Mineral sunscreens are great for a whole lot of different, derm-beloved reasons. They offer physical protection from UV damage, are great for sensitive skin, and work well on skin with acne or hyperpigmentation. But there’s still one problem: They leave behind a (very annoying) white cast, which makes them particularly unappealing for anyone with darker skin tones. “It’s created a barrier for using mineral sunscreen for people with darker skin tones,” says board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD.
And while it’s critical that the beauty industry works harder to create products that work on Black and Brown skin, until then, there is a way to hack your mineral SPF so that it works with any complexion: Just add some foundation. “Let’s say you bought a mineral that is great, but has an ashy cast—don’t get rid of it yet,” says board-certified dermatologist Adeline Kikman, MD, whose Instagram account @brownskinderm is dedicated to educating women of color about skin care. “Instead, put the adequate amount of your sunscreen on, then blend a little bit with your foundation.”
It’s critical that you apply a full layer of SPF before your foundation-sunscreen mix because the combo won’t give you enough protection on its own. “Don’t try to get all your adequate coverage by mixing with foundation,” says Dr. Kikman.
If you do want a mineral SPF that’s amenable to darker skin tones, she suggests TIZO AM Replenish Sunscreen ($50) or ISDIN Aryfotona Actinica ($55), which are easily blendable with or without foundation and dissolve nicely into your skin.
“Physical sunscreens are the best, but unlike chemical sunscreens, they can be less cosmetically appealing for people of color,” says Dr. Kikman. All dermatologists will agree that the best sunscreen is the one that you’ll commit to using on the reg, so here’s hoping that this handy mineral SPF trick will help make it something you want to use every day.
Want even more sun care tips for skin of color? Click the video below.