9 Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin in 2023, from Dermatologists and Estheticians
The best sunscreens for oily skin are uniquely formulated to be light, yet protective, according to skincare experts.
We get it: As soon as your face feels squeaky-clean, it’s not super appealing to think about slathering on a coat of anything, including sun protection. Plus, of you have oily skin, you might simply forget to apply your sunscreen—unlike many people with dry skin, who might tend to intentionally seek moisture as a practice.
But sunscreen is a must, regardless of your skin type: “Remember to apply sunscreen daily, even if you have oily skin, to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and premature aging,” advises Saulis Baniones, MD, a physician board-certified by The American Academy of Anti-Aging.
First, says Renita Ahluwalia, MD, FRCPC, DABD, a dermatologist in Toronto, it’s a good idea to determine if you actually have oily skin. Here’s this derm’s secret to figuring it out: “If you wash your face and don’t apply any products, does it appear shiny or greasy after an hour or so? If so, you probably have oily skin,” says Dr. Ahluwalia, who adds that the best sunscreens for oily skin usually exclude ingredients that encourage sebum production, such as dimethicone, vitamin E and coconut oil.
1. ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless
This is one of the best sunscreens for oily skin as it is non-comedogenic, so it doesn’t clog pores. “This is one of my absolute favorites,” says board-certified dermatologist Joyce Park, MD, FAAD, founder of Skin Refinery, a virtual dermatology clinic. “It also contains a unique repairing enzyme called DNA Repairsomes,” Dr. Park says, “so this sunscreen not only protects, but also repairs your skin.”
2. ColorScience Sunforgettable® SPF 50
This is an oil-free, hypoallergenic mineral sun protection product that some dermatologists say is among the best sunscreens for oily skin. “It has a sheer, lightweight formula that won’t leave your skin feeling heavy after application,” explains Rahi Sarbaziha, MD, a Los Angeles-based, board-certified integrative medicine doctor and aesthetics specialist. Although you will barely feel it on your skin, Dr. Sarbaziha says, “This superpower SPF offers environmental protection against UVA, UVB and infrared radiation.”
3. EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46
This sunscreen is super lightweight, making it one of the best sunscreens for oily skin, but it works for all skin types. “With a powerful ingredient trio of niacinamide, lactic acid and hyaluronic acid, this oil-free lotion helps calm, protect, and promote healthy-looking skin,” says Jeremy Brauer, MD, a New York-based, board-certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and founder of Spectrum Skin and Laser.
It’s worth noting that this product is a favorite with dermatologists across the board. In fact, if you want the best recommendation, ask the dermatologists what they use on their own skin: “This is what I use,” says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, who is dual board-certified in both dermatology and dermatopathology. “I love it!”
4. Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50
Dr. Ahluwalia recommends this sunscreen because it’s mineral-based and brushes on. “Opting for a mineral option is usually a safe bet, as minerals absorb oils,” she says. “Consider a matte finish or a brush powder application to prevent shine and grease.”
5. KRAVEBEAUTY Beet The Sun
Esthetician Ian Michael Crumm loves this sunscreen from female-founded, BIPOC-owned KRAVEBEAUTY. “This sunscreen has beetroot extract in it, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to neutralize free radicals from UV radiation,” Crumm says. It’s super lightweight and blends instantly into the skin, plus it’s usually priced around only $20.
6. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer – SPF 35
Because luggage gets lost and items get forgotten at home, it’s good to have a sunscreen you can grab at Target, CVS and even some grocery stores. Dermatologist Vladyslava Doktor, DO, owner of Skin Center Boston, likes this oil-free moisturizer from Cetaphil that’s non-greasy, fragrance-free, and paraben-free.
7. Supergoop! Mineral Mattescreen SPF 40
“The is a great choice for oily skin,” says Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “It has a matte finish that blurs pores and works well on its own or under makeup.”
8. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen SPF 55
“This oil-free sunscreen is designed specifically for acne-prone skin,” explains Dr. Baniones. He likes this one because it’s lightweight, non-greasy, and won’t clog your pores. It’s also affordable and widely available.
9. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
Like EltaMD, Supergoop! is another favorite among dermatologists. “This lightweight, oil-free formulation feels like silk and goes on very smoothly,” says Nazanin Saedi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Philadelphia. “It doesn’t clog pores, making it a good choice for oily, acne-prone skin.”
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- Renita Ahluwalia, MD, FRCPC, DABD, a dermatologist in Toronto
- Saulis Baniones, MD, a physician board-certified by The American Academy of Anti-Aging
- Joyce Park, MD, FAAD, founder of Skin Refinery, a virtual dermatology clinic
- Rahi Sarbaziha, MD, an LA-based board-certified integrative medicine doctor and aesthetics specialist
- Jeremy Brauer, MD, a NY-based board-certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and founder of Spectrum Skin and Laser
- Ian Michael Crumm, Esthetician
- Vladyslava Doktor, DO, dermatologist and owner of Skin Center Boston
- Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, dual board-certified in both dermatology and dermatopathology
- Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, President and Co-Founder, Modern Dermatology and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Yale New Haven Hospital
- Nazanin Saedi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Philadelphia