When you have acne-prone skin, the last thing you probably want to do is layer on any skin care products that could potentially trigger a breakout. And unfortunately, too many sunscreens fall into that category; why do they have to be so darn greasy? Plus, when you're expected to wear one on top of a moisturizer? That's just asking for trouble. Luckily, many of the best SPF moisturizers for acne — which were formulated with gentle, lightweight ingredients to avoid irritating pimple-prone skin — are only a click away.
While you might think abstaining from using any and all skin care products is the best way to avoid breaking out, improperly protecting your skin from the sun — and neglecting to keep it hydrated — can actually make things much worse. The sun's harmful UV rays can exacerbate acne scarring and inflammation, while skipping out on moisturizer can trick your sebaceous glands into thinking that they need to produce more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture.
Since excess oil and clogged pores clearly aren't ideal, it's time to streamline two of the most essential steps of your skin care routine by discovering a two-in-one product that works for you. When searching for an SPF moisturizer that won't cause breakouts, it's important to look for oil-free, non-comedogenic formulas; bonus points for ingredients (like green tea) that help reduce inflammation.
Ahead, you'll find five of the best moisturizers with SPF for every acne-prone skin type, from dry and oily to sensitive and combination. They're all gentle, non-irritating, and most importantly, highly-rated by dermatologists and acne-prone customers alike.
1The All-Around Best SPF Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin
This cult-favorite, award-winning sunscreen has a loyal following — and a near-perfect rating (4.5-stars, to be exact) with over 2,500 reviews to boot. Formulated with soothing niacinamide, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid, which is a gentle exfoliator that helps break up the gunk that's clogging your pores (and thereby causing breakouts in the first place), this oil-free moisturizer is available in both tinted and un-tinted formulas. Thought it appears to be white, it goes on totally clear and absorbs instantly; it's also incredibly lightweight. The formula is free of fragrances, parabens, and sulfates, and it has broad-spectrum SPF 46. In addition to helping treat acne, it's also recommended for anyone dealing with rosacea or hyper-pigmentation.
2The Best SPF Moisturizer For Dry, Acne-Prone Skin
If your blemish-prone skin is on the dry side, you need a rich, protective moisturizer like this one from Paula's Choice. Paula's Choice products are generally great for acne-prone skin because they never include known irritants like fragrances and dyes (bonus points for being cruelty-free). This particular formula was created with dry and sensitive complexions in mind, so it shouldn't break you out, and it's rich in antioxidants that contribute to an overall healthier-looking appearance. And even though it's rich in hydrating ingredients — like shea butter — it doesn't feel heavy or greasy. People who are sensitive to fragrance will especially love this scent-free product, which has SPF 50 for optimal protection against the sun's UVA and UVB rays.
3The Best SPF Moisturizer For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Another powerhouse product from Paula's Choice, this best-selling daily moisturizer was made with oily skin in mind. Not only is the formula free of any pore-clogging ingredients, but it also includes soothing antioxidants, like green tea, that can help calm inflammation, minimize flaking, and reduce redness. This day cream is super lightweight, but still hydrating, and absorbs instantly, requiring only a little bit of product (so one tube should last you a while). With SPF 30, it also helps balance oil production and provides a matte finish, so it's a great alternative to most greasy sunscreens for people whose skin tends to get shiny throughout the day. Of course, the gentle, fragrance-free formula means it shouldn't cause any irritation on acne-prone complexions.
4The Best SPF Moisturizer For Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin
If you have sensitive skin and haven't been able to find a daily sunscreen that doesn't break you out, try this cult-favorite moisturizer from French pharmacy brand La-Roche Posay. The "Clear Skin" formula was created with delicate, acne-prone complexions in mind: it's non-comedogenic (meaning it won't clog your pores), free of fragrances and parabens (both known irritants), and dermatologist- and allergy-tested. With SPF 60 and a matte, shine-free finish, it's water-resistant up to 80 minutes. What makes it especially great for acne-prone skin is that it contains perlite and silica, which work to absorb excess oil, even when you're sweating under the sun. Also a wonderful option for oily skin.
5The Best Organic, All-Natural SPF Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin
Coola is a relatively new, but very popular brand that makes organic, all-natural, and cruelty-free products (their motto is "Farm To Face"). This hypoallergenic moisturizer, which is designed for all skin types, has SPF 30 and a light, cucumber scent. The non-greasy formula is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and other irritating chemicals (like oxybenzone) that can cause breakouts, making it a great option for anyone dealing with acne, and it's water-resistant up to 80 minutes. On top of all that, it contains three unique ingredients — acai berry, an antioxidant that protects skin from environmental damage, evening primrose oil, which helps promote the healing of inflammation and eczema, and plankton extract, a phyto-protector that enhances moisture — that contribute to overall healthier, hydrated skin.
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