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How to Choose Sunscreen for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Struggling to select the right sunscreen for oily, acne-prone skin? Read on. Our comprehensive oily skin sunscreen guide is full of useful tips and tricks to keep your skin protected, without a greasy, weighed down sensation or the risk of additional breakouts.

From recognising the ingredients to avoid to knowing which innovative formulas to favour, we’ll instil you with the confidence to shop sunscreen like a pro. But first, let’s start by dispelling a common claim around acne and sunscreen that’s not only incorrect, but could potentially damage your skin…

Misconception: Drying Out Skin with Sun Exposure will Treat Acne

It’s a common myth that skipping sunscreen while upping sun exposure will ‘treat’ acne and clear breakouts by drying up oily skin. Not only does this claim encourage reckless behaviour, it is also incorrect.

To prevent skin cancer, sun damage and premature ageing, ALL skin types require daily high-level, broad-spectrum protection from damaging UVA and UVB rays. And this includes oily, acne-prone skin.

Rather than drying out blemishes, excess sun exposure essentially dehydrates the skin. While this may cause a temporary decrease in oiliness, a skin robbed of moisture will soon compensate by producing more sebum. Meaning? An oilier complexion with possible new breakouts waiting to emerge.

Look for a non-comedogenic sunscreen

Selecting the right sunscreen for acne-prone skin starts with learning how to decipher sunscreen labels. As well as a product that’s dermatologically tested, you want a sunscreen that’s non-comedogenic. This means it has been specifically formulated not to clog pores. Whilst beneficial for all skin types, non-comedogenic sunscreen is particularly important for skin with excess oil and a tendency towards breakouts.

Avoid heavy oils, overly nourishing ingredients and fragrances

When purchasing sunscreen for oily skin, steer clear of those that include heavy, occlusive oils such as coconut oil, as well as ultra-nourishing ingredients such as cocoa or shea butter. As fragrances can cause irritation in sensitive acne-prone skin, opt for a fragrance-free product, or ensure any fragrance present is hypoallergenic.

Try a matte sunscreen for oily skin

If the greasy feel or look of your sunscreen puts you off daily usage, you’re choosing the wrong sunscreen for your oily or acne-prone skin. Instead, select a sunscreen that you’re comfortable wearing – one that not only feels great on the skin, but looks good as well. For many people with oily or acne-prone skin, this means choosing a mattifying sunscreen texture for a shine-free finish.

Use a sunscreen formulated for oily, acne-prone skin

As with skincare, you’ll always achieve the best results with a sunscreen that’s formulated with your skin’s needs in mind. So, to keep skin protected without worrying about the odd pimple breakout, select a sunscreen suited for oily acne-prone skin.

A non-comedogenic and fragrance-free matte sunscreen, La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF50+ is formulated specifically for oily, acne-prone sensitive skin. Delivering very high, broad-spectrum protection, it utilises a chemical and physical UV filtering system to allow lightweight, invisible coverage. Non-greasy and easily absorbed, the Dry Touch formula also mattifies skin with Airlicium – an anti-sweat molecule that absorbs up to 150 times its volume in sebum and oil.

For an even, radiant looking complexion, La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch also comes in a tinted version. With a universal tint, the dermatologically tested formula features a pleasant hypoallergenic fragrance for sensitive skin.

Visit for more information on the Anthelios range. For any individual concerns or expert advice regarding your oily, acne-prone skin, please see your healthcare professional.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.

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