Where Can I Get A Nonwhitening Sunscreen?

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Studies are showing that sun protection is vital for people of all skin tones. Yet the biggest barrier to effective UV protection for people with darker skin is the whitening effect of many sunscreens.

The whitening effect is largely due to the inclusion of physical sunscreens such as titanium dioxide, which increases the effectiveness as well as the photostability of a product. In recent years, cosmetics manufacturers have started to formulate with micronized titanium dioxide, which means the particles are ground small enough that they don’t reflect light to the same extent as the regular titanium dioxide, resulting in less whitening.

Most of the best sunscreens continue to make titanium dioxide (micronized or not) part of their formulation. To make the most of your sun care products without looking like a ghost, follow these four tips:

  1. Look for a product which contains a lower percentage of whitening ingredients, micronized if possible. Keys Solar Rx is a physical sunscreen with micronized particles of zinc oxide, easily tolerated by a wide range of skin tones.
  2. Give the product time. Apply it early and wait 15 or 20 minutes to allow it to sink in. If any white cast remains, gently massage the product in further.
  3. You may find a tinted product works for you. Start with something like Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme Tinted and add a little foundation until the tone looks natural. Bear in mind that adding tint to your sunscreen may slightly decrease its effectiveness, so continue to exercise caution about your exposure.  Foundation worn over sunscreen is also a good way to mask any whiteness.
  4. Don’t count on your skin tone to prevent UV damage resulting in age spots, wrinkles or one of the many varieties of melanoma prominent in the darker skinned population. Be cautious, seeking shade where possible and wearing clothes which offer UV protection.

We carry a wide range of physical and chemical sunscreens. See all our sunscreen options here.

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