The 411 on Sunscreen for All Skin Types

by Jana K. Hoffman
June 30, 2019

Fact or Fiction: You don’t need to worry about wearing sunscreen if you have an olive skin complexion. The answer: Fiction. Why? Because the sun doesn’t discriminate. Every skin tone, complexion and ethnicity should be concerned about the safety of their skin.

We’re not just talking about skin cancer here. Damaging sun rays also cause premature aging like dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. Aging skin happens. Skin cancer doesn’t have to happen. With these simple tips, you can choose the right sunscreen for your skin type and rave about your suncare preventative measures to everyone who’s willing to listen (#influencer).

Sunscreen for Dark Skin Tones

It’s true that dark complexions are less likely to burn and also have natural protection against skin cancer (hey, melanin). But! That doesn’t mean you can’t get hit with either one. Skin cancer is especially possible in areas where your skin is lighter like on your palms, the soles of your feet and around your nail beds. The key to prevention is to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

Sunscreen for Dry Skin

The dry-skin struggle is real. It’s flaky. It’s peel-y. And it’s kind of a pain in the you know what. Treat your skin to a moisturizing sunscreen. You’ll want to look for creams and lotions. And if your skin is extra dry, you could benefit from ointment with SPF in it.

Sunscreen for Normal Skin

Congratulations! Normal skin types can choose whichever sunscreen is their favorite. We wouldn’t be mad if you picked us, though.

Shop the Story
  • $11.99
  • $12.99

Sunscreen for Oily Skin

Oily skin in the summertime is like your worst enemy times 10. Don’t fret! You can avoid the summer oil slick by wearing a lightweight, oil-free sunscreen that soaks up extra oil throughout the day. Stash a pack of blotting papers in your bucket bag or beach tote and you’re good to go.

Sunscreen for Very Fair Skin

For those with pale skin, you’ve probably adopted a healthy sunscreen habit at a young age. If not, it’s never too late. Very fair complexions lack melanin so you need to slather on the SPF 30 or higher every day. Reapplication is especially important when spending extended periods of time outdoors.



I’m a writer, rescue dog owner, tattoo collector and traveler who shamelessly has an 8-step skincare routine.

We Think You'll Love

Related Posts

It’s always sunny no matter what the forecast says. Read our list of other occasions when you still need to wear sunscreen.
Sun June 30
From the transparent amber bar to a diverse collection of ingeniously designed skincare, Neutrogena® is founded upon genuine relationships and a passion for creating effective yet skin-friendly products that earn your trust—and dermatologists' recommendations
Wed December 9
Our top simple healthy habits to help you reduce your risk.
Sun June 30
Establishing sun-safe habits for you and your family can be easy with these tools and tips. Now you can enjoy every day like it's SUNday.