By now, we all should know the importance of incorporating a facial sunscreen into our skincare routine whatever the weather. However, for those who have acne/blemish prone skin, finding an SPF that keeps skin protected, sits well under makeup and won’t clog pores or bring about breakouts is easier said than done, especially during the summer months, when the hot weather can cause an increase in sebum and spots. Thankfully though, SPF formulations have come a long way, and instead of thick, heavy, irritating greasy creams we now have sheer, light, expertly crafted formulations that can ward off those UV rays while calming inflammation and absorbing excess oil.
A few simple things to remember when it comes to choosing the right one for you, is to look for those that advertise themselves as being lightweight, non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) or oil-free.
Worth mentioning, while many brands now include SPF in their foundations, primers, tinted moisturisers etc., to give your skin the best protection possible from the ageing UVA ray and the harmful UVB (burning) rays, it should be applied in a separate layer underneath your makeup. Also, be sure to cleanse your sunscreen off thoroughly at the end of the day, I always advise a double cleanse in the evening, so all traces of SPF are removed.
From mists to creams and gels, here is my edit of facial SPFs for acne prone skin that are blemish limiting…
Heliocare 360 Gel Oil Free SPF50
Loved by dermatologists, this ultra-light, mattifying gel melts quickly into the skin leaving it hydrated but dry to touch. The formula combines powerful antioxidants, ferulic acid and vitamins C and E to fight ageing and prevent sun damage along with anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and sebum controlling technology. Great for all skin types but especially those with oily or combination skin, €36, available online from cosmeticdoctor.ie
Eucerin Sun Oil Control Gel-Cream Dry Touch SPF50
Eucerin’s oil control gel-cream ticks every box! With its high broad-spectrum SPF and oil control ingredients, the lovely light textured formula, is non-greasy, non-sticky and non-comedogenic. Sebum-regulating oil control technology and absorbing micro-particles gives skin an immediate dry touch finish and a long-lasting anti-shine effect of up to eight hours. It also contains Glycyrrhetinic Acid which supports skin’s own DNA repair mechanism, €21, available in selected pharmacies nationwide.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Protection Invisible Fresh Mist SPF50
Suitable for oily and blemish-prone skin and skin that is prone to sensitivity, sun-intolerance or prickly-heat, this is a lightweight, but high SPF mist that fully protects and hydrates the skin without leaving behind any greasy or visible residue. The spray is easy to apply, quickly absorbed and delivers a double anti-shine action with an ultra-dry finish. It can be worn under or on-top of make-up and can be re-applied throughout the day, €14, available in selected pharmacies nationwide.
Dr Sam Bunting Flawless Daily Sunscreen SPF50
Dr Sam Bunting’s range of skincare focuses on products for acne-prone skin, formulated without scents and possible irritants. This weightless daily shield for your skin is ideal for blemish-prone skin and with a soft-focus primer-like finish sits beautifully under make-up and won’t clog pores. It offers powerful protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays and is fortified with 5% Niacinamide, so it brightens and boosts skin whilst helping keep pores clear and skin calm. Think of it as a serum in a sunscreen, £29, available online from drsambunting.com
Avène Cleanance Very High Protection Mattifying Sunscreen SPF50
Developed specifically for oily and blemish-prone skin, this cream offers broad spectrum protection whilst actively working to battle breakouts. A mix of potent antioxidants renews and protects skin cells, while the brand’s own thermal spring water soothes the skin. It also contains Monolaurin, a sebum-regulating, mattifying ingredient which combats blemishes and breakouts by targeting the cells that produce it. It gives a no-shine finish, leaving skin clear, healthy, and protected, €19.99, available in selected pharmacies nationwide.
Skingredients Skin Shield SPF50
The Skin Nerd’s broad-spectrum SPF and primer has a mineral formulation which can be more easily tolerated by oily or spot-prone skin. Featuring niacinamide (vitamin B3) and vitamin E for antioxidant protection, it’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t sit in your pores and block them. With a lovely peachy universal tint, to even out your skin tome, it dries to leave a dewy finish and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. It also protects against HEV/blue light, €42, available in selected pharmacies nationwide and online from theskinnerd.com
Bioderma Photoderm Akn Mat Fluide SPF30
With its broad-spectrum protection and anti-blemish action, this mattifying lotion for combination, oily and acne prone skin has an ingredient called Fluidactiv that prevents the clogging of your pores and development of blemishes (which is often made worse after periods of sun exposure). As well as being hypo-allergenic and non-pore clogging, it also contains anti-ageing ingredients to keep the lines and wrinkles at bay. The fluid is colourless, spreading easily onto the skin leaving no oily film or white markings, €17, available in selected pharmacies nationwide.
NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF50
A lightweight translucent fluid offering physical (mineral) broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection along with anti-ageing benefits. A PHA/Bionic complex preserves collagen and protects and strengthens skin while antioxidants by way of vitamin E and green tea extract combat the effects of free radical. Sheer and mattifying, this has a universal tint to even out discolouration and redness while providing a smooth base for make-up. Ideal for everyone, but especially those prone to redness, congestion, and sensitivity, €37 available online from neostrata.ie and in selected pharmacies nationwide.
REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF30 Mattifying Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen 50
REN’s mattifying facial sunscreen is a non-comedogenic silicone-free formula composed of naturally derived ingredients, that offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB and blue light defence. Enriched with yellow passionfruit seed extract and soothing rice extract to alleviate reddened skin, it combats shine and excess oil, leaving you with a matte and fresh complexion that acts as a perfect base for makeup, €34, available from cloud10beauty.com and selected pharmacies nationwide.
Murad Blemish Control Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF45
An oil-free, non-comedogenic lightweight broad-spectrum SPF that instantly minimises the appearance of pores by 54% and delivers 10 hours of oil, shine and pore control. Oil-trapping microspheres mattify, smooth and blur imperfections, while avocado and African yellow wood bark extracts visibly reduce pore size and excess oil over time as hydrators prevent dryness, €38 available from cloud10beauty.com