The 8 Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin, Tested by Grooming Editors and Dermatologists

The 8 Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin, Tested by Grooming Editors and Dermatologists

Best Overall Sunscreen

EltaMD Clear SPF46 Broad-Spectrum Duo

Clear SPF46 Broad-Spectrum Duo

Pros
  • High SPF factor
  • Can double as moisturizer
  • Best for skin types with acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation
  • Oil-free
Cons
  • Untinted version may leave a slight white cast on darker skin tones

This non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer with SPF comes highly recommended by Brauer. It’s a light sunscreen that caters to all skin types—especially acne-and rosacea-prone skin.

Whether you’re getting into the water this summer or sweating bullets, this SPF has staying power. With a calming ingredient trio of niacinamide, lactic acid and hyaluronic acid, our editors found that using this consistently for one month helped their skin look healthier.

Read More: Best Sunscreens for Acne-Prone Skin

Active ingredients Niacinamide, Octyldodecyl neopentanoate, Hydroxyethyl
Type Mineral
SPF 46
Water-resistant? No
Matte finish? Yes

Best Lightweight Sunscreen

ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+

Eryfotona Actinica 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+

Pros
  • Weightless finish
  • Contains additional skincare ingredients
  • Water-resistant
Cons
  • Expensive compared to similar sunscreens

Dermatologist Robert Finney, MD, recommends this mineral sunscreen for oily mugs since it’s “pure zinc oxide.” Bonus: it contains DNA repairosomes to help fix existing sun damage, and Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Our editors also love that it applies easily, though it can leave a white cast on darker skin tones.

The biggest reason we love this one is that compared to similar sunscreens, this one is very light weight (which is why they call it an “emulsion”). It has a slightly watery texture that doesn’t create a film on your face and instead sinks into your skin quickly and easily. It can take a bit of rubbing to remove the white cast, but since this is a pure mineral screen, that’s the price of admission.

Active ingredients Zinc oxide
Type Mineral
SPF 50
Water-resistant? No
Matte finish? No

Best Chemical Sunscreen

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Unseen Sunscreen

Pros
  • Clear, smooth finish
  • Feels very light
  • Has a skin tone evening effect
Cons
  • Small size, so it may run out quick

It’s a great standalone product that’s featherweight and feels cool as a cucumber on the skin. We’ve been wearing this water and sweat-resistant sunscreen on a regular basis since 2020. It’s our go-to especially for days at the beach and by the pool because it gives a velvety finish, regardless of how many times we reapply. Our Grooming Editor Garrett Munce loves this formula, and says it absolutely leaves no trace behind, even if your skin is a little bit oily.

“But what really makes it great for oily skin is the matte finish,” says Munce. “It won’t leave even the slightest hint of shine behind and can even help camouflage and reduce shine as the day wears on. There’s even a new version for the body that’s equally as amazing.”

Active ingredients Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene
Type Chemical
SPF 40
Water resistant? Yes
Matte finish? Yes

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Best Drugstore Sunscreen

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin, SPF 30

Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin, SPF 30

Pros
  • Lightweight texture
  • Specifically designed for acne-prone skin
  • Fragrance-free

Because this oil-free sunscreen is specifically formulated for acne-prone skin, it not only helps mattify shine, but it actually helps control oil throughout the day, so it won’t leave you feeling like an oil slick after a couple of hours (and each reapplication).

There are a ton of sunscreen options at your typical drugstore, but not many that you’d want to wear every day – and even less if you have dry or acne-prone skin. That is where this one shines. Not only does it not clog your pores, but it’s lightweight enough to wear every day but also thick enough that you can wear it at the beach without feeling like you’re missing out on protection. Personally, we keep one bottle in our bathroom and one in our beach bag so we can make sure we’re always protected.

Active ingredients Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene
Type Chemical
SPF 30
Water resistant? Yes
Matte finish? Yes

Best High SPF Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Sunscreen

Anthelios Clear Skin Sunscreen

Pros
  • Very high SPF factor
  • Oil-absorbing formula
  • No greasy finish

If you’re looking for a high SPF sunscreen for those long days on the beach or by the pool, you typically feel like you need to sacrifice comfort for protection. Not with this formula, which is not only oil-free, but also actually helps absorb oil to create a smooth, matte finish that won’t break you out. Also included in the formula are antioxidants which help to further prevent photo damage caused by UV rays.

We will say, however, that this screen is on the thicker side. While it rubs into skin quickly and effectively and leaves hardly any white cast, even on darker skin tones, we feel that it’s really best reserved for when you’re spending time outside and need extra protection. It may be too thick to comfortably wear every single day, though if you need the protection and don’t mind the weight, more power to you.

Active ingredients Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene
Type Chemical
SPF 60
Water resistant? Yes
Matte finish? Yes

Best Moisturizer with Sunscreen

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with SPF 30

Dermacontrol Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with SPF 30

Pros
  • Feels like a moisturizer
  • Contains dermatologist-approved amount of sun protection
  • Helps control oil

Oily skin still needs to be moisturized – in fact, if it’s under moisturized it could produce more oil (weird, right?). Wearing a daily moisturizer is important for everyone no matter their skin type, but if you have oily skin you may not want to add more stuff on top of it. That’s where this genius moisturizer/sunscreen hybrid comes in. It’s less of a moisturizing sunscreen than a true moisturizer that just happens to have sunscreen in it, meaning you’ll get a lightweight moisturizing texture that won’t leave greasy or filmy residue on your face.

As a moisturizer, it works overtime to not only control shine but actually absorb oil, helping balance your skin so you don’t end up looking like an oil slick by the end of the day. It has a matte finish with no added fragrance so it’s suitable for sensitive skin as well. The sun protection comes from chemical sunscreens, however there is also zinc in the formula to help soothe skin.

Active ingredients Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene
Type Chemical
SPF 30
Water resistant? No
Matte finish? Yes

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Best Luxury Sunscreen

Alastin Silkshield All Mineral Sunscreen

Silkshield All Mineral Sunscreen

Pros
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Contains anti-aging ingredients
  • Matte, smooth finish
Cons
  • Expensive compared to similar sunscreens

We’re fans of this protective sunscreen, thanks to a couple of its prominent ingredients—TriHex Technology® and Ectoin. Combined, the two aim to reverse the signs of skin damage, combat early stages of aging and provide protection from blue light.

Specifically developed to be used on skin post-treatment (like lasers or chemical peels), this ultra-gentle screen is ideal for all skin types, but especially sensitive skin. It’s also designed as a daily-use sunscreen, so it gives a sheer, matte finish even though it has mineral based protection – a rarity! Couple that with the anti-aging ingredients and you have a well-rounded daily sunscreen that’s worth the investment.

Active ingredients Zinc oxide
Type Mineral
SPF 30
Water resistant? No
Matte finish? Yes

Best Tinted Sunscreen

Colorescience Total Protection Face Shield

Total Protection Face Shield

Pros
  • High SPF factor
  • Multiple shade options
  • Non-comedogenic
Cons
  • Expensive compared to similar sunscreens

One way to get around the white cast often left by sunscreens is to go for a tinted version. A little hint of color helps this superstar sunscreen smooth into skin quickly and evenly – and also helps to balance skin tone, which is always a welcome plus in our book. It even comes in multiple color options so it can work for all skin tones.

Inside the formula you’ll find a high SPF factor that not only protects your skin from UV rays, but also blue light from electronic devices, infrared light and even environmental pollution. On top of all that, the formula is also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts. Overall, it checks all the boxes you want in a daily sunscreen.

Active ingredients Zinc oxide
Type Mineral
SPF 50
Water resistant? No
Matte finish? No

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Is Matte Sunscreen Good for Oily Skin?

The answer is yes. Matte sunscreen helps to reduce the skin’s shiny appearance and prevent further exacerbation of oil on the skin. Some even absorb oil and control breakouts. We recommend getting a sunscreen that is easily absorbable, lightweight and oil-free.

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Which is Better—Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen for Oily Skin?

According to our experts, mineral sunscreens are trusted across the board. Generally, they’re more tolerable for oily skin, as most contain active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Because of the those ingredients, mineral sunscreens tend to rest on the surface, which lowers the chances of them blending with the skin’s natural oil. In contrast, chemical sunscreens soak up the sun’s rays like a sponge instead of physically blocking them. Yet, they’re more likely to acquire an ultralight texture and dry with a matte finish.

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Why Trust Us?

For the past five years, Men’s Health has dedicated itself to discovering and recommending the best grooming products for men via hands-on testing and in-depth research. Men’s Health grooming has been featured on national news outlets like The TODAY Show and Good Morning America, showcasing the latest new grooming products for men and presenting why we love the brands we select.

Aside from constantly updating and adding to our ever-growing grooming section, Men’s Health also dedicates an annual Grooming Awards package where we break down the best new products for men—ranging everywhere from skincare to shaving. Our Grooming Editor, Garrett Munce, who consulted on this story, has been testing sunscreens for the past decade, so he absolutely knows what he’s talking about.

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Meet the Experts

  • Dr. Jeremy Brauer is a New York-based dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and founder of Spectrum Skin and Laser
  • Dr. Rahi Sarbaziha is a Beverly Hills-based Integrative Aesthetics Doctor
  • Robert Finney, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist

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Headshot of Christian Gollayan

Christian Gollayan oversees e-commerce content for Men’s Health and Women’s Health. Previously, he was the Associate Managing Editor at TheManual.com. Christian’s work has also been featured in Food & Wine, InStyle, the New York Post, and Tatler Asia.

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