There are two ways to protect your skin from harmful UV rays: mineral filters and chemical filters.

Mineral Filters

The two mineral active ingredients you will find in your sunscreen are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These filters sit on top of your skin and deflect UV rays.

There are many benefits to using mineral filters:

  • They are the only sunscreen actives that are "generally recognized as safe and effective" by the FDA
  • They are better for sensitive skin
  • Since they deflect UV rays, rather than absorbing them, mineral filters are better for darker skin tones, which are more prone to hyperpigmentation

The problem? Mineral sunscreens leave an unflattering white cast, or residue, on dark skin tones.

Chemical Filters

The most common chemical filters used in the United States are octisalate, octocrylene, octinoxate, oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, and ensulizole. These filters are absorbed into the skin and break down UV rays after they are absorbed.

Chemical filters are often recommended for people of color because they blend into the skin, but they have a few problems:

  • They can irritate sensitive skin
  • Some chemical filters are harmful to the environment. In 2018, Hawaii banned sunscreens with octinoxate and oxybenzone because of the damage they caused to the coral reef
  • Studies suggest that some chemical filters can cause allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage
  • Studies suggest that some are absorbed into the bloodstream at potentially toxic levels. The FDA plans to do more research on this to understand its detailed effects

At nour™, we believe that all shades of skin deserve to have a mineral sunscreen option that is safe and works well with darker skin tones. We are developing a tinted mineral-only sunscreen in three dark shades so that people of color can finally feel safe and confident when protecting their skin.


Sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. Black skin contains protection from the sun up to SPF 13. However, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day to prevent skin damage.

Black people are four times more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage melanoma than non-Black people. Those who are diagnosed with melanoma are more likely to die from the cancer than white people with melanoma. 

Additionally, people of color are more likely to develop hyperpigmentation, or dark spots and dark patches of skin. Darker skin contains higher amounts of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. When the skin has an injury (even a minor one like a scrape or bug bite) the body overproduces melanin to protect that injury from the sun.

To help prevent skin damage, daily use of sunscreen is strongly recommended, whether you are indoors or outdoors.

nour™ is dedicated to creating high quality, mineral-based sunscreen for daily use to encourage positive skin health among people of color.

Want to learn more about sunscreen and the skin? Send us your questions via our Contact Us page!