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Let’s cut right to the chase: There is quite simply absolutely no valid excuse for not wearing sunscreen daily. Shielding your skin from the suns’ damaging UVA and UVB rays is paramount, perhaps above all else. Broad-spectrum sunscreen (along with seeking shade, covering up, and avoiding peak sun hours) is a crucial way to safeguard the health of your skin since unprotected UV exposure can cause sunburn, premature signs of aging, and even some cancers.
We get the thought of putting sunscreen on can sometimes be a little bit unappealing, especially because many sunscreens on the market leave a greasy, white-cast after-effect once they're applied and rubbed in. But not all of them do. There are plenty of matte sunscreens that offer up a nice, non-oily finish.
Scroll for our picks of the best matte sunscreens for oily skin.
Best Overall: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40
There’s lightweight sunscreen, and then there’s the totally undetectable—you’ll forget you’re wearing it-sunscreen. This most definitely falls into the latter; it’s not only oil-free but also weightless, scentless, clear, you name it. Great for all skin types (a universal crowd-pleaser, if you will), we especially like it for oily skin types thanks to its completely invisible texture. Still, it packs a powerful protection punch, guarding not only against UVA and UVB rays but also blue light. This is the type of light emitted from all of our electronic devices, and many of the latest studies show that it may also be potentially damaging. As if all of that weren’t enough, it dries down matte and layers beautifully under makeup. Devoted fans love both how it looks and feels on their skin.
Best Budget: CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
Dermatologists love this brand for their simple and straightforward skincare offerings featuring ceramides, essential ingredients for helping to strengthen and maintain a healthy skin barrier. This ‘screen has those, and delivers additional moisturizing benefits, too, thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid. All while delivering SPF 30 protection and a matte finish.
Fans rave about how there’s no greasy residue, and that they never have to worry about it leaving their skin looking oily. Plus, you don't need to add a moisturizer here—it's a one-stop shop.
Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
When it comes to moisturizers, gel formulas are choice for oily skin types; they contain more water than heavier hydrating ingredients, making them not quite as thick or greasy. The same rules apply for sunscreens. Despite how lightweight this gel option is, it’s still hydrating. Credit hyaluronic acid, which attracts water and holds it in the skin. So much so that it hydrates for up to eight hours.
Best Under Makeup: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Face Primer
When you need to up the staying power of your makeup, the easiest thing to do is make a primer the first step in your routine. So, why not choose a primer that’s going to offer your daily dose of sun protection, too? This one does just that, with SPF 50, while still delivering the skin-smoothing, imperfection-blurring, makeup-enhancing power of a regular primer. Not only is it oil-free, but it’s also non-comedogenic. Reviewers comment on how it keeps shine at bay and also plays nicely with all kinds of foundations.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
When your skin is on the sensitive side, mineral sunscreen is always going to be your best bet. These formulas use, you guessed it, minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that sit on top of your skin to block out the sun, and are less likely to cause any kind of potential irritation than chemical blockers. Oil-free (important for oily skin) and fragrance-free (important for sensitive skin), this has plenty of other good-for-your-skin ingredients, think vitamin E, gently exfoliating lactic acid, and anti-inflammatory niacinamide to help calm redness.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Dermalogica Oil Free Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Dermalogica's oil-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen is made specifically for breakout-prone skin, as the ultra-sheer formula contains a blend of zinc gluconate, caffeine, niacinamide, biotin, and yeast extract to help regulate oil production and soothe inflammation. It'll help you maintain a matte finish all day, all the while protecting your skin from UV light. It's a miracle worker in a bottle for oily and acne-prone skin types, trust me.
Best for Large Pores: Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35
Tatcha's sunscreen delivers lightweight, silky texture and a mattifying effect each time you apply. In fact, a few of our editors prefer it to traditional, non-SPF primer as it never leaves a chalky finish, smoothes and blurs pores, and keeps shine to a minimum. It's a perfect everyday sunscreen, one that doesn't feel greasy like the traditional options and is completely non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and dermatologist tested. It's pricey, yes, but in this case, you get what you pay for.
Best for Touch-Ups: Avene High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50
Breaking news: You should not only be applying sunscreen daily but also reapplying it regularly, ideally every two hours or at least any time before you go outside. This 100% mineral powder is perfect for touch-ups since it won’t mess up your makeup, and in fact, delivers a little bit of coverage, too. Not to mention that powder, in general, is a good way to absorb excess oil throughout the day.
Best Tinted: Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion
This non-chemical tinted lotion is more than just powerful sun protection—it delivers feel-good ingredients that are actually good for your skin (botanical and antioxidants that nourish and won't clog pores like kakadu plum, eucalyptus, and red algae) as well as a powder finish to nix sweat and shine. It has an SPF of 50, it's water resistant, and you can buy it at the drugstore. Score.
Best with Antioxidants: Kiehl's Super Fluid Daily UV Defense Sunscreen
Brimming with vitamin E to help neutralize free radicals, this broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against environmental aggressors (which cause the first signs of aging). It's lightweight, noncomedogenic, absorbs quickly, and leaves a matte finish. Sephora reviewers raved over its ability to keep skin fresh-looking without leaving a white cast once it's absorbed.
Best Mineral: Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45
If creams and lotions aren't your things (or chemicals, for that matter), try Peter Thomas Roth's brush-on powder mineral sunscreen. It's convenient (you can apply anywhere—in a cab, on the subway, at your desk), self-dispensing, and provides all-mineral protection with a matte finish. It can be worn alone, or with your usual makeup.
Best Moisturizer with SPF: Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30
Yes, you can—and should—still use a moisturizer even if you have oily and/or acne prone skin. This one fits the bill not only for the light hydration it delivers—but also for containing SPF 30. But it doesn’t stop there: It also helps mattify skin too and keeps excess oil at bay. Because it’s non-comedogenic, there’s no need to worry about clogged pores or possible pimples. Sorry, but, “It makes me break out" is no longer an excuse for not wearing sunscreen.