The 16 Best Sunscreens for Acne-Prone Skin in 2023

Sun protection that won't give you pimples.

women in the sun wearing sunscreen
(Image credit: FJ Jiminez/Getty )

If you’re prone to breakouts, slathering on a thick, goopy, greasy sunscreen is likely dead last on the list of things you want to do. We get it. But SPF is non-negotiable (safety first, people!), so finding the best sunscreen that will A) protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and B) not make pimples pop up by the dozen needs to make its way to the top of your agenda. The good news? Everyone from EltaMD and Supergoop! to La Roche-Posay have formulated oil-free, non-comedogenic, and occasionally mattifying mineral and chemical sunscreens ideal for acne-prone skin. 

Whether you like a gel formula that works well under makeup or have been on a never-ending hunt for a sunscreen for your oily skin, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ve rounded up the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin.

What to Look For

The biggest buzzwords to look for on your sunscreen bottle? Dr. Kenneth Howe, board-certified dermatologist at UnionDerm in New York City says to be on the hunt for terms like “lightweight, non-occlusive, oil-free, and non-comedogenic," noting that they're typically designed for acne sufferers. He also suggests searching for SPFs with antioxidants like niacinamide and hydrating agents such as hyaluronic acid. “These reduce inflammation and soothe acne-prone skin,” he adds. 

Best Sunscreens for Acne-Prone Skin

Meet the Dermatologists

Dr. Kenneth Howe
Dr. Kenneth Howe

As a cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Howe is known for his light touch.  He believes that smaller, earlier interventions allow patients to maintain a youthful appearance while at the same time preventing or slowing further aging. Calm and reassuring in manner, Dr. Howe is an expert in guiding patients through the variety of available options, from the simplest topical agents to cutting edge procedures. He values maintaining an open dialogue between doctor and patient throughout this process. The goal of all aesthetic treatments, in Dr. Howe’s view, is to achieve and maintain a completely natural look. What is done must be dictated in each case by careful study of the anatomy and structure of the individual face.  This approach is particularly noteworthy in Dr. Howe’s use of injectable fillers and toxins, of which he is a recognized expert.

Karen Hammerman, M.D., F.A.A.D.

Dr. Hammerman is a native New Yorker who was raised on Long Island. She attended Barnard College, where she majored in environmental biology and graduated with honors. She received her M.D. degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, where she then completed a preliminary year in general surgery followed by a two year research fellowship in skin regeneration and wound repair at NYU Medical Center. She completed her dermatology residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Hammerman's research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. She has authored and co-authored wound healing book chapters, and has written NIH research grants in the fields of wound healing and regeneration, stem cells, and the management of chronic wounds. She is a voluntary house staff dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she teaches residents and medical students.

Dr. Karan Lal

Originally from New York City, he grew up in Queens and attended Hunter Science High School in Manhattan. He graduated summa cum laude from the New York Institute of Technology, where he completed a rigorous seven-year accelerated combined medical program. He was selected to be an academic medical scholar, during which he received a Master of Science in neuroscience and a scholarship for three years of medical school and graduate training. He was elected to the Sigma Sigma Phi and Psi Sigma Alpha medical honor societies. He completed his internal medicine internship at the University of Connecticut Medical Center where he was elected intern of the year. He completed a three-year dermatology residency at the University of Massachusetts, where he was elected chief resident. He continued at the University of Massachusetts to complete a pediatric dermatology fellowship, where he gained an interest in vascular anomalies, pediatric laser, and dermatologic surgery of pediatric patients. Dr. Lal specializes in pediatric and adult dermatology, laser surgery, soft tissue filler augmentation, body sculpting, melanocyte keratinocyte transplant surgery for vitiligo and hypopigmentation, pigmentary abnormalities of the skin and enjoys treating patients from birth onwards. He is an expert in atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, melasma, psoriasis, and hidradenitis and has worked in specialty clinics among experts. He is the only board-certified pediatric and fellowship-trained cosmetic dermatologist in the country.

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.