Extrashade SPF30 sunscreen for rich complexions

Fans of the Viva Woman Facebook Page might remember an article I posted up last month titled “The Importance of Sunscreen for Women of Color”. Until then, I was naively under the impression that those with darker skin tone don’t need additional sun protection since the extra melanin makes it harder for their skin to burn. In fact, I’ve read that people of color have a natural SPF of 13, meaning they have a “built-in” sunscreen that makes them less susceptible to sunburn compared to those with fairer skin tones! However, while it is true that the melanin present in darker skin makes it harder for the skin to burn, the harsh ultraviolet rays can still cause premature aging, sun spots, and wrinkles. And of a greater and growing concern is the threat of skin cancer for this community because of the general lack of awareness and interest in sun protection.

Greater skin cancer prevention aimed at communities of color
In 2010, the American Medical Association (AMA) released research showing that African Amercian women had the highest mortality rate from skin cancer over other ethnicities. This alarming research was published in the Archives of Dermatology and provoked the AMA to pass a resolution in 2010 that called for “greater skin cancer prevention efforts aimed at communities of color.”

“All patients regardless of race or ethnicity should use the same sun protection measures including sunscreen of at least SPF 15, avoid the sun during peak hours and regular exams,” said AMA Board Member Peter W. Carmel, M.D. “However, African Americans and Hispanics are much less likely to practice these behaviors, and the AMA supports efforts to increase awareness.”

The most protective sunscreen for rich complexions
Sunscreens are therefore also necessary to protect the skin for people of color but the truth is very few of such products are suitable for this multi-cultural community. Many of them are too thick and often leave an undesirable whitecast that is very unflattering, especially those containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. So against this backdrop, Extrashade has launched an innovative sunscreen for rich complexions offering uniquely photostabilized sunscreen ingredients combined with hydrating naturals and anti-aging botanicals suitable for daily use. The term “rich complexions” by the way, was coined by Extrashade to refer to those who have extra melanin from olive, brown to dark brown and other exotic shades in between.

Skin friendly formulation with no chalky or greasy residues
Extrashade Sun Protection for Rich Complexions SPF 30 is photostabilized to withstand longer hours of UVA and UVB exposure and increase water resistance without the chalky or greasy residues. This is definitely a chemical-based sunscreen but interestingly, it is formulated without fragrance, lanolin, dye, alcohol, propylene glycol or any irritants known to stimulate the production of excessive melanin.

Ingredient list

Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Oxybenzone 4.0%
Inactive ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glyceryl Stearate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Glycerin, Jojoba Esters, Dimethicone, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Dimethicone, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tertrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hexylene Glycol, Punica Granatum Quillaja (Pomegranate) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Extract, Hedychium Coronarium Root (White Ginger) Extract, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi Fruit) Extract, Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis Extract, Passion Flora Incarnata (Passion Flower) Extract, Plantago Major Leaf (Plantain) Extract, Saponaria Bark (Soap Bark) Extract

Combination of beneficial skin ingredients
Extrashade introduces maximum broad spectrum sun protection combined with vitamins, botanical extracts, essential antioxidants and hydrators to dramatically nourish, strengthen and restore the skin. These include hyaluronic acid that provides intense hydration; white ginger and passion flower that soothe inflammations and soften the skin; vitamins C and E that help strengthen and add radiance; soap bark, coconut and plantain extract that help heal wounds, hydrate the skin and fight free radicals; pomegranate and kiwi fruit extract that act as antioxidants, calming inflammations and fighting visible signs of aging. So all in all, Extrashade offers the unique combination of full-spectrum protection from UV radiation, antioxidant nourishments, and hours-long hydration.

Price and availability
Extrashade Sun Protection for Rich Complexions is now available online. You can choose the Daily Defense Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 or Protect & Nurture Sunscreen SPF 30, which is perfect for kids’ delicate skin.  Both comes in a 120ml tube size and retails at US$33. For more information, check out www.extrashade.com.



  1. Tabita says:

    Thanks for the info. It is quite hard to find suitable sunblocks. Most of them just make me look ashy.

  2. sesame says:

    Yeah, finding a suitable sunscreen with the right texture and protection can be a challenge.

  3. Durga says:

    Do they ship internationally?

  4. sesame says:

    According to info on their website, orders can only be billed or shipped to United States, its territories and Canada.

  5. Audris says:

    Hope one of the local health/beauty stores bring them in soon. I know many Malay and Indian friends who do NOT use sunblock, because of the white cast or tackiness issues.
    Audris last post is: Get with it! Revlon Colorbust Lip Butter in 025 Peach Parfait

  6. sesame says:

    Yeah, I think so…I don’t hear them talking about sunscreens at all.

  7. Fevrier says:

    I heard people do breakout alot because of sunscreen, is that true ? I use sunscreen just lately coz it made my skin oily. Anyway.. I noticed i have few little tiny white bumps on my face, no break out. Is that because of the sunscreen or my skin is adjusting to the product? Thank you.
    Fevrier last post is: Birthday Parties

  8. sesame says:

    It can happen if the ingredients clog the pores so choices for the right sunscreen is a challenge. The sunscreen maybe a tad drying for your skin type if it’s causing your skin to be oily and the oil is probably causing the white bumps. Do you apply some moisturizer under the sunscreen? It might help.

  9. Gwen says:

    Hi, isn’t Oxybenzone potentially harmful to one’s health? Or is the percentage too low in this case to have any harmful effects? Thank you.

  10. Sesame says:

    Some people are concerned about the health hazard. I think it depends on your threshold but the combination works to provide some photostability.

  11. Mariana says:

    I would like to purchase extra shade

  12. Jasika Pruitt says:

    I was eager to try Extrashade sunscreen because I was interested in experiencing a non-mineral based lotion that would not give my brown skin an ashy white hue. I have been making my own sunscreen for about 2 years and it’s very effective and a joy to use, but it has zinc oxide in it. I was hoping Extrashade would be an ideal lotion to supplement my homemade sunscreen with if I wanted to go for a bare skinned look and not worry about grayness tinting my skin from the zinc. After using Extrashade for three days, my skin had broken out in an angry rash with tiny pink dry bumps covering most of my face and neck. Once I realized that the culprit must be the new lotion I was using (I had not changed anything about my diet or skin care regimen aside from the sunscreen), I immediately stopped using it, but unfortunately it took another 4 days or so for my skin to get back to normal (as of a week later while I am writing this, my skin looks and feels much better but is still much drier than usual). Since I have been using all natural products on my skin for years, I knew that trying a sunscreen whose sun protectant was based on a chemical rather than a mineral would be a risk, and I definitely paid the price for it. Because of this, I don’t blame Extrashade for the reaction that my skin had- everyone’s skin has different levels of sensitivity and something in Extrashade’s ingredients list, most likely a silicone, alcohol or chemical, must have just been a bad combination with my skin. However I WAS upset when I wrote a polite email to Extrashade about my experience with the product and they refused to refund me my money. I think this is incredibly poor customer service and a very short sighted way to take care of consumers. I have never had such a poor response with a customer service representative before, and I expected more from this company. I had no intentions of writing reviews about my bad experience with this product until they poorly handled my request to return my unused portion for a refund. I haven’t had to send many beauty products back over the years, but the few times that I did have to do it, the companies were gracious, accommodating, and kind. That was sadly not the case with Extrashade. So to anyone interested in trying the product, PLEASE DO SO WITH CAUTION. If you have sensitive skin or tend to stick to all-natural bath and body products, this one might not be for you, and this is important because they WILL NOT take care of you and refund your money if you DO end up having an issue with the product. Take care of yourselves, your skin, AND YOUR MONEY!

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