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Sunscreens That Suit South Asian Complexions

by Mahmood Hossain

Care for the complexion.

By Mahmood Hossain

The idea of not needing sunscreen because we were born with melanin-rich skin is an absolute myth. In reality, every single person, regardless of your complexion requires protection against the sun, and sunscreen is meant for everyday use. I should know since my friends consistently badger me about it. Guilty as charged. Like some, I’ve always either found the texture a tad uncomfortable or the ghostly cast it leaves behind on darker skin tones absolutely frightening. The short answer is that not all formulas work on every skin. Fortunately, there are a few sunscreen options, with the right amount of SPF, that disappear into your beautiful darker skin tone seamlessly. Top Tip: Aim for at least SPF 30 on a broad-spectrum screen, and at least PA+++ (the former rates its protection against UVB rays, while the latter rates its protection against UVA rays).


The CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Sheer Tint (SPF 30 or 50) is approved by many skin experts. The tinted sunscreen provides lightweight SPF protection, and more importantly, possesses a feature that evens your skin tone. Light and oil-free, people with oily and prone-to-acne skin have benefited from applying this tinted sunscreen. Not to mention, it’s not as expensive as others on the list.


Approved by our in-house skincare enthusiasts, Ultra Violette offers a few solid solutions to protecting your skin. The brand’s Fave Fluid SPF 50+ Ultralight Fragrance-Free Skinscreen provides an ultra-light, soft, and natural finish formula, which helps avoid the heavy or sticky feeling after applying the cream. It has next-gen UV filters and various ingredients that are extra caring toward your skin, reducing pigmentation while brightening your skin. And, of course, no white cast. Visit your local Sephora for these vibrantly packaged wonders.


Another favourite among the sunscreen lot is Supergoop!’s Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, yet another preferred and trusted choice from Sephora. It’s light, scentless, has a natural finish, and is 100 percent invisible. To the touch, it’s velvety smooth and weightless, and recommended for normal, combination, dry or oily skin. Free from clogging pores, and can double as a makeup-gripping primer, this sunscreen has a healthy cult following that’s developed over the past few years. It remains consistent results on all skin tones. However, for certain oily-prone skin, it may leave a shiny after-effect.


It’s oil-free, sweat and water-resistant, with a lightweight finish, boasting antioxidants and anti-ageing ingredients, combined with zinc oxide. The All Physical Ultimate Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen by Dr. Dennis Gross is slightly more expensive than the others but for good reason. It’s a high-performance formula that stays with you when you’re active, creating a fortification between you and the UVA/UVB rays, photoaging, and pollution. However, it does have a lightweight dewy finish, which can be tricky for oily skin, yet it still sits well under layers of makeup.


Soft to the touch and easy on the eyes, the d’you unkissed sunscreen is unlike any other. The one-of-a-kind Indian brand has formulated a never-seen-before serum-based, blue sunscreen that blends beautifully into the skin within seconds of applying it. More importantly, there isn’t a trace of white cast. The passionate d’you team has created a product with patented capsule technology, containing new-age sunscreen filters with SPF 50+ and PA++++ protection. With 14 different soothing plant extracts, unkissed delivers a cooling and hydrating experience. It’s so lightweight and non-sticky that you’ll forget you applied anything on your skin in the first place!

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