3 Sunscreens That Won't Whitewash Brown Skin

My second highest sunscreen priority after reliable protection? No whitening! Here are a few formulas I can confidently recommend.
Publish date:
June 19, 2013
neutrogena, SkinCeuticals, spf, sunscreens, DrGL

You know that thing people ask all the time: If you were stranded in an island, what’s one beauty item you’d want to have with you? I’d want an unlimited supply of sunscreen.

I am a little bit obsessive about sunscreen. I believe in it, and I worship it, especially since a friend of mine passed away from skin cancer a few years ago. Nothing quite like a reality check to punch you in the gut and make you realize that you need to step up your game. And my game is shielding my skin from the sun.

There was a time when all sunscreens gave you a white wash. Definitely not a pretty sight for a brown girl. So when I’m on the hunt for a new sunscreen, there are two things I look out for: SPF 30 or higher and NO WHITE FINISH!

I have to admit that there are heaps of Korean and Japanese products that make better sunscreen than the ones I've mentioned, but you cool kids in North America do not have access to it, which is a pity. Nevertheless, here are some sunscreens in my current rotation that I'm lovin':


I don't necessarily get all sporty under the sun, but I do sweat a whole bunch. SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 50 is relatively sweat-proof (even though I make sure I reapply it if I'm spending a lot of time in the sun). It dispenses from the tube as a white cream, but rub in in properly and it's translucent. I love that the formula doesn't sting my eyes, or cause breakouts.


Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen is not for sweaty Betties because if you sweat too much, the product runs into your eyes, it will hurt. However, I use it on a daily basis under my makeup to work because, save for my commute, I spend most of my day in air conditioning. Just be sure to rub in this baby well, and you'll avoid weird whiteness.


The DrGL brand of skincare products has been developed by a celebrity plastic surgeon in Singapore. Truthfully, the doctor herself has been cosmetic surgeried so much I find myself avoiding her at events, but man, she’s got this sunscreen right.

My neck area is especially sensitive because of my eczema, so I use this specifically on my neck. It's not cheap, but I can't use just any cream on my neck or it'll start itching or stinging. It goes on light, and it's hydrating, which is very much welcomed on parched, eczema-plagued skin.

Pray tell, kitty cats, what are your favorite non-whitening sunscreens?