There are plenty of sunscreens out there that won’t clog your pores or make your skin feel more oily. We test to find the best sunscreens on a variety of different skin types and tones — including zinc oxide, natural and chemical sunscreen for face and body, sunscreen for sensitive skin, sunscreen for kids and babies, and even powder SPF — to find out which are best and for whom.
These are our Lab picks for the best sunscreens for oily skin from mineral to chemical formulas, including dermatologist-approved picks from Dr. Chang:
1. Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with Sunscreen- Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB
Dr. Chang says this sunscreen is perfect for oily skin. “It is an oil-free, lightweight sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB,” she explains. We haven’t tested it in the Lab, but Dr. Chang says, “this moisturizer-plus-sunscreen combo is non-comedogenic and contains Micropearl Technology, which actually helps to absorb surface oil, resulting in a matte finish.”
2. Sublime Defense Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid
By using a combination of chemical and mineral sunscreen, this liquid formula manages to feel light on skin and not leave a white cast or residue. “At first I thought it was too thin, but after the first application, it was perfect,” one tester notes. “I also liked that it did not run and felt like it absorb into my skin fast. I couldn’t tell I was wearing sunscreen after the first five minutes of application.”
3. No Excuses Invisible Facial Sunscreen Gel
This sunscreen came out on top in our Lab testing for not running into eyes, stinging eyes or causing breakouts and leaving no white cast on a range of skin tones. “The texture of the product was really nice – like a gel that was instantly absorbed,” one tester says. “It didn’t leave any residue or film and wasn’t sticky or tacky. It felt weightless and like I wasn’t using any product.”
4. Non-Tinted Sunscreen Face Lotion
This sunscreen is non-tacky, non-oily and doesn’t leave skin shiny or irritated. “I liked the velvet feel of the product and also that I didn’t look as shiny at the beginning of wearing the product,” one tester says. “The product feels light on the skin. Nice finish and work well for under makeup. Very easy to apply, non-sticky. This product feels silky on my skin and looks so natural.” Beware: this option may leave a white cast, according to our testers.
5. Matte Effect Sunscreen Lotion
This coconut-scented sunscreen will help mentally transport you to a tropical location. After you apply, this SPF gives a totally matte finish to the skin. “I have extremely sensitive skin and this product did not cause any skin irritation at all,” one tester notes. “It went on smooth, soaked in quickly and had a nice ‘vacation-y’ coconut scent with no sticky oily feel.” It is a thinner formula, so some testers noted that it can be a bit runny.
6. Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad-Spectrum
If you have sensitive skin, this sunscreen is likely a safe bet. It doesn’t feel greasy or oily or leave behind any sort of film or residue and gives skin a shine-free finish that testers said “didn’t irritate skin.” “I like that it wasn’t greasy when applying and it seemed concentrated and lightweight on my skin,” a tester said.
7. Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
This pick is a cult favorite, and our Lab testing confirmed why. Not only does this sunscreen feel unbelievably light on skin, it also doubles as a makeup primer — so you never have to worry about pilling. “When I put it on it disappeared, it almost felt like i wasn’t putting on sunscreen,” says one tester, who marveled that skin “did not feel oily” after application. “It did not interfere with my moisturizer or my makeup. When I put it on without makeup, I actually got compliments on my skin what had I done differently!”
8. Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Face Sunscreen
This sunscreen won’t add to oily skin, and it also helps absorb oil entirely. We haven’t testing it in the Lab, but according to Dr. Chang, this “is an ultra-light oil-free sunscreen that is hydrating yet lightweight.” It’s packed with antioxidants, so while it’s shielding you from the sun, it also helps fight free radicals.