5 Reef-Safe Sunscreens That Leave No White Cast, for Dark Skin Tones

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May. 26 2021, Published 3:59 p.m. ET

There are so many things that environmentally-conscious folks look for when sunscreen shopping. One of the most important factors is that it’s reef-safe, meaning it doesn’t include ingredients that have been connected to coral bleaching; and for many sunscreen-wearers, especially those with darker skin tones, it’s important to find a sunscreen that does not leave a white cast and blends into the skin. 

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So, we’ve rounded up five of the most popular reef-safe sunscreens without a white cast. We also made sure that every option on this list is cruelty-free and vegan. Plus, most of the brands on this list are made by women-owned and/or minority-owned brands. 

Cocokind

Cocokind is a cruelty-free, Asian-owned, and woman-owned skincare company. Its daily 32 SPF sunscreen is free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, and it’s also mineral-based (using zinc oxide as its primary sun-blocking ingredient), certified vegan, fragrance-free, lightweight, and never greasy. Multiple reviewers of the product claim that it does not leave a white cast.

You can shop cocokind’s products on the brand’s website, and at stores including Target, Whole Foods, and Ulta.

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Black Girl Sunscreen

Black Girl Sunscreen checks off nearly every box on our list. Its products are all reef-safe, free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, vegan, cruelty-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free. The company is also Black-owned and woman-owned, and all products are formulated to have zero white cast, and therefore work on any skin tone.

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As if we couldn't love Black Girl Sunscreen more, the company has its own recycling program for your empty bottles — mail them back to be recycled in exchange for a surprise. You can shop Black Girl Sunscreen’s three sunscreen products (regular SPF 30, kids SPF 50, and matte SPF 45) on the company’s website, at Target, and select online retailers.

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EleVen by Venus Williams

Tennis star Venus Williams’ brand EleVen makes everything from clothing to tennis gear to SPF skincare. EleVen sells two varieties of mineral sunscreen — On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 and Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 — which are both reef-safe, zinc oxide-based, vegan, cruelty-free, and made with natural ingredients. EleVen developed both sunscreens with mineral sunscreen pros from The Sunscreen Company, and according to reviews, both sunscreens leave no white cast.

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EleVen also sells four SPF lip balms, three of which are tinted with beautiful, vibrant shades of pink, and a dye-free variety that is cheekily titled 15 Love. You can shop all EleVen by Venus products on the brand’s website.

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Native

Native, founded by Moiz Ali (but now owned by Procter & Gamble), is best known for its deodorants. But in April 2021, the brand launched its first sunscreen products, including a Coconut & Pineapple scent for the face, and Rosé and Unscented options for the body. Each variety is SPF 30, made with zinc oxide, reef-safe, free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, and compliant with Hawaii’s sunscreen laws.

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Additionally, the company claims that each product is “lightweight and blends seamlessly on all skin tones,” the entire brand is vegan and cruelty-free, and Native even offers some of its deodorant scents in compostable cardboard tubes. Native sunscreens are available on the company's website, and some Native products can be found in Target stores. 

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Love Sun Body

Love Sun Body’s sunscreens are all reef-safe, cruelty-free, vegan, and third party certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural. The company’s Glow Natural Tinted Mineral Sunscreen & Moisturizer SPF 30 comes in four shades, designed to leave no white residue and blend with any skin tone. 

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Love Sun Body adds that the product is hypoallergenic, water resistant, moisturizing, and easy to rub in; plus, the brand makes a variety of other sunscreen options, including baby-safe varieties. You can shop Love Sun Body on the company’s website and in some stores.

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