I Polled Derms on the Best SPFs for Acne-Prone Skin—These 14 are Winners


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Ugh, acne. A struggle so many of us deal with but can't always seem to handle efficiently. With so many conflicting viewpoints and opinions on acne-fighting ingredients, it can be tough to find the right products for your skin that won't cause more irritation or breakouts. Case in point: sunscreen. We have quite a laundry list of SPFs we love, but not all of them are suitable for acne-prone skin.

That's why I figured it was time to clear up all the confusion and ask the experts. I polled two board-certified dermatologists, Marisa Garshick, MD, and Snehal Amin, MD, on the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin. Below, find their advice on what ingredients to look for and the SPFs they fully endorse.

What to Look for in a Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin


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First things first, it's important to choose a noncomedogenic formula, meaning a formula designed not to clog your pores. "Look for formulas that are oil-free to avoid clogging the pores," Garshick adds. "While those with acne can use either mineral or chemical sunscreens, those with particularly sensitive skin may opt for mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as these tend to be less irritating. It can be helpful for those with acne to use a sunscreen containing calming or soothing ingredients such as niacinamide to help calm redness and inflammation. Given those with acne may also be using acne-fighting ingredients that can be drying on the skin, it can also help to use a sunscreen with hydrating ingredients to combat any potential dryness or irritation occurring as a result of acne treatments."

Amin has a few other helpful tips to consider when selecting a sunscreen for acne-prone skin. "Labels like 'noncomedogenic,' 'fragrance-free,' and 'oil-free' are helpful indicators that your sunscreen won't trigger a breakout. What many people don't realize is that acne-prone skin is sensitive. Choose a mineral sunscreen rather than chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens, such as zinc and titanium dioxide, form a protective layer on top of the skin that deflects UV rays. This is in contrast to chemical sunscreens, which get absorbed into the skin and cause allergies and can irritate the skin. Active ingredients in chemical sunscreens commonly trigger breakouts and clog pores. This is especially true if you have acne-prone skin." For each of their favorite SPFs for break-out-prone skin, keep on scrolling.

Best Overall: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46

2. Bliss Block Star Invisible Daily Sunscreen

3. CeraVe Ultralight Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

4. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

5. DRMTLGY Physical Universal Tinted Moisturizer With SPF 46

6. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50

7. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen SPF 50

8. Hero Force Shield Superlight Sunscreen SPF 30


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9. Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

10. Paula's Choice Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 30

11. Black Girl Sunscreen Make It Matte SPF 45

12. Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35

13. Zitsticka Megashade Breakout-Proof SPF 50

14. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Up Next: 13 Oil-Free Sunscreens That Feel Like Air and Won't Clog Your Pores

Shawna Hudson
Associate Beauty Editor

Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.