Safe and Shine-Free: 6 Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin

Sun’s out, skin’s out… and that means it’s time to double down on skin protection. You need to wear sunscreen every day, no matter the weather — but in sunny summer heat, using SPF becomes even more important.

Not only does sunscreen shield your skin from free radicals that cause skin damage and aging, but it protects you from radiation that can lead to skin cancer. Ultraviolet rays include UVA and UVB rays , which penetrate the atmosphere and then penetrate your skin. Both types of UV rays are equally as harmful and can destroy skin cell DNA, contributing to skin damage. “These rays are so powerful that they can even reach you indoors if you’re sitting close to a window, so they should always be taken seriously,” highlights Melinda Hany, Registered Nurse.

When choosing an SPF, you need a formula that adequately protects you from the sun. Although this is the main concern, it’s probably not your only aim. What about considering your unique skin type?

Sunscreen often gets written off as unfit for oily and sensitive skin. Are there any non-comedogenic sunscreens suitable for oily, acne-prone skin? Absolutely, there are. Oily skin requires face sunscreen just as much as other skin types.

Let’s chat about the six best sunscreens for oily skin that won’t hinder your skincare journey by clogging your pores. These non-greasy formulas were made for oil-prone skin like yours.

Can Sunscreen Make Oily Skin Worse?

Even with sensitive skin, sun protection is a must — but rest assured, this doesn’t mean you have to live with clogged pores, breakouts, or shine. The key is in tailoring your SPF products to mattifying, non-comedogenic formulas that help control sebum.

It’s true that with oily skin, you have to be mindful of the ingredients you use. Adding oil-based sunscreen to your beauty routine can lead to the production of excess oil, which can clog pores. The wrong sunscreen for sensitive skin can lead to acne from sebum trapped in the pores — leading to breakouts

However, sunscreen for acne-prone, oily skin won’t make your skin worse. Instead, it can help reduce the appearance of oil, texture, and blemishes for a smooth finish. How can you choose an SPF that won’t clog pores on oily skin? With our recommendations on the best sunscreen for oily skin.

What Are the Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin?

When looking for a sunscreen suitable for oily skin, look for oil-absorbing, mattifying, and oil-free formulas. If your skin is also sensitive, opt for a fragrance-free, paraben-free, and lightweight SPF. Aside from how it can help with oil control, you also want to consider whether you’re looking for a mineral or chemical blend.

Mineral-based sunscreen sits on the surface of the skin and deflects UV rays that try to penetrate. It’s also called physical sunscreen because it forms a physical guard over the skin.

Chemical sunscreen penetrates the skin and allows UV rays to do the same. It works under the skin to convert radiation into heat, which is then sent back into the air.

Both formulations are considered effective UV blockers, and you can find water-resistant, sensitive skin-safe versions of both. However, only mineral sunscreen is also reef-safe and pregnancy-safe.

You can tell mineral sunscreen from chemical sunscreen based on the ingredient list. Mineral sunscreens include the mineral compounds zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Chemical sunscreens include UV filters like octisalate, octinoxate, and oxybenzone.

Extra skin-loving ingredients are often infused into both types of sunscreen for added skin benefits. Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamin E, vitamin C, and niacinamide are commonly mixed into high quality sunscreen products so skincare becomes part of sun care.

Let’s explore some of our favorite SPF options.

1. SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50

When you have oily skin, mattifying sunscreen is a lifesaver. The SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 sunscreen is a mineral formula that sits on the surface of the skin and provides oil control while also reflecting UV rays.

The Physical Matte UV Defense sunscreen melts into your skin as a mousse product but dries down to a powder, making it adaptable for layering makeup. Its non-acnegenic formulation makes it ideal for acne-prone skin.

2. M-61 Hydraboost Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 40

The M-61 Hydraboost Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 40 is an oily skin favorite that helps restore moisture without being greasy. You know the contradictory fact that oily skin can quickly become too dry. It’s easy to overdo your efforts to control oil, resulting in dry skin that produces more oil (and leads to clogged pores).

A hydrating sunscreen is the solution. This SPF contains moisturizing ingredients like vitamin B5, tamarind, aloe vera, and centella asiatica, a plant extract known to hydrate skin and support the skin barrier.

Along with its moisturizing effects, M-61’s formula includes peptides to support smooth, youthful-looking skin by minimizing the look of texture and fine lines.

3. Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50

The Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is an essential mineral sunscreen for oily skin this summer. Because of its non-comedogenic ingredient list, it’s safe for sensitive, acne-prone, oily, or combination skin. Since it leaves skin feeling matte, it’s suitable for anyone who desires a clean finish, even normal skin types.

This broad-spectrum SPF protects against both UVA and UVB rays and is dermatologist-tested.

The Sun Shield Matte SPF is a creamy sunscreen lotion that spreads smoothly over the skin. It’s mineral-based and non-pore clogging, so it won’t cause irritation.

4. Supergoop. Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40

Supergoop’s Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40 sunscreen is like a primer and SPF in one. It contains color-correcting properties that help even out the skin’s appearance. The blurring effect helps minimize the appearance of pores for a fresh-looking face, making it perfect for pre-makeup or worn on its own.

It spreads easily over the skin to help control the production of too much sebum. Additionally, it’s a broad spectrum sunscreen, meaning it blocks against UVA and UVB rays for extra security against skin disease.

An added benefit is that this SPF helps block blue light, which is shown to cause early aging and hyperpigmentation . If you spend time on screens as well as outdoors, this formula is for you.

5. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60

If you have acne-prone skin, the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60 is designed to absorb oil that could clog pores. It protects skin against new breakouts, making it safe for skin of all ages. Sun damage can trigger or worsen breakouts, so protecting sensitive skin is crucial. 

The sun also worsens the appearance of blemish marks and discoloration when exposed. Even sensitive skin can wear this SPF for protection against new or worsening hyperpigmentation. SPF 60 is a high protection factor. This sunscreen provides 60 times longer protection against burns than unprotected skin.

Achieving a matte finish in hot, humid, often sweaty skin conditions may feel like a distant dream. Go ahead and expect more from your SPF. This La Roche-Posay sunscreen will deliver.

It’s a lightweight formula that will keep your skin in check, nourishing the skin with antioxidants and thermal spring water. Antioxidants can help support cell integrity during exposure to free radicals (generated by UV rays) to aid in overall skin health.

6. Jane Iredale Powder-Me Dry Sunscreen SPF 30

The Jane Iredale Powder-Me Dry Sunscreen SPF 30 is a powder formula that can be worn over top of your makeup application, or replace makeup with a gentle coverage. With its ultra-light finish and skin tone tints, it provides the appearance of smooth skin without any white cast.

The application is all-inclusive, combining the product and brush into one tool. It’s safe for use on your face, neck, scalp, and body. It is also water-resistant and reef-safe, making it suitable for all occasions. If swimming, just make sure to reapply every 40 minutes instead of the standard two hours.

It offers buildable coverage that helps blur the appearance of pores, texture, and other imperfections. This SPF is designed to help soothe and calm skin by improving the look of redness. Best of all, the combination of titanium dioxide, montmorillonite, and boron nitride is safe and beneficial for breakout-prone skin.

The Bottom Line

Sunscreen is an essential product in your beauty arsenal, regardless of your skin type. Don’t let concerns about your oily-prone skin deter you from finding an SPF for your face . Choose a mattifying, non-comedogenic facial sunscreen that is made to work with your skin needs.

Sources:

Moisturizing and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cosmetic Formulations Containing Centella asiatica Extract | Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Impact of Blue Light and Digital Screens on the Skin | Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation and Sun Exposure | United States Environmental Protection Agency

UV Radiation & Your Skin | Skin Cancer Foundation