What are The Sunscreens for Oily Skin?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

I hear ya. If you have oily skin, sunscreen is the last thing you wanna put on your skin.

Blame UV filters. A lot of them have thick, oily textures that are hard to dilute into a lightweight lotion your skin can tolerate – especially if you’re determined to avoid alcohol at all costs.

(Fun fact: the reason why you see alcohol in so many sunscreens is because it thins out their textures).

But going without sunscreen ain’t an option. Not if you’re serious about antiging. No sunscreen means more wrinkles and dark spots – sooner than you thought, too. Not to mention the risk of skin cancer…

But how to track down the few sunscreens that are a good match for your skin type? Fret not, I’ve done the work for you. Here are the best sunscreens for oily skin:

Best On A Budget: Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($9.32)

If you’re just looking for a basic sunscreen that gets the job done without leaving a greasy mess behind, Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a good option to consider. It has stabilised avobenzone for UVA protection, plus a bunch of UVB filters to keep you safe from the entire UV spectrum. The silky lotion is lightweight and sinks in quickly even on oily skin. Just don’t use it when you’re pregnant. Avobenzone is on the no-go list for anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive.

Available at: Walmart

Best For Sensitive Skin: EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 ($25.00)

Prefer an all mineral sunscreen? Mineral UV filters titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are gentler on the skin, less likely to cause irritations and still provide excellent UV protection. You can find them in EltaMD UV Pure Broad- Spectrum SPF 47, one of the best mineral sunscreens for oily skin. Its silky texture is pretty lightweight and sinks in quickly without turning your skin into a greasy mess. Plus it’s water-resistant. The catch? It does leave a slight white cast on the skin, but if you don’t mind that, it’s worth checking it out.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Best For Antiaging: Paula’s Choice Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 ($33.00)

Paula’s Choice Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 is my fave sunscreen – bar none. It has the lightest texture I’ve ever come across in a mineral sunscreen. It spreads like a dream and sinks in quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind. Plus, it’s tinted, so no white cast either. The icing on the cake? This baby is loaded with antioxidants that helps you slow down premature aging. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Available at: Dermstore, Feel Unique, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice

Best For Very Oily Skin: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 60 ($19.99)

If your skin is SO oily, you’ve lost all hopes of finding a sunscreen that doesn’t make you look even more of a shiny frying pan, give La Roche Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 60 a last try. The creamy texture dries down to a matte finish quickly and is enriched with oil- absorbents to soak up the excess oil on your skin. The UV filters are synthetic but then your skin doesn’t get along with mineral ones – they’re just too greasy for you. The best part? It can withstand heat and humidity better than most sunscreens and works well even in water for up to 80 minutes.

Available at: Blue Mercury, Dermstore and Ulta

Best For An Active Lifestyle: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce ($42.00)

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce does leave a whiteish cast on the skin. It’s the price to pay for mineral sun protection. Mineral filters are gentler but you can see them a little. If that bothers you, wear foundation on top. Trust me, if you lead an active lifestyle and like running, outdoor activities or days at the pool, this is worth the effort. The “WetForce”, a mix of film-forming ingredients that swell when they come in contact with water, allow titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to spread evenly all over your skin even in the water or when you’re sweating buckets, increasing your sun protection. Told you it was worth the effort!

Available at: John Lewis, Nordstrom, Sephora and Ulta

What do you think are the best sunscreen for oily skin? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Read more on: sunscreen, oily skin


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