We Tried Out The Best Suncreams For Oily Skin
The Debrief: Say goodbye to being a sweaty, greasy mess when you put on your suncream.
We all know that protecting your skin in the sunshine is absolutely, 100%, non-negotiable. In theory, anyway, because your crazy-paving style burn lines are suggesting otherwise. So let’s start again: WEAR SUNCREAM! Suncream on your face should be a daily staple, not something reserved for ‘summer’ months. Sure, it might be blowing a gale outside but that doesn’t mean UVA and UVB can’t still harm your skin.
But the problem with wearing suncream every day is that so many of them turn anything they touch into a smeared, greasy mess, which is just not on, especially if you have problematic, blemish-prone skin or acne. That’s why I tried out a range of oil-free suncreams to see which ones lived up to their claims.
NB: I applied all the suncreams as the last step in my morning skincare regime and then applied my make-up on top. FYI, I have combination skin which gets oily around the T-zone and I’m prone to hormonal breakouts.
Oily skin claim: ‘Non-greasy mattifying fluid. Ideal for normal to combination skin.’
What I think: My initial thought was, ‘This smells very alcohol-y’ so I thought it might feel horrible and drying on the skin. Not so. The smell subsided pretty quickly and when I rubbed it in it mattified pretty quickly, so I could apply my make-up over it almost straightaway.
Checking in at 4pm and it didn’t look like it had made my make-up slide any more than usual.
Pros: Cute bottle, comes in SPF 30 as well, non-comedogenic (so it won’t clog pores) making it suitable for problematic skin as well as normal skin.
Cons: Quite watery, bit of a odd smell at first but it doesn’t linger.
Oily skin claim: ‘Minimises shine for a flawless matte finish.’
What I think: This is nice and feels more like a moisturiser with SPF in it, rather than just SPF so it didn’t sink in that quickly. I left it a good 10 minutes before I went ahead with my make-up, but after that there was no greasyness.
Pros: Moisturising, feels nice on the skin.
Cons: There’s no getting away from it, it’s pricey but if you can stretch to it, fair play. Strong smell, not a bad one, but very… herbally.
Oily skin claim: ‘High facial protection for imperfection and blemish-prone skin.’
What I think: This doesn’t smell great, kind of like paint, but it’s fragrance-free so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. It was quite difficult to rub in and I found it did cling to the downy hair on my temples a little.
Pros: Formulated especially for oily skin, non-comedogenic and good for sensitive skin.
Cons: The smell, difficult to rub in so I’d imagine it would leave a white cast on darker skin tones.
Oily skin claim: ‘Outstanding protection in a super-lightweight, translucent SPF 50+ UVA/UVB formula’, plus it contains ‘INSTA MATTE™ – micro oil-absorbing powders which help mattify and even out blotchy skin tone for a beautifully natural transparent finish.’
What I think: This smells so good. Like, proper summery fruity good. It’s quite watery but was easy to blend. It took five minutes or so to settle and once it had, I could definitely feel its ‘oil-absorbing powders’ because it felt almost velvety on the skin and made a nice make-up base.
Pros: The smell! Felt nice on the skin and under make-up.
Cons: The smell if you don’t like fragranced products or have extremely sensitive skin. It’s also the smallest one as it’s only 30ml.
Oily skin claim: ‘Silky-matte sunscreen is ultra lightweight and truly invisible on skin.’
What I think: This felt very oily when I was applying it (although it says it’s oil-free), but this goes once it’s rubbed in. Like with Soap & Glory, it dried to a powdering, silky feel so it went well under my make-up, but it felt slightly heavier on the skin and took longer before I felt I could apply my make-up.
Pros: Nice finish and mattifying.
Cons: Felt a little heavy, smelt plasticky and it’s pricey.
Oily skin claim: ‘The non-greasy formula prevents sun-induced wrinkles and leaves your skin soft and supple.’
What I think: This very much feels (and smells) like your standard holiday suncream, rather than something you’d want to wear under your make-up as it feels heavier. It took a good 10 minutes for it to be absorbed and once it had, it did feel nice. I’d keep this for when I'm going make-up free by the pool.
Pros: It’s the most affordable and probably the easiest to get hold of.
Cons: Not as good under make-up, feels a little greasier than the others.
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