When you’re seeing spots, the last thing you want to do is cover them with a thick layer of sunscreen. The heavy, oily formulas practically scream “acne breakout.” Still, the benefits of wearing a sunscreen every day are real. Sunscreens protect your skin from the sun’s harsh UVA and UVB rays. They prevent premature aging, hyperpigmentation, sunburn and, of course, the big one: skin cancer. So the solution is simple: Know when and how to apply a sunscreen for acne-prone skin, and then identify which formulation is best for you.
Rain or shine, whether you’re outside or simply in direct sunlight, a daily application of sunscreen is necessary
for the health of your skin—especially if you’re ingesting or applying photosensitizing acne medications and/or
treatments, as they can dry your skin, increasing its sensitivity to the sun. Acne treatments
Acne treatments like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo(+)
Global Action Acne Treatment work hard to clear up pimples and prevent recurrence and are ideal to wear under a
sunscreen for acne-prone skin.
The best practice is to apply your topical treatment to freshly cleansed skin in the morning, wait for it to absorb and dry and then apply your sunscreen for acne-prone skin. Be sure to check the label, because you’ll want the maximum protection of a SPF 30 or higher and a circled UVA logo. Smooth a generous amount of a non-comedogenic sunscreen over your entire face and into your hairline. Don’t skimp on areas like your ears, your nose, the back of your neck, around your eyes and on your eyelids—they need protection too.
Choosing the right sunscreen for acne-prone skin
Not sure which sunscreen will work best for you? No problem. There are many non-comedogenic sunscreens for oily, acne-prone skin that won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts. It’s just a matter of understanding your options and then choosing the best sunscreen for oily skin for you.
Mineral vs. organic sunscreen formulations
First, let’s discuss the difference between
mineral and organic sunscreens.
referred to as “physical” sunscreens, mineral sunscreens sit right on top of your skin. They are formulated with
just a handful of key ingredients, including titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or a mix of both. Separately or
together, these minerals both scatter and absorb UV energy to protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
Mighty but gentle, mineral sunscreens are also ideal for acne-prone skin that is sensitive and easily irritated.
On the flip side, organic formulations sometimes known as chemical formulations are equally suitable as sunscreens for oily, acne-prone skin. They, too, protect your face from the sun’s rays but in a different way. Organic sunscreens are safely absorbed into the top layer of your skin. Their formulations are typically a combination of ingredients, such as avobenzone, Mexoryl and octocrylene, that together absorb the sun’s rays and transform them and release them as heat that quickly disperses. Just remember to check the label for the words “non-comedogenic sunscreen” on both mineral and organic options. This term means the sunscreen has been specifically formulated to not block your pores and cause a breakout.
The best sunscreens for oily skin
Oil-free sunscreens typically come in a gel, sheer
lotion or sheer fluid formulation, like La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid SPF 50+ Facial Sunscreen, and are
absorbed easily and quickly into your skin. As the
sunscreen for oily skin, they’re
lightweight in texture and can even be massaged into your scalp, as they won’t make your hair look or feel greasy.
And thanks to an invisible finish, there’s no white residue or tacky feel. What you will find, though, is safe
high broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection that is ultra-resistant and sweat resistant and lasts for up to 80
minutes in water before you need to reapply.
Dry-touch sunscreens provide more of a matte finish on your face. They’re the best sunscreen for oily skin to wear while you’re working out or when you’re in a hot and humid climate, as they help prevent sweat from shining through. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dry Touch SPF 60 Facial Sunscreen is a good option because it’s oil-free and gel-based so it melts into your skin and disappears without a trace. Weightless and powerful with a broad-spectrum SPF 60 and high protection against UVA and UVB rays, this water-resistant sunscreen can be layered over your makeup to minimize everyday shine, making it a go-to product.