The vernal equinox has just passed here in the Northern Hemisphere, and that tells me two things: that sunnier days are on the way, and that most people won’t be wearing any sun protection.
Not only does sun exposure cause premature aging, but it can also make acne and , making SPF a necessary step in your daily skincare routine. Plus, if you’re using any acne treatments or other photosensitizing products on your skin (benzoyl peroxide, AHAs, Retin-A, Accutane), you need to be using sunscreen that much more! These products, coupled with sun exposure, can cause irritation, inflammation, burning, and even a chemical reaction that discolors your skin.
I know that wearing a daily facial SPF comes with its annoyances and – especially for those of us with acne – but this doesn’t mean we’re doomed to an endless search for the best sunscreen for acne prone skin.
Most people dislike wearing sunscreens because they can be greasy, thick, pore-clogging, and everything someone with acne hates. Some people even resort to recipes because of this. Thankfully, the increased awareness of sun-induced skin damage and the importance of SPF in preventing skin cancer, as well as our voiced consumer concerns, has led to the development of some fantastic facial SPF options quite unlike their predecessors. This means that there really is a sunscreen out there for everyone.
my top picks
The type of sunscreen you choose will depend on what you need.
Mineral sunscreens tend to sit on top of the skin and can clog up pores, making it hard to remove it all. Those with acne-prone skin need to be especially diligent in removing it (try an oil cleanse before your regular cleanser), but mineral sunscreens are still a fantastic option for some people and are usually the best sunscreen for sensitive skin types.
Chemical sunscreens are more likely to irritate, due to various factors, so it may not be suitable for your skin type depending on the ingredients. Some people react to the heat that results from the chemical reactions on the skin, while others are simply sensitive to irritating ingredients in the sunscreen.
Whichever option you choose, the best sunscreen for you may not be the best sunscreen for someone else. Both types of sunscreens have their pros and cons – what matters most is that you find an option that works for you.
DERMA E NATURAL MINERAL SUNSCREEN OIL-FREE FACE LOTION SPF 30
This little gem is probably my favorite because it’s suitable for literally everyone. Honestly, Derma E has stepped up their game since I first tried their products years ago.
This sunblock has super simple ingredients, added antioxidants, has no harmful nanoparticles, contains no irritating or eco-damaging chemicals, and doesn’t dry out or make the skin feel oily. Win!
DEVITA SOLAR PROTECTIVE MOISTURIZER SPF 30
Another favorite of mine is similar to the Derma E in that it has such ridiculously simple ingredients that it’s ideal for almost anyone. I just love it. It’s also very moisturizing and soothing, making it an especially great option for dry skin types.
COOLA MINERAL FACE SPF 30 MATTE CUCUMBER
One of the best sunscreens I’ve ever used when my skin was oily. It is completely non-greasy, applies and absorbs well, and doesn’t cause any breakouts or irritation. This is a perfect daily use sunscreen for oily, combination, or normal acne-prone skin (but gentle enough for sensitive skin, too!).
SUNTEGRITY NATURAL MINERAL SUNSCREEN FOR BODY
I know, for body?! Hear me out! Both the facial and body sunscreens are amazing for the face - but the body one offers more product and I’m a frugal kind of gal. But the ingredients for this product are amazing, regardless, making it ideal for both body and face.
chemical (or mixed) sunscreens
SUPERGOOP! SKIN SOOTHING MINERAL SUNSCREEN SPF 40
My top favorite chemical sunscreen is actually a mix of physical (zinc) and chemical (octinoxate) protection. This is the best chemical option for sensitive skin types and acne-prone skin alike and is perfect for daily wear. It contains non-irritating, soothing ingredients. It’s alcohol and fragrance-free, super lightweight, and hydrating.
KISS MY FACE FACE FACTOR SPF 30
This was one of the first sunscreens I ever tried that didn’t break me out or irritate my skin at all. It was basically the sunscreen that showed me there was hope! I was amazed that a chemical sunscreen could be so non-irritating to my sensitive skin.
It contains several antioxidants and nourishing properties that makes it double as a nice, light moisturizer for the summer.
It does leave my skin a little dewy, but I don’t find it too oily and my makeup usually takes care of it!
PAULA’S CHOICE MOISTURE BOOST DAILY RESTORING COMPLEX SPF 30
Although this product wouldn’t be suitable for people with skin sensitive to chemical sunscreens in general, it’s otherwise a great lightweight option. It’s a good option for people whose skin can’t tolerate the heaviness of zinc or titanium mineral formulas, but who still need something suited for sensitive skin.
Recommended for dry and sensitive acne-prone skin types, the moisturizer itself is non-greasy, and non-irritating, and works well under makeup.
While layering SPF is recommended (in ), it is still encouraged to use one SPF product evenly over the entire face to ensure adequate and consistent coverage and protection. Using just makeup products with SPF is on its own. And don’t forget to protect your lips throughout the day with an SPF lip balm!
Remember that not all sunscreens are the same, and just because a few don’t work for you, doesn’t mean there isn’t a sunscreen out there for you. Don’t give up looking just because it’s a challenge – your skin needs the protection.
Banish Starter Kit