Choosing Sunscreen For Oily Skin

With all sunscreen, it's important to go with a formula that has a high enough SPF, because that SPF 15 you've been slapping on isn't going to cut it. 

"We typically recommend using SPF 30 at a minimum for regular daily use," says board-certified dermatologist Mamina Turegano, MD. "If you're going to spend more time outdoors, I recommend using at least SPF 50." But if your skin tends to be on the oily side, then there are other things you'll wanna keep in mind besides SPF:

Go oil-free

Sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised by how many sunscreens for oily skin are actually filled with pore-clogging oils. "I would avoid comedogenic ingredients, such as isopropyl myristate, isopropyl palmitate, soybean oil, and coconut oil," Turegano explains. " Look for labels that say oil-free and non-comedogenic". 

Look for certain keywords on the label 

We get it—not everyone has the time or energy to analyze every single ingredient on the back of the bottle, so just keep an eye out for a few keywords, like "mattifying," "oil-absorbing," "pore-minimizing," "non-shiny," and "blurring." They're often used on the labels, packaging, and/or product descriptions for sunscreens formulated with oily skin in mind.

Choose a lightweight formula 

Gel-creams? Serums? Sheer lotions? These are all your friends. Basically, any sunscreen with a lightweight texture is the move if you don't want your face turning into a grease slick by midday. "I would look for formulations that are lightweight, like gels or sheer, fluid lotions and matte formulas," Turegano says. "Powder-based sunscreens are also a nice option to use over a sunscreen to help with shine."

Ultimately, the formula you choose—chemical-only, mineral-only, or a hybrid of the two—comes down to personal preference and what feels lightweight on your skin. "Among the chemical sunscreen filters, I find that octocrylene and octisalate are more lightweight," Turegano adds.