What’s The Best Sunblock For Acne Prone Skin? (Our Top 7 Picks Reviewed)

Do you often suffer from acne breakouts and are not sure how to take care of your skin when you go out?

Are you wary of using a sunscreen because you fear it could end up making your acne breakouts worse?

Would you like to find the perfect sunscreen that will protect your skin from sun damage and also help to keep your acne in control?

If you said yes, today we are talking about some of the best ways in which you can use a sunscreen so that you can keep your skin protected from the harmful rays of the sun without aggravating your acne problem. We have made a detailed list of 10 points that you should definitely keep in mind when you are choosing a sunscreen that you can safely use on acne prone skin. From knowing what ingredients to look out for and understanding what you should definitely avoid in the sunscreen, we have covered it all.

Not just that, we have also shared a detailed review of 7 of the best face sunscreen for acne prone skin, along with their price range and pros and cons. And even more, we talk about how you should ideally apply the sunscreen in a way that will help you to get the most amount of protection and benefit so that your skin stays healthy and safe.

Don't have the time to check out the whole list?
Here are our FAVORITE PICKS:

OUR FAVORITE PICK
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, 1. 7 oz
Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin, Broad Spectrum Spf 55, 3 Fl. Oz.
Zinc Oxide Powder Non Nano Uncoated Cosmetic Grade, 1/2 Lb
MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Rejuvelle Sunscreen For Face SPF 45 PABA FREE Clear Mineral Zinc Oxide 4 fl.oz. Anti-Aging UVA Broad Spectrum. Cucumber Aloe Vera Lotion With Vitamin C,D,E Non-Comedogenic, Water Resistant
$33.00
$6.89
$14.99
$30.00
$27.95
-
3,007 Reviews
679 Reviews
283 Reviews
210 Reviews
182 Reviews
OUR FAVORITE PICK
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, 1. 7 oz
$33.00
3,007 Reviews
Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin, Broad Spectrum Spf 55, 3 Fl. Oz.
$6.89
-
679 Reviews
Zinc Oxide Powder Non Nano Uncoated Cosmetic Grade, 1/2 Lb
$14.99
283 Reviews
MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50
$30.00
210 Reviews
Rejuvelle Sunscreen For Face SPF 45 PABA FREE Clear Mineral Zinc Oxide 4 fl.oz. Anti-Aging UVA Broad Spectrum. Cucumber Aloe Vera Lotion With Vitamin C,D,E Non-Comedogenic, Water Resistant
$27.95
182 Reviews

Last update on 2018-06-20 at 15:37 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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Can sunscreen make acne worse?

best face sunscreen for acne prone skin

Whether you are suffering from acne breakouts or have really clear skin, it is very important to wear the right type of sunscreen every day. This will ensure that your skin is protected from the many damaging factors that it can get exposed to through the rays of the sun. Using a sunscreen will not only reduce your risk of pigmentation and dark spots, it will also reduce your risk of skin cancer as well as delay the appearance of signs of ageing.

As yet, there is no clear study that can confirm whether or not using sunscreen can make your acne worse, but there is a possibility that it may actually do so. However, the one thing you should keep in mind is that if you use the right type of sunscreen for your skin type, it can protect your skin from sun damage and also reduce chances of an acne breakout due to sunscreen use.

Despite the possibility of sunscreen aggravating acne, should people with acne prone skin still choose to use sunscreen?

While there is a possibility that using a sunscreen can actually aggravate the condition when you have acne prone skin, it is still important that you do so. Using the right type of sunscreen that is specifically made for your type of skin will make sure that you get the best protection and that it does not aggravate your skin issues.

face sunscreen for acne prone skin
  • This is because when you are using any form of medication to treat your acne, especially if the medication has benzoyl peroxide or Retin-A or something similar, exposing your skin to the harsh rays of the sun can actually make it worse.
  • You may experience itching, burning, redness and swelling or even visible inflammation on your skin.
  • In some cases, if you expose your acne prone skin to the harmful rays of the sun without any protection in the form of sunscreen, you may also likely suffer pigmentation or permanent discolouration of the skin
  • For those who are on any type of acne treatment, you may also see your skin getting excessively dry, to the tune that the skin starts to peel and flake off. If you go out in the sun without using a sunscreen, the harmful rays will further damage these exposed and wounded areas of the skin and cause more damage.
  • Using the right type of sunscreen will not only create a barrier against the damaging rays of the sun, but will also form a protective barrier against outside pollutants and dirt from entering the layers of your skin.

10 Ingredients And Features You Should Look For In The Best Facial Sunscreen For Acne Prone Skin

1. Broad spectrum is great: 

best face sunscreen

The term broad spectrum refers to the type of sunscreen that will block out UVA as well as UVB rays and will give your skin double protection against the harmful rays of the sun. The UVB rays can cause dark spots, tanning and burning sensation on your skin. Both UVA and UVB rays can increase your risk for skin cancer as well as trigger premature signs of ageing. These can also trigger breakouts in those who are prone to acne.

2. Gel formulas are better: 

For those who have an oily skin type and are prone to have acne breakouts, using a gel based sunscreen will always be better as it will not add to the oiliness on the skin. Gel based sunscreens will absorb faster into the skin and will not leave a greasy residue on top. Also, these formulas are aqueous in nature, which means they have a watery consistency, and will get absorbed in the layers of your skin without leaving a trace on top. Sunscreens that come with a gel consistency are easier to apply and get absorbed faster.

3. Choose a formula that will not be greasy: 

Sunscreens that contain oils will be greasy in their texture and feel, so look out for those that do not contain oils and are not greasy. Sunscreen is a skin care product that you will be using on a daily basis, and so you need it to be oil free so that it does not aggravate the oily feel and look on your skin. This will also help to balance out the oil secretions in your skin and will not end up further clogging your pores.

4. No fragrance: 

best facial sunscreen for acne prone skin

A sunscreen that does not have any fragrance will be more suited for those who have sensitive and acne prone skin as it will have less chances of triggering any allergic reaction. This is also good as it will not cause any inflammation or itching. Most of the skin care products that come with scents and fragrance have ingredients that could trigger allergies and reactions in people who have sensitive skin. It is best to avoid fragrance in your sunscreen, as this is a product you will be using on a daily basis and over exposing your skin to the harmful ingredients could trigger a reaction.

5. Should not contain preservatives: 

It is important that you try and choose a sunscreen that does not contain any preservatives so that it will have the least chance of triggering any allergic reaction and will not cause further damage to your skin. Instead of a sunscreen that has preservatives, you can always look for ones that contain all natural ingredients that will not have the risk of causing any skin allergies or reaction.

6. Does not contain alcohol: 

The same is true when you check the product label to make sure that it does not contain any alcohol in it, because it will help to prevent any itching or burning sensation that could otherwise be a problem if used on sensitive or acne prone skin.

7. Look for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide: 

Both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have a drying effect on your skin, and in addition to protecting your skin against the rays of the sun, it will also act as a deterrent to further acne breakouts.

8. If you wear makeup, choose a powder sunscreen: 

facial sunscreen for acne prone skin

For those who wear makeup, using a powder sunscreen over your makeup will help to lock your makeup in place, and will also reduce the amount of oils that are secreted. This will help to prevent new breakouts on your face while also giving you sun protection. Also, there are a lot of sunscreens that are available in powder form that you can mix in with your other skin care products and even with your makeup. This means that you don’t have to wear a separate layer of sunscreen and then another layer of makeup, but you can mix the two together and wear it at once, while still getting the same protection and results that you are looking for.

9. See the label and check that the product is non-comedogenic: 

The term non-comedogenic means that the sunscreen will not have any ingredients that can clog your pores. This is good because this means that the sunscreen will prevent the oils and dirt from getting trapped in your pores, which are often a major cause of triggering an acne breakout. When you use a non-comedogenic sunscreen, it will reduce your chances of getting an acne breakout.

10. Use a sunscreen that is meant for the face and not for the body: 

The sunscreens that are meant for the face are usually thicker and heavier in consistency as they are meant for the thicker and coarser skin of your body. However, when you are using a sunscreen for your face, you need to choose one that will be lighter in texture and will not make your skin feel heavy.A facial sunscreen will ideally be light in texture while it will still have the required amount of SPF and UVA and UVB protection to keep your skin protected. Also, as it is meant for the more sensitive skin of youfr face, it will not cause any itching, burning or inflammation.


Best Sunscreen For Sensitive Acne Prone Skin Products


1. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin, Broad Spectrum Spf 55

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin, Broad Spectrum Spf 55, 3 Fl. Oz.

The Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen by Neutrogena contains broad spectrum protection of SPF 55 and will keep your skin looking clear and healthy. It is especially meant for those who have oily or acne prone skin. It comes with helioplex broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection that gives you double protection against the harmful rays of the sun. The formula is especially light and will not feel heavy on your skin. It gets absorbed easily into your skin and does not leave a greasy feeling. It is an oil-free sunscreen and has a water resistant formula which means it will not get runny in the sun for up to 80 minutes after you apply it. You can use this on the face as well as on your body to get a matte look. It is non-comedogenic, does not contain any fragrance, will not clog your pores or cause breakouts.

Pros

  • SPF 55 for clear and healthy skin.
  • Meant for oily or acne prone skin.
  • Helioplex broad spectrum UVA and UVB, double sun protection.
  • Light formula, not heavy on the skin, absorbs easily.
  • Oil-free, water resistant formula.
  • Non-comedogenic, no fragrance, will not clog pores, no breakouts.

Cons

  • Can cause a burning sensation especially around eyes.
  • Can feel a little greasy for some skin types.

2. Zinc Oxide Powder Non Nano Uncoated Cosmetic Grade by La Lune Naturals

Zinc Oxide Powder Non Nano Uncoated Cosmetic Grade, 1/2 Lb

The Zinc Oxide Powder Non Nano Uncoated Cosmetic Grade sun protection by La Lune Naturals comes in the form of a fine French Press Zinc Oxide powder that will give you both UVA and UVB protection and will protect your skin against sun damage as well as against acne breakouts. It is a natural sunscreen that contains 100 percent pure non-nano uncoated zinc oxide powder that is perfect to protect your skin against the damaging rays of the sun. As it comes in a powder form, you can use it in a lot of your skin care products to get sun protection from multiple sources, such as through your natural soaps, through your makeup, in your face powder, in your acne or eczema treatment cream, in your lip balm and more. It comes with a recipe book that will give you detailed instruction on how to make the best use of the product.

This powder contains very strong astringent properties and will not get absorbed in the layers of your skin, but will sit on top to make sure you get adequate protection. It also gives a very soothing and calming effect on skin that is sensitive and is prone to acne. It is completely vegan and is also Kosher certified.

Pros

  • Comes in fine French Press Zinc Oxide powder form. UVA and UVB protection.
  • 100 percent pure non-nano uncoated zinc oxide powder.
  • Can mix in various skin care products such as natural soaps, makeup, face powder, acne or eczema treatment cream, lip balm and more.
  • Strong astringent properties, sits on top of skin for maximum protection.
  • Soothing effect for sensitive and acne prone skin.
  • Vegan and Kosher certified.

Cons

  • May cause redness and rashes in some.
  • Can feel chalky and leave a whitish cast on skin.

3. Natural Zinc Oxide Powder - Non Nano and Uncoated - Baby Safe, Cosmetic Grade Fine Powder by Natural Escentials

Natural Zinc Oxide Powder - Non Nano and Uncoated - Baby Safe, Cosmetic Grade Fine Powder - FREE: Recipe eBook

The Natural Zinc Oxide Powder Non Nano and Uncoated sun protection by Natural Escentials also comes in the form of a fine non-nano powder that will easily mix with other skin care products such as lotions, creams and even makeup to give you constant protection against the sun. It contains a pure and very potent mix of zinc oxide powder that has been tested and scientifically proven to give you the best SPF protection without the need of any harmful chemicals. The most useful part about this natural zinc oxide powder is that you can easily use it to make your very own sunscreen or sunblock. You can mix it with a lot of different types of skin care products such as your acne treatment cream, face cream, lotion, deodorant and other similar products.

Pros

  • Fine non-nano powder form.
  • Easily mixes with other skin care products such as lotions, creams, makeup, acne treatment cream, face cream, lotion, deodorant and other products.
  • Pure and potent zinc oxide powder.
  • SPF protection without harmful chemicals.

Cons

  • None as yet.

4. Rejuvelle Sunscreen For Face SPF 45 PABA FREE Clear Mineral Zinc Oxide 4 fl.oz. Anti-Aging UVA Broad Spectrum. Cucumber Aloe Vera Lotion With Vitamin C,D,E Non-Comedogenic, Water Resistant 

Rejuvelle Sunscreen For Face SPF 45 PABA FREE Clear Mineral Zinc Oxide 4 fl.oz. Anti-Aging UVA Broad Spectrum. Cucumber Aloe Vera Lotion With Vitamin C,D,E Non-Comedogenic, Water Resistant

The Rejuvelle Sunscreen for Face Antioxidant For Daily Defense comes with 100 percent natural ingredients such as vitamins C, D and E along with aloe vera and cucumber that will not only suit those who have very sensitive and acne prone skin but will also give you anti-ageing benefits. It gives you protection against both the UVA and UVB rays of the sun and comes with a broad spectrum protection of SPF 45. It contains zinc oxide which is known for its effectiveness in protecting your skin against acne breakouts. This sunscreen will remain water resistant for up to 40 minutes of applying it.

It does not contain any PABA and will not cause any allergies or side effect on your skin. This is a multi-tasking product that you can use as a sunscreen, as a moisturizer to provide hydration to your skin through the day and as a skin care product that will give you antioxidant benefits. It has a very sheer and light weight formula that you can easily wear the whole day as it is or under your makeup, without seeing any greasy finish on the skin. It is also especially good for those who take part in any outdoor activities in the day and can be used by men, women and even kids.

Pros

  • Vitamins C, D and E, aloe vera, cucumber. Zinc oxide protects against acne breakouts.
  • Anti-ageing benefits, protection against UVA and UVB rays with SPF 45.
  • Water resistant for up to 40 minutes after application.
  • No PABA. Will not cause allergies or side effects.
  • Can use as sunscreen, day moisturizer, antioxidant. Light weight formula, not greasy.
  • Good to wear for outdoor activities. Suitable for use by men, women and even kids.

Cons

  • The scent can be very overpowering.
  • Can cause a burning sensation on the skin.

5. MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50

The Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen by MDSolacSciences comes with a very light weight formula that will feel as if you are barely wearing anything on your skin, even though it will give you some of the highest and most effective form of protection against the sun. It protects your skin against both UVA and UVB damage from the sun with its broad spectrum protection of SPF 50. It has a silky soft texture that will get absorbed very easily in the skin and will give you a matte and naturally radiant and clear look. This sunscreen is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic which means that it will not cause any type of skin allergies or side effects.

The UVA and UVB protection in this sunscreen are derived from natural sources which will also help to reduce your risk of photoaging and skin cancer. This sunscreen contains natural ingredients such as vitamin C, cranberry fruit, green tea and pomegranate extracts. It is an oil-free sunscreen that will remain water resistant for up to 80 minutes after you apply it and will not clog your pores. As this is light weight and has a soft texture, you can wear it as it is or also wear it under your makeup, without feeling anything heavy on the skin. It does not contain any fragrance and is suited for those who are sensitive to smell.

Pros

  • Light weight formula, UVA and UVB protection with SPF 50.
  • Silky soft texture, absorbs easily for matte look.
  • Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, will not cause skin allergies or side effects.
  • Reduce risk of photoaging and skin cancer.
  • Vitamin C, cranberry fruit, green tea and pomegranate extracts.
  • Oil-free sunscreen and water resistant for up to 80 minutes after application. Will not clog pores. No fragrance.

Cons

  • The price may not be suitable for all types of budget.
  • The texture can feel a little too slippery to some.

6. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, 1. 7 oz

The UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Sunscreen by EltaMD contains a broad spectrum sun protection of SPF 46 and is very effective in soothing and calming skin that is prone to acne breakouts. It will help to protect your skin against sun damage as well as against further acne breakouts. It contains high purity niacinamide, lactic acid, transparent zinc oxide as well as hyaluronic acid that are known to keep the skin clear and fight off bacteria that cause acne. It does not contain any oils, which means it will not clog your pores and will not add any greasy look on your skin. It will also protect your skin against both UVA and UVB damage from the sun. Regular use of this product will also help to reduce and prevent the appearance of pigmentation spots on the skin. The formula is very lightweight and will get easily absorbed in your skin. You can wear it under your makeup or as it is.

Pros

  • SPF 46 soothes and calms skin prone to acne. UVA and UVB protection.
  • Protects against sun damage and further acne breakouts.
  • High purity niacinamide, lactic acid, transparent zinc oxide and hyaluronic acid fight acne causing bacteria.
  • Does not contain oil, will not clog pores, no greasy look.
  • Reduce and prevent pigmentation spots on skin.
  • Light weight formula, absorbs easily, can wear under makeup.

Cons

  • The price may not be suitable for all types of budget.
  • Has to be reapplied very frequently.

7. PCA SKIN Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum spf 45

PCA SKIN Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum spf 45, 2.1 oz.

The Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45 sunscreen by PCA SKIN offers a broad spectrum sun protection with SPF 45 and comes in a very light formula that almost feels weightless on your skin. It gets absorbed very easily in your skin and contains milk thistle and coffee that will give your skin more protection against damaging factors from the environment. It has a light finish that will make your skin look matte yet healthily radiant. You can also wear this under your makeup on a daily basis. This sunscreen is especially good for those who have oily skin or are prone to acne breakouts. It also contains zinc oxide, octinoxate and silybin that are known to stop the appearance of acne and also fight damage from the sun. It will not cause any skin irritation or allergies and does not contain any synthetic fragrance or dyes. The product is not tested on animals and is cruelty free.

Pros

  • SPF 45. For oily or acne prone skin.
  • Light formula almost weightless, absorbs easily in skin, can wear under makeup.
  • Milk thistle, coffee, zinc oxide, octinoxate and silybin.
  • Protects against environmental damage.
  • Not cause skin irritation or allergies.
  • No synthetic fragrance or dyes. Not tested on animals. Cruelty free.

Cons

  • The price may not be suitable for all types of budget.
  • May cause redness and skin irritation in some.

How to apply sunscreen the right way to get the most effective results

Once you have found the right sunscreen for your type of skin that can protect you against the damaging rays of the sun, and also control the acne breakouts to some extent, it is important to use it the right way.

Try and keep the following tips in mind while applying a sunscreen so that you can get the most effective results.

1. Lay the sunscreen thick

sunscreen for acne prone skin
  • Instead of just applying a tiny bit of the sunscreen, use about 1 tbsp. of sunscreen when you are applying it on your face. While this may initially seem a lot, remember that all of it will eventually get absorbed into your skin, and this will also ensure that your skin stays protected for a good number of hours after you have originally applied it.
  • Also, unless you actually apply this much amount on your face, you get barely a fraction of SPF protection from your sunscreen. For instance, if you do not apply this much of a sunscreen that has SPF 30 protection, you will get a sun protection of barely SPF 10 out of it.

2. Make sure to clean your face before applying the product

best sunblock for acne prone skin
  • Before you apply the sunscreen, you have to make sure that you have cleaned your face thoroughly to remove all traces of makeup and dirt from your skin.
  • If you end up applying sunscreen on top of any makeup, or apply it without first cleaning your face, the dirt and pollutants will get trapped under the layer of sunscreen and will eventually clog your pores. This will increase the risk of an acne breakout.

3. Dot the sunscreen directly on to your face

sunblock for acne prone skin
  • The best way to apply sunscreen when you are going to put it on your face is by dotting it all over your face, instead of just squishing out the product on your hand and then applying it all together on your face.
  • When you apply the sunscreen in dots, it will make it easier for you to massage each part of your face separately. This will not only improve your blood circulation and help to reduce the possibility of an acne breakout, but it will also help the sunscreen to get absorbed faster and better into your skin and will not leave a whitish cast on the face.

4. First apply the sunscreen and then your moisturizer

what is sunblock
  • The best way to make sure that you get all the benefits out of your sunscreen is to apply it as the first layer on your skin.
  • While a lot of the sunscreens these days also come with hydrating properties that will help to keep your skin moisturized, if you are applying a separate moisturizer, it is best that you do it after you have applied the sunscreen. First apply your sunscreen and blend it in, then apply the moisturizer on top.

5. Make sure to apply your sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before going out

best sunscreen for sensitive acne prone skin
  • When you are applying the sunscreen well in advance it helps it to get absorbed in your skin the right way, so that it can provide the maximum defence against the sun. If you know the time that you are planning to go out, try and apply your sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before you head out.
  • Most of the sunscreens require at least this much time to properly get absorbed in the sun. Also, if you are going to wear makeup over your sunscreen, you would want it to get fully absorbed and then apply your makeup, so that it does not leave a greasy or whitish residue on the skin.

6. Make sure to reapply your sunscreen every 90 minutes when you are out

sunscreen for sensitive acne prone skin
  • Most people apply sunscreen in the morning and then forget about using it again through the day, even when they are out. While it is important to wear a sunscreen right in the morning, the effect of the product will gradually wear off after the first few hours, and it will not be able to provide you as much protection against the sun. This is especially true if you are outdoors in the sun for long hours.
  • To make sure that your sunscreen can help you stay safe and protected, it is best to reapply it once every 90 minutes. This will make sure that your sunscreen forms that protective layer on your skin and prevents any signs of sun damage.

7. If you need immediate sun protection, use a sunscreen that has zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

sunblock for sensitive skin
  • You can use your regular sunscreen in the morning when you have time to let it get absorbed in the skin and then head out. But if you are looking for some instant protection against the sun in the day, or are outdoors and don’t have time to let your sunscreen sit on the skin for 30 minutes, the two ingredients that can do the trick for you is a sunscreen that uses either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as its main ingredient.
  • Both of these ingredients are types of minerals that will help to block out the UV rays of the sun. This means that they are able to work faster than the other chemical based ingredients that you may find in the sunscreens.

8. Do wear your sunscreen daily to avoid accidental or casual exposure to the sun’s rays

what sunscreen for sensitive acne prone skins
  • A lot of people who head out for small errands in the day generally do not wear sunscreen, as they feel that the time they will spend outdoors in the sun is too small to actually suffer from any damage to the UV rays of the sun.
  • However, even the smallest amount of sun exposure is enough to trigger sun damage, so make sure you wear your sunscreen daily. The best way to ensure that you are safe from the sun is to wear your sunscreen every day and even on those days when you are only going to stay indoors.

3 ways to tell if your sunscreen is causing your breakouts

While it will protect your skin from sun damage and is important, sometimes your sunscreen could also be causing you breakouts. If you regularly apply sunscreen but still notice rashes and spots of pigmentation on your skin, then maybe your sunscreen is not right for you. Also, if your skin feels more irritable and itchy after you apply a sunscreen and you notice new breakouts, it could be due to the sunscreen you are using.

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