No matter what your skin tone, using sunscreen should be an important part of your health and beauty routine. Unfortunately, as with most personal products, there is a definite lack of options for those of us with darker skin tones. Many sunscreen products leave a grayish or whitish tint on skin, or don’t blend well with darker foundations and other cosmetics geared towards people of color.
Katonya Breaux, who happens to the mother of musical phenom Frank Ocean, hopes to offer people of color more options when it comes to sun protection. She launched Unsun, her new line of sunscreen products months before Ocean’s latest release, but the product recently picked up a lot of press.
Breaux, who is in her 50’s, started using sunscreen religiously after a dermatologist pointed out sun damage on her face nearly 20 years ago.
“I have this one little mole right under my bottom lip — I call it my Marilyn Monroe mole and it was the only one on my face that really stood out,” she told New York Magazine. “If I went somewhere special I’d darken it a little bit. One day I looked in the mirror and there were five or six moles all over my face. I made an appointment with my dermatologist and when she told me the moles were partly genetics, but mostly sun damage, I was stunned. I was like, Okay you don’t have to tell me twice, that was it.”
Breaux first started working on Unsun three years ago out of frustration. Back then, she tweeted: “Can someone make brown sunscreen? Please! Must I look like a clown to protect my skin? #blackfolkburntoo.”
After connecting with some friends in the beauty and haircare biz, the rest is history.
Unsun is all-natural and unlike most products on the market right now.
“It’s a mineral-tinted sunscreen with a universal tint, which is interesting because I created it for me, but it works well for so many people,” says Breaux. “Two weeks after we launched, we went to a women’s expo in downtown Los Angeles and we did demonstrations. It gave the blonde women a faint, bronzy glow, it blended right into the skin of the women with my complexion, and it worked for everyone in between. The active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, so it’s not going to irritate your skin and it’s not going to penetrate into your bloodstream.”
While Breaux acknowledges that there is still a dearth of options for black women in the beauty and cosmetics industries, she has no plans to expand into other sectors. Instead, she hopes to transform Unsun in a fully fledged sun protection brand.
You can purchase Unsun HERE.