Finding the perfect sunscreen is tricky, and that's even truer when you have oily skin. Many sunscreens contain oils and rich ingredients designed to prevent dryness. Rich, creamy formulas are great if you actually have dry skin — but they're not the best sunscreens for oily skin or those prone to breakouts.
Sunscreens have evolved considerably in recent years as more of us have jumped on board with the reality that this is one skincare product we need to use every morning, rain or shine — regardless of our skin type. Broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays are available in light gel, fluid, and lotion formulas. And plenty of mineral sunscreens are free of oils, noncomedogenic (meaning they won't clog pores), and capable of absorbing so fast you'll forget you have anything on.
The best bet for oily skin types is sticking to light, mattifying formulas that contain SPF 30 or higher and don't contain preservatives, fragrances, lanolin, or other heavy oils. Ingredients like niacinamide can even absorb excess sebum, while dimethicone and hyaluronic acid can make skin smoother and more matte, without drying it out.
These nine sunscreens for oily skin provide the protection you need without excess shine.
1. A Light Gel Sunscreen With Antioxidant-Rich Oils
This light gel sunscreen with SPF 40 has a wealth of ingredients that help refine oily skin, clear pores, and protect it against UVA and UVB rays. Sunflower seed oil keeps skin smooth without adding excess oils, camellia seed oil clarifies skin, and rosehip seed oil helps repair skin and alleviate environmental damage.
2. A Waterproof Sunscreen That Plumps Skin With Hyaluronic Acid
This water-resistant sunscreen (up to 80 minutes) has an intensely high degree of UVA and UVB protection but isn't greasy or filmy, according to reviewers. This formula is sweat and sebum-proof, which offers the ultimate reassurance if you have oily skin, and it's infused with hyaluronic acid, which hydrates skin without adding oil. Because one of the best ways to prevent acne is by keeping your skin's natural oils balanced.
3. An Oil-Free Sunscreen That Absorbs Super Fast
This oil-free sunscreen with SPF 40 goes on smoothly, absorbs super fast, and does a stand-up job of controlling oil almost as if it's blotting it, according to reviewers. It may prove chalky on dry skin types and it's recommended that you exfoliate regularly — even if you have oily skin — to prevent this formula from "pilling" on skin.
4. A Whopping SPF 60 With Oil-Absorbing Silica & Antioxidants
Oily skin types will love how matte and dry this sunscreen with SPF 60 makes these complexion look and feel — not only is it oil-free, it's formulated with silica and perlite, which absorbs excess sebum that can clog pores. You can also feel good about how this water-resistant lotion is rich in antioxidants, free of parabens and fragrances, and has been tested on sensitive skin.
5. A Matte Sunscreen That Leaves Feeling Smooth
This SPF 50 sunscreen is called a "sun milk" because it's much lighter than most formulas you'll find in the U.S., and it was developed with your entire skincare and makeup routine in mind. Not only does it work on its own as a lightweight SPF for oily skin, but it's dry enough to wear under makeup and actually serves as an ideal priming base. Reviewers with oily skin rave about how it leaves their complexion matte without looking flat.
6. An Everyday Sunscreen With Vitamin E & White Grape Seed Extract
Perfect for daily use, this lightweight sunscreen is infused with good-for-your-skin antioxidants that include Vitamin E and white grape polyphenols to neutralize free radicals and protect skin deep down at a cellular level. Oily complexions will love the matte finish it provides and its light, water-resistant formula, which is completely free of fragrance.
7. A Lightweight Gel Sunscreen That Won't Make Skin White Or Filmy
You won't have to worry about clogged pores, sticky skin, or a white film left behind when you use this gel sunscreen with SPF 50. It's lightweight, cool, soothing, and boasts aloe vera leaf extract to calm irritated skin and silica to help mattify shiny complexions.
8. A Mineral Sunscreen Skin-Strengthening Ceramides & Niacinamide
Oily and acne-prone skin will benefit greatly from the addition of niacinamide and ceramides in this oil-free sunscreen. Niacinamide strengthens the outer layer of skin and can help actually prevent acne breakouts, while ceramides lock in moisture, helping your skin retain enough hydration to keep it smooth and balanced. This zinc-based formula is water-resistant, but be aware that many reviewers say it can leave a white cast so be prepared to put your blending skills to good use.
9. Powerful Sun Protection With Green Tea Extract & Sunflower Seed Oil
This SPF 50 sunscreen absorbs almost within contact but is formulated with ingredients like Jeju green tea extract and sunflower oil that allow it to go on smoothly and makes oily skin look clean and fresh. Reviewers say this helps control oil (though it won't make your skin dry-as-a-bone matte) and that it offers incredible sun protection that lasts a long time.
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