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We’ve heard it time and time again that applying sunscreen should be 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-free 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 that are light enough for everyday use and protect against UV rays during a day in the sun.
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 a whipped cream, this whipped sunscreen is hydrating enough to double as a moisturizer and SPF and the best part is you’ll barely feel is 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, its 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 a 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.
Our writers spent 1 hour researching the most popular sunscreen for acne-prone skin on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 10 different sunscreens overall, screened options from 12 different brands and manufacturers, read over 20 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 4 of the sunscreens themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.