Indian skin comes in various shades of brown. With such variety and depth in each shade, there is no way to describe Indian skin simply.
If you’re Indian, you may believe that sunscreen is not a necessary skin care step because of the brown shade of your skin. But this is far from the truth. The Skin Cancer Foundation asserts that skin tone has nothing to do with your risk for getting skin cancer. Any and every skin tone is vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays.
So you need to be sure that you are properly caring for your Indian skin, including using a suitable sunscreen. There are many factors to consider when you’re searching for the right sunscreen, and it can feel like a big task.
Let me help you break it down into smaller pieces so that you can learn what your Indian skin really needs. Then you can find the right sunscreen for you.
After deep exploration into what is needed for proper care of Indian skin, SimplySunSafe recommends Solbar Shield Sunscreen SPF 40 as the best sunscreen for Indian skin. Keep reading and you’ll find a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 7 sunscreens for Indian skin.
You want to cater to your unique skin needs. To be sure that your Indian skin is well cared for, you should search for the following must-have features in your sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
No matter where you are in the world or what type of skin you have, you need to remember one thing when you’re searching for a sunscreen. That is, that you need to find sunscreens that provide broad spectrum protection. This means that you receive balanced protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Yes, indeed there are two different types of rays and they work differently. UVB rays are the ones that cause you to tan or burn by damaging the outer layer of your skin. UVA rays are even more dangerous, as they penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis), and also cause premature aging.
You need to protect against both types of rays because exposure to either one increases your risk of skin cancer. Indian skin is no different just because of its darker tones!
Finding sunscreens with broad spectrum protection won’t be difficult for you, luckily. They are widely available and tend to be clearly marked.
It’s likely that you’ll notice the words ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ somewhere on the label of the sunscreen you’re looking at. But if not, don’t give up without checking the ingredients list first. If you see zinc oxide, then you know your broad spectrum protection is covered. Zinc oxide protects against the full spectrum of UVA/B rays and is always a safe active ingredient choice!
Best SPF for Indian Skin
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating is something that you’ve probably grown to think of as a deciding aspect of which sunscreen you choose. It is an important part of the choice, but do you really know why? You’re not alone, it’s an elusive concept that we all seem to rely on.
But understanding how it works will really enhance your search. The SPF rating tells you what fraction of the sun’s rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied your sunscreen. So first, make sure you know how to spread your sunscreen well and evenly.
This means, if you’re wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 50, then only 1/50th of the sun’s rays will reach your skin. Sounds amazing, right? Well, it’s definitely helpful, but don’t get carried away.
Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 50 doesn’t mean it’s safe to spend 50 times longer in the sun than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. You don’t want to risk this even if you have a darker Indian skin tone.
Here’s a table that will help you better understand the amount of protection you get from different SPF ratings:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
I bet you’re a bit surprised because I was too. The truth is out. There is actually little difference between an SPF rating of 30 and one of 100. So how do you know which SPF rating to choose for your Indian skin?
There is a basic guideline that we follow here at SimplySunSafe, which was set out by the American Academy of Dermatologists. They say that everyone, no matter their skin tone, should choose sunscreens with SPF ratings no lower than 30 and no higher than 50.
Keeping that in mind, your preference for SPF ratings will vary depending on your unique skin and its needs. Just make sure that you reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours no matter what SPF rating you end up choosing!
Physical is better than chemical
If you weren’t aware, sunscreens can be grouped into two main categories — physical and chemical. Push any skepticism you may feel aside, the differences are real. They lie in the active ingredients and in the ways the sunscreens work to protect your skin.
Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays as they reach your skin. Physical sunscreens, however, reflect UV rays before they reach your skin. The physical sunscreen method sounds safer, right?
There are many other reasons to choose physical sunscreens over chemical ones, as well. Physical sunscreens:
- Work immediately upon application
- Last longer
- Are less likely to cause irritation
- Have a longer shelf life
Are you warming up to the idea of choosing physical sunscreens? One more thing. Chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones. There is no way to know how you will react so it’s best just to avoid that possibility!
The worst of these chemicals is called oxybenzone and is still legal and used in many popular brands of sunscreen despite concerns from the FDA. Do yourself a favor, check the ingredients list for oxybenzone, and avoid it all costs.
For the safest quality care of your Indian skin, you want to choose physical sunscreens!
One of the most challenging things about finding a sunscreen for brown skin is that finding beauty products that match your skin becomes harder. Sunscreens can present the same issue, but there is a solution.
There are many sunscreen brands that realize that you don’t want to be left with a white cast on your darker skin. They have products that are designed to provide an invisible finish no matter what tone of skin you have.
This is a feature that you definitely want to search for in your sunscreen. The reality is that you need to wear sunscreen every single day in order to properly protect your skin. The last thing you want is to buy a sunscreen that you avoid using daily because it leaves your skin chalky white.
Search for sunscreens with an invisible finish for your Indian skin.
Suitable for daily use
Like I said, you need to wear sunscreen every day for proper protection. A white cast isn’t the only thing that might stand in the way of your daily sunscreen use.
Adding another step to your skincare routine can affect your skin in undesirable ways. With certain strong formulas, you could find your skin irritated with daily use. But it’s not necessary for you to experience this!
There are many sunscreens that are formulated gently with the purpose of gentle yet effective daily use. Think along the lines of formulas that are designed for sensitive skin. You will want to find a sunscreen that you can apply every day without adverse reactions.
Depending on the climate in which you live, water resistance in sunscreen can be an important factor in daily life. If you live in India, then you definitely want to search for sunscreens that provide water resistance. India’s tropical climate leaves no room for another choice!
Sunscreens are available with water resistance for 40 or 80 minutes. It is up to you to consider your level of activity and the climate in which you live to decide which amount of water resistance you prefer.
Think about where you live and consider if water resistance is a feature that your Indian skin will need in a sunscreen.
Best Sunscreen for Indian Skin Comparison
|SPF||Active ingredients||Invisible finish||Water resistance||Price|
|Solbar Shield Sunscreen||40||Zinc Oxide (7.5%) & Titanium Dioxide (5%)||Yes||80 minutes||$$|
|Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector||50||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (7%)||Yes||None||$$$$|
|Kiss My Face Face & Body||30||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (6%)||Yes (when applied properly)||80 minutes||$$|
|Vanicream Sunscreen||30||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (3.4%)||Yes (when applied properly)||80 minutes||$$|
|EltaMD UV Pure||47||Zinc Oxide (10%) & Titanium Dioxide (5.5%)||Yes (when applied properly)||80 minutes||$$$|
|DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer||30+||Zinc Oxide (14%)||Yes||None||$$|
|Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral||30||Zinc Oxide (14.5%) & Titanium Dioxide (2%)||No (but easily covered with powder or makeup)||80 minutes||$|
5 Best Sunscreens for Indian Skin
After thorough research about Indian skin and its needs which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has compiled a list of the 7 best sunscreens for Indian skin.
Each sunscreen provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or greater. All recommended products work well for a specific type of Indian skin so that you’ll be able to find the right sunscreen for your unique needs.
Best Sunscreen for Indian Skin: Solbar Shield Sunscreen SPF 40
SimplySunSafe’s choice for overall best sunscreen for Indian skin in the US is Solbar Shield Sunscreen SPF 40. Solbar is an effective formula that will provide you with broad spectrum protection through its active ingredients zinc oxide (7.5%) and titanium dioxide (5%).
Solbar provides everything you need in a sunscreen for your Indian skin. The formula hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic making it gentle enough for daily use on your skin without irritation. This sunscreen even contains pure aloe vera extract and vitamin E which nourish your skin as it’s being protected.
But that’s not all. One of the reasons this is the best sunscreen for dark skin in India is because it rubs into your skin transparently. You will have the invisible finish you want to feel comfortable wearing the sunscreen daily. It works well under makeup too, just spend some extra time rubbing in the thick formula before application.
Another great thing about Solbar is that it provides 80 minutes of water resistance. This means that you won’t need to worry about the humidity in India causing your sun protection to melt.
Give Solbar a try because it easily one of the best sunscreens for your body in India!
- Invisible finish
- Suitable for daily use with no irritation
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Thick formula takes time to rub in well
Best Sunscreen for Face in India: Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50
When it comes to sun protection for your face in India, Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50 is the sunscreen for you. This smooth sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection with a combination of active ingredients titanium dioxide (7%) and zinc oxide (6%).
Exuviance is an excellent choice for your face because its formula is very lightweight and will leave your skin feeling fresh, without a greasy or oily touch. For darker tones of Indian skin, Exuviance presents no problems because it does not leave any trace of whiteness, it has a true invisible finish!
There is almost zero chance of finding your skin when using Exuviance. It is oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and non-acnegenic. You will be able to use it daily on your face without issue. It will even condition skin with its added ingredients including green tea and vitamin E.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing Exuviance is that it does not provide water resistance. So you will want to think about how much you will be outside in humid conditions if you want to use Exuviance.
This dermatologist designed sunscreen is a great choice for your face in India!
- Invisible finish on all skin tones
- Gentle enough for daily use on your face
- Conditions your skin as it protects
- Does not provide water resistance
Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin in India: Kiss My Face Organics Face & Body SPF 30
If you have oily skin then you’ll want to try Kiss My Face Organics Face & Body SPF 30. Kiss My Face gives broad spectrum protection with its active ingredients zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (6%).
The ingredients used in Kiss My Face are 87% certified organic and combine to create a formula that is gentle enough for daily use on oily skin without irritation. This formula contains fewer ingredients that trigger oily skin than many other sunscreens, while still effectively protection you.
If you do find yourself in need of water resistance in your day to day skincare, then Kiss My Face has you covered with its 80 minutes of durable water resistant protection. Another plus is that it won’t leave your darker skin tone with a white cast as long as you rub its thick formula in well.
Kiss My Face is a gentle formula that will protect your oily skin and that is why SimplySunSafe recommends it as the best sunscreen for Indian oily skin.
- Invisible finish
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Suitable for use on face and body with oily skin
- Thick formula must be rubbed in well
Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin in India: Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30
When it comes to protecting your sensitive skin, you need to make sure that you choose quality products. Vanicream Sunscreen Sensitive SPF 30 is just right for you. It provides broad spectrum protection through its active ingredients zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (3.4%).
Vanicream is a sunscreen that was specifically designed for use on sensitive skin of all tones. This means that you won’t need to worry about irritation or being left with an annoying white cast on your darker Indian skin!
The thing to remember when applying your Vanicream is that the formula is very thick and needs to be worked into your skin very well to avoid any whiteness. You can also add some powder if you notice a slight cast left. The good thing about its thickness is that it will add moisture to your skin if it’s dry.
Vanicream also covers you in situations where you find yourself wanting protection against sweating or for water activities. With Vanicream, you get 80 minutes of strong water resistance.
Your sensitive skin will be well protected in India with Vanicream!
- Suitable for daily use on sensitive skin
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Nearly invisible finish
- Thick formula
Best Sunscreen for Combination Skin in India: EltaMD UV Pure Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 47
Finding skin care products for combination skin can be difficult. But EltaMD UV Pure Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 47 is an excellent formula that provides broad spectrum protection to your combination skin with its active ingredients zinc oxide (10%) and titanium dioxide (5.5%).
The reason that EltaMD is so great for combination skin in India is because it is non-comedogenic, which helps for the oily areas of skin, and is gentle enough for daily use on all types of skin.
For your darker Indian skin, EltaMD provides the benefit of leaving an invisible finish when you take the time to rub it in well and properly. It has a light scent which most customers say is pleasant and not bothersome.
If you need to be outside in the humidity of India or if you will be participating in water activities then EltaMD is a great option because it provides 80 minutes of water resistance, as well.
For your combination skin in India, EltaMD is your best choice!
- Invisible finish when applied properly
- Suitable for daily use on combination skin of all tones
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Light scent that some may not find pleasant
Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin in India: DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+
SimplySunSafe’s recommendation for the best sunscreen for normal to dry skin in India is DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+. This sunscreen moisturizer provides broad spectrum protection through its active ingredient zinc oxide (14%).
You may be thinking that this sunscreen has a high concentration of zinc oxide which may cause a white cast to be left on your darker Indian skin. But prepare to be pleasantly surprised. The zinc that DeVita uses creates a nearly invisible, matte finish. If you are bothered by any cast, you will be able to cover it up easily with a tad of makeup!
Although the formula feels quite lightweight on your skin, it is filled with many ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid, green tea, lavender, and chamomile, which all combine to hydrate your dry skin. Using this sunscreen daily will not cause you any irritation, on the contrary your skin will be nourished over time.
This sunscreen is environmentally friendly and gentle for daily use on your dry skin in India.
- Suitable for daily use on normal to dry skin
- Nearly invisible, matte finish
- Hydrating and nourishing ingredients
- No water resistance
Best Sunscreen for Acne Prone Skin in India: Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Having acne prone skin can present many difficulties when it comes to finding safe products for your skin. Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is a gentle sunscreen that does not irritate acne prone skin. Broad spectrum protection is provided through its active ingredients zinc oxide (14.5%) and titanium dioxide (2%).
Using Alba Botanica daily on your acne prone skin is safe because it is very gentle and contains nourishing ingredients like green tea and chamomile meant to help repair damaged skin and keep it calm rather than inflamed.
Alba Botanica is also a sunscreen that you can rely on in humid weather or if you’re swimming, as it provides 80 minutes of water resistance.
Be aware that you need to rub the thick formula in very well. Even so, it is likely that you will see a slight white cast on your darker Indian skin. The good thing is that this formula makes a great base for makeup, if you’re interested, or you can just some tone accurate powder on top of the sunscreen to offset the white cast.
For gentle yet effective protection of your acne prone skin in India, Alba Botanica is the way to go!
- Suitable for daily use on acne prone skin
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Skin nourishing ingredients
- Likely to leave slight white cast
This guide was written for those interested in finding the best sunscreen for Indian skin. I hope that by reading this guide you learned new information about how to properly care for Indian skin, and found a product that fits your specific needs.
If you’re looking for a geographically specific recommendation for India, check out the SimplySunSafe guide to the best sunscreen for Goa.
SimplySunSafe recommends Solbar Shield Sunscreen SPF 40 as the best sunscreen for Indian skin, but all 7 products listed are excellent options that serve certain purposes.
Now that you’ve gathered more insight into caring for your Indian skin, it’s a good time to start testing different products. You need to see how various ingredients and formulas react with your skin. By trying different sunscreens, you will be able to eliminate products that don’t work for you and narrow your choices down slowly and make the best choice of sunscreen for your unique skin.
I love learning new things and hearing about different products from members of my community. If you use or know of another great sunscreen for Indian skin, share it in the comments below. I’ll look into it and maybe even add it to this list!