Summertime can be particularly troublesome if you are prone to acne so in this article we shall be taking a look at some of the best sunscreen products for sensitive skin and in particular those most suitable for acne sufferers that are available.
Criteria For The Best Facial Sunscreens
With any such product, the main criteria, apart from the fact that it should protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, both UVA and UVB is that it first and foremost it should not block the proes of the skin, (it may be labelled non-comedogenic) as anything that clogs up the pores should be avoided like the plague if you have acne. It should be non-oily and easily absorbed, and ideally it will to some extent be waterproof to allow for swimming and other activities without having to constantly re-apply it.
There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice about the application of sunscreens, ignore everything you may have heard and be sure to read this article from the American Academy of Dermatology.
Finding The Right Product
As with many other skincare items there are hundreds of products to choose from, but there are not that many that are suitable for very sensitive skin and most particularly for acne sufferers, if you have a favorite that works for you stay with it, if you have yet to find a good one then this article may help you.
About This List
All products appearing on this site are the result of careful and extensive research, only the products that have an extremely good consumer rating appear on here irrespective of the price, so you can be certain that the products mentioned are some of the best available for acne sufferers.
The list is by no means an exhaustive one but it will give you a good starting point, but it does seem as though many of the best products are the most expensive it this case, however purchasing just one good product that you can use, works out a lot cheaper than buying many products that are no good that then get thrown away because they irritate your skin due to the ingredients from which they are made.
Obviously everyone is different so if you do use something that causes you to break out or irritates your skin then you should stop using immediately.
So let’s dive in and have a look at a few of the best sunscreen products for sensitive or acne-prone skin, these appear in no particular order so the first one in the list does not mean it is the best, but all have a user rating score of four or five out of five.
Updated for 2016
At last I have just got around to updating this page, as some of the products featured before are no longer available, fortunately there are some other really good sunscreens for sensitive and acne skin to take their place.
For the best value sunscreen, my choice here would be good old Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45which can be bought online for around $12.
Once again, a great product with hundreds of satisfied customers.
Top Sunscreen Product List
Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46
If you want to cut to the chase, my number one recommended sunblock for acne sufferers is the aptly-named Eltamd UV Clear which is SPF 46, it is one of the more expensive products with a bottle retailing at around $27 for a 1.7 ounce bottle, but it’s worth it if it prevents you getting irritation and skin flare-ups, if you have tried other products and they didn’t help your skin, give this a try it has hundreds of very positive reviews.
Eltamd is an excellent product for sensitive skin and acne, it is non-comedogenic and has no fragrance it is non-greasy or oily and it has a high protection factor, it is quite expensive, so it would not be viable to use it all over the body, but for the face, neck and other exposed areas it would be fine. Eltamd is only available in the USA at the time of writing.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45
As its name suggests covers all the bases and also offers a high protection factor, it is light to apply, is easily absorbed and drys to a finish that does not leave your skin shiny.
Neutrogena products have been around a long time and they are tried and trusted and often recommended by dermatologists, I have researched hundreds of products for this site and theirs usually feature somewhere in top products lists, this is not by coincidence.They also have a similar and excellent lotion in their range (US only).
Best Price on Neutragena products here
Neova DNA Damage Control Everyday SPF 43
Is arguably the best sunblock product for those with acne, but unfortunately the price may put it out of reach of many people that need it most , it is recommended by dermatologists, is non-greasy and has no perfume or smell and it goes without saying it will not clog up the pores.
Andre Lorent Daily Rehydrating Sunscreen: SPF 30+
This product is just brilliant and score the highest on my list, and I highly recommend you give this one a try, out of almost 300 reviews there are no negative comments at all about this product, that is quite a feat for any item.
First off it is dermatologically tested and approved, it is unscented and fragrance-free so is ideal for men and women.
It is non-greasy and will suit all types of skin including sensitive skin. It penetrates into the skins surface and leaves no residue.
It’s safe to use on children over 6 months old. Not only does it protect from the sun’s harmful rays but moisturizes at the same time.
Part of the ingredients include seaweed and algae extracts and essential vitamins that your skin will love. Highly recommended, get yours online at the best price here
Skinceuticals Sheer Physical Uv Defense SPF 50
If you have sensitive skin or acne, then this broad-spectrum sunscreen fluid may be a product you should have on your list to try, it is expensive but this is a thin lotion so a little will go a long way, despite the expense many people swear by this product, it has a high SPF, dries to an excellent matte finish, is non-comedogenic, but is not very waterproof, so it will need to be reapplied after such activities. Excellent all round reviews on this item.
Neutrogena Clear Face Sunblock Lotion SPF 30
This product is specially formulated for acne prone skin, so it goes without saying it won’t clog up your skins pores or cause irritation to sensitive skin. It is non-oily and is virtually odorless
The makers say it is resistant to water for about 80 minutes, before it needs to be re-applied. Under $10 at this link here:
Obagi Medical Sun Shield SPF 50
Vanicream Sunscreen Sport Spf 35
This is another sunscreen sometimes recommended by skincare professionals, it is good for sensitive skin and comes in different types some of which is medicated with octinoxate, it is quite thick on application but is soon absorbed, this one is reasonable priced and works well for most of the people that have used it.
Beauty by Earth Organic Sunscreen SPF 25
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay Anthelios is not specifically for acne but is very light and very good for sensitive and oily skin types.
Non-greasy formula, does not leave skin looking shiny, not one to use if you are going swimming, and be careful about getting it on clothing as it may stain.
You may find that products sold as sunscreen for very sensitive skin is safe for use on kids and babies but is is always advisable to check the labels or seek professional advice first.
Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30+
Blue Lizard Sunscreen is an Australian product, so they know a bit about the sun!
It’s main ingredient is the natural mineral zinc dioxide, there are no harsh chemicals in this product so it’s good for sensitive skin. It’s fragrance-free so it’s great for men too.
A very cool feature of Blue Lizard is that it is packaged in a ‘smart’ bottle which turns blue
when it gets subjected to harmful UV rays, the deeper the blue, the stronger the UV rays are. Nice idea, not cheap but you can get it at a discounted price here.
How To Apply Sunscreen Effectively |
Recommended Tanning Advice
If you intend to sit in the sun for extended periods you should follow this expert dermatological advice:
Sunblocks, sunscreens, tanning creams or lotions should block out both types of ultraviolet radiation, commonly known as UVA and UVB, you may also see a product described as “broad spectrum” which means the same thing.
The volume of the sunscreen applied should be sufficient to get total the protection as advised on the products label.
Ideally products should not cause any blocking of the skins pores and should also be hypoallergenic or that will not cause an allergic reaction due to their ingredients.
For maximum effectiveness sunscreens should ideally be applied around 20 minutes before exposure to the sun, followed by one further application twenty minutes after exposure begins, see below.
Further applications are only required after activities such as bathing, sweating, and drying with a towel or wiping of the skin.
The sun is at it’s most potent between the hours of 10.00 and 16.00 hours, the higher you are above sea level, and the closer your location the equator, the greater will be their effect
Eyes can be totally protected using polarizing sunglasses and some form of headwear with a peak.
Surfaces that reflect like snow and water can greatly increase the amount of UV radiation to which the skin is exposed.
The following is an abstract of an Article from the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, (JAAD) concerning the application of sunscreen…
“health agency advice is to commonly recommend that after the initial application of sunscreen it is then reapplied every 2 to 3 hours, this study was to determine whether or not this advice was effective.
The use of a sun cream that may be easily removed does not offer much in the way of protection from UV rays, irrespective of when another layer is applied.
It is better to use types that have resistance to being washed off.
The lowest skin exposure results from early reapplication, when first being exposed to the sun, and not at 2 to 3 hours, after initial application.
Typically reapplication of facial sunscreen at 20 minutes results in 60% to 85% of the ultraviolet exposure that would be received if sunscreen were reapplied at 2 hours.
Apply face sunscreen liberally to exposed sites 15 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun, followed by reapplication to exposed areas 15 to 30 minutes after sun exposure begins.
Further reapplication is necessary after vigorous activity that could effectively remove sunscreen from the skin, such as swimming, toweling, or excessive sweating and rubbing. (JAAD 2001;45:882-5.)
The subject of UVA, UVB and SPF protection is very scientific and far to complex for this site but it is generally recognized that the best UVA protection is provided by products that contain zinc oxide, avobenzone, and ecamsule. Titanium dioxide may also be quite effective, but does not entirely cover the UV light spectrum concerned.