Sunscreen has come a long way since the thick, pore-clogging creams of the past — and, thankfully, effective sun protection no longer comes with a side of skin irritation. The best sunscreens for acne prone skin are designed to give your skin the protection it needs, and these innovative sunscreens won't cause breakouts.
Aside from breaking down your skin's collagen, causing increased dryness, redness, and irritation — and putting you at a higher risk for developing skin cancer — unprotected exposure to the sun can actually make post acne marks darker and longer lasting. Although these marks can be faded with a great Vitamin C serum, it's always better to protect and prevent rather than treat. And even though acne prone skin has its own set of challenges, it still deserves the same care that other skin types receive.
But, because acne prone skin tends to have a weakened barrier, it's important to choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen that's free of potential irritants. The two ingredients that people with acne should be wary of when looking for a sunscreen that won't cause breakouts are alcohol and fragrance, both of which can cause irritation that paves the way for acne-causing bacteria to do their thing. And, if your skin is sensitive, you'll want to opt for a mineral sunscreen — which are generally formulated with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide — since chemical sunscreens can make sensitive skin red and itchy.
When it comes to preventing breakouts, thoroughly removing your sunscreen every night is key! Because most sunscreens are resistant to water, they can't be easily broken down by your average foaming cleanser. The best way to make sure all your sunscreens comes off before bed is to use an oil cleanser designed for acne prone skin that can cling to sunscreen and makeup and wash it away, so it doesn't wind up gunking up your pores.
So, people with acne can and should wear sunscreen everyday, provided they choose the right formula and are sure to remove it at night — and these nine sunscreens are great for those prone to breakouts.
1This Incredibly Gentle Mineral Sunscreen That's Perfect For Sensitive Skin
This alcohol and fragrance free mineral sunscreen is designed for even the most sensitive, breakout prone skin types to use without irritation. The formula includes olive polyphenols, which are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that help strengthen weak, irritable skin. If chemical sunscreens make your skin sting, this incredibly gentle product will feel like a total life-saver.
2A Sunscreen That Color Corrects To Visibly Brighten The Skin
The Dr. Jart Every Sun Day sunscreen contains a blend of soothing botanicals — including calendula and aloe extracts — and hydrating ingredients that plump the skin and balance moisture levels throughout the day. But what's so cool about this alcohol-free sunscreen is the sheer light pink-beige tint to the product, which color corrects and brightens the skin when applied.
3This Sunscreen With Aloe That Soothes Irritated Skin
This soothing sunscreen from COSRX contains aloe, which helps combat redness and inflammation. The light, creamy formula is quickly absorbed by the skin, and is free of drying alcohol.
4This Gentle Mineral Sunscreen In A Jumbo Size
This gentle, mineral sunscreen from Avene uses Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, two very effective physical sunscreens, to shield your skin from harmful rays. The lightweight formula won't feel heavy on your skin, and, unlike many mineral sunscreens, it doesn't leave a white cast. Even better, it's alcohol and fragrance free.
5This Water-Resistant Liquid Sunscreen That Won't Slide Off Oily Skin
People with oily skin often struggle to find a sunscreen that actually stays on their skin long enough to provide enough protection. This water-resistant sunscreen from Korean brand Missha, is an incredibly light, liquid formula that never feels heavy or greasy. It can outlast sweat and humidity but wears extremely well under makeup, which is not typical of a water-resistant sunscreen. And, it's free of alcohol.
6This Mineral Sunscreen With A Matte Finish
This alcohol and artificial-fragrance free mineral sunscreen from Coola is a great choice if you like a matte finish — whether your skin is oily or not. And that's because, while this sunscreen is mattifying, it's also a non-drying formula. This sunscreen contains rose hip oil, which is rich in nourishing fatty acids, organic shea butter, and plankton extract. And, the subtle cucumber scent comes from, you guessed it, actual cucumber!
7This Award-Winning Dry Touch Sunscreen That Never Feels Greasy
This award-winning, alcohol and fragrance free dry touch sunscreen from La Roche-Posay prevents your skin from feeling greasy by using perlite silica to absorb oil throughout the day. And, this matte-finish sunscreen packs a powerful punch of antioxidants, which makes it a great choice for everyday wear.
8This Mineral Sunscreen With A Translucent Tint
The SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen was designed with sensitive skin in mind by including only ingredients that block the sun or benefit reactive skin — and excluding alcohol and fragrance. This sunscreen protects with 5 percent Zinc Oxide and 6 percent Titanium Dioxide, while translucent spheres of color blur imperfections and provide a subtle tint to most skin tones.
9This Sheer, Liquid Sunscreen With SPF 70
A sheer finish isn't something you'd usually associate with an SPF 70 sunscreen, but Neutrogen has managed to pull it off with their Ultra Sheer Liquid. This alcohol-free, watery formula dries quickly without leaving your skin white, and it wears well under makeup.
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