Black skincare influencer tests out viral color-adapting sunscreen.

@joshua.iman/TikTok puhhha/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Thank you for saving me money’: Black skincare influencer tests out viral ‘tone-adapting’ sunscreen. It doesn’t work for dark skin

“Is the color ‘deep’ in the room with us?”


Jackie Ibarra


Posted on Dec 21, 2023   Updated on Dec 21, 2023, 2:01 pm CST

A skincare influencer’s video about a tone-adapting sunscreen has gone viral for demonstrating that the product does not adapt to darker skin tones. 

The video starts with TikTok influencer Joshua Iman (@joshua.iman) watching a video of another TikToker applying a sunscreen that “supposedly adapts to your skin tone.” He then cuts to himself sitting in his car, unboxing the Colorescience mineral-tinted sunscreen

“As a Black man that considers himself to be pretty chocolate, I don’t see this ending well for me, but we’re going to try it,” Iman says in his video.

@joshua.iman Trying the viral color changing sunscreen on dark skin. 🙂 #colorescience #coloresciencespf #colorsciencesunscreen #tintedsunscreen ♬ original sound – Joshua Iman

Before applying the product, he explains that all you have to do is rub the product on your face and it’s supposed to match your skin color. He then places a dot of sunscreen on his cheek and starts to blend. However, the product doesn’t adapt to his color. Instead, it’s several shades too light for his skin.

“We’re gonna keep blending,” he says as he looks into the camera, concerned. 

As Iman continues to attempt to blend the sunscreen, he explains that of the four shades available he got the darkest, which was called “Deep.” 

Iman continues to blend and blend in the hopes that the shade will get darker. He blends product onto the other side of his cheek as well, but as the sunscreen, too light for his skin, engulfs his face he leans back in his seat in silence, zooming in on his face with a look of disdain.  

While many users believe that the popular sunscreen works by “changing” its hue to match the wearer’s skin tone, that’s not actually the case. The sunscreen contains pigments that are released when the product is rubbed, resulting in a tint that may or may not match the wearer’s skin, depending on what shade they’ve bought.

Although Colorescience describes the product as “tone-adapting,” videos have surfaced from creators of color showing that the sunscreen doesn’t work on darker complexions. As demonstrated by Iman, even the “deep” shade has left dark-skinned buyers and viewers disappointed. 

“Is the color ‘deep’ in the room w us?” one user commented.

Others have expressed their gratitude to Iman for buying and testing out the product, as his review saved them money that may have otherwise been spent on a product that wouldn’t work for them. 

“Thank you for your sacrifice,” one person wrote. 

“Thank you sm for saving me money!” another commented. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Iman via TikTok direct message and Colorescience via email. 

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*First Published: Dec 21, 2023, 1:59 pm CST