You Still Need to Wear SPF Right Now, These 14 Are the Best for Oily Skin

April 25, 2020 at 06:30AM

As someone (and a beauty editor at that) that has naturally shiny, often greasy-looking skin, it’s fair to say that I have a very turbulent relationship with SPF. I know that I need to wear it everyday, and I do, but finding a formula that works for me has been seriously tough. You see the thing is, the majority of sun cream leaves a white, greasy sheen on the skin, even long after they have been applied, which isn’t a good look for the oily-skinned amongst us.


In fact, it’s this shiny finish that puts so many of us off wearing SPF at all. During a recent conversation with a close group of friends, the topic of daily SPF application cropped up. “SPF just ruins my makeup, but since we’re not going out right now I’m taking a break from it,” one said. It was at this point that I realised, actually, most people really don’t get the importance of SPF at all. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, you should be wearing SPF every single day, even if your skin is oily. Not convinced? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.

The sun produces both UVA and UVB rays, both of which can be damaging in their own ways. The way that I like to remember which one is which is that UVA rays are the Ageing rays and UVB rays are the Burning rays. While UVB rays can’t penetrate glass or windows, UVA rays can, meaning that your skin is still susceptible to ageing sun damage, even if you’re inside.  “Suncream is the best and cheapest anti-ageing product,” says Dr Susan Mayou, Consultant Dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic. “It has been clinically proven to slow down the effects of ageing on the skin.”

One of the most common arguments against wearing SPF daily is that, especially right now, we need all of the vitamin D that we can get. And it’s true, SPF does also block our bodies’ ability to produce vitamin D from UVB rays (so this does require going outside). However, Dr Mayou has a simple solution. “Around 10-15 minutes is adequate time to reap the benefits of vitamin D without protection, as long as the time chosen for exposure provides no risk of burning or tanning. This risk is dependent upon the time of day and skin type,” she says.

So yes, sadly, we should all be wearing SPF everyday if we want to protect our skin against premature ageing and irreparable damage. And I mean proper suncream, not just products that contain SPF. While an SPF30 tinted moisturiser or SPF50 face cream might be better than nothing, the amount of sun protection you’re applying simply isn’t enough. “Moisturiser or cosmetics with SPF are better than those without, but not as good at protecting against UV rays as a suncream. It’s like tea with sugar versus the sugar alone,” warns Dr Mayou. “Ensure all areas exposed to the sun are covered and don’t forget the ears, neck and décolletage. Also, ensure you are applying right up to the hairline.”. Another top tip? Although it’s crucial to protect your face in these times, there are other areas that may require more attention than usual. “With current frequent hand washing, it’s important to remember the backs of the hands. Leave some suncream next to the sink so you don’t forget to reapply,” says Dr Mayou. So, taking all of this into account, now really isn’t the time to be forgoing daily suncream application, especially as we fast approach summer. And, as suncream formulas get better and better as the years go by, there really is a formula out there that will work for you. Keep scrolling to shop the best lightweight, matte-finish suncreams for oily skin.

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La Roche-Posay are known for making some of the most wearable suncream formulas out there, and this gel-cream is specifically formulated to minimise shine.

Every single oily-skinned person I know is obsessed with this stuff. Not only is it really lightweight, it’s also great for sensitive skin and actually contains sebum-regulators.

I physically jumped for joy when I discovered this SPF was launching in the UK. It’s a bestseller in the US and is wonderful for those that suffer with oily skin that’s prone to irritation.

This mineral suncream has really high protection but also leaves a second-skin finish.

New from Decléor, this aloe vera-infused formula soothes any SPF-related irritation and dries to a beautifully matte finish.

If you hate the feeling of heavy suncream on your face, this incredibly lightweight spray veils the skin without suffocating it.

I love the way this oil-free, matte-finish formula sits under makeup.

Probably the most-loved facial SPF amongst beauty editors, this relatively unknown suncream might just be the best oil-free option out there.

Kiehl’s has so many great suncreams, but us oily-skinned sufferers felt a little left out. When they released this lightweight, non-pore-clogging gel, I couldn’t believe my luck.

This stuff is serious. When I’m feeling particular oily and as though my pores need reining in, a layer of this totally blurs my complexion. 

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Resistant to water, this particular suncream is a real long-laster. Above all, I love the way it goes on like silk and keeps oil in check all day long.

This is actually one of my most-loved beauty products of last year. It’s super mattifying and looks just as great under makeup as it does on its own.

For those prone to redness when applying SPF, this mineral formula is seriously skin-loving.

The peachy tone of this mousse-like formula gives a perfected finish like no other.

Next up, I never sit in the sun, but these gradual tan products keep me looking bronzed.

Author Shannon Lawlor | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC