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How to use SPF on darker skin tones

How to use SPF on darker skin tones
Holly James
Beauty Writer3 years ago
View Holly James's profile

With summer fast approaching, and hopefully some hotter weather on the way, it's important that we all stay safe in the sun. Though it is commonly known that fairer skin tones tend to burn more easily in the sun, there is a lot of confusion around the advice for darker skin tones and how to keep the skin protected from UV rays. We spoke to the experts at COOLA, the plant-based suncare brand, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions on how to use SPF on darker skin tones from how often you should be applying SPF, to the best formulas for darker skin that won't leave any white residue.

How are darker skin tones affected by the sun?

It's a common misconception that deeper skin tones don't need to wear SPF. Although the melanin in darker skin may offer some protection and does not burn as easily as fair skin, it's still possible to experience sunburn and sun damage as well as premature skin aging. Signs of skin cancer may also be harder to identify on deeper skin tones meaning that this often goes unnoticed until further down the line.

The COOLA Spray SPF50 is an easy to apply, water resistant formula that keeps the skin protected from both UVA and UVB rays. Made with anti-oxidant rich, plant-based ingredients, the spray also helps to guard against environmental aggressors in the atmosphere and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, containing no fragrances or chemicals that may irritate the skin.

Should you still wear SPF if you have darker skin?

We always recommend wearing a daily SPF of 30 or higher, no matter your skin tone. It's important to apply SPF to all areas of the skin that will be exposed to the sun.


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The COOLA Rosiliance SPF30 in Medium-Deep makes applying your daily SPF easy; the tinted moisturiser is a skincare-makeup hybrid formula that evens the skin tone and boosts luminosity whilst protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays. The lightweight blend offers buildable coverage and contains a unique Bio-Complex that soothes and moisturises the complexion, helping to keep the skin healthy and prevent against premature ageing.

What types of SPF are best suited to darker skin tones?

COOLA offers a wide assortment of transparent sunscreen applications that deliver a hydrating and invisible finish. If an invisible application is your priority, we suggest any of our Classic sunscreens that are formulated with traditional chemical sunscreen actives that apply entirely invisible. As mentioned above, factor 30 or higher is advised for all skin tones.

The COOLA Guava Mango Spray SPF 50 is a fast absorbing and deliciously fruity smelling spray that melts into the skin quickly without leaving any residue or shine. Made from 70%+ organic ingredients, the naturally scented spray is suitable for hypoallergenic skin as well as being vegan friendly. As with all of their products, the formula shields against UVA and UVB rays and contains their patented Plant Protection complex that supports the skin's natural barrier against environmental aggressors.

How do you avoid a white cast when using SPF?

While COOLA offers some of the sheerest mineral sunscreens, mineral actives Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are responsible for the white cast that many experience when using sunscreen. Avoid these ingredients for the most transparent application. Whether you opt for our classic or mineral options, all COOLA Sunscreens are tested to offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Holly James
Beauty Writer
View Holly James's profile
Working with brands at LOOKFANTASTIC for over two years I have developed my knowledge of all things beauty from key skincare concerns to niche makeup tricks and haircare hacks. I have a major passion for finding effective solutions that are easily accessible to everyone so that we can all achieve our best, glowing complexion.