Is there anything worse than trying to protect your skin from the sun and getting rewarded with a slew of pimples? If you've been breaking out and asking yourself, "Can sunscreen clog your pores?" the answer is yes, but it's a little nuanced. There are ways to wear sunscreen without breaking out, so don't toss that SPF just yet!
Sunscreen breakouts can definitely happen, but once you know what's causing them, you can figure out how to prevent them without much hassle. As for why those pimples pop up, dermatologist Jennifer M. Segal, MD, told Refinery29, "Two things can cause sunscreen-related breakouts: occlusion of the pores by comedogenic materials, or a sensitivity reaction to chemical UV-blocking agents." If a little trial-and-error doesn't reveal what's causing your sunscreen breakouts, definitely reach out to a dermatologist.
La Jolla-based dermatologist Craig Kraffert told Julia Teen another possible common cause of sunscreen pimples on Bustle, sharing "Many mass market sunscreens use an ingredient called homosalate ... This is often used in large percentages and can contribute to a heavy or greasy product feel. It may be better for those with breakout tendencies to avoid formulations containing it."
To locate a sunscreen that likely won't cause breakouts, Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC told Stylecaster, "Look for the ones that say ‘non-comedogenic.'” Additionally, dermatologist Jeannette Graf told Bustle, "Mineral sunscreens with active ingredients like zinc oxide tend to be less irritating to reactive skin types [and] Gel formulations tend to have a lighter texture and work well with oily skin."
In hopes of making your SPF-using life as easy and breakout-free as possible, I've followed Tanzi, Kraffert, and Graf's tips for finding the best sunscreens out there.
1. Moisturizing SPF 30 Lotion
Eucerin SPF 30 Moisturizing Lotion, $12, Amazon
Non-comedogenic, fragrance, and homosalate-free! #Win
2. CC+ Powder SPF 30
Physician's Formula CC+ Powder SPF 30, $13, Amazon
Protect and smooth out your skin with this sweet sunscreen powder.
3. Solar RX SPF 30 Moisturizer
Keys Solar RX SPF 30 Moisturizer, $27, Amazon
This light moisturizer is gentle and clean for everyday use.
4. Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
The Honest Company Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $18, Amazon
From The Honest Company, this sunscreen is hypoallergenic and water-resistant, so it's perfect for splashing in the waves.
5. Everyday Coverage SPF 30 Tint
Everyday Coverage SPF 30 Tint, $48, Marie Veronique
Rated one the top safe sunscreen picks by the Environmental Working Group, this tint is totally safe for sensitive skin.
6. Sensitive Side Sunscreen
Kiss My Face Sensitive Side Sunscreen, $10, Amazon
This is the sunscreen I use on my sensitive skin every single day and totally love it. It's packed with antioxidants and homosalate-free.
7. Neem Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 30
Neem Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 30, $36, Pratima Skincare
This non-pore clogging formula features neem, shatavari, and rose bontanicals for an incredibly nourishing skin experience.
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Images: Fotolia; Courtesy of Brands