• Not Rude, Honest


As the weather is warming up I thought this would be the best time to make some sunscreen recommendations in the drugstore price range for my melanin rich kinfolk. I’m sure this skincare myth has been fully debunked by now but just for clarification - people with darker skin tones DO get sunburned and therefore need sunscreen.

Cocktails & good weather, black boy joy!

Cheers to a cast-free summer! 🍹

Before my lighter hued brethren start screaming about discrimination ("reverse racism" is not a thing by the way! 🙃), the reason this post is directed at people of darker skin tones is because most sunscreens that appear clear or simply light on fairer skin tones, coat darker skin with an unflattering purple or ashy-grey tone. The products mentioned below do not leave any such cast and are therefore ideal for people of all skin tones. Other than preventing sunburn, sunscreen works wonders on hyperpigmentation (a skin concern for many people of colour) when used regularly.

For those of you who are still unsure about the order in which to apply your skincare products, here's a reminder:

Cleanser ➡️ Toner ➡️ Treatments (serums, spot remedies etc) ➡️ Moisturiser ➡️ Oil ➡️ Sunscreen ➡️ Make-up

Travel Bottles set - pink

As long as your sunscreen has a minimum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 then you are adequately protected. Sunscreens, based on their ingredients, can be classed as either 'chemical' which is absorbed by your skin or 'physical' (also known as 'mineral') which sit on top of your skin. Physical sunscreens are the ones that tend to leave those unflattering casts on your skin but are the best sunscreen for kids due to their low penetration power. I could go into the science of sunscreen and SPF but I’m sure you just came here for a list so here it is:

The Body Shop® Skin Defence™ Multi-Protection Essence

1. The Body Shop® Skin Defence™ Multi-Protection Essence

SPF: 50

Classification: Chemical

Size: Available in 30ml and 60ml

Price: £17 and £21

Where to buy it: The Body Shop® (UK only)

Product overall rating: 5/5

This sunscreen has a price tag that sits between drugstore and high-end but it is my absolute favourite and holy grail sunscreen for the face because it leaves my skin looking smooth and moisturised. Although the product itself is white, it goes on clear, is lightweight and it's perfect for daily use. This is not a moisturiser but, depending on where I have been in the world, I have used it as one; ideally you should moisturise your face first and then apply it on top. It is a perfect base for make-up application and it did not aggravate my skin while it was having a tantrum. The only downside to this product is that alcohol is second on the ingredients list. Personally I have not found this product drying at all, however it is worth taking into consideration when purchasing.

Aveeno Natural Protection Oil-Free Sunscreen Lotion

2. Aveeno Natural Protection Oil-Free Sunscreen Lotion

SPF: 50

Classification: Physical

Size: 52g

Price: $10

Where to buy it: Target, Walgreens, CVS

Product overall rating: 3/5

For those with sensitive skin, Aveeno Natural Protection Oil-Free Sunscreen Lotion may work wonders. This moisturiser is formulated with soothing oats, is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. The lotion was easy to apply and absorbed quickly leaving a clear, moisturised shine-free finish. The product itself was great but I love lightly scented products so this one didn't stand a chance of making it into my holy grail category. Unfortunately this product is only available in the US.

Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Cooling Sun Mist

3. Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Cooling Sun Mist

SPF: 50 (Available in SPF 30 and SPF 20)

Classification: Chemical

Size: 200ml

Price: £9

Where to buy it: Superdrug

Product overall rating: 5/5

This was the sunscreen that renewed my faith in sunscreens. The summer of '07 was a particularly purple-hued summer for me, my pictures were horrendous and I am convinced that the sunscreen I applied worked as cooking oil (I had never gotten so dark before or since!) so I swore off sunscreen. A few years later I stumbled across this gem and it has been riding with me ever since. In addition to being water resistant, this all over body spray has a pleasant cooling effect. The formula is transparent and therefore does not need to be worked into the skin to make it cast-free. To apply it to the face, I spray it into my hands first. It has a very slight but pleasant fragrance and leaves a nice healthy shine to the skin without being oily or greasy. Game changer!

Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultra-Hydrationing Sun Cream

4. Garnier Ambre Solaire Protection Lotion

SPF: 30 (Available in SPF 50)

Classification: Physical

Size: Available in 50ml and 200ml

Price: £3 and £6

Where to buy it: Boots