Acne-Prone Skin Oily Skin Skin Type Skincare Sunscreens

The Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin & Acne-Prone Skin: The Ultimate Guide & Review

Jump to: Editor’s Choice: The Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin

The Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin & Acne-Prone Skin – The benefits of putting on daily sunscreen is not exactly news but people with oily or acne-prone skin are still hesitant to use sunscreens because they’re afraid that it can cause or aggravate their condition.

Normal sunscreen formulations are indeed thick and add a greasy layer on the skin, so this belief is not unwarranted.

For people like us with oily skin, choosing the right sunscreen is (really) easier said than done; especially with thousands of products out there and with our health on the line.

What you need from your sunscreen goes beyond sun protection–it should complement your skin and adjust to your skin’s needs at every turn.

Luckily, sunscreens have come a long way from making you look like a geisha on the street!

The key is choosing a sunscreen that not only has solid sun protection but also has the right formulation that suits your needs and skin type. One that makes you look good and feel great.

In this article, we’ll tackle the type of sunscreen products those with oily and acne-prone skin types should be choosing, as well as a list of the highest-rated and best-performing ones out in the market today.

By the end, we want you to be an educated consumer and make an informed choice when choosing the perfect sunscreen. 🙂

Video: How to make sunscreen work under make up | by Dr. Sam Bunting

For acne-prone and/or oily skin, dermatologists recommend using sunscreens that are non-comedogenic, with lightweight formulas that has a matte finish so it controls your oil production and won’t clog your pores. A great sunscreen should also blend flawlessly into your skin for an invisible protection.

Regarding which sunscreen is ultimately better–once all the boxes above are ticked, it all comes down to its compatibility to your skin.

Make sure to check the Best for line below to see which one is most suited for your skin condition.

Disclaimer Notice

This website is for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Product or service details are collected directly from the manufacturer and other reputable sources during the time of this review. We try to keep on top of new formulations when we can and update our data accordingly.

Recommendations are based on our research, results, a comprehensive analysis of the products' formulation, claims, value for money, and other consumer reviews. We make an effort to be as objective as possible and give advice in good faith; however, our reviews are 100% honest and therefore may still contain conjectures and opinions based on our personal experiences.

It’s important to know that as with any product (especially cosmetics), what may be perfect for you may not be right for the next person. So as much as we want to guarantee that these will be everyone’s next holy grail, results can still be affected by individual factors like your current skin condition, the environment you’re in, use of the product, reaction to your other skincare, and so on. For best results, make sure to choose products that are suited for your skin type and skin issues.

At the end of every review, there will be a link for you to check current discounts and other customer reviews on Amazon. These, along with some other links that redirect you to third-party sites, are affiliate links where we earn a small commission if you do decide to make a purchase. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you and will help in maintaining the quality of the site.

There are millions of products and services that relate to beauty and health. However, we have and will only recommend products or services that we have had experience with or thoroughly investigated. Our content is not influenced by affiliates but by what we truly feel will deliver value to you. We are deeply passionate about health and wellness, and one of our goals is to help you make educated choices so you can get closer to your #skincare goals. 🙂

Thank you for visiting and here’s to being the best version of yourself!

Editor’s Choice: The Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin


These are our choices for the best sunscreens for oily skin based on our analysis of the highest consumer-rated sunscreens, cross-checked with the necessary specifications for a top performing sunscreen and its compatibility with oily and acne-prone skin.

As with any skincare product, make sure to also choose a sunscreen that is best suited for your skin type and skin issues.

wdt_ID Brand / Product Name Our Verdict Key Sun Protection Best for (Skin Type & Condition) Product Image Jump to Review
1 Obagi Medical - Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte Sunscreen Lotion Best sunscreen for oily skin under makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Hybrid sunscreen: 10.5% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate. All Skin types especially Oily and Acne-prone Skin
3 MDSolarSciences - Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Best mineral sunscreen for oily skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Physical sunblock: 2% Titanium Dioxide, 17% Zinc Oxide. All Skin Types especially Oily Sensitive, & Acne-prone skin, Rosacea
4 Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories - Super Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50 Best sunscreen for oily & dehydrated skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Hybrid sunscreen: 0.5% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate. All skin types including Oily Skin & Dehydrated Skin
5 PCA SKIN - Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Best sunscreen for acne prone & oily skin Broad Spectrum SPF 45. Hybrid sunscreen: 9.0% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate. Oily, Acne-prone, and Sensitive Skin; Daily Use
6 TIZO 2 - Non-Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 Best face sunscreen for oily, sensitive skin Broad Spectrum SPF 40. Physical sunblock: Titanium Dioxide 8%, Zinc Oxide 3.8% Oily and Sensitive Skin, Post-procedures like peels and lasers
7 Jan Marini - Skin Research Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45 Best physical sunscreen for oily skin, Best sunblock for oily skin Broad Spectrum SPF 45. Physical sunblock: Titanium Dioxide 6%, Zinc Oxide 8%. Normal to Oily Skin, Acne-Prone Skin, Sensitive Skin concerned with irritants from chemical sunscreens, Looking for protection from free-radicals
8 Vichy - Idéal Capital Soleil Sunscreen SPF 45 Dry-Finish Body and Face Sunscreen with Antioxidants & Vitamin E Best drugstore sunscreen for oily face Broad Spectrum SPF 45. Chemical sunscreen: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 6%. All Skin Types especially Oily, Acne-prone skin, and Sensitive skin; Outdoor Activities
9 Replenix - UltiMATTE Perfection SPF 50+ Best tinted sunscreen for oily skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Physical sunblock: 16.2% Micronized Zinc Oxide Oily skin, Acne-prone skin, All Skin types especially post-procedure, melasma, and sensitive skin; Minimizing pores & fine lines, Anti-aging
10 COUI - Skincare Moisturizing SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen Lotion Best sunscreen lotion for oily skin Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Hybrid sunscreen: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Zinc Oxide 7% (Z-Cote) Oily and Sensitive skin, Cruelty-free
11 La Roche-Posay - Anthelios Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen, Body & Face Sunscreen with Antioxidants Best drugstore sunscreen for oily face Broad Spectrum SPF 60. Chemical sunscreen: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10.72%, Octisalate 3.21%, Octocrylene 6%, Oxybenzone 3.86% Oily and Sensitive skin, All skin types

Obagi Medical - Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte Sunscreen Lotion

Best sunscreen for oily skin under makeup

As mentioned in the earlier video, this is a mineral-based product with a super matte finish that’s perfect for oily skin. It has a silky and lightweight consistency which makes it easy to apply (unlike most sunscreens). I’m quite surprised though that for an anti-aging brand, it has very few anti-aging ingredients (less than Paula’s Choice!). That said, I still love that it’s a solid SPF 50 and has a formulation that doubles as a primer. It melts into the skin so it can be worn flawlessly under makeup.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 50 Sunscreen
  • Actives: 10.5% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate – deflects solar radiation, absorbs UV and disperses it as heat

Type of Sunscreen: Hybrid – physical sunblock + chemical sunscreen

Consistency & Finish: Non-greasy, Sheer, Silky (almost immediately blends into the skin), Matte finish

Additional Benefits:

  • Great formulation  can double as a primer and worn flawlessly under makeup.
  • Brand prestige & endorsement – Widely used by dermatologists, surgeons, and physicians around the globe.
  • PABA-free – PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic acid) used in many sunscreen formulations that can cause allergic dermatitis rash and in the worst cases deepen pigment in the skin, causing an even greater risk for skin cancer.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Skin Cancer Foundation Recommended for Daily Use.

Cons: On the high-end scale, as the Obagi line is primarily used by physicians and dermatologists. Only a few antioxidants, which is quite a letdown as it comes from a well-known anti-aging brand. Not water-resistant. Great for daily use, but not intense outdoor activities.

About the Brand: Obagi Medical is one of the leading skincare providers for dermatologists, plastic surgeons, medical clinics, and other skin care professionals worldwide. Obagi products specialize in anti-aging, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and other skin issues. Whilst some of their products are available only via prescription (and come with a “system” or regimen), their sunscreen line is made available OTC and for individual use.

Best for: All Skin types especially Oily and Acne-prone Skin, Daily Use, Under makeup (doubles as a primer)

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MDSolarSciences™ - Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

Best mineral sunscreen for oily skin; Best sunscreen for oily & sensitive skin

MDSolarSciences™’ flagship product is not actually this mineral crème, but their Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB SPF 30. It’s an all-in-one protection/repair moisturizer-sunscreen-and-anti-aging lotion that has powerful collagen peptides, niacinamide, and antioxidants that help reduce the signs of UV damage like sun spots, fine lines, redness. It’s a lightweight lotion ideal for all skin types. Now while this is a great product, the reason we’ve ultimately chosen the mineral crème is because of its matte finish and quick blendability. These two key benefits are essential in sunscreens for oily skin.

The mineral crème is also heavily favored by makeup artists because it feels more like a primer rather than a sunscreen. It’s non-comedogenic as well, so it won’t clog your pores even if you have acne-prone skin.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 50 Sunscreen
  • Actives: 2% Titanium Dioxide / 17% Zinc Oxide – Non-nano zinc, meaning its small enough to blend beautifully but bigger than a nano-particle so it stays on the surface on the skin

Type of Sunscreen: Physical sunblock

Consistency & Finish: Lightweight, Creamy, Primer-like/Silicone, Matte finish

Additional Benefits:

  • Antioxidants to help skin repair – Vitamin C, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract
  • Non-Comedogenic – won’t clog pores. Ideal for Acne-prone skin.
  • Water-resistant  – up to 80 minutes.
  • Hypoallergenic. Oil Free. Paraben Free. Fragrance Free. Gluten Free. – Ideal for Very Sensitive Skin. Gentle enough for kids 6 months and older.
  • Animal Testing Free. EcoCert® Certified. Skin Cancer Foundation Recommended.

Cons: If you have dry patches of skin, it’s going to accentuate them like crazy. It doesn’t moisturize dry areas even though it has a silky consistency, so you’ll have to make sure to exfoliate well and moisturize before using. If you pack it on, it has a tendency to feel heavy because of its silicone, primer-like texture and can leave a white cast. Make sure to only apply a thin layer to avoid this. It’s water-resistant, which is good for outdoor activities but can be tenacious when washing it off. You might need a cleansing brush or an oil cleanser to break it up.

About the Brand: MDSolarSciences™ is created by upper east side dermatologic oncologist Robert J. Friedman, M.D., M.Sc. (Med.) who is a pioneer in the skincare – melanoma field. Together with the Scientific Advisory Council (SAC), the brand specializes in an innovative line of sun care and skin repair products that vary from mineral or physical sunscreens to chemical sunscreens. The difference is their patented formulation that doesn’t use any of the controversial chemicals that can be damaging to coral reefs and are not good for the environment.

Best for: Normal to Oily Skin including Acne/Rosacea Prone (we’re not recommending dry skin based on experience), Sensitive Skin

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Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories - Super Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50

Best sunscreen for oily & dehydrated skin; Best sunscreen for oily & sensitive skin

The DCL Sheer Sunscreen has UVA blockers and UVB absorption for solid sun protection. In the same vein; it has hydrators, antioxidants, and anti-aging ingredients as well that help erase the signs of skin damage and protect it from further environmental harm.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 50 Sunscreen
  • 10.5% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate – Ultra-micronized zinc oxide that scatters, absorbs, and deflects UVA light

Type of Sunscreen: Hybrid – physical sunblock + chemical sunscreen

Consistency & Finish: Lightweight, fast-absorbing, translucent, immaculate matte finish that primes skin for makeup

Additional Benefits:

  • Strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier – by supplying the skin with its essential fatty acids
  • Non-Comedogenic – won’t clog pores.
  • Hypoallergenic. Paraben-free.
  • An innovative form of Vitamin C – helps evens out skin tone
  • Coenzyme Q10 & Grapeseed – Strong antioxidant protection
  • Sodium Hyaluronate – boosts moisture and helps maintain hydration
  • Vitamin B5 – moisturizes, conditions, and calms the skin
  • Green Tea & Aloe Vera – soothes inflamed or irritated skin
  • Advanced moisturizing complex derived from Sugar Cane and Maize – Prevents skin dehydration

Cons: While that does seem like a lot of added benefits, on the flip side it also opens the possibility of irritation for those with very sensitive skin.

About the Brand: Since the 1980s, Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories (DCL) has been developing cutting-edge formulations using only the highest-grade ingredients to treat skin and hair issues. (DCL is one of the first companies to use glycolic acid in their products.) They have a proprietary approach to skincare called Total Skin™, which is focused on nourishing, strengthening, and protecting the key components of the skin: the stratum corneum, the epidermis, the dermal-epidermal junction, and the dermis. This is why their products are holistic and well-rounded in their functions; from replenishing, repairing, clarifying and refining the skin while preventing future damage for long-term results. This same philosophy in skincare is reflected in their sunscreen.

Best for: All skin types including Oily Skin and Dehydrated Skin

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Physician's Choice - PCA Skin Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Best sunscreen for acne prone & oily skin

Their sunscreen formulation is very impressive. It’s one of the fastest to blend, as it absorbs quickly and goes on weightlessly. It’s perfect even under light makeup and from our experience, doesn’t leave a white cast even in flash photography. It’s also recommended for sensitive skin and can be used even after peeling.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 45 Sunscreen
  • Actives: 9.0% Zinc Oxide / 7.5% Octinoxate – provides broad-spectrum UV protection by reflecting, scattering and absorbing UV rays; absorbs and filters UV rays.

Type of Sunscreen: Hybrid – physical sunblock + chemical sunscreen

Consistency & Finish: Ultra-sheer, quick-absorbing, weightless finish

Additional Benefits:

  • Antioxidants that protect skin from UV damage – Silybin, Caffeine
  • Free of synthetic dyes and fragrances, mineral oil, petrolatum, lanolin, and phthalates. – Designed to deliver results without irritation. Ideal for Sensitive Skin.
  • No Animal Testing.
  • Skin Cancer Foundation Recommended for Daily Use.

Cons: Not water-resistant. Has a tendency to pill if piled on without giving it time to absorb properly.

About the Brand: For over 20 years, PCA Skin has been well-renowned for their chemical peels and professional treatments. They’ve since then expanded to clinically advanced daily skincare, originally distributed only to physicians and licensed medical professionals. Their formulations are results-oriented and only uses ingredients that are uniquely compatible with the skin. Their line of products is especially effective for treating varied skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and fine lines and wrinkles.

Best for: Oily, Acne-prone, and Sensitive Skin; Daily Use

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TIZO 2 - Non-Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40

Best face sunscreen for oily, sensitive skin

Another dermatologist-recommended sunscreen, known for its sensitive skin formulation and cosmetically elegant matte finish. It’s gentle enough even for post-procedure use, which makes it a popular go-to sunscreen for clinics.

Their proprietary particle size technology also creates a base that helps foundation and makeup glide in flawlessly.

This formulation is free of oils, fragrances, dyes, preservatives, and chemical sunscreen filters. This lessens any chance of irritation even to the most sensitive of skins.

We’ve chosen the non-tinted version because the shade of the tinted versions we’ve found is not universally flattering. The TIZO3 in our opinion can be too dark for those with fair skin and the TIZO 2 tinted can be too white. (You can purchase both and blend but who has time for this really.) When you apply this version, there’s a slight white cast on initial application that fades into transparency once blended.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Physical Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 40 Sunscreen
  • Actives: Titanium Dioxide 8%, Zinc Oxide 3.8%

Type of Sunscreen: Physical sunblock

Consistency & Finish: Cosmetically elegant, feels like an expensive primer instead of a sunscreen; Velvety, matte finish

Additional Benefits:

  • Cosmetically elegant – their proprietary particle size technology creates a smooth, flawless base that turns into a silky matte finish; amazing under makeup
  • Gentle enough for very sensitive skin and post-procedures like peels and lasers
  • Photostable – this means it won’t degrade under sunlight unlike most sunscreens
  • Free from preservatives, oils, fragrances, dyes, and chemical sunscreen filters

Cons: Not water resistant. Alternatively, the TIZO3 Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen is water resistant for 80 minutes.

Best for: Oily and Sensitive Skin, Post-procedures like peels and lasers

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Jan Marini - Skin Research Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45

Best physical sunscreen for oily skin, Best sunblock for oily skin

Unlike chemical sunscreens that get absorbed by the skin, this is a gentle alternative for those who have rosacea or sensitive to synthetic sunscreen ingredients. It uses physical filters to shield the skin from sun damage and premature aging.

Instead of the usual white cast that mineral sunscreens are notorious for, this has a sheer slight tint that works very well for fair to medium tan skin tones. Once blended, it finishes with a satin matte glow.

The formulation includes a unique dose of antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental damage and help fight free radicals while soothing the skin from the heat.

It’s water-resistant as well, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 45 Sunscreen
  • Actives: Titanium Dioxide 6%, Zinc Oxide 8% – uses physical filters for full broad spectrum sun protection

Type of Sunscreen: Physical sunblock

Consistency & Finish: Weightless, universal tint with sheer matter finish

Additional Benefits:

  • Oil Capture System – has microscopic oil absorbing particles for additional oil control
  • Green Tea Extract & Alpha-Bisabolol – Antioxidants that provide free radical protection while soothing and calming the skin from the stress of UV and heat
  • CoEnzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)
  • Water-resistant – 80 minutes

Cons: It’s slightly tinted but is to sheer to provide any real coverage. Its there when you apply it but blends out almost invisibly.
The tint is ideal for those with warm undertones. If you’re on the cooler side i.e. pink, you might look a bit too yellow.

Best for: Normal to Oily Skin, Acne-Prone Skin, Sensitive Skin concerned with irritants from chemical sunscreens, Looking for protection from free-radicals

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Vichy - Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 45 Silkscreen Dry-Finish Sunscreen Lotion for Face & Body with Antioxidants

Best drugstore sunscreen for oily face

This oil-free sunscreen has a solid SPF 45 in combination with effective UVA & UVB filters for broad-spectrum defense against damaging sun rays.

Vichy is one of the leading brands in European pharmacies on anti-aging. This sunscreen doesn’t fall short of anti-aging antioxidants aimed for the face and body. It has white grape polyphenol and vitamin E to help neutralize free radical damage and protect skin at the cellular level.

The texture is non-sticky, non-greasy, and leaves no whitening residue. It has a cooling application with a silky, dry-touch finish that absorbs quickly into face and body.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 45 Sunscreen
  • Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 6%

Type of Sunscreen: Chemical sunscreen

Consistency & Finish: Dry finish lotion for face & body, Non-sticky, Fast absorbing

Additional Benefits:

  • Vitamin E & White Grape Extract – Powerful antioxidants that protect at a cellular level to keep the skin healthier and younger
  • Oil-free. Non-comedogenic. Tested under dermatological control.
  • Allergy-tested. Paraben-free. PABA-free. Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Water-resistant.

Cons: Quite a cocktail of chemical sunscreens that isn’t as photostable, meaning it gradually deteriorates under sun exposure.

Best for: All Skin Types especially Oily, Acne-prone skin, and Sensitive skin; Outdoor Activities

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Replenix - UltiMATTE Perfection SPF 50+

Best tinted sunscreen for oily skin

This sunscreen (or should I say BB cream?) has a triple crown that protects, repairs, and conceal imperfections. If you’re looking for an all-in-one product to put on and you’re out the door, this is it.

The Replenix UltiMATTE is a tinted physical sunscreen that provides sheer coverage to help give a healthy touch of color to the skin. The universal tint enhances the skin tone and prevents any white cast.

It also doubles as an all-day, oil control make-up base to keep shine at bay.

Additionally, it’s also loaded with skin-repairing antioxidants to help repair the skin and minimize pores and fine lines. Ingredients like vitamin C and green tea are proven to protect the skin against environmental damage.

Its hydrating ingredients also manages to keep up with the high amount of zinc oxide that can cause the skin to feel dry and tight. There’s a mix of silicones in there are well so it can function as a primer of sorts.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 50 Sunscreen
  • Actives: 16.2% Micronized Zinc Oxide

Type of Sunscreen: Physical sunblock

Consistency & Finish: Sheer, tinted (light coverage), initially creamy texture that blends out to a feathery, silky matte finish

Additional Benefits:

  • Universal Tinted Technology – to help conceal imperfections, prevents any white cast, suited for most skin tones
  • Ceramide 2, Phospholipids – deliver gentle moisturization and mattifying oil control
  • Green tea polyphenols, Resveratrol, Biotin, Vitamin C, Emblica, Centella Asiatica, Ascorbic Acid, CoQ10 – Antioxidant enriched that helps minimize fine lines, pores, and wrinkles
  • Non-Comedogenic – won’t clog pores. Ideal for Acne-prone skin.
  • Gluten, Paraben, Oil, Chemical, Alcohol, and Fragrance-free.

Cons: Not water resistant. The universal tint has a slight tinge of tan and may not work on all skin types (from our experience, although the label says otherwise)

Best for: Oily skin, Acne-prone skin, All Skin types especially post-procedure, melasma, and sensitive skin; Minimizing pores & fine lines, Anti-aging

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COUI Skincare - Moisturizing SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen Lotion

Best sunscreen lotion for oily skin

A moisturizing facial sunscreen that gives proper skin hydration while providing full UVA & UVB protection.

It comes in a non-greasy, highly absorbent light cream that’s ideal for oily complexions.

It’s supplemented as well with vitamin E, plant extracts, and antioxidants that have anti-irritating properties to prevent any redness and peeling due to prolonged sun exposure.

Made in the USA, FDA-approved, and cruelty-free.

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 30 Sunscreen
  • Actives: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Zinc Oxide 7% (Z-Cote) – An innovative and transparent form of microfine zinc oxide that is invisible when applied to the skin

Type of Sunscreen: Hybrid – physical sunblock + chemical sunscreen

Consistency & Finish: Non-greasy, Lightweight cream, Smooth matte finish

Additional Benefits:

  • Japanese Green Tea Extract (Camellia oleifera) – a powerful antioxidant helps reduce redness, peeling, and skin irritations
  • Vitamin E – protects the skin from free radical damage
  • Ginseng (Panax ginseng), Gingko Biloba, and Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extracts – conditions and revitalizes sluggish skin
  • Cruelty-free

Cons: Not water-resistant. Also not labeled as non-comedogenic, so best to avoid if you have acne-prone skin.

Best for: Oily and Sensitive skin, Cruelty-free

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La Roche-Posay - Anthelios Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen, Body & Face Sunscreen with Antioxidants

Best drugstore sunscreen for oily face

One of the best-selling sunscreens in the world, the Anthelios line from the European brand La Roche-Posay has won over 60 beauty awards since its launch. The line is developed especially for sensitive skin, with multiple textures and unique formulas to cater to different skin types.

This Water-Lotion sunscreen has high performing sun protection and super-absorbent properties. It goes on like water and cools the skin, unlike most chemical sunscreens which dissipates heat. This is extremely important for oily skin because thick lotions and heat can aggravate oil production.

La Roche-Posay’s sunscreens are very cosmetically elegant and sinks into the skin without leaving any white residue.

Awards: 2015 TotalBeauty.com Editor’s Pick – Sunscreen Winner

Key Sun Protection:

  • Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 60 Sunscreen
  • Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10.72%, Octisalate 3.21%, Octocrylene 6%, Oxybenzone 3.86%

Type of Sunscreen: Chemical sunscreen

Consistency & Finish: Water-like lotion upon skin contact, Cooling effect, Light and breathable

Additional Benefits:

  • Cell-Ox Shield™ XL antioxidant technology – multi-patented technology that allows UV filters to work with antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals
  • Water-resistant – 80 minutes
  • For face & body use
  • Oil-free. Non-Comedogenic. Dermatologist tested.
  • Fragrance-free. Paraben-free. Allergy tested.

Cons: Still comes with most of the cons of chemical sunscreens, including photosensitivity and chemicals that can harm coral reefs.

Ideal for: Oily and Sensitive skin, All skin types

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FAQ: Learning How to Find the Best Sunscreens & Sunblocks for Oily Skin

How Sunscreens Protect your Skin: Understanding UVA and UVB Rays


UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and accelerates skin aging. UVB causes sunburn and skin redness. Both can promote skin cancer.

We all need protection from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV). This includes UVA and UVB wavelengths.

Prolonged exposure can damage DNA, cause premature skin aging (the leading cause of wrinkles, fine lines, rubbery skin, loss of skin elasticity, degeneration of collagen, etc.), and promote the development of potentially deadly skin cancer. The scariest thing about this is you usually don’t see any of this until it’s too late.

When it comes to skin protection, prevention is the key.

It is recommended to use sunscreen daily because unless you live in a cave, you’re always at risk. Pay special attention as well when you’re exposed for prolonged periods like at the beach or among snow when the reflectivity of water and ice amplifies the sun’s rays.

These types are categorized according to the depth of penetration of their wavelength.

  • UVA – Long length UVA rays that penetrates deep into the skin. Contributes to the development of skin cancer. Accelerates photoaging. Blocked by Broad Spectrum Protection.
  • UVB – Medium length rays that reach the skin’s superficial layers. The primary cause of sunburn and skin redness. Contributes to hyperpigmentation and signs of photoaging. Blocked by SPF (Sun Protection Factor).

Types of Sun Protection: Chemical Sunscreen vs. Physical Sunblock


There’s always been a continuous debate on which type of sunscreen is the best. Do you use a physical sunblock or a chemical sunscreen? Which one should you choose? What are the pros and cons?

When people look at sunscreens, most people zero in on the SPF rating and assume that the higher it is, the more effective it will be. Because surely, an SPF 60 is twice as better than an SPF 30 right? The answer: Not necessarily.

SPF is only a measure of UVB burn time. It is a non-linear scale of how much UVB radiation is needed to give protected skin sunburn. It does not measure UVA.

While the premise that higher is better, the minimum requirement of SPF 15 already blocks 93% of UVB rays. You get a slight increase as you jump to SPF 30 blocking 97% of UVB, and SPF 50 blocking 98%.

SPF is based on the quality of sun exposure. So how much time you have before you start to burn really depends on a long list of factors including genetics, and where/where/how you spend time under the sun. (PSA: Children under 6 months should have almost no sun exposure as their protective mechanisms have not developed yet and will only likely absorb the sunscreen.)

To help you decide which one is most suited for your skin, let’s take a step back and understand the two types of sunscreens:

  1. Mineral or Physical Sunscreens – deflects UV rays with inorganic blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide acting as a physical barrier
    • PROS: Once you put it on, it will start to take effect immediately. Usually has higher UVA protection, which also protects your collagen. As it only sits on the skin and is not absorbed, there are fewer chances of skin irritation and potentially harmful effects. If you plan on swimming in the ocean, this is better for the environment as they don’t damage coral reefs.
    • CONS: More expensive. Usually harder to apply and leaves a telltale sheen of white on the skin.
  2. Chemical Sunscreens – uses carbon-based compounds to absorb UV photons that are then harmlessly dissipated as heat.
    • PROS: Cheaper alternative. More transparent when applied.
    • CONS: 95% of products have less UVA protection compared to physical sunscreens. You need to wait at least 15-20 minutes for the sunscreen to absorb and start to take effect. Higher potential for skin irritation or allergic reactions. Carbon chemicals can harm marine life and coral reefs. Photosensitive—they deteriorate more quickly as their ability to absorb the sun’s rays diminishes.
  3. Hybrid Sunscreens – formulations that combine both physical and chemical compounds.

 

Video: Ultimate Sunscreen Guide: How to Apply Correctly + Wearing With Makeup + What is SPF by Beauty Within.

Choosing the Right Sunscreens for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: What to Look For


Remember, skincare is as individualized as you are. We all have different needs depending on our lifestyle and skin conditions.

Right now, there are thousands of options in the market. Finding not only the best performing sunscreen but one that is also the right fit for you can be a challenge.

And with your skin health on the line, you should expect only the best.  

That’s why we’ve compiled the necessary specifications for a top performing sunscreen and cross-checked it with our list of recommended and highest consumer-rated sunscreens that are aimed for oily and acne-prone skin.

These are what you should consider when choosing sunscreens for oily and acne-prone skin:

  1. Application method – this can impact the amount of coverage and actual protection you get, as well as the likelihood that you’ll use it.
    • Lotions – Cheaper than sprays. Better chances of getting enough product per application as you can actually measure it. Can be more time consuming to work into the skin.
    • Sprays – Very convenient to put on, especially when you’re wet. The biggest issue is that most people don’t apply a thick enough layer to get full protection. You’ll need several coats to get enough every time. There’s also the possible health risks of inhaling some of the spray cloud.
  2. Key Sun Protection – it should have broad spectrum coverage and have minimum SPF 30 for full UVA and UVB protection.
  3. Active Ingredients – This determines the type of sunscreen it is. Physical or mineral sunscreens are top tier, while hybrid and chemical sunscreens are your more affordable options.
  4. Cosmetic Elegance – It is crucial that you like the feel, consistency, texture, tint, and finish of the product on your skin. You should like your sunscreen enough that putting it on would be an enjoyable experience—not a task. No one wants to put on a product that feels off–even if it’s for our own protection! Loving a product is one of the keys to a fully effective skincare regimen.

    For oily skin that may be acne-prone, dermatologists recommend using a non-comedogenic sunscreen with fluid, lightweight formulas that have a matte finish so they control oil and don’t clog the pores.
    If you also have sensitive skin, it should be hypoallergenic and fragrance-free as well.Another technical factor in cosmetic elegance is: the smaller the particles are, the less reflection of light you get (white cast). A great sunscreen should blend flawlessly into your skin for an invisible protection.

BONUS: The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation – granted to brands that have been tested by and have met the rigorous standards of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s photobiology experts. Having this seal means the product has solid scientific data showing that it can sufficiently and safely prevent sun damage to the skin.

The Seal of Recommendation for sunscreens has two categories:

  • Daily Use Seal – for sunscreens that are used to protect the skin from incidental exposures over short periods of time.
  • Active Seal – intended to protect the skin from extended sun exposure, e.g. sports, outdoor activities. Products under this seal have higher SPFs, UVA protection, and requires it to be water-resistant.

Regarding which sunscreen is ultimately better–once we’ve ticked all the boxes above, it all comes down to its compatibility to your skin.

Make sure to check the Best for line below to see which one is most suited for your skin condition.

The Oily Skin Solution

by Patricia Everson

This acclaimed skincare program aims to condition the skin to generate less oil, providing a permanent solution to excessive oily skin. Highly recommended.

Download from the official website

Resources:

Aad.org. (2016). Sunscreen FAQs | American Academy of Dermatology.

By, S. and Lines, P. (2018). Anthelios | Sunscreen | La Roche-Posay.

Cancer.org. (2016). Known and Probable Human Carcinogens.

Chealth.canoe.com. (2016). Zinc Oxide Cream – Uses, Side Effects, Interactions – Canoe.com.

Couiskincare.com. (2018).

Couteau, C., Diarra, H. and Coiffard, L. (2016). Effect of the product type, of the amount of applied sunscreen product and the level of protection in the UVB range on the level of protection achieved in the UVA range. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 500(1-2), pp.210-216.

C.Y. Heng, M. (2012). Sun Protection Factors in Evaluation of Sunscreen Potency: The Persistent Pigment Darkening Method. Cell Biology: Research & Therapy, 01(01).

DCL Skincare. (2018). Professional Skin Care Products for Healthy Skin – DCL Skincare.

Farage, M., Miller, K. and Maibach, H. (2010). Textbook of Aging Skin. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Jan Marini Skin Research. (2017). Jan Marini Skin Research: Professional Science-Backed Skincare

Kong, D. Younger Next Day: Permanent Skin Care E-book.

MDSolarSciences™. (2018). MDSolarSciences – Great skin through science.

Obagi Medical Products. (2018). Home.

Pcaskin.com. (2018). Skin Care Products.

Skincancer.org. (2016). Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics – SkinCancer.org

Skincancer.org. (2018). Sunscreens Explained – SkinCancer.org.

TIZO – Age Defying Fusion. (2018). TIZO – Age Defying Fusion.

Topixpharm.com. (2018). Replenix.

Truthinaging.com. (2016). Niacinamide.

Vichyusa.com. (2017). Vichy Skin Care | Vichy Laboratories

Reviews:





The Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin & Acne-Prone Skin: The Ultimate Guide & Review Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 5 reviews
5 1

Great advice

★★★★★
5 5 1
Thanks for the tips, really useful. My sunscreens always leave a white cast even under makeup so I've been on a hunt for one that disappears into my skin. I'm going to try Obagi since that comes highly recommended.

★★★★★
5 5 1
The Elta MD one is a classic. I can use it even when my skin has been sensitized or when I'm breaking out. BUT it slides right off when I sweat so it's useless in the summer. Jan Marini and Vichy is water-resistant so I'll be trying those out.

★★★★★
5 5 1
Sunscreens below the recommended SPF20 should be phased out imo. The FDA is so lax it's no wonder everyone gets cancer.

★★★★★
5 5 1
Very detailed, thank you. I've heard good things about the Obagi brand over the years, I'm looking forward to giving their sunscreen a go.

★★★★★
5 5 1
Brilliant, just what I was looking for. I'll give the Vichy one a try. Looks promising.

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