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Dr. Alpana Mohta Ranka, MD, DNB, IFAAD, is a dual-board-certified dermatologist with over 90 research publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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Best Sunscreen for Oily or Dry Skin: Dermatologist Recommended (2024)

Updated: Jan 1

This article will cover the best sunscreen for oily skin and dry skin recommended by dermatologists. I will also clear some common doubts. You don't need to read the complete article; skip to the section most relevant for you.


Since you are reading this article, I am sure you already know why sunscreen is essential.


Nevertheless, for those still unconvinced: Sunscreen is the only product that can truly protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. When we step outside and expose ourselves to UV light, our bodies form free radicals that cause damage at a cellular level. This damage can lead to many health issues, including premature aging, wrinkles, sunspots, and even cancer.


Sunscreen—once the hallmark of summertime, is now a must for anyone who cares about their skin.


Now that my spiel's over let's dive right in!

 

Table of Contents

 

Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin Dermatologist Recommended

Oily skin produces excess sebum, leading to a shiny and greasy appearance. Using the wrong sunscreen can exacerbate the issue by adding more oil to the skin's surface.


Opt for oil-free or non-comedogenic sunscreens to avoid clogged pores and breakouts. These formulations are lightweight, fast-absorbing, and provide adequate sun protection. These sunscreens can and should be used daily.


Below I will talk about what I, as a dermatologist, think is/are the best sunscreen(s) for oily skin categorized by SPF and sex. I have considered all the above factors while finalizing my recommendations.


Best SPF 50 Sunscreen for Oily Skin


  • Acne UV Gel SPF 50 is the ultimate choice for oily skin, providing triple protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Acne UV Gel SPF 50

This sunscreen effectively blocks up to 98% of sun rays, guarding against premature skin aging, wrinkles, dark spots, and tanning. It is designed specifically for oily skin and offers a clear matte look without the greasiness. The light, quick-absorbing, and non-sticky formula make it perfect for everyday use and as a base for makeup.

Lacto Calamine Daily Sunshield SPF 50 PA+++

Dermatologically tested and free from harmful parabens, this sunscreen is enriched with:

  • Purified water for quick absorption,

  • Kaolin clay to absorb excess oil and reduce pimples and blackheads, and

  • Lemon extract, which is rich in Vitamin C and helps fade dark spots and tanning.

Best SPF 30 Sunscreen for Oily Skin


Fixderma Shadow SPF 30+ gel takes the lead in SPF 30 sunscreens. This sunscreen offers extended broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, achieving an SPF of 30 or higher.


Its water-resistant formulation ensures a longer residence time on the skin, forming a thin shield of protection that remains intact even during excessive perspiration or water exposure.


The best part is that it doesn't leave a tacky feeling upon application, providing a smooth and easy experience. Key ingredients such as Octinoxate, Benzophenone-4, Zinc oxide, and Avobenzone work together to safeguard the skin from harmful rays.


Best Sunscreen for Men with Oily Skin


The only reason I would advise men to use a specific type of sunscreen is cosmetic.


Since men have facial hair, applying physical sunscreen can cause deposition of the sunscreen in between the hair (also known as white-casting). To avoid this, men with oily skin should use either gel-based physical sunscreens or chemical sunscreens.


The best choice would be Minimalist Sunscreen SPF 50 Lightweight.


You may also find reading this article on skincare tips for men useful.

Best Sunscreen for Females with Oily Skin


Women can use any of the sunscreens mentioned above.


If you are looking for something with a dual effect, i.e., it also acts as a primer, then you can use Acne-UV gel or Solasafe.

Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin Dermatologist Recommended


Dry skin lacks natural moisture and tends to be tight, flaky, and prone to irritation.


Sunscreens designed for dry skin contain moisturizing ingredients to hydrate and nourish the skin while offering sun protection. These sunscreens are often creamier and more emollient, helping to replenish moisture and prevent further dryness.


They provide a protective barrier against the sun's harmful rays while keeping the skin hydrated and supple. Again, just like sunscreens for oily skin, these sunscreens should also be used daily.


Best SPF 50 Sunscreen for Dry Skin


Undry Hydrating Sunscreen for Dry Skin is specifically designed for both men and women with dry skin.


Dermatologically tested, this sunscreen lotion gel offers broad-spectrum protection without leaving a white cast. It is non-oily and suitable for use on both the face and body.


Apply this hydrating gel-based sunscreen as the final step of your skincare routine for quick absorption and lasting protection.


Keep your skin hydrated, protected, and healthy with this essential SPF 50 sunscreen for both women and men with dry skin.


Below I will talk about what I, as a dermatologist, think is/are the best sunscreen(s) for dry skin categorized by SPF and sex. I have considered all the above factors while finalizing my recommendations.


Best Sunscreen for Men with Dry Skin


As discussed in the sunscreen for oily skin section, the only reason I would advise men to use a specific type of sunscreen is cosmetic; applying physical sunscreen can cause deposition of the sunscreen in between the facial hair (also known as white-casting).


To avoid this, men with dry skin should use either gel-based physical sunscreens or chemical sunscreens.


I would suggest the same sunscreen as I suggested for oily skin as this works for different skin types: Minimalist Sunscreen SPF 50 Lightweight.


Best Sunscreen for Females with Dry Skin


Similar to what I said in the section for oily skin, women can use any of the sunscreens mentioned above. If you are looking for something with a dual effect, i.e., it also acts as a primer, then you can use Rivela Lite Sunscreen (weightless mousse).


How to Use A Sunscreen?

  1. Use enough to cover all skin not covered by clothing. Most adults require about an ounce of sunscreen to fully cover their bodies.

  2. Don't forget to apply sunscreen evenly to your face, arms, back of neck and ears.

  3. Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors.

  4. Skin cancer can form on your lips as well, so to protect them from the sun's ultraviolet rays, always apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

  5. Whenever you are outdoors during the daytime (even if it's cloudy), reapply sunscreen about every two hours (or after swimming or sweating). Do you know the quickest and hassle-free way of applying sunscreens when outdoors? Use a sunscreen stick. I use it all the time when I am outdoors.

Which is Better, SPF 30 or 50?


SPF 30 and SPF 50 both offer substantial sun protection, with SPF 50 providing a slightly higher level of defense. SPF 30 blocks 97% UVB radiation from reaching your skin, while SPF 50 blocks 98% UVB radiation. If you have fair or sensitive skin or are prone to sunburns, using SPF 50 can be beneficial.

However, be informed that no sunscreen can provide 100% protection.


Other factors, such as application method, frequency, and proper coverage, are also critical for effective sun protection. Additionally, SPF only measures UVB protection, so it's important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays for comprehensive sun protection.


Is PA Rating Important?


The PA rating (an abbreviation of the Protection Grade of UVA) indicates the level of defense offered by your sunscreen against UVA rays, which are responsible for skin aging and long-term damage.


While SPF only tells about UVB protection, harmful radiations from the sun also include UVA, and UVC, with UVC being the most damaging, followed by UVB and UVA. Although the ozone layer blocks UVC, we still need protection from UVA.


Choosing a sunscreen with a higher PA rating, such as PA+++ or PA++++, ensures stronger protection against UVA radiation and helps safeguard your skin from premature aging and potential sun damage. The more the no. of plusses (+), the better.


What is the Difference Between a Physical and Chemical Sunscreen?



One last thing: if you’re going to go outside, wear a hat. You’ll thank me later. And if you are too cool to wear a hat, you might want to invest in a hair sunscreen. Why? Read the article on how the sun can damage your hair, and again, thank me later.

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