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If your skin feels greasy and looks shiny a few hours after washing your face, you likely have oily skin. Having oily skin means the sebaceous glands under your hair follicles are overactive and produce more sebum than usual.

The last thing you want is to add more oil to your skin with skin care products. You may assume this means that you shouldn’t wear sunscreen if you have oily skin, but every skin type needs sunscreen.

The key is to find the right products that won’t add more oil to your skin and lead to breakouts.

Healthline’s team of dermatology experts sifted through the sunscreen market to find the best products for oily skin.

Keep in mind that, as with any skin care product, the process can entail a bit of trial and error until you find the sunscreen that works best with your skin.

Our dermatologists aren’t affiliated with any of the companies below.

With the help of our team of dermatologists here at Healthline, we’ve compiled a list of the best sunscreens for oily skin. Beyond our skin care experts, I myself have ridiculously oily skin. Nearly every product that sits on my skin results in a slippery, slick mess within a few hours (you’re welcome for that visual).

However, after years of testing and trying out products that mesh well with my skin type, I’d consider myself to be pretty well-versed in choosing oily skin-approved items, including sunscreens.

Here are some important factors that were taken into account:

  • Customer ratings and reviews: In order to make our list, these products had to have glowing reviews from users. Bonus: I’ve even tried out some of these sunscreens and can pledge for the quality of the products.
  • Broad spectrum formulas: Broad spectrum formulas are the best for sun protection, so all items on our list have to shield from UVA and UVB rays.
  • Price: We made sure to include products that are priced in a wide range, so everyone can find a sunscreen fit for their budget.
  • SPF: According to the American Cancer Society, sunscreens with at least SPF 30 will protect your skin from about 97 percent of UVB rays.

A note on picking products

We only include products that have been vetted by our team of experts. This means that they’re safe, medically approved, and of high quality.

You can read more about our content integrity process here.

Price guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Best overall

Bliss Block Star Invisible Daily Sunscreen

  • Price: $$
  • SPF: 30
  • Water resistant: not listed

This is my tried-and-true daily sunscreen. I’ve been using it for years, and it sits beautifully on top of moisturizer and underneath makeup products.

It’s a mineral sunscreen with SPF 30, and a noncomedogenic broad spectrum formula.

It’s also cruelty-free and contains both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to reflect UV rays from the face.

It’s tinted, too, so it doesn’t have an icky white cast that other sunscreens do. However, it only comes in one color, so it’s not fit for every skin tone.

Pros

  • SPF 30
  • broad spectrum
  • noncomedogenic
  • cruelty-free

Cons

  • only available in one shade
  • sheer finish, which some users don’t love

Best unscented formula

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen

  • Price: $$$
  • SPF: 40
  • Water resistant: yes

If you aim to steer clear of fragrances, check out the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen, a broad spectrum formula with SPF 40 and PA+++ protection.

It’s sweat-resistant and water-resistant, making it that much better of a pick to wear during the summer, when you’re hitting the beach or doing an outdoor workout.

This product feels really lightweight on the skin, so you don’t have to worry about any streaky white cast making an appearance. Bonus: It’s oil-free and provides shine control.

Pros

  • SPF 40
  • broad spectrum
  • unscented
  • sweat-resistant and water-resistant
  • oil-free

Cons

  • pricey
  • some reviewers note that it broke them out

Best everyday moisturizer

Aveeno Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • SPF: 30
  • Water resistant: no

One way to get in your daily dose of sunscreen without adding more product is with a dual moisturizer and sunscreen.

Healthline’s dermatologists like this graceful aging support sunscreen, because it offers broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays while still being lightweight.

The key active ingredients are chemical sunscreens that help absorb UV rays, including:

  • homosalate
  • octisalate
  • avobenzone
  • oxybenzone
  • octocrylene

Pros

  • doesn’t feel greasy
  • oil-free and noncomedogenic
  • sunscreen and moisturizer in one
  • reduces dark spots for the appearance of a more even skin tone

Cons

  • contains soy, which may irritate some skin types
  • may stain clothing and other fabrics
  • not water-resistant

Best broad-spectrum formula

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen SPF 46

  • Price: $$$
  • SPF: 46
  • Water resistant: no

While all the sunscreens on our list are broad spectrum, this option from EltaMD has top-notch ratings from shoppers all over the web. It has SPF 46 and is zinc oxide-based.

It also contains high purity niacinamide, which helps calm and protect the face from acne and dark spots. To top things off, it’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

It’s free from fragrance, oil, and parabens, and the brand says it won’t clog pores. We tested this product, too, you can read our review here. It’s available in both a tinted and untinted version.

Pros

  • oil-free and lightweight
  • mineral-based with zinc oxide, offering sun protection without a greasy appearance
  • tinted to help even out skin tone
  • safe to use for rosacea

Cons

  • expensive
  • not water-resistant
  • only available in one shade for tinted version

Best matte formula

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

  • Price: $$$
  • SPF: 60
  • Water resistant: up to 80 minutes

This SPF 60 sunscreen isn’t greasy and is noncomedogenic. The ultra-lightweight formula contains broad spectrum protection and La Roche-Posay’s Cell-Ox Shield technology, which uses powerful antioxidants to fight against damaging free radicals.

It also provides fast absorption and a matte finish, making it a particularly solid pick for oily skin.

Pros

  • SPF 60
  • deflects UV rays and free radicals
  • lightweight feel

Cons

  • expensive
  • SPF 60 can be misleading — SPF 15 blocks 90 percent of UV rays, while SPF 45 blocks up to 98 percent
  • may leave your skin feeling slightly greasy

Best anti-aging formula

Olay Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30

  • Price: $$
  • SPF: 30
  • Water resistant: no

If you’re looking for a more affordable sunscreen for your oily skin, consider Olay Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30.

While slightly thicker than the mattifying effects of EltaMD and La Roche-Posay products, Olay’s version is still oil-free and noncomedogenic.

The main active ingredients in this sunscreen are:

  • octinoxate
  • zinc oxide
  • octocrylene
  • octisalate

Pros

  • noncomedogenic and oil-free
  • contains vitamins B3, B5, and E for anti-aging benefits
  • aloe soothes skin
  • suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • may feel a bit greasy
  • shouldn’t be applied to damaged skin
  • not water-resistant

Best formula with retinoids

CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream

  • Price: $$
  • SPF: 30
  • Water resistant: no

Known for its line of products for sensitive skin, CeraVe is a leading brand for skin inflammation.

The CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream has the added benefit of a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30.

Aside from the active sun-protecting ingredients, zinc oxide and octinoxate, this product also has retinoids to treat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Pros

  • suitable for sensitive skin
  • has anti-aging ingredients
  • contains ceramides, which may have a plumping effect on the skin

Cons

  • can leave a greasy feel
  • heavier texture
  • not water-resistant

Best for all-day wear

Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 15

  • Price: $
  • SPF: 15
  • Water resistant: no

Neutrogena is perhaps one of the best-known skin care brands for oily skin. The product, in particular, is an SPF 15 moisturizer-sunscreen combination.

Although this sunscreen isn’t mineral, it still offers broad spectrum coverage. It’s also free of oil, fragrance, and alcohol, and it’s hypoallergenic.

If you’re someone who likes to keep their morning skin care routine nice and short, this two-in-one is a great buy.

Pros

  • oil-free and noncomedogenic
  • advertised to last up to 12 hours
  • alcohol, oil, and fragrance-free

Cons

  • has a heavy feel, which might not be ideal for wearing underneath makeup
  • contains the FDA minimum recommendation of SPF 15
  • not water-resistant

Best stick

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+

  • Price: $$$
  • SPF: 50+
  • Water resistant: up to 80 minutes

If you have a bit more cash to spend, this sunscreen stick from Shiseido is an awesome option. The broad spectrum formula contains SPF 50 and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Better yet, it’s clear, making it a solid pick for sun protection.

It has the company’s WetForce and HotForce technology, which helps create a lightweight, invisible SPF layer that’s most effective in the heat or in the water.

It also has SynchroShield, a protective layer that strengthens upon exposure to water and heat.

Pros

  • clear
  • SPF 50
  • broad spectrum
  • water-resistant

Cons

  • may feel greasy
  • contains oxybenzone, a harmful ingredient that can bleach coral reef

Best for melanated skin

Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

  • Price: $$
  • SPF: 30
  • Water resistant: up to 80 minutes

This vegan sunscreen made for People of Color can be used on the face and body. Reviewers say the formula is lightweight and sheer, and that it dries clear, with no white cast behind.

It’s free from parabens and fragrance. It also leaves out oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are two controversial ingredients when it comes to sunscreen.

Instead, this product contains natural ingredients like avocado for added antioxidants and jojoba for soothing the skin. While many users say it worked well for their acne-prone skin, some note that it actually broke them out.

Pros

  • broad spectrum
  • sheer and lightweight
  • can use on the face and body
  • can use under makeup

Cons

  • contains oil
  • some reviewers say it led to breakouts

Best powder

Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50

  • Price: $$$
  • SPF: 50
  • Water resistant: up to 80 minutes

If you’re dealing with oily skin, a powder formula may be your most comfortable SPF application.

This mineral broad-spectrum formula uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to protect you from ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays, and it’s also cruelty-free. It contains a mix of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.

There are only four shades available right now, but reviewers say they appreciate that the tinted powder doesn’t leave white residue on their skin.

Pros

  • noncomedogenic
  • oil-free
  • paraben-free
  • fragrance-free
  • sulfate-free

Cons

  • pricey
  • some reviewers complain the product’s applicator is difficult to use

When you’re looking for sunscreen, consider your skin type. There are sunscreen formulas created specifically for sensitive skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin, etc.

You will have to decide if chemical sunscreen or mineral sunscreen is best for you, and you’ll want to look for a broad-spectrum option of at least SPF 30. You can also shop for different forms of sunscreen, like lotions, sticks, powders, etc.

Look carefully at reviews and check labels before applying a sunscreen. Performing a patch test before applying sunscreen all over is a good idea to help you avoid any potential reactions.

Short answer: yes.

It’s important to wear sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather or season, to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays. This is even true for when you’re indoors, when UVA rays can filter in through the windows.

An effective sunscreen will:

  • have at least SPF 30
  • be broad spectrum, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays
  • use active ingredients, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, to reflect UV rays

Sunscreens will contain chemical absorbers or physical blockers to shield UV rays from penetrating the dermal layers.

Research shows that sunscreen can help prevent skin damage, which can lead to skin cancer and melanoma, a specific type of skin cancer.

To get the most out of your sunscreen, reapply it every 2 hours, especially after swimming or sweating. You’ll also want to opt for a water-resistant sunscreen.

Wearing sunscreen every day can help protect your skin from sun damage, and some products on this list may even help minimize the signs of preexisting damage.

With oily skin, though, you may need to take other measures to keep your skin looking its best — all without added grease and shine.

You can help treat oily skin by:

What causes oily skin?

There are a few things that can cause oily skin, such as:

  • genetics
  • age
  • your location and the time of year
  • enlarged pores
  • using too many products in your skin care routine

Are mineral sunscreens better than chemical sunscreens?

Most dermatologists will recommend a mineral sunscreen that’s made with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. This is because mineral sunscreens sit on top of your skin and reflect sunlight.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens will use synthetic ingredients to absorb the sun’s rays only after they’ve penetrated the skin.

Are there any side effects from using sunscreen for oily skin?

In general, the risk of serious side effects from sunscreen is minimal.

If your sunscreen contains oils, there’s a chance it can cause an oilier skin texture. Plus, some sunscreens may stain clothing.

If you choose a sunscreen that is too harsh for sensitive skin, skin with rosacea, or psoriasis, there’s a chance irritation may occur. In that case, try to stick with a gentle mineral sunscreen that has a short list of ingredients, preferably ones that keep out fragrance, alcohol, and other harsh ingredients.

When you have oily skin, it may be tempting to skip sunscreen out of fear of making your skin even oilier. However, not only can UV rays lead to skin damage and skin cancer, but sunburns can dry out surface oils and make your sebaceous glands even more active.

The key is to select a sunscreen that will protect your skin without making it oilier. You can start with the ones on our list until you find the product that works best for you.

When in doubt, review the product label and look for key terms, such as “sheer,” “water-based,” and “oil-free.”


Melissa Lee is a market wellness editor at Healthline. She’s based in Pittsburgh, PA. When she’s not trying out new skin care or researching wellness product trends, she can be found buying books to add to her TBR pile. Follow her on Instagram.