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5 Best Sunscreen Ingredients for Acne-Prone Skin

Finding the right sunscreen for your skin type can be challenging, but it is essential for long-term skin health. Sunscreen protects against UVA/UVB rays, prevents sunburn, slows down the signs of aging and most importantly, protects against skin cancer. Whether you have oily, dry, acne-prone or sensitive skin, sunscreen is non-negotiable. For acne-prone skin, it is important to recommend the right formulas and ingredients to avoid clogged pores, breakouts, irritation and scarring.

Acne Safe Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreen is generally a safe option for acne-prone skin types and conditions exacerbated by heat, such as melasma or rosacea. Mineral sunscreens create a physical barrier that reflects and scatters the sun's rays, preventing them from being absorbed into the skin. In contrast, chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin, potentially causing unwanted reactions and irritation.

When recommending sunscreen for acne-prone skin, look for oil-free and non-comedogenic formulas. Excess sebum production is common in acne-prone skin, leading to an oily appearance, clogged pores and breakouts. By choosing oil-free sunscreens, you can help control oiliness and avoid further pore blockage. Even if you have dry, acne-prone skin, an oil-free sunscreen is still a safe option. Here are the best sunscreen ingredients for acne-prone skin.

1. Zinc Oxide

This ingredient creates a physical barrier on the skin's surface, reflecting and scattering UV rays. They also have oil-absorbing properties, which can help mattify the skin's appearance and reduce shine. Additionally, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can be beneficial for acne-prone skin.


2. Titanium Dioxide

This ingredient also creates a physical barrier like zinc oxide. Also similar to zinc oxide, titanium dioxide helps to mattify the skin and provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits.

3. Iron Oxides

Iron oxides can improve the shiny appearance of acne-prone skin by reflecting light. Tinted sunscreens with iron oxides can help minimize oiliness and provide a matte finish. They can also replace pore-clogging makeup products like foundation for a natural look.

4. Dimethicone

Dimethicone is a silicone-based ingredient often included in sunscreens for oily skin. It creates a smooth, matte finish, minimizing the appearance of oiliness and reducing shine. However, individuals with dry skin may find it can over-dry their skin by absorbing natural oils excessively.

5. Silica

Silica is an oil-absorbing ingredient that helps control excess oil and shine. It contributes to a more matte appearance and is beneficial for oily skin.

Healthy Skin Sun Care

Sunscreen is not only essential for long-term skin health, but also provides additional benefits. By choosing the right sunscreen, you’ll protect the skin and maintain its overall well-being.

Rahi Sarbaziha, MD, is a Persian-American double board-certified Integrative Aesthetics Doctor based in Beverly Hills, CA. Internationally recognized for her unique holistic and integrative approach to Cosmetic Rejuvenation and Inner Health, Dr. Rahi caters to her patients’ specific needs to help them achieve long-lasting results. Visit


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