Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

One of the recommendations that the American Academy of Dermatology has made for people with oily skin to incorporate into their skincare routines is the usage of a non-comedogenic sunscreen on the face and body that will keep the skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays [1]. UV radiation is responsible for photoaging, wrinkling, age spots, and skin cancer, so it’s important for everyone above 6 months of age, regardless of skin tone or skin type, to utilize sunscreen and other skin-protecting measures on a daily basis. 

Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the earth and therefore, also reaches us [2]. Going outside unprotected on cloudy days, during the winter season, or even while being inside of a car can still lead to skin damage. That is why it is crucial that every person wear a minimum of 30 SPF sunscreen everyday that they will be going outside or wear a minimum of 15 SPF sunscreen whenever going out in short intervals [2].

Types of Sunscreen

When it comes to sunscreen ingredients, there are mainly two types of sunscreen: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens are sunscreens that contain mineral ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that stay on top of the skin in order to deflect UV rays before they are able to penetrate the skin [3]. 

Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays, convert them into heat, then release them from the body [3]. Active ingredients used in chemical sunscreens include avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone. While oxybenzone and avobenzone are great chemical ingredients for filtering UVA rays, when combined with other agents such as octocrylene, homosalate, and octisalate, they can also provide UVB protection [2]. Chemical sunscreens are also water-resistant, so they’re the best choice if you’re going to be swimming or sweating while outdoors. 

When a sunscreen product provides clear information on the labels about protection against both UVA rays (the type that penetrate the lower levels of the skin and cause premature aging) and UVB rays (the type that primarily affect the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis cause sunburn), it is known as a broad-spectrum sunscreen [2].

Breaking Down SPF

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, protecting against UVB rays, specifically. The SPF number indicates the amount of time in which the sunscreen will protect you before your skin will begin to redden as opposed to the amount of time it would take for your skin to redden if you were not wearing any sunscreen. So, if you were to use an SPF 15 correctly, according to the product’s instructions, it would take you 15 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen at all. Sunscreen should always be reapplied at the proper times dictated by the instructions on the bottle, typically every two hours for everyday activities, every 40 minutes during activities that cause sweating or while swimming. Applying one ounce of sunscreen is usually a sufficient amount to cover the entire body, including the places most often forgotten, like the lips and the ears [2].

Sunscreen and Oily Skin

For those who have oily skin, applying different sunscreens to the body may not be much of an issue but when it comes to the face, but the very thought of applying sunscreen can bring feelings of dread, as sunscreen is known for feeling heavy, greasy, looking shiny, and causing breakouts on the face. Fortunately, there have been many developments in sunscreen formulation in the recent past that allow people of all skin types and tones to take advantage of the protective benefits of sunscreen. It is important for people with oily skin to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is oil-free, avoiding formulations with mineral oils in particular [1]. The sunscreen should also be non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores, which is especially important for people with oily skin who also happen to be acne-sufferers.

Lightweight sunscreen formulas, such as a gel or powder formula may be a better option for people with oily skin, offering a more comfortable wear and oftentimes, a matte finish. For those who dislike the white cast that is often associated with various sunscreens, opt for a tinted sunscreen or a sunscreen that has been formulated to forgo any signs of residue. Another option is to purchase sunscreen products that have been created specifically for deeper skin tones. While the white residue from sunscreens can appear on varying skin tones, it most commonly shows on darker skin tones. It is important that people of all skin types and tones wear sunscreen everyday, so finding the right sunscreen that works for you is key to protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Sunscreen Products for Oily Skin

  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

    EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

    This sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen. It is oil-free, fragrance-free, and is formulated with skin-benefiting ingredients like vitamin E, lactic acid, and niacinamide.

    • 1.7 oz
  • Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion

    Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion

    This sunscreen has a non-chemical formulation that is water and sweat-resistant. It has a matte finish, making it perfect for people with oily skin. It comes in three different shades (fair, medium, and deep), making it a great choice for people of all skin tones. It also includes antioxidants and is non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores.

    • 3 oz
  • Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30

    Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30

    This sunscreen was created by women of color for people of color. Boasting the product’s versatility and natural, skin benefiting ingredients, the company claims that this sunscreen not only protects the skin from the sun, but it also doubles as a moisturizing lotion, making it ideal for everyday use. This product dries clear, leaving no white cast or residue and can even be used before applying makeup products.

    • 3 oz
  • Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45

    Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45

    This product from Peter Thomas Roth is a mineral powder sunscreen with a matte finish. For those who aren’t keen on liquid sunscreens or are looking for a more convenient product that can be easily applied over makeup throughout the day, this sunscreen is a great option. Despite its non-conventional form, this SPF 45 powder sunscreen provides all of the skin protection you need.

    • 3.4g
  • CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Face Lotion with Sunscreen

    Ultra-Light Moisturizing Face Lotion with Sunscreen (SPF 30)

    This is an ultra lightweight moisturizer and sunscreen created specifically with people with oily skin in mind. Not only is it non-greasy, but it also has a matte finish. It has SPF 30 to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, which can lead to premature signs of aging and skin cancer. This is a two-in-one moisturizer and sunscreen combination product from CeraVe made for daily use.

    • 1.7 fl. oz

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