Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walmart. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
(We’ll get into the best sunscreens for darker skin tones, but we need to get some things straight first…)
To break it down very quickly and easily, the sun is the sun is the sun. The sun in the winter didn’t go and put on a North Face and some Timbs–it’s the same sun we get in the summer. So yes, you need sunscreen in the winter just as you do in the summer. You may not need to be as diligent about reapplication in the winter since we don’t spend as much time outdoors when it’s cold than we do in the warmer months, but you DO need to wear sunscreen.
Ditto with working from home. While you likely won’t get a tan whilst indoors, that’s not the only part of the sun you need to protect yourself from. In addition to UVB (aka “burning” rays) you also need to worry about UVA (aka “aging” rays) which can FOR SURE penetrate through your windows.
UVA are the joints that cause collagen breakdown and worsen pigmentation among other things. Then for those of us with darker skin tones, we also need to be mindful of visible light as it can also make our pigmentation issues worse.
“I’m just going out for 10 mins, I’m good”
Sun exposure is cumulative meaning every little bit adds up. That little 5 min run to walk the dog or grab coffee counts. Not to mention as a species we tend to grossly underestimate time.
“But sunscreens are greasy and ashy”
Ok really? When was the last time you tried a sunscreen? lol. Listen, now while I won’t lie, there ARE some bad sunscreen options out there for darker skin, there are TONS of options available for us whether you have dry, combo/oily, or “normal” skin. I found a bunch I love that are available at Walmart. They have all been tried and tested out to ensure they don’t have ash so they are among the BEST sunscreens for darker skin tones.
And you can snag some of the best sunscreens for darker skin tones online at Walmart.
This K-beauty delight blends in beautifully. I liked that it felt moisturizing but not heavy on my oily skin (it’s winter now) even with a moisturizer on underneath. In warmer months I could see myself wearing this on its own (but maybe not during the hot summer). You might also like this if you have dry skin: depending on the climate where you are you may need to properly layer a hydrating serum and moisturizer underneath.
Another K-Beauty great that blends in the skin seamlessly and feels extremely lightweight. Because it’s winter, I wore a moisturizer and then layered this on top. It was the perfect mix of being lightweight yet not drying during the winter. I can see this being great on its own for my oily skin in the warmer months including the hot summer.
I would consider this more of the “dry skin version” of my beloved Olay Sun Shine Protection SPF 35 (which is still a fave of course). Since it’s winter, my oily skin can wear this well—it’s very lightweight and moisturizing. You can wear it on its own or apply a moisturizer first and then this on top.
Gel-creams/water gels are one of my favorite textures in skincare! Neutrogena Hydro Boost is a fave for many because it is able to be EXTREMELY hydrating for the skin (which is perfect particularly if you have oily dehydrated skin) while feeling weightless. I like this for my oily skin and feel like it could be a great moisturizer with SPF for most of the year including some of the hotter summer days. Hydro Boost also has some formulations for those with dry or extra dry skin.
This is an amazingly lightweight moisturizer with sunscreen that can work on a number of skin types. My oily skin loves this most times during the year but especially during fall and winter—if you have dry skin, this will be a nice moisturizer with SPF to use during the warmer months.
Because of its amazing texture, this sunscreen is also great under makeup. Olay makes this their Whip with SPF in a number of formulas as well as with a higher SPF that I also enjoy. You can also shop the various versions at Walmart via the widget below.
I did a post on this here so you can read it for the full scoop. This is a great sunscreen to wear on top of your moisturizer and has a nice satin matte finish. But I do want to point out that this is NOT a makeup spray. Sunscreen sprays can be really convenient due to their packaging, but you still want to make sure you’re applying enough on your skin. To ensure that you get a nice, even protective film, you want to spray this in your hands and then apply to your face.
I have a video on this here if you want to check out more, but I really like this for oily skin especially during the warmer months including the hot summer. It would be more of a moisturizer with SPF that I would wear on makeup days or when I’m not doing a ton of physical activity though as I did find that it got into my eyes when I was working out at the gym.
This is a great product if you’re looking to simplify your skincare routine as it combines vitamin C and SPF: two ingredients that are powerful in helping to fight free radical and UV damage. Because of the texture and finish (creamy and dewy), I think those with drier skin would appreciate this product more.
Spray sunscreens can be super convenient because of the packaging, but it’s still important to remember to apply them in your hand and then apply to ensure an even, protective film. I like to use this one year-round after I moisturize my body skin.
All of the other sunscreens on this list are organic aka chemical sunscreens. But if you’re looking for an inorganic or mineral/physical sunscreen, I have a post on a bunch here that also links to my extensive Youtube series where I test out tons of mineral sunscreens for darker skin tones.
The biggest downside of many mineral sunscreens are the white cast they leave on darker skin tones. While Neutrogena Sheer Zinc won’t be as invisible on darker skin as your average chemical sunscreen, it does a pretty good job of not looking as ashy as its other mineral sunscreen counterparts. BUT there’s a trick to applying this formula since it leans on the creamier side: you have to apply it in thin layers (until you have proper protection) and really massage it into the skin. You really have to work it in, but if you’re looking for an affordable mineral sunscreen option, check it out.
There’s also an SPF 50 version here.
While I wouldn’t rely on this as your sole form of sun protection (because people notoriously under apply sunscreen mists and sprays), but if you’ll be out and about this is great to reapply especially if you have makeup on.
Though Supergoop is premium-priced, I do love that they almost have a sunscreen for whatever life throws at you. I do think we need to be more mindful of having more than one type of sunscreen in our stash (they all don’t have to be Supergoop–you see how many awesome and different sunscreens were mentioned in this post). For instance, the sunscreen I wear on a day where I’m wearing makeup and not doing much activity is going to be different than the sunscreen I’d wear to go sit on the beach for hours. And my gym sunscreen needs to be something that’s either water resistant or less prone to getting into my eyes when I sweat. A wardrobe of sunscreens is a good idea if you have different facets of your life that require a range of activities.
And there you have it—I gave you a listing of some of the best sunscreens for darker skin tones out there that you can easily order online at Walmart. SO NO EXCUSES, Y’ALL. Don’t let me catch you outchea during any season of the year during the day without sunscreen on. Because THINGS will happen to you if I do…lol.
See more sunscreen reviews here.