In this thoroughly modern age, there’s no reason why anyone should dread layering on their daily sunscreen. Cosmetic technology and development have come so far that there’s an SPF option tailored to fit every skin type, tone, issue, and concern, and that includes several choice oil-free picks, too. Oil-free sunscreens are just that — an otherwise-typical SPF formulated without additional oils, both synthetic and naturally-occurring.
“Oil-free sunscreen is a good choice if you have oily or very acne-prone skin,” explains Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta skin care. For those who feel excessively oily, a mattifying and oil-absorbing formulation can make a world of a difference — especially if fear of looking greasy or shiny is keeping you from sunscreen application altogether. “I emphasize to my patients that sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer,” Dr. Loretta says. “If you find that sunscreen makes your skin look more oily or that when you use a particular sunscreen you seem to break out more, you won't be using it daily.”
From an aesthetic standpoint, there are more benefits beyond that shine-mitigation, too. According to Dr. Sheila Farhang, MD, board-certified dermatologist, “Those possibly worried about a white cast in sunscreens may benefit from opting for oil-free as more lightweight formulations tend to leave less of a white cast.” She and Dr. Loretta both mention that dry skin types might want to steer clear of an oil-free formulation — “an oil-free formula may not blend well into dry skin,” Dr. Loretta explains.
If it is indeed an oil-free sunscreen you’re after, the options are seemingly limitless. Hybrid formulas that double as primers, waterproof versions for beach days, and even radiant tinted oil-free sunscreens are all available — which means there’s a sunscreen for every skin type and situation.
Below, check out some of the best oil-free sunscreens out there right now.
We at TZR only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.