Skincare » The Best Sunscreens for Acne-Prone Skin

The Best Sunscreens for Acne-Prone Skin

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In the skincare world, you hear over and over again that sunscreen is a must — especially if you use powerful acne treatments that make your skin sensitive to sun exposure. The sun can be incredibly harmful to the skin, leading to sunburn and skin cancer. On the cosmetic front, it can speed up the formation of wrinkles and darken post-acne pigmentation. 

Sunscreen is one of the best tools for countering the negative effects of sun exposure. Unfortunately, if most formulas encourage breakouts, using sunscreen can be a bummer. We’ve searched high and low for the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin to solve your woes. These lightweight formulas are non-comedogenic, meaning they’ll protect your skin without clogging the pores. 

Best sunscreens for acne-prone skin overview:

How we chose the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including SPF, size, water-resistance, and more, to create a short list of the top sunscreens for acne-prone skin. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best sunscreens for each category.

Our picks for the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin

Best overall
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

What we love

  • Undetectable on the skin
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Includes niacinamide to address breakouts and redness

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

This sunscreen is a dermatologist favorite that easily wins our top spot. It’s sunscreen and skincare in one, perfect for daily use on the face. It offers comprehensive broad-spectrum protection in an undetectable formula, so this option won’t clog the pores or feel heavy on the skin.

The formula is gentle and fragrance-free, so it’s excellent for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin. A touch of niacinamide pushes it to the top of our list, thanks to its ability to help with breakouts, dark spots, oiliness, and redness. It also features hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated.

SPF: 46 | Size: 1.7 oz | Scented: No | Water-resistant: No

Best budget
Neutrogena Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • Matte and lightweight
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes

What we don’t love

  • Can sting the eyes

Whether planning a vacation or looking for a budget-friendly daily sunscreen, you can’t go wrong with this non-comedogenic formula. It’s made specifically for acne-prone skin, with fragrance-free ingredients and a matte, breathable finish. 

It’s also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes so you can wear it at the pool or beach. Some reviewers mentioned it could sting if it gets in the eyes, so bear that in mind when applying it.

SPF: 50 | Size: 3 fl oz | Scented: No | Water-resistant: Yes

Best for the body
Hawaiian Tropic Matte Effect Lotion SPF 50

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • Matte and non-sticky
  • High protection

What we don’t love

  • Fragrance can be an issue

If you’re dealing with body acne, this sunscreen will keep you protected without exacerbating the issue. Because it’s made for the body, you get a lot of product for a reasonable price. It spreads easily with minimal need for rubbing, drying down perfectly matte and non-sticky for comfortable use on both the face and body.

The formula is enriched with oil-controlling sea minerals as well as hydrating glycerin. It has a fruity, tropical scent that makes it a pleasure to use for most, although it could be an issue for some — especially if you also want sunscreen you can use on your face.

SPF: 50 | Size: 6 fl oz | Scented: Yes | Water-resistant: Yes

Best for sensitive skin
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Oil Free Sunscreen SPF 60

What we love

  • Very high protection
  • Keeps skin matte
  • Excellent for sensitive skin

What we don’t love

  • Can have a bit of a white cast

La Roche-Posay is another dermatologist-trusted brand with an exceptional range of sunscreens suitable for sensitive skin. With a whopping 60 SPF and additional antioxidant technology, this is a formula you can rely on to protect your skin on long, sunny days. 

It keeps the skin looking matte and shine-free with a combination of silica and perlite that absorb excess oil. That said, these minerals can contribute to a bit of a white cast, especially if you don’t take the time to rub in the sunscreen thoroughly.

SPF: 60 | Size: 1.7 oz | Scented: No | Water-resistant: Yes

Best splurge
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

What we love

  • Elegant and silky formula
  • Invisible natural finish
  • Pairs well with makeup

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

The Unseen Sunscreen is considered one of the most cosmetically elegant formulas on the market. It’s smooth to apply, with a silky texture that sets down to an invisible natural finish. If you shy away from creams, you’ll love this transparent gel texture.

This sunscreen pairs incredibly well with makeup (to such an extent that it’s also on our list of top makeup primers), and since it’s chemical, it leaves zero white cast. It’s also water-resistant for up to 40 minutes so you can wear it on hot days without a problem. The only drawback is that it’s a little pricey.

SPF: 40 | Size: 0.68-1.7 oz | Scented: No | Water-resistant: Yes

Best lightweight
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

What we love

  • Liquidy and easy to spread
  • Dries quickly to a natural finish
  • High UVA protection

What we don’t love

  • Alcohol and fragrance can be an issue

This Japanese sunscreen has had a cult following for years now, especially among those with oily or acne-prone skin. It’s an incredibly light, liquid sunscreen that’s famously easy-spreading and non-greasy. It takes a few seconds to dry down, but once it does, it leaves the skin looking totally natural. 

Another reason it’s so popular is the high protection level, which works against both UVA and UVB. That said, it does contain some alcohol and fragrance, which might be an issue for some.

SPF: 50 | Size: 1.76 oz | Scented: Yes | Water-resistant: Yes

Best hydrating
Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics SPF50+ PA++++

What we love

  • Hydrating but non-comedogenic
  • High protection from UVA and UVB
  • Gives a dewy glow

What we don’t love

  • May feel greasy on oily skin

The internet has fallen in love with this hydrating Korean sunscreen. If your acne-prone skin is also dry or dehydrated, this light formula will keep your skin moist without breaking you out, with ingredients like rice extract, niacinamide, and grain ferment. 

It gives the skin a slight dewy glow that’s stunning alone or under makeup, although those with oily skin may find it greasy. In addition to offering a high SPF, this formula also has a high PA factor, a measurement of its ability to protect from skin-aging UV rays.

SPF: 50 | Size: 1.69 oz | Scented: No | Water-resistant: No

Best tinted
Tower28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen

What we love

  • Awesome shade range
  • Sensitive skin-friendly
  • Timesaving with 2-in-1 formula

What we don’t love

  • Light coverage looks will not protect well

Here at Glowsly, we’re done with tinted sunscreens only available in two or three shades. Tower28 delivers a stunning formula in 14 shades that actually fit most skin tones and types. This sunscreen has broad-spectrum 30 SPF courtesy of sensitive skin-friendly mineral filters and is even National Eczema Association-approved. 

It has a light to medium coverage that allows you to skip foundation application, which is ideal for makeup minimalists. That said, if you’re looking for just a subtle tint, using a small amount likely won’t offer enough sun protection.

SPF: 30 | Size: 1 fl oz | Scented: No | Water-resistant: No

Best mineral
Bliss Block Star Daily Mineral SPF 30

What we love

  • Alternative to chemical sunscreens
  • Blends into skin nicely
  • Matte, velvety finish

What we don’t love

  • May not work for all skin tones

If you’re trying to avoid chemical sunscreen filters, this mineral sunscreen does a beautiful job of protecting the skin while keeping things naturally matte. Unlike many other mineral formulas, it’s not too thick or difficult to spread.

The formula is lightly tinted to better blend into the skin, and users find it works well for tan to medium-deep skin tones. Some users with deeper skin still use it, but mainly underneath their makeup. While it’s not advertised as a primer, quite a few silicones in the blend give it a velvety texture and ensure it feels extremely smooth on the skin.

SPF: 30 | Size: 1.4 oz | Scented: Yes | Water-resistant: No

Best matte
Eucerin Oil Control SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion with Oil Absorbing Minerals

What we love

  • Keeps skin looking matte
  • Wears well under makeup
  • Reasonably-priced

What we don’t love

  • Not water-resistant

This oil-controlling sunscreen offers a completely matte finish, so it’s perfect for those with oily acne-prone skin. It’s made with minerals to absorb oils actively throughout the day, keeping you shine-free. 

The chemical sunscreen filters provide broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection without any white cast, with a lightweight texture that looks excellent under makeup. Because it’s so reasonably priced, it’s perfect for consistent daily use.

SPF: 50 | Size: 2.5 fl oz | Scented: No | Water-resistant: No

Clear and protected

“The best sunscreen is the one you’ll use” is a phrase we often hear in skincare circles, and it rings true. 

Our top pick, EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46, is exactly the kind of sunscreen you’ll love to use. It’s a non-comedogenic formula that both dermatologists and average shoppers adore, thanks to its incredible feel and nourishing skincare ingredients.

That said, take your time to choose your perfect sunscreen, whether it’s a question of budget or texture. With so many options, we’re sure there’s a sunscreen you’ll be happy to rub on every morning that won’t cause acne.

How to pick the right non-comedogenic sunscreen for you

With so many non-comedogenic sunscreens to choose from, other buying factors will help you narrow down your selection, including your skin type, the sunscreen finish, and key ingredients. 

Skin type

  • Oily. Acne and oily skin often go hand-in-hand. If that’s true for you, look for lightweight sunscreens with a matte finish — there’s no shortage of those on our list. 
  • Dry. Dry skin can be acne-prone, too. Look for formulas that help hydrate the skin while still being non-comedogenic. Our pick from Beauty and Joseon is an excellent option. 
  • Combination. If your skin has oily and dry areas, you’re best off choosing a sunscreen with a natural finish that’ll be neither too matte nor too greasy.   
  • Sensitive. It’s hard to predict which ingredients will cause sensitive skin to flare up. It’s best to shop from dermatologist-recommended brands like EltaMD and La Roche-Posay and to avoid fragranced products. You may also want to choose a mineral sunscreen if chemical sunscreen filters irritate your skin. 


  • Matte. Sunscreens with a matte finish, like our pick from Eucerin, are ideal if your skin gets oily and shiny throughout the day. 
  • Natural. A natural finish is very slightly reflective, much like healthy human skin tends to be natural. 
  • Dewy. Many folks with acne-prone skin would rather avoid a dewy finish, but if you like the glowy look, they’re a great option and can be just as non-comedogenic as their natural and matte counterparts. 


  • Chemical filters. Chemical sunscreens usually look and feel better on the skin since they can easily dissolve into the formulas. However, some clean and green beauty shoppers sometimes choose to avoid them.
  • Mineral filters. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are mineral-derived sunscreen filters usually found in natural or clean formulas. Some users find that they’re less irritating but less cosmetically elegant, often feeling heavier or leaving a white cast over the skin. 
  • Hydrating ingredients. Many sunscreens can double as moisturizers, infusing the skin with moisture. Look for non-oily ingredients that pull water into the skin, like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. 
  • Oil-absorbers. Minerals like silica and perlite absorb oils from the skin, preventing it from looking greasy. But in some cases, they can also cause a bit of a white cast over the skin. 


Is SPF 50 good for acne-prone skin? 

Yes! The higher the SPF, the better the protection. Most doctors recommend using at least 30 SPF on a daily basis, but 50 SPF is superior. 

What ingredients should I avoid in sunscreen for acne-prone skin?

In general, avoid greasy or heavy formulas that include high quantities of rich oils or plant butters. That said, comedogenicity ratings are famously complicated, and predicting how they’ll apply in finished formulas isn’t easy to determine. What can cause acne for one person might be fine for another person. Your best bet is to keep track of the ingredients in the products you use so you can learn what triggers your acne.

Why do I get pimples after applying sunscreen?

If sunscreen breaks you out, it probably includes ingredients that don’t agree with your skin. Heavy, greasy ingredients are slightly more likely to cause issues, so you may want to pick a modern, lightweight sunscreen. Additionally, ensure to remove your sunscreen completely at the end of the day since sunscreen residue at night could also be the culprit behind your breakouts.