 30 not only protects the skin from UV rays, but has lightweight, blendable coverage.
Founded by Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa, Bolden works to create innovative products with premium ingredients for Black women. “As a brand built by black women, we exist to embolden women like us to confidently embrace their natural beauty,” said Chidozie and Obidoa on their website. “Through expertly-crafted, responsibly-sourced, and tailor-made beauty experiences, we’ll deliver on this commitment - making beauty products that really work well for women of color.” Their Brightening Moisturizer has SPF 30 and uses vitamin C to hydrate, brighten, and correct discoloration.
Kimberly-Chloe Wilson, founder and CEO of The Butter Bar Skincare, started her skincare company in 2014 as a side stream of income, and it quickly transformed into an in-demand business. “The Butter Bar really just started out as an ingredient obsession! I had very sensitive, acne-prone skin, and I just wanted great smelling body products and facial care that actually worked!” said Wilson on the website. My Butter Bar’s Melan-in Skin Nourishing lotion offers this additional factor (they call it MPF — melanin protection factor) without chemical agents. This 4-in-1 moisturizer promises to add a glow and instant vitamin boost to your body care regime with a 100% plant-based serum that offers moisture, anti-aging, UV protection, and skin evening benefits.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.