Because the sun doesn’t discriminate…

See this?

This is brown skin. It is melanin-enriched. Many of us brown girls think that just because our skin is darker that it creates some kind of barrier against the sun. And in a sense, it does. So I guess us brown girls don’t even need to wear sunscreen.

“Girl, please.”

The sun does not discriminate. Brown girls have to protect their skin just as much as the lighter girls. And for some reason, most of us did not grow up thinking this. We couldn’t be more wrong. Everyone of ALL shades needs to protect their skin. From the fair ladies to the ebony mamas….protecting the skin is a MUST.

Each summer I experiment with different sunscreens for the face.

Meet the trio!

First up….

Olay Complete All Day moisture lotion SPF 15
($7.29-drugstores nationwide)

Olay Complete is no stranger to Clumps of Mascara. I’ve raved about this moisturizer before. And I won’t stop. My skin absolutely adores Olay Complete. For reasons unknown my skin has been acne-prone beyond belief within the past year or so. This moisturizer does not irritate my skin, clog my pores or leave me with that white film that most lotions with SPF have. Aaaand, it’s okay to wear every single day–which I do! When rubbed in, it looks like this…

Perfecto! This baby will always be a staple in my skin care routine.

Next uuuup

Rx for Brown Skin Protect and Defend
moisturizing sunscreen

($20-click here for more info/purchase)

I am quite the Rx for Brown Skin fan. Products made specifically for skin like mine is right up my alley! When my skin goes through its dry spells, I use this! It is thicker than Olay Complete so I’m not sure how well it would work for oily skin. The good news is, it absorbs well so you aren’t left with a sticky or greasy feeling. I wish it didn’t smell SO sunscreen-y. It is a little overpowering for everyday use but this is something I’m willing to get over to protect my skin. It goes on pretty thick….

But after a good rubbing in session…

…..I am good to go! That white residue from sunscreen drives me up a wall! Don’t have that problem here.

And lastly…

Clinique Sun SPF 50 Face Cream
($–click here for deets)

Oh yes….when I’m going to be taking in a LOT of sun, I have to bring out the yellow tube with higher SPF. Clinique’s Sun Protection products are a must have if you are a Clinique skincare fan. Which, of course, I am…. This smells extremely sunscreen-y but it’s a smell that doesn’t bother me anymore–simply because I know I HAVE to wear it. Now….this baby is going to take a ton of rubbing in to get rid of the white residue.

And even after it’s gone, it leaves me a little greasy.

But honestly? It doesn’t bother me because it stays put, doesn’t run in my eyes when I swim and my skin doesn’t have any bad reactions to it. So heyyyy!! No complaining from me.

Brown girls….where ya’ll at? Please oh please tell me you are rocking sunscreen EVERYDAY. And if you’re not….do you feel the burn from my cyber side-eye?

I want to hear from everyone rocking sunscreen…what’s your favorite?

Brown Skin Protector,

ETA: ….but is your sunscreen SAFE for you? Thanks to reader Rachel for sharing this link. It investigates sunscreens and tells you what’s safe….and what’s not. I will be making some changes!
  • Askmewhats

    so true about the sun not discriminating! very informative post B my dear!!!

    My favorite sunscreen is from Neutrogena :)

  • Miss Yaya

    i use Yon Ka and PTR in 45-60spf… if i want a bronze tan i go outside at 9am and stay in the sun until 9:45… that's enough to get me a tan that will get "where did u go this weekend?" questions… then i run into the shade and hide under an umbrella with a hat over my face and maybe a blanket if there really is no shade – ask yaya to the beach at 2pm? must be smokin…

  • Fashion’s Darling

    Great post as always. Love this one especially. I'm freaked out skin cancer so I play no games. I use spf 50 or higher bc I read somewhere that anything less than 30 is counterproductive as it wears off super easily. It was in allure some months ago. I swear by my neutrogena helioplex-no residue, great protection, great prices.

  • kuuipo1207

    OMG girl! I used to think that all the time when I was in high school and college! I thought because I naturally had melanin in my skin from my Polynesian roots (thank you mom!) that I wasn't as prone. (Don't let this "I've been living in TN & NC for 4.5 yrs without going to the beach once" skin tone fool you! 😛 ) Over the years I've come to know better though. Haha! Great post my dear!! I must pass it on!

  • Phyllis

    Great advice. I tan easily and will also burn, not a reddish burn, but a burn that will look like someone put a match to my skin. So I always wear sunscreen.

    I recently went in Sephora and said, "Gimmee a sunscreen that doesn't leave a grayish residue on brown skin!" I was in a hurry.

    Anyhoo, they handed me a tube of DERMAdoctor Body Guard SPF 30 for face and body. Fantastic – no residue, non-greasy.

  • Naomi Alecia

    I've been rocking Coppertone since I was a child and not just during the summer months. I never go anywhere without sun protection on. The Clinique one looks interesting. I'll have to check that one out the next time I am at the counter.

  • Connie De Alwis

    I definitely agree that darker skins need protection too. The sun can cause wrinkles as well! and a whole lot of stuff besides burning. darker skins (Asian skins even) are more prone to hyperpigmentation, no?

    I'm using RMK Face Protector :) Asian sunscreens are the best. very well-rounded with its protection

  • Erin

    I recently (a few yrs ago) learned that we DO need sunscreen. I wear foundation everyday and all of my foundations contain SPF 15.

    I just need a body lotion that contains SPF.

  • Missy

    I use the Olay Complete almost everyday (even in the winter because seasons don't discriminate either!) When I am going to be outside for bit I use the Neutrogena SPF 30 (BUT, it has a definite white residue that couples with my dark skin to give me a distinctly purple hue) Not a good look but I'm protected and it's not oily–which is great for running and outdoor exercise. I honestly don't know why I haven't tried something different. I think I just gave up on NOT having to be purple..?!

  • A D Thomas

    I totally agree with the Olay recommendation. That is my daily moisturizer that I've been using for quite some time. Love it. Another good one is Aveeno Positively radiant.

  • KiLLaCaM

    i've been using Olay since my pubescent days! I love that product compared to anything else I've ever tried. It feels amazing on the skin!

  • antithesis

    i am with you on the sunscreen. i have that same bottle of olay but im cheating on it with neutrogena dry touch because im supposed to use spf 30 w/ this medicine. i have yet to find a suncreen for everyday but i picked up a bottle of coppertone spf70 for my trip to the beach tomorrow.

  • Mocha

    I also use Olay Complete for my daily moisturizer year around but during the summer months I switch to Shisedo Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55 for extra protection on my face and for the body I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 70.

  • Rachel

    If you ever want to see a REALLY EXTENSIVE list of all sunscreens and their test results:

  • diana

    I couldn't agree with you more. African-Americans should wear sunscreen to protect the skin. Despite that it's less frequently observed in african-americans, we are faced with an increased mortality and the disease is more advanced compared to other races when we do have it.

  • B

    I'm glad y'all are rockin' your sunscreens!!

    Rachel—> Thank you, thank you, thank youuu for this!

  • Anonymous

    hey its ur girl akua!
    i just went to the destin on the 4th of july and used coppertone sport breathable sunscreen and it really worked for me. i was a bit thick but like u say after a little rubbing in your all good to go. its spf 30 and i really noticed the differnence at the end of the day.

  • Rachel

    I forgot when someone first linked me up to that listing of sunscreens but it has been a few years ago (I work at a hospital). Obviously they update it every year and do more testing to include new brands with new additives but there are some real eye-openers on there. Weird sometimes how cheaper brands provide = the protection as some of the more expensive ones.

    This same site has reviews on such things as deoderants too…I never thought too much about what went on my underarms, so long as I didn't stink.

  • Minerva

    What a coincidence. I just read a similar article at – that covers the facts wether individuals with dark skin need sunscreens. Thanks to all I've managed to get rid of this misconception.