Due to climate change and the changes in the atmosphere, sunscreen is a necessary evil. Yes, a necessary evil–especially if you have melanated skin. There’s literally nothing worse than looking cute, putting some sunscreen on and then looking ashy because of your sunscreen. If this is your look, rock it but I cannot for the life of me stand it. So if you’re like me, this post is for you because non-toxic sunscreen for darker skin DOES exist.
But let’s start with what non-toxic actually means for sunscreen first.
What Toxic Ingredients Live In Conventional Sunscreens?
There are four main ingredients that are concerning that most conventional sunscreens have in them. These are:
Let’s talk a little about what each of these are and why they’re harmful.
Oxybenzone: This is one of THE most common chemicals found in sunscreen. It’s been linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, contact allergies and photoallergies. Sometimes this ingredient is called benzophenone-3. Oxybenzone is also really harmful to aquatic life. In fact, in 2018, Hawaii banned it so they could protect coral reefs.
Octinoxate: This is a commonly used chemical that is a UV filter and protects against UVB rays–not UVA rays though. On sunscreen packaging, it can sometimes be referred to as OMC, methoxy-cinnamate or ethylhexyl methoxy-cinnamate. It’s also been linked to hormone disruption and reproductive toxicity–it’s been found in breast milk, urine and blood. This was also banned in Hawaii.
Homosalate: This chemical aborbs UVB rays only preventing direct sun exposure. It’s also been linked to hormone disruption and it enhances your skins ability to absorb pesticides–including bug sprays. Unfortunately for the environment, this ingredient doesn’t break down readily.
Nanoparticles: These particles are 1000 smaller than the width of a human hair and in sunscreen they’re commonly found as nanoparticle titanium dioxide from zinc oxide. These particles are still being researched by scientists for the overall impact but these may be more chemically reactive, meaning that they are fast-tracked into the body.
Non-Toxic Ingredients to Look For In Sunscreen
There are 2 main ingredients that are way more safe to use. These are:
Titanium Oxide: This is a UV absorber. It soaks up UVB rays and most of UVA rays.
Zinc Oxide: This is also a UV absorber for both UVB and UVA rays.
The Best Non-Toxic Sunscreen For Darker Skin
Ok, friends, before we get into this list, let me start with this: Black Girl Sunscreen is NOT on the list. Why? Because although they do not use the 3 out of 4 toxic ingredients listed above, they do use others like avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene which have been linked with endocrine disruption and damage to the coral reefs. I really do hope that they change their ingredients though! Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, let’s jump into this list.
Earth Mama Organics
Earth Mama is one of my absolute FAVORITE non-toxic brands period. Here are the products that I recommend from them:
Both of these products have really great SPF protection and go on easily. They also offer sticks for protection but I prefer a lotion for easier coverage.
I’m excited about this because I tested some of their products out before release. They offer the following products which are all really great:
- Daily SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
- Daily SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Spray
- Facial SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
- Face The Day Daily SPF 30 Moisturizer and Firming Primer
Goddess Garden also offers after sun products which I absolutely love too.
I’ve shared my love for Bare Republic before. Now in full disclosure: some of these products DO leave you streaky and ashy looking but the ones I’m sharing below will not:
- Mineral SPF 30 Face Sunscreen Gel-Lotion
- Mineral SPF 30 Body Sunscreen Gel-Lotion
- Gold Shimmer Mineral SPF 30 Gold
If you love the Black Girl Sunscreen, the gel-lotion that Bare Republic offers is comparable to that.
I am a huge fan of the Native Deodorant so it’s no surprise that their sunscreen is also really amazing.
I love the scents they offer but they also have an unscented version for those that don’t want to smell like summer is here.
I’m new to this brand. During AAPI Heritage Month, I ordered some of the products from Target and fell in love. Included was their daily facial SPF which has quickly become my favorite.
Alright… This is all I have for now! As I discover more, I’ll add to this list!
Do you have a non-toxic sunscreen you love? Drop a comment below with it!