You probably know that wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen daily helps protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB rays. But what about the light you can see? Visible light comes from the sun, but it also comes from everyday devices, like screens, televisions, and light bulbs.

Research shows that visible light can penetrate deeper into your skin and cause discoloration, like melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation—especially in people with darker skin tones. Traditional broad-spectrum sunscreens don't block visible light, but is tinted sunscreen better for hyperpigmentation? Read on to get the scoop.

What Is Tinted Sunscreen?

Like any broad-spectrum sunscreen, tinted sunscreen blocks UVA and UVB rays, but it has a bonus: it can also block visible light. In addition to mineral and chemical UV blockers, tinted sunscreens contain added pigments that give them their color and deflect visible light. Tinted formulas combine red, black, and yellow Iron Oxides with other physical blockers to match different skin tones.

Beautiful Asian Indian woman taking a selfie.

How Does Tinted Sunscreen Benefit Skin?

In addition to blocking UV and visible light, tinted sunscreens have a few other benefits. They provide natural-looking coverage and can blend in seamlessly with different skin tones and complexions. They can also help even out your skin tone and camouflage any hyperpigmentation you may already have.

Because they're tinted, they also reduce the chalky white cast that often goes hand in hand with mineral sunscreens. This is especially helpful for people with darker skin tones, who are more likely to be affected by hyperpigmentation due to increased melanin levels.

For some people, tinted sunscreens can even replace a light foundation or other complexion-correcting makeup.

How Does Tinted Sunscreen Help with Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin produces more pigment (melanin) than usual, resulting in patches of skin that are darker than your natural skin tone. Hyperpigmentation comes in a few forms, including melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (a natural response to skin inflammation or injury).

Exposure to UV light—and, as you now know, visible light—can worsen all types of hyperpigmentation. Melanin is your skin's natural sun defense, so when you don't protect it from the light, your skin produces more. The result? Dark patches and spots. That's why sunscreen is your best defense against hyperpigmentation.

Is Tinted Sunscreen Better for Hyperpigmentation?

Any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen by far, but if you're prone to hyperpigmentation or melasma, tinted sunscreens are your best bet.

Research shows that visible light—especially blue light from screens—is more likely to promote pigment production in your skin. This means that all the time you spend in front of your computer or smartphone could make your melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation worse, even if you're wearing regular sunscreen every day.

Studies also show that blocking both UV and visible light works better than blocking UV light alone when treating conditions like melasma. So, whether you're hoping to prevent or treat hyperpigmentation, tinted sunscreen is the way to go.

Choosing the Right Tinted Sunscreen for You

Fortunately, you have many options. Aim for a tinted sunscreen formula that blends well with your skin tone. Make sure it's broad-spectrum, noncomedogenic (meaning it won't clog pores), and SPF 30 or higher.

From there, look for a tinted sunscreen that contains other ingredients that can help you reach your skin care goals. Take EltaMD UV Restore Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. This 100 percent mineral-based sunblock protects your skin from UVA, UVB, and visible light. Formulated for all skin types, it blends in smoothly and boasts Ginger Root and antioxidants Vitamin C and E to fight damaging free radicals and keep skin supple, youthful, and evenly toned.

For a deeper tint you can explore our deep tinted spf UV Clear and UV Daily options that were specifically designed and tested to blend in sheer to deeper skin tones without leaving a white cast finish and while providing various benefits to your skin's texture and brightness.

Healthy Skin Is Vibrant Skin

Wearing a tinted sunscreen you love every day can help protect your skin against hyperpigmentation, premature aging, and skin cancer. Combine it with other sun protection strategies like wearing a broad-brimmed hat and seeking shade midday. By developing these small habits, you can keep your skin healthy and vibrant every day of the year.



    Maria Robinson, MD, MBA is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist with over ten years of clinical experience. Dr. Robinson has a passion for nutrition and integrative dermatology, and is the co-founder of, where people can explore holistic dermatology treatments. Through her writing, she strives to empower people with accurate health information so they can make positive decisions that lead to healthy and vibrant skin.

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