When the sun comes out it puts a smile on everyone’s face without fail. Unless you suffer with acne and your SPF is causing you to break out!
Sunscreen is an important part of your daily beauty routine if you want to keep your face looking healthy and avoid premature aging. But if you have pimple-prone skin, applying sunscreen to your face every day can be a nightmare. Many sunscreens can make oily skin worse in a number of ways. Thick sunblock can make your skin extra greasy, clog pores and make acne worse. Chemicals in different products can react badly with breakouts, irritating and making them flare up.
Luckily there are products on the market that can be used with oily skin that breaks out a lot. Oil-free formulas, no harsh chemicals, non-irritating formulas; the perfect sunscreen is out there. To help you find it we have scoured the market for the best facial sunscreen. Have a look below!
These are the Best Sunscreens for Oily Acne Prone Skin in 2023
1. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
This sunblock has a powerful 55 SPF and protects you from UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays for up to 80 minutes. The fragrance free and non-comedogenic formula means the product won’t irritate acne and can be used every day!
Just remember to reapply every couple of hours, especially if you go swimming.
- Avobenzone (2.7%)
- Homosalate (4%)
- Octisalate (4.5%)
- Octocrylene (6%)
- Oxybenzone (4.5%)
- Effective facial sun protection specially designed for breakouts
- Lightweight formula perfect for daily use
- Oil-free to reduce excess oil
- Can be mildly irritating for very delicate skin
2. The Original+ Drying Lotion
If you want to remove those pesky pimples and acne scars, then you need to hydrate and nourish your skin with the Original+ Drying Lotion from Gold Mountain Beauty. This drying lotion has been carefully formulated to help in not just clearing acne but also removing pimples, blemishes, whiteheads, or blackheads. Suitable for all types of skin, it consists of sea buckthorn oil that helps brighten and nourish your skin. It includes zinc oxide, which assists in repairing skin cells, preventing excess oil, and work as an anti-aging facial lotion.
The drying lotion serves as an effective spot treatment thanks to its active ingredient – the salicylic acid that helps fade acne scars, reduces inflammation, shrinks large pores, and loosens blackheads. Moreover, the lotion features sulfur colloidal that helps to remove impurities, clean pores, and work as an antibacterial agent without irritating your skin.
- A combination of seaberry oil and potent acne-fighting ingredients helps you maintain healthy skin and look your best.
- The natural seaberry oil consists of bioactive substances like vitamins, lipids, fatty acids, flavonoids, and phenols that help in cell regeneration.
- Delivers omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 for improving elasticity and rejuvenating your skin.
- The active ingredient helps soothe blemishes. It is a perfect overnight treatment for not just your face but also your body.
- Has salicylic acid for healing scars, blemishes, and fighting acne
- The anti-inflammatory property keeps your skin healthy and produces a soothing effect
- Does not irritate delicate skin
- Has a pungent smell
3. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Sunscreen SPF 60, 1.7 Fl oz
If you have particularly greasy skin, it can be hard to find a sunscreen that doesn’t make it worse and leave your face extra shiny. Oil then clogs up pores and exacerbates spots and pimples. That’s why it’s great that La Roche-Posay have created clear skin sunscreen that absorbs oil, dries with a matte finish and reduces shine by up to 46%. And better yet, it protects from UVA and UVB rays with its super 60 SPF.
This mineral sunscreen uses Cell-Ox Shield Technology to protect oily skin with broad spectrum protection. It includes antioxidants to add extra protection from free radicals (molecules that can damage cells and cause aging). The formula is paraben and fragrance free so won’t irritate oily skin or the environment.
- Matte drying sunscreen perfect when you have greasy skin
- Paraben and fragrance free
- Water resistant up to 80 minutes
- Some people complained the sunscreen left white residue on the face
4. Blue Lizard Mineral Sunscreen – No Chemical Actives – SPF 30+ UVA/UVB Protection, 8.75 oz
If you have oily skin that gets easily irritated and you want a chemical free sunscreen, Blue Lizard Mineral sunscreen has no active chemicals. Designed with dermatologists, it uses Zinc and Titanium Dioxide to reflect away the suns rays to provide broad-spectrum protection with SPF 30+.
This Australian based company has designed a product, not only perfect for the beach as it is water resistant for up to 40 minutes, but also environment safe with no chemicals that can harm reefs.
- Zinc Oxide (10%)
- Titanium Dioxide (5%)
- Mineral sunscreen protects while using no active chemical ingredients
- The bottle uses smart bottle technology to change color in UV light and remind you to apply
- Designed with dermatologists perfect for delicate skin
- When ordered online some bottles appeared more yellow than the white on the image although this doesn’t affect the sunblock inside.
4. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 for Acne-Prone Skin
This specialist facial sunscreen from EltaMD provides protection from UVA and UVB rays while helping to soothe areas that is prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration. The product includes ingredients to keep your complexion looking healthy as well as working as a being a preventative measure for signs of aging and loss of elasticity.
It is a mineral based formula so it is designed to protect oily skin without causing irritation or clogging up pores. It is lightweight and doesn’t leave any sticky residue while still giving a coverage of SPF 46. This product is recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation.
- Zinc Oxide (9%)
- Octinoxatelnactive (7.5%)
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Lactic Acid
- Provides best effective broad-spectrum sun protection
- Oil-free formula calms skin types that suffer with severe breakouts
- Ingredients to improve the appearance of your tone
- Some people had an issue with the pump not working
5. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Fragrance-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer
Soothing and hydrating, the Aveeno facial moisturizer with SPF 15 is ideal for daily use. With nourishing oat and calming feverfew extract, your skin will love this super lightweight formula. It helps to reduce redness from just one week of use.
Oily skin should not be irritated by the extra gentle formula which is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and dermatologist tested. It is easy to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin. So if you have oily skin are looking for an SPF product to replace your moisturizer, this could be the best sunblock for the job.
- Avobenzone (3%)
- Octinoxate (7.5%)
- Octisalate (2%)
- Super calming formula that reduces redness
- Gentle enough for daily use
- Great for delicate skin
- Some people found the texture quite thin
6. Jacket SPF 50+ Sunscreen, Water Resistant, Oil Free
If you are an athlete with oily skin looking for a strong sunblock resistant to heavy sweating, this SPF 50+ sunscreen by Jacket could be the answer. It uses Zinc which offers the best protection out there from UV rays. It is also heavily water-resistant.
The formula includes many natural ingredients that both nourish and protect. Green tea and pomegranate extract are both strong antioxidants, cucumber extract soothes and reduces redness, Alpha Arbutin can fade spots from sun damage and Aloe and Vitamin E hydrate and nourish. It is Oxybenzone free which can irritate some skin tones.
- Zinc Oxide
- Green Tea
- Alpha Arbutin
- Pomegranate Extract
- Cucumber Extract
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Extreme, water-resistant SPF 50 sun protection perfect for athletes that sweat
- Natural vitamins and antioxidants to nourish and soothe oily skin
- Tackles age and sun spots
- With heavy sweating, the product can drip into eyes and cause stinging
7. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer, Broad Spectrum Spf 20, Light To Neutral 30, 1 Oz.
If you suffer with breakouts you might prefer a sunblock that doubles up as a foundation so you can protect and cover at the same time. Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Enhancer has SPF 20 to avoid sun damage but it also adds color with a sheer tint to your face to even out your skin tone and cover impurities.
It includes retinol which is packed with vitamins and helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and make your complexion appear more healthy. It is super lightweight so great for daily use. It is dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic so it is gentle enough not to aggravate the skin.
- Octinoxate (7%)
- Octisalate (3%)
- Titanium Dioxide (5.1%)
- Protects the face from UV damage
- Doubles as a liquid foundation to cover impurities
- Designed for daily use
- Some people found the color darker than expected
8. Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30 Lotion – Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB
Heavy, greasy products are a big problem when it comes to oily and acne-prone skin. They can clog pores and cause your pores to over-produce and collect sebum on the surface. This can lead to a shiny face and more breakouts!
The Sun Bum Original moisturizing product is one of the best sunscreens for face use, as it has a special non-greasy formula. It is designed not to block pores and is still hydrating while drying with a matte finish. The ingredients are all hypoallergenic and vegan so this can be used daily.
- Avobenzone (3%)
- Homosalate (5%)
- Octisalate (3%)
- Octocrylene (10%)
- Parsol 1789 and Vitamin E enriched
- Oil-free, non-greasy formula perfect for greasy skin
- SPF 30 protects from sun
- Good for daily use and delicate skin
- Can sting if comes into contact with eyes
9. Higher Education Skincare: Spring Break SPF 30
If you are looking for the best sunscreen for face that is light enough to add into your daily beauty regime, you will love the Higher Education Skincare product with SPF 30.
If you suffer with breakouts, the formula is oil-free and non-comedogenic. That means it will leave your pores unclogged or cause build up, it should also leave your face feeling matte rather than shiny. Apply generously to the face and neck, and once dry you can go ahead and go about your normal routine and apply makeup etc.
- Tocopheryl Acetate
- Chamomilla Recutita
- Cucumis Sativus
- Camellia Olefera
- Vitis Vinifera
- Formula that doesn’t cause clogging of pores
- Light oil-free formula
- Effective UVA and UVB protection
- A little more pricey than some sunscreens
10. ROHTO Skin Aqua Super Moisture Milk (SPF50 PA ++++) 40mL
If you prefer a very moisturizing sunscreen that still has a light formulation and works with daily use, the Japanese ROHTO brand Super Moisture Milk could be the best choice. With a high 50+ SPF you can be assured you will be protected from UV rays. But the benefits don’t end there. Amino Acids and Collagen all help make skin tones appear more youthful and healthy at the same time.
The allergy tested formula has no added artificial fragrances or colors so it should not irritate your skin. And although this product hydrates it does not leave the face feeling greasy, perfect for oily skin.
Related: Sunscreens made for sensitive skin
- Zinc Oxide
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Very moisturizing formula without leaving greasy residue
- Strong SPF 50 protection from sun damage
- Ingredients to leave skin looking younger
- The bottle is quite small
Things to consider when buying sunscreen for acne-prone skin
Is SPF good for acne?
SPF is super important to keep your skin healthy and protected from sun damage but can often make acne sufferers break out. Choose non-comedogenic and oil-free products to get the best of both worlds.
Is Neutrogena sunscreen good for acne-prone skin?
Neutrogena has specially designed sun protection products that are best for acne sufferers. The Clear Face Liquid Lotion (listed above) has an oil-free formula that allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t block up pores. The Healthy Skin enhancer (also above) is great if you want SPF protection that doubles as a foundation.
Can sunscreen make you break out?
Sunscreens can be heavy and greasy. This can leave pores feeling clogged and lead to break outs.
Is zinc oxide sunscreen good for acne?
Yes, it is non-comedogenic so it is oil-free and therefore won’t block up your pores. This means it is a great choice if you suffer from zits on your skin, and worth considering when deciding which sunscreen is best.
So next time the sun comes out no need to stress! Just grab the right sunscreen and your face can stay both protected and spot free!
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