First things first, this post is long overdue! From skincare routines to answering emails and even texting people back (Sorry!), I haven’t always been the most consistent. But, one thing I have been consistent with is my use of sunscreen!
After my first trip to the dermatologist last year, which resulted in my first skin scare (yes, black people can get sun damage), I’ve been applying SPF religiously. The only issue— finding sunscreens that not only work well with my skin type, but also don’t leave a white, gray, or purple cast! Now that I spend alot of time outside and have added acids to my skin care routine — The Ordinary’s Amino Acids + B5 and Lactic Acid 5% + HA to be exact— a great SPF is a necessity.
As promised and right on time for spring and summer, here’s a list some of my personal fave cast-free sunscreens:
If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of Glossier, but I only buy things that I actually need from the brand. Invisible Shield was the first clear based sunscreen I tried while working at their pop up. I liked the SPF so much it became a staple for me for about a year. So naturally, I bought three of them— one for my house, one for my tote, and one just incase I lost the other.
Pros: Compact enough to throw in your bag, literally invisible and moisturizing, and there’s no off-putting smell!
Cons: If you have oily skin, it can leave you looking a little greasy if you use to0 much. It’s $25 for 30ml (which is pretty small especially when you’re reapplying throughout the day as you’re supposed to) which means you’ll run through the product pretty fast. Also, Invisible Shield is so popular that it’s often sold out.
2. Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce – SPF 50+
I found Shiseido in Sephora after seeing a random Instagram ad. One of the makeup artists at the store raved about it, so I decided to give it a try before I left to London last summer. I was admittedly hesitant to try the Japanese beauty brand due to its price tag and noticed they didn’t really advertise toward POC until their WetForce campaign.
Pros: The WetForce collection can be used on the face and body. It’s great if you’re into outdoor activity and sweat alot! Shiseido also offers a travel size, clear UV stick and sensitive skin + for children version of the SPF.
Cons: WetForce is on the pricey side— one bottle (3.3 FL. OZ) will run you $40 and the travel size is $28. WetForce is the only collection that doesn’t leave a white cast. I went on to try (and returned) Shiseido’s Urban Environment UV Protector after running out of WetForce and it left a purple cast and had a heavy scent. I’d definitely recommend getting a sample from Sephora before committing.
3. SuperGoop’s Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum – SPF 40
I’ve had my issues with some of SuperGoop’s products in the past due to lack of shade range. But while in Sephora, (ya girl is trying to rack her points up!) a few reps were their and spoke highly of the Unseen Sunscreen. After kindly letting the rep know that I can’t be in the streets looking like Casper, we agreed on starting with a sample and it is now my current SPF.
Pros: It’s a matte finish which works out as a great balance for my oily skin and also doubles as a primer. My makeup never moves when I have Unseen on as my first layer. I’ve heard from my makeup artist friends and skincare savants, the entire SuperGoop sunscreen collection goes on clear. I’ve got my eye on the Glow Stick SPF 50 next.
Cons: Coming in at $32 for 1.7oz, it’s definitely on the pricier side. It’s scent isn’t overbearing, but does take some time to get used to!
Sunscreens I haven’t tried just yet, but have read or heard amazing reviews about: Black Girl Sunscreen (more than likely my next purchase), Mamonde Daily Sunscreen SPF 50+, Dynamic Skin Recovery 50+ , EltaMD’s UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46.
Bonus! Since it took my so long to write this up, here are my fave skincare savants to follow on IG (who are way more consistent than me):
Former Beauty Editor, Voice of Flamingo and Sister in all things Tomboy Siraad Dirshe.
Philly Born, Brooklyn based owner of the holistic skincare service Dermasaa, Samantha Mims. Book a facial with Sam and thank me later.
Ever since her Into the Gloss feature (Am I the only one who LOVES when black women get an ITG feature?), I’ve been following Diarrha N’Diaye. From her work with Glossier to her efforts to bring more diversity into the makeup industry and very clear voice against skin whitening products, Diarraha is definitely one to follow.
I learned the art of jade-rolling (my literal new favorite thing to do now) from Sunflower Valentine better know in IRL as Valentina. The social sneakerhead constantly shares her skincare routine and new product reviews on her IG Stories!
What SPF are you using this year? Drop it in the comments section.