Sunscreen is an important part of a good skincare routine all year round. However, if you have acne prone skin, you know it can be a struggle to find a sunscreen that doesn’t break you out. Sunscreen formulas are often created with ingredients that don’t work well for sensitive, acne prone skin, making it crucial to do your research before slathering up. We’ve rounded up the best drugstore sunscreens for acne prone skin so you can rest easy if you’re prone to sunscreen breakouts.
Why Does Sunscreen Cause Breakouts?
Sunscreen causes breakouts when it contains pore-clogging ingredients that lead to acne. Some sunscreens are made with heavy oils, like coconut oil, that can clog your pores, as well as certain silicone derivatives such as dimethicone. Certain sunscreen products also contain chemicals that can irritate your skin, making it more susceptible to breakouts.
The structure of certain sunscreens can also contribute to breakouts. For example, chemical sunscreen (as opposed to mineral sunscreen) works by absorbing UV light and converting it to heat, which the body then releases. The heat can act as a blockage to your skin and make you sweat more. This can attract sweat and increase sebum in your skin, clogging your pores and resulting in acne.
4 Tips to Avoid Breakouts When Applying Sunscreen
1. Look for Oil Free Formulas
Avoid any type of oils in sunscreens, and look for oil free formulas. Steer clear of sunscreens with emollient-rich ingredients like vitamin E, coconut, mineral and soybean oils, beeswax, lanolin and cocoa butter, which are pore-clogging ingredients that will break you out.
2. Use Non Comedogenic Sunscreens
When you’re checking a sunscreen’s label, make sure it’s non comedogenic. This means it’s formulated not to clog pores. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two common non comedogenic ingredients to look out for in your sunscreens!
3. Layer with Antioxidants
Antioxidants are a key skincare ingredient that decrease the risk of free radicals, which cause age-related damage to the skin. Antioxidants like vitamin C can help with the inflammation associated with UV exposure, as well as soothe and protect the skin. Apply a vitamin C face serum after cleansing, followed by your favourite moisturizer and finish off with sunscreen before you go about your day.
4. Make Sure to Cleanse Properly
Many sunscreen formulas are made with extra staying power, which is beneficial while you’re wearing it, but you have to make sure you’re getting it all off at the end of the day. If you don’t adequately remove your sunscreen, it can linger on the skin and cause breakouts.
Try a double cleanse to remove sunscreen properly. First, use the Bioderma Micellar Water to break down your sunscreen and makeup, then use a more traditional cleansing product to wash away the Micellar and sunscreen particles. This ultra-gentle formula was made with sensitive skin in mind.
7 Best Sunscreens for Acne Prone Skin
1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen SPF 50
La Roche-Posay is known for its acne safe products, and formulas for sensitive skin. This sunscreen is oil free with SPF 50 to protect your skin from harsh rays. It’s a zinc oxide and titanium oxide sunscreen that combines antioxidants to protect your skin from free radicals. Use it on the daily for a fast-absorbing, non-greasy layer that sits perfectly under makeup.
2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Sunscreen
This sunscreen is oil-free, fragrance-free and noncomedogenic, which is excellent for acne-prone skin. It won’t cause breakouts or clog pores and will help keep your skin protected from the sun whether you’re walking your dog, out for a bike ride or at the beach. It has a water-light texture that leaves a weightless matte finish and allows your skin to breathe so you’ll barely feel it!
3. Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Absorbing Moisturizer
This affordable sunscreen was made with sensitive, acne-prone skin in mind. It’s free of irritating fragrance and pore-clogging oils and will leave your skin hydrated with a matte finish. It helps absorb oil, reduce shine and provide sun protection without clogging pores.
4. CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen
A mineral sunscreen with a universal sheer tint, this formula blends seamlessly into the skin with a lightweight, non-greasy feel. It’s formulated with niacinamide to help calm the skin, and hyaluronic acid to help maintain your skin’s natural moisture. The tint will leave your skin with a healthy glow, so you can wear it alone or under makeup!
5. Bliss Block Start Tinted Face Sunscreen
This non-greasy mineral face sunscreen consists of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It also contains a blend of antioxidants including blueberry, acai and green tea extracts for protection from free radicals. The universal tinted formula will even out your complexion, allowing you to go makeup free if you wish!
6. Hero Cosmetics Superlight Sunscreen
An everyday sunscreen formulated for acne-prone skin, this is a quick absorbing gel-cream formula that’s hydrating, but not greasy. It won’t clog your pores and with the inclusion of zinc oxide on the ingredient list, it offers anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help treat acne.
7. Neutrogena Sport Face Oil Free Sunscreen SPF 70+
If you’re someone who’s super active or plays a lot of sports outside in the summertime, this sport sunscreen is for you. It resists water for up to 80 minutes, along with rubbing, sweat and wiping, so you can stay active without risking a sunburn. It’s non comedogenic and oil-free, and is also formulated with an electrolyte complex that nourishes the skin, leaving it feeling fresh and soft after application.
If you’re on the hunt for acne-safe sunscreen, we hope these tips and products help to get you through summer without pesky sunscreen breakouts!
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