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We’ve heard it time and time again that applying sunscreen is a necessary step in a proper skin care routine, no matter what your skin type. But for those with oily or acne-prone skin, applying sunscreen can seem equivalent to pouring a bottle of oil on your face. And excess oil means one thing: Breakouts. Luckily, sunscreens are now available in oil- and grease-free formulas so clogged pores are no more. With so many on the market, it can seem a bit overwhelming trying to find the best one.
Here are the top sunscreens for acne-prone skin.
Best Overall: Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35
If there’s one sunscreen that is hands down the best formula for nearly every skin type it’s the Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen. While it does work on dry and combination skin, we love this pick most for acne-prone and oily skin because of its mattifying and blurring formula. You’ll be wondering how your pores suddenly disappear.
Silk extract and Japanese wild rose help improve texture and tone so you can tackle nearly every problem concern in this magical blue bottle. We like to think of this gem as the unicorns of sunscreens. While the price tag is much steeper than the rest of the bunch, we don’t know many people who wouldn’t agree that it’s totally worth it.
Best Budget: Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Faces Weightless Sunscreen
This may look like an ordinary sunscreen, but the swirly formula in this little bottle is like pure magic. It’s not likely that a typical drugstore brand brings top-notch products, but this sunscreen beats hundreds of others at only a fraction of the price. This silky, formula is light as air. Imagine the lightness of whipped cream, this whipped sunscreen is hydrating enough to double as a moisturizer and SPF and the best part is you’ll barely feel it on your skin. The formula is swirled with silk proteins and shea butter so you can be sure it won’t get dry or chalky.
Best Invisible: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
When applying sunscreen to your face, an invisible formula is a must-have. After all, no one wants a white film peeking before lunchtime. The EltaMD formula is backed up by dermatologists and proven to keep pesky breakouts away. Other than going on completely clear, this formula is chock-full of hydration. It’s filled with moisturizers like hyaluronic acid and lactic acid that hydrate and improve the texture and tone of your complexion. These skin-loving ingredients also make this a great buy for sensitive skin.
Best Powder: ColorScience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Sheild SPF 30
This two-in-one powder sunscreen is a lazy gals dream. This brush-on formula doubles as a cosmetic powder and sunscreen in a few simple swipes, mattifying your complexion while lightly covering imperfections. Though the powder is tinted, it gives sheer-to-natural looking coverage, but won’t conceal any major blemishes. It's available in five shades that range from fair to medium skin tones.
Best Matte Formula: La Roche-Posay Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60
One major contributing factor to unwanted breakouts is excess oil. When you feel like sunscreens make you produce more oil than usual, it's less likely you’ll commit to sporting one every day. La Roche-Posay knows how to do skincare and this formula was made for oily skin, even in the heat and humidity. The Clear Skin sunscreen goes on clear and won’t leave a greasy film on your complexion. The SPF lotion is dry to touch so it feels like a second skin and absorbs pore-clogging oils to keep breakouts at bay.
Best Serum: Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum
If the texture of sunscreen is what deters you from wearing it, opting for a lightweight option may be the answer. This sunscreen-serum hybrid is so light its milky formula melts into skin so you won’t even know it’s there. Supergoop names this product multitasking, morning moisturizer that both primes and protects. So, this two-in-one can eliminate a few steps from your skincare routine. It protects skin from pollution and UV rays while keeping skin hydrated and supple to the touch.
One thing we love about this serum sunscreen is its use of high-quality ingredients. You won’t find parabens or synthetic ingredients in these formulas. It even gets the Sephora Clean seal of approval proving this brand is serious about good-for-you ingredients.
Best Chemical-Free: Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Lotion
If you’re looking for a mineral formula without a hefty price tag, look no further. With non-chemical sunscreen options becoming more and more popular, even budget-friendly brands are creating top-notch formulas that won’t break the bank. While most of us prefer to use chemical-free options in nearly any skincare product, most mineral formulas tend to leave a white residue which makes these formulas undesirable upon application.
This drugstore formula filled with Australian botanicals like kakadu plum, eucalyptus, and red algae goes on clear with a powder-like finish so you won’t have greasy build-up throughout the day. It’s also rich in vitamins and antioxidants so you get nourishing skincare and sun protection with each application.
Best Stick: Sun Bum Face Stick
Stick products can be hit or miss, but this handy sunscreen stick is a definite hit. It offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection against UVA and UVB rays, and it’s small enough to fit in any backpack or purse for easy application while on the go.
Friendly reminder: Everyone should reapply sunscreen throughout the day—at least every two hours, if not sooner—to maintain adequate protection against harmful UV rays. Formulas that are super lightweight and portable, like this sunscreen stick, make reapplications as easy as pie. It also doesn’t hurt that it smells like bananas.
Best Soothing Formula: Vera Bella Cucumber Aloe MoistureScreen SPF
Sunscreen is the most-applied skincare product (or at least it should be) so you want to make sure the formula you're using is soothing, comfortable, and calming. After all, you won’t get excited to apply and reapply a sunscreen that doesn’t feel good on your skin. That’s where Vera Bella’s Cucumber Aloe Moisture Screen comes in. It’s a feel-good formula—with a soothing scent of cucumbers—that’s fast-absorbing, lightweight, and—most importantly—effective.
Best Hydrating Formula: CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
All CeraVe products are formulated with 3 essential ceramides (1, 3, and 6-II) to provide a layer of hydration, and this SPF 50 is no exception. To amp up moisture even further, this mineral sunscreen also contains moisturizing powerhouse hyaluronic acid—an ingredient which can hold up to 1000x its weight in water—and niacinamide. Pair that with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide filters, which reflect harmful UVA/UVB rays off the skin, and you have your moisturizer and sun protection benefits all in one.