Sunscreen and oily, acne prone skin have never felt like a super compatible match, and we can understand why – with its typically thick and often unpleasant texture, it’s easy to see how acne sufferers might be put off by wearing sun protection. Nonetheless, the importance of wearing sunscreen all year round, even in the cloudiest cities (cough, London) is only becoming more and more popularised. In this blog, we’ll highlight some of our favourite non comedogenic sunscreens and discuss how sunscreen can even improve the appearance of acne by reducing breakouts.

Does sunscreen cause acne?

To cut to the chase, any skincare product, if not right for you, can trigger acne breakouts. This effect isn’t limited to just sunscreen, it applies to anything you’re using regularly on your skin. If the formula doesn’t agree with your unique skin, it may cause some comedones (clogged pores, texture and acne).

We think the trick here is to make an educated guess about the formulas you select to try on your skin, for example by watching out for specific ingredients, and then using a process of trial and error to find the product you like the best. Some ingredients associated with breakouts are:

It’s important to note, however, that merely the presence of some or all of these ingredients doesn’t automatically mean the sunscreen will trigger acne for you, as we’re all sensitive to different ingredients in different quantities and formulas. If you already know which ingredients you’re sensitive to, a quick search on maeva allows you to filter them out and identify formulas that your skin will love, across all of the top websites.

Does sunscreen help acne?

Once you’ve found the right sunscreen for your skin, you might find that SPF will actually improve the look of your skin. A good sunscreen comes with so many benefits, they key one being that proper sunscreen use (applying enough of it and applying it regularly enough) will prevent acne scars from darkening and taking a long time to disappear. Scars and marks that are exposed to the sun are vulnerable to darkening and lingering for longer. Over time, this protection can compound into a much clearer, more even complexion – and who can say no to that?

The top four best sunscreens for acne prone skin

First up, we have a well loved French pharmacy brand, Eucerin, with their oil control formula specifically designed for acne prone and oily skin.

Sun Protection Oil Control Gel-Cream SPF 50 50ml

With a super high protection factor of SPF50, this formula delivers great protection not just in the city or at home, but would be a good option for a sunny holiday, too. It also contains several sebum regulating properties that’ll control oil throughout the day.

Revolution Beauty have recently branched into skincare and developed an SPF30 jar formulation.

Moisture Cream Normal to Oily Skin SPF 30

Similar to Eucerin, their Protecting Boost SPF30 contains niacinamide to regulate oil production. However, this option comes in the form of a moisturiser with SPF, meaning there’s no need to use a separate moisturiser here. Whilst the product is very affordable at just £10, we do wish it offered a higher protection level like the Eucerin.

Similarly, Paula’s Choice have quite an extensive range of SPFs including several that are tailored to acne sufferers, such as the Clear Moisturiser SPF30.

Clear Moisturiser SPF 30 60ml, 15ml

Paula’s Choice describe the formula as ‘featherweight’ and specifically tailored to blemish prone skin, ‘mattifying’ the skin throughout the day and combining SPF with several antioxidants to provide protection from pollution, too.

Finally, an Asian beauty product that’s gone viral in the skincare community is Isntree’s Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel.

Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel SPF 50 PA++++

This sunscreen has eight types of hyaluronic acid to moisturise and plump the skin, and presents as a clear formula that won’t leave a white cast on deeper skin tones.