The 7 Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin, According to Dermatologists

Oily skin? We've got you covered (literally) with these dermatologist-approved sunscreens.

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Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

It should be common knowledge by now that rain or shine (and even when you're cooped up indoors), we all need to be wearing sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. If applying a layer of sunblock to your skin or mixing it into your foundation seems like an unnecessary step in your morning routine, consider this: The sun causes an estimated 90% of skin aging, according to an Australian study published in Annals of Internal Medicine in 2013. And if the risk of sun spots and wrinkles isn't getting your attention,the Skin Cancer Foundation also warns that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Now, that is scary, and a good reason to slather it on.

However, many of us are still at a crossroads here, particularly those of us with skin that tends to be oily. Put on a thick coat of SPF and unleash holy hell on your face, or ditch it and risk looking 10 years older, or worse, increase your chances of melanoma. If, like me, you're hesitant to administer anything potentially sticky and pore-clogging to your skin, you'll be relieved to learn that there are actually sunscreens out there that won't leave you feeling suffocated, shiny, or broken-out.

Whether you're a fan of powder sunscreen or prefer a lotion that dries matte, we've got your oily skin covered, literally. We tapped dermatologists for their sunscreen picks for people with oily skin, and discovered an arsenal of safe, non-greasy options to protect skin without irritating it, so that you'll never have an excuse not to lather up.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30

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Target

"If you have oily skin, you should stick to oil-free formulations that won't weigh down the skin or block your pores," Joshua Zeichner, MD, drector of cosmetic and clinical research at the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, tells Health. This Neutrogena option "is a light gel that offers hydration and broad spectrum sun protection without leaving your skin greasy," he says. And at $8 a pop, you don't have to break the bank to benefit from the science.

Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50

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Dermstore

"For oily skin there are two options: an ultra light mineral fluid or powders," explains Mona Gohara, MD, a New York derm. "I'm a huge fan of powders because they absorb oils, and are the easiest to re-apply." Her fave? This Avène compact, which you can apply with just a few swipes in the mornings or on-the-go.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum with Sunscreen SPF 50

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Amazon.com

New York-based dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, recommends people with oily skin to "use products that contain ingredients that decrease oil production from the glands, those that create a matte effect by absorbing surface oil, or sunscreens in serum or gel form (rather than oil-based lotions or creams)." She suggests this one by La Roche-Posay, because "the serum is weightless and doesn't add oil to skin."

Cetaphil PRO Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30

Cetaphil Oil Absorbing Moisturizer
Amazon

We love a moisturizer-SPF combo, which means a simpler AM routine. New York-based dermatologist Andrew Alexis, MD, tells us that he frequently recommends this drugstore fave because it's "oil-free, does not block pores (it's very much noncomedogenic), and is suitable for all complexions," he says. "Its formulation contains ingredients that absorb surface oil, reduce shine, and allow the skin to have a matte finish after application." Plus, he adds, it won't leave a whitish cast on darker skin tones.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46

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Dermstore

Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City, tells Health that she loves this SPF for people with oily, acne-prone skin. It's lightweight and fragrance free, and the formula delivers a double punch of hyaluronic acid to moisturize and lactic acid to reduce shininess and clear pores.

Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector 40 SPF

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Amazon.com

This tube may be itty-bitty, but it comes derm-approved for your oily skin. Dr. Nazarian loves this little guy, because the formula is weightless and sheer, and it can even be used as a makeup primer. Plus, the anti-aging miracle worker hardly takes up any room in your makeup bag, so you better believe we are adding this to our shopping carts now.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen SPF 50

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Dermstore.com

Powder sunscreen "is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin since it doesn't block your pores," Dr. Jaliman says."It's also good if you tend to have a 4 o'clock shine and you want to reapply sunscreen without disturbing your makeup." Her go-to powder sunscreen is this one from ColoreScience, an easy-to-use, portable little capsule that you can apply alone or on top of makeup. (Looking for something a bit more budget-friendly? Try this powder mineral sunscreen dupe by Brush on Block that will protect you just as well.)

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