Summer Skin Care

Bought a Sunscreen With a White Cast? Use This Derm’s Tip so It Doesn’t Go to Waste

Zoe Weiner

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Photo: Getty Images/ Klaus Vedfelt

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-qualified dermatologist Adeline Kikam, DO, 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."

She suggests that you add a few drops of Dermablend Flawless Creator Lightweight Foundation ($40) to your physical sunscreen of choice to prevent a white cast on skin. "It comes loaded with iron oxide that protects against visible light, which was proven in a study published in the Journal for Drugs in Dermatology," she says. "It comes in multiple shades and can be mixed in with sunscreen and not affect SPF according to Dermablend." It's important to note that while we might be spending less time outdoors this summer due to the pandemic, adequate protection is still of top importance. "Visible light, such as that emitted from our phones and computer monitors, can cause or worsen hyperpigmentation in darker skin," adds Dr. Kikam.

If you do want a mineral SPF that's amenable to darker skin tones, Dr. Kikam suggests TIZO AM Replenish Sunscreen Tinted ($50) or ISDIN Eryfotona 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," she says. 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.

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