6 Best Non Comedogenic Acne Sunscreens

It’s almost that time of year once again! The days are longer and brighter, everyone is wearing their incredibly un-fashionable shorts and vests, and you find yourself mysteriously drawn to your back garden.

It must be Summer.

So, with all of the sun and freedom that comes naturally with this season, why should you be worried about how you’re going to handle the pimples and blackheads that will undoubtedly appear the minute you put on your sunscreen?

Summer is, unfortunately, not as fun for those of us who have very sensitive skin. We tend to hide ourselves in the dark shade just in case we experience one of those dreaded outbreaks of acne. It’s the last thing you want to happen during your summer vacation.

Sadly, most sunscreens are huge aggravators of acne and sensitive skin as they are heavily oil based and are easily absorbed into the skin which ends up blocking the pores and subsequently leads to a severe acne breakout, pimples and all.

There is some good news though! There are several products out there that provide efficient protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays whilst ensuring not to cause a severe acne breakout.

These specifically designed products make sure that your summer isn’t ruined by something that you can’t control.

Why Is It So Important to Wear Sunscreen on Acne Skin?

There is a common urban myth that circulates around every now and then that says that the sun is great for sensitive, acne-prone skin as it dries it out effectively.

Unfortunately, although we all wish this was true, it couldn’t be farthest from.

The truth is, in fact, the opposite.

Direct exposure to the infrared heat from the sun causes acne to flare up and breakout in a severe way. This specific type of heat damage greatly irritates the skin and can cause a lot of issues to those who suffer from acne.

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Another point of importance is that direct exposure to the sun causes the darkening of pigmentations in your skin.

This will greatly affect any acne scars that are already on your face as the sun encourages an increased production of melanin within the skin. Scars are just a build-up of excess amounts of melanin.

So, the more your face and body is exposed to the sun, the less likely your acne scars are to fade away naturally within a reasonable amount of time.

This is just another reason why it is so important to wear sunscreen as acne-prone skin can be easily damaged if not protected by a layer of effective sunscreen.

Best Sunscreens for Acne Prone Skin

Looking for the best sunscreen for acne prone skin? Take a look at our TOP – we are sure you’ll find the one that fits YOUR needs.

1. Obagi Sun Shield


Whatever your skin type, you’ll find Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 leaves your skin looking and feeling beautiful and more youthful while protecting it from sun damage.

Combining both UVA and UVB protection in a matte and elegant finish, this sunscreen contains octinoxate and zinc oxide to offer the ultimate in protection from aging and skin cancer.

If you have sensitive or breakout-prone skin, this sunscreen will be perfect as it is gentle enough to accommodate your needs (yes, even if you have acne prone skin!).

Free from any fragrances or PABAs, this sheer broad-spectrum sunscreen formula can offer your effective daily sun protection without any unwanted grease or pore clogging.

This sunscreen is both a physical and chemical sunscreen which offers a protection level of SPF 50.

It has been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation for daily use, and you can be confident that Obagi Sun Protection will keep your skin safe from the infrared, visible and ultraviolet sun’s rays which can penetrate deeply through your skin’s layers.

By containing chemicals and minerals which absorb UV rays and dispersing them effectively, this sunscreen can even address infrared radiation, helping to buffer the skin from all oxidation processes derived from heat.

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2. EltaMD UV

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The EltaMD UV sunscreen is one of the best sunscreens for acne prone skin.

EltaMD UV is an SPF 46 sunscreen that comes highly recommended by many dermatologists and other health professionals and experts as this sunscreen will not block pores or cause any irritation due to inflamed skin.

This non comedogenic sunscreen contains a formula of niacin amide, hyaluronic acid and many other ingredients that all work to benefit your sensitive skin in various ways.

This particular sunscreen is completely oil-free and aims to protect your face and body against the very harmful UVA and UVB rays that are emitted by the sun.

It is recommended that you apply this sunscreen regularly, even if you think you don’t need to, as this non-comedogenic product will greatly decrease the risk of developing skin cancer and will greatly prevent sunburn and the possibility of early aging that is caused by direct exposure to the sun’s harmful rays.

It is also suggested that you reapply the sunscreen every two hours to ensure that you are protected at all times.

EltaMD is a well-trusted company that is completely committed to ensuring that your skin is well-looked after for as long as possible. Their products have been endorsed by the finest physicians and medical professionals around for more than 25 years.

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3. La Roche-Posay Anthelios

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This highly effective sunscreen developed by La Roche-Posay is one of the best face sunscreens for acne-prone skin.

This non comedogenic sunscreen has a broad-spectrum SPF 60 protection that has been formulated and created with Cell-Ox Shield technology and antioxidants.

The highly effective sunscreen has an ultra-light texture that ensures that your face will feel light and comfortable despite regular use.The sunscreen is also very fast absorbing which makes sure that your face does not become too oily, therefore making sure that your pores do not become blocked and pimples do not crop up.

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreen has even achieved several awards such as the 2014 Reader’s Pick in InStyle Best Beauty Buys, the 2014 Self Healthy Beauty Awards and the 2015 TotalBeauty.com Reader’s Pick.

The lightweight, comfortable sunscreen visibly reduces the appearance of sun damage on the skin, caused by excesses amount of melanin production that occurs when the skin is directly exposed to the sun.

This sunscreen is completely suitable to use under makeup and can also be used to great avail by those who do not suffer from sensitive, acne-prone skin as this sunscreen is highly effective no matter whether your skin is sensitive or not, it will act to protect you regardless.

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4. Neutrogena Clear Face

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Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen has an SPF of 55 and is specifically designed to provide the ultimate protection against sun damage without causing any severe or mild breakouts on acne prone skin.

This particular sunscreen is formulated with Neutrogena Helioplex Technology which covers a wide breadth of stabilized sunscreen technologies that have been tried and tested over the course of many, many years.

The sunscreen also provides a superior broad-spectrum UV protection that is extremely effective against both UVA rays and UVB rays that are emitted by the sun.

The liquid lotion sunscreen boasts a water-light texture that ensures that you feel no discomfort when applying and reapplying the sunscreen.

The lightweight nature of the lotion allows your skin to breathe and makes sure that your pores do not become blocked by excess oil production as it is also non comedogenic.

Neutrogena is the number one OTC brand recommended by many dermatologists in the USA, as said in the 2014 Dermatologist Recommendation Study.

This liquid-lotion sunscreen is perfect for both face and body protection and will make sure that your skin feels clear, lightweight but also completely protected from the sun’s harmful rays that can easily damage the skin.

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5. Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel

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Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel might be the best sunscreen for acne prone skin.

It’s a sunscreen gel that ensures that your summer experience is not ruined by acne.

This gel aims to be a lightweight way to protect your skin, making sure that it is not damaged by the sun whilst also keeping you comfortable and happy while wearing it.

Where most sunscreens you’ll find on the market are thick and heavy and actually block the pores and inhibit the natural breathability of the skin, Earth Recipe’s Waterful Sun Gel has been proven and tested by thousands of real-life users who all say just how lightweight and fresh-feeling this sunscreen is.

Your skin will be safely protected from all harmful UVA and UVB sun rays and you won’t even feel the cream on your face or body.

This weightless gel is formulated primarily with Britain’s Harrogate Sparkling Water and contains abundant natural minerals. This provides a long-lasting hydration effect to the skin.

This product has been well-tested by dermatologists and is completely free of parabens, PABA, synthetic fragrances and dyes, and mineral oils.

It is safe for use by everyone including children and is suitable for all skin types whether it is sensitive, oily, dry or acne-prone.

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6. GloxiniaLife by Dr. Calle

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GloxiniaLife by Dr. Calle is a Clear Defense sunscreen with an SPF of 45.

This particular sunscreen contains an innovative combination of many active ingredients that help to protect the face from many extrinsic factors that are known to cause premature aging in the skin.

These factors include exposure to UVA, UVB and infrared radiation that are all emitted by the sun, especially during the summer season where the sun is more intense and present throughout the day.

This fast-absorbing sunscreen also features a very high level of niacinamide which helps to create a smother and clearer complexion after regular use.

Dr. Phanor Calle is a Board Certified Aesthetic Medicine physician who has been in this market for many years.

He is directly transferring his many skills that he has developed over his long career in medicine practice to the world of skincare products.

He believes that only medical-grade skincare products should be used when treating skin of all types, whether you have sensitive, acne-prone, oily or dry skin, Dr. Calle’s products will help you.

It is recommended that you apply this sunscreen around 15 minutes before going outdoors.

You should reapply the sunscreen around every two hours or straight after you have been swimming or heavily sweating.

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How to Choose A Sunscreen for Acne

After reading all of this you may be wondering exactly how you can choose the right sunscreen for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Here are some basic, general guidelines to consider when browsing for acne-suitable sunscreen:

  • If you don’t usually wear makeup and have particularly oily skin, then try to use a non comedogenic sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These chemicals will serve as a physical barrier between your face and the sun’s UVA/UVB rays.
  • Alternatively, if you use makeup regularly and have oily skin, choose a non comedogenic foundation that includes a sunscreen. It is recommended that the sunscreen is at least SPF 15.
  • If your face is sheen and shiny then you can mix a shine control product with your chosen sunscreen as a way to keep your face from showing an excess amount of glare or shine. Use equal parts sunscreen and shine control.
  • If you have primarily sensitive skin then try to avoid products that contain benzophenones, avobenzones, oxyphenones, para-aminobenzoic acid and methoxycinnamate. These chemicals are a common cause of pimples and whiteheads and blackheads.
  • If you have particularly dry skin then you can use sunscreens that contain pcynogenol, cucumber extract or saxifrage extract. This can prevent freckling of the skin.

Can Sunscreen Cause Acne?

woman with skin problem before afterGenerally speaking, sunscreen does not cause acne, it can actually really help your skin’s natural oils and moisture.

Some sunscreens can help your skin to unblock its pores and make sure that excess amounts of oil do not flood them, therefore reducing the number of pimples and other blemishes that can occur.

However, some sunscreens do, unfortunately, cause some severe breakouts and reactions that can irritate face and body greatly and cause a great deal of blemishes, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and other issues due to the specific ingredients and formulas used.

On the whole though it is incredibly important to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful UV rays, especially during the hot summer months where the heat is much more intense.

But, there should be a strong balance between protecting your skin but not overprotecting it.

If you overprotect your skin, then vitamin D production is greatly reduced in your body. There must be a balance between each extreme so that your skin remains healthy and protected with minimal irritants.

Final Thoughts

You should make sure that you remember not to neglect other essential skin-protective behaviors when using sunscreens, such as avoiding excessive exposure to the sun (especially at times where the sun is at its most intense), wearing sun protective clothing and seeking shade when you need to.

These skin-protective behaviors are essential to keeping your skin healthy and protected so you must make sure to continue these behaviors and remember that just using a sunscreen is not enough to keep yourself protected.

Make sure that you don’t take your sunscreen for granted. Try to choose the best face sunscreen for acne prone skin that suits your needs. Make sure that you find the ideal SPF for you own needs.

This may seem like a difficult task but after a few purchases and some testing of a wide range of products you will begin to understand what products help your skin to the highest degree.

I hope that this brief guide has helped to inform you of the many skincare products that are available to you and that you can now protect your skin in a more effective and comfortable way.