Regardless of whether you are a skincare minimalist or maximalist, sun protection is a non-negotiable part of any routine. Every day, rain or shine, indoors or outside, you should be wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays that, at best, are responsible for premature signs of aging (i.e. fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation) and, at worst, cause skin cancer. To combat this, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 daily and reapplying it every two hours or immediately after swimming.
We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. But, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, the idea of slathering on a sticky sunscreen sounds, well, seriously unappealing. While we all have not-so-fond memories of the thick, greasy, and chalky formulas of our childhood, we’re happy to say that sunscreen has come a long way. In fact, you can describe many of today’s formulas as lightweight, silky smooth, and invisible. Even better, many also feature powerhouse skincare ingredients that work to calm breakouts, soothe redness, gently exfoliate, and hydrate all while protecting your complexion from the sun. All of this is to say: There is no excuse not to apply (and reapply) sunscreen, no matter your skin type.
If you are ready to upgrade your sun care routine, we’ve rounded up the best mattifying, color correcting, and calming sunscreens for oily and acne-prone skin. Read on to shop our favorites.
For Soothing & Smoothing: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
This fragrance- and oil-free face sunscreen is formulated to protect, treat, and soothe acne-prone and sensitive skin types. Niacinamide helps to calm inflammation, sodium hyaluronate imparts lightweight moisture, and lactic acid works to clear pores and reduce shine. Basically, it’s the ultimate hybrid of skincare and sun care. $39, dermstore.com
For Color Correcting: Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight Sunscreen SPF 30
You won’t have to worry about exacerbating breakouts with this mineral sunblock. The breathable formula acts like a veil on the skin and visibly tones redness thanks to a color-correcting green tint. Wear alone or use it as a primer under makeup. $20, ulta.com
For Touch Ups: Brush on Block Translucent Mineral Powder Sunscreen SPF 30
This all-in-one kabuki can act as both a sunscreen touchup and mid-day mattifier. The translucent mineral powder can be worn on bare skin or over makeup to cut shine and comes housed in a hands-free, self-dispensing brush that is ultra-portable. Apply – and reapply – to your face, neck, décolleté, scalp, ears, and more without any buildup or caking. $34, brushonblock.com
For Head to Toe Protection: Paula's Choice Non-Greasy Face and Body Sunscreen SPF 50
Whether you are dealing with backne, maskne, hormonal breakouts, or some combination, this one tube is all you need. This antioxidant-rich sunscreen can be used on the face and body and doesn't feel like a traditional SPF. Instead, the silky formula blends seamlessly into the skin and leaves a supple – but not shiny – finish. $19, paulaschoice.com
For Melanin-Rich Skin: Black Girl Sunscreen Make It Matte Sunscreen SPF 45
Created by a Black woman who was tired of buying sunscreens that didn’t properly care for melanated skin, this weightless gel has an invisible matte finish that layers well. It also helps condition the complexion and prevent visible signs of sun damage (think: fine lines, dark spots) thanks to aloe leaf extract, shea butter, coconut oil, vitamin E, and more. $18, ulta.com
For Minimizing Pores: Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier SPF 45
The name says it all. This formula is designed to minimize the appearance of pores, reduce excess sebum production, and cut shine for up to 10 hours. Oil-trapping microspheres have a filter-like effect that also preps the complexion for makeup, while avocado and African yellow wood bark extracts help control oil. $48, sephora.com
For Sensitive Skin: Banish The Defender SPF 50
Designed for and tested on acne-prone and sensitive skin, organic aloe vera leaf juice allows this mineral sunscreen to blend effortlessly and absorb instantly. The non-greasy formula also includes soothing vegetable glycerin, collagen-boosting palmitoyl peptides, and antioxidant-rich vitamin E and passionflower. $49, banish.com
For Added Moisture: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50
The best thing about this oil-free, non-comedogenic, water-inspired sunscreen gel? You can use it from head to toe. The face and body formula goes on clear and doubles as a non-greasy moisturizer that keeps skin hydrated for up to eight hours (though you’ll need to reapply it more frequently to keep yourself protected from UV rays). $16, ulta.com
For Layering: Cotz Face Prime & Protect Tinted SPF 40
This protective primer marries your sun care and prep steps for a more efficient morning routine. The mattifying mineral formula has a silky finish that smooths the skin for makeup. On bare-faced days, the sheer tint evens out the complexion for a your-skin-but-better effect. $28, ulta.com
For a Refresh: Coola Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray SPF 30
This ultra-fine, two-in-one mist makes reapplying sunscreen and reviving your makeup a breeze. Organic aloe vera and hyaluronic acid hydrate and soothe the complexion, while juniper, date palm, and peony plant cell extracts offer antioxidant protection and help reinforce the skin barrier. Spritz all day long for a multipurpose refresh. $36, sephora.com
For City Slickers: Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 42
Pollution and other environmental aggressors don’t do blemish-prone skin any favors. This oil-free formula protects against damaging UV rays and all the other irritants that come with city life. The brand's Sun Dual Care technology actually harnesses sunlight to improve hydration and control excess sebum production, while the soft matte finish makes it a perfect primer candidate. $35, shiseido.com
For a Hint of Tint: Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Sunscreen SPF 36
If you are looking for a sunscreen with a complexion-perfecting hint of color, this is it. The lightweight, fragrance-free mineral lotion has a brightening and evening tint that is flattering for most skin tones and also features potent antioxidants that protect against pollution, infrared radiation, and blue light. $60, alastin.com
For Cutting Shine: Supergoop! Mineral Mattescreen SPF 40
This oil-free physical sunblock minimizes the look of pores, controls shine, and evens skin tone (thanks to a neutralizing tint). Additionally, wild butterfly ginger helps protect skin from the effects of blue light and antioxidant-rich bamboo extract guards against free radical damage. $38, supergoop.com
For Targeted Treatment: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Sport Stick SPF 50
With a non-greasy, dry-touch finish, there is no wrong way to use this do-it-all stick (it's even safe for lips). The antioxidant-infused mineral formula easily glides onto the skin to protect against UVA and UVB rays, blue light, infrared radiation, and other environmental aggressors. With 80 minutes of water resistance, we love it for touching up during outdoor sports and sweat sessions. $34, colorescience.com
All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.
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