12 Best Sunscreen for Combination Skin: Ultimate Guide (2018)

Updated 5 years ago

It’s summer and you are doing your best to live your best life. Whether you are on a beautiful, dreamlike European vacation, or if you’re taking some time to hike or lay by the pool during your staycation, there is one thing that remains constant: the absolute, 100% need to wear sunscreen.

Why does sunscreen matter?

If you have combination skin, you know that your skin basically has two personalities. In the summer, when your skin is more oil-prone, you probably feel lucky if you can make it to lunch without having to use oil absorbing blotting papers (or, honestly, the paper towels in the office bathroom) to blot away the excess oil.

Of all the makeup and skincare products out there, sunscreen is - or at least should be - the most important product and most consistent part of your skincare regimen. Sunscreen is the best way to prevent premature aging, wrinkles, and sun spots. Fact: 90% of skin damage (aka wrinkles and dark spots) comes from sun damage. Sunscreen also protects against skin cancer. Need we say more! But because sunscreen tends to be oily, it can be scary to incorporate sunscreen into your skincare routine for fear of creating an imbalance in your skincare routine that you have so carefully created in order to not irritate your combination skin.

12 Top Sunscreen for Combination Skin: Reviews

MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

This broad spectrum sunscreen is ultra lightweight, but provides major coverage and sun protection. Full of vitamin C, green tea, cranberry fruit, and pomegranate extract, this creme-like sunscreen will leave your skin feeling smooth and silky. Who doesn’t want that from a sunscreen? With suggested reapplication every two hours, this isn’t as long lasting as some sunscreens, but it certainly proves itself as a quality sunscreen with its ability to protect skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Suitable for all skin types, this sunscreen is even gentle enough for acne and rosacea prone skin.

Vichy Ideal Capital Soleil Sunscreen SPF 60 Ultra-Light Body and Face Sunscreen with Antioxidants and Vitamin E

Vichy is known in Europe as a trusted brand, and this sunscreen does not disappoint. Free of oil, fragrance, and PABA, this sunscreen is non-comedogenic and is safe for those with combination skin. Vichy’s sunscreen will not leave you with a greasy or sticky feeling after application, either. The sun-damage protecting ingredients make this is a great option if you plan to spend longer periods of time outdoors and exposed to the sun.

Burt’s Bees Skin Nourishment Day Lotion SPF 15

Burt’s Bees lightweight sunscreen lotion is great for combination skin because it’s light enough so it doesn’t clog pores in troubling areas, but moisturizing enough to hydrate the areas that need it most, without making your face appear oily. While this is a great daily SPF and moisturizer, it is only SPF 15, so wear with caution, especially on days where you expect to be in the sun for longer periods of time.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer 47

Josie Maran is a trusted cosmetics and skincare brand. The Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 reminds us why. Made with argan oil and green tea, this sunscreen soothes the skin and helps balance skin texture. The product is chemical free and is infused with antioxidants, called SunBoost ATB, which provides protection from the sun while also helping to hydrate and rejuvenate skin. Not only is this a sunscreen, but it also moisturizes, helps combat dull and uneven texture, and repairs uneven skin. Talk about multitasking. Reviewers with combination and sensitive skin report that they experienced no negative reactions to this product. Plus, the product is translucent so you won’t have to deal with any pesky white residue when using this.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Face Sunscreen SPF 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

La Roche-Posay’s award-winning sunscreen for sensitive skin is recommended by more than 25,000 dermatologists around the world. Formulated with cell-OX technology combining EVA/UVB to provide broad spectrum protection, the brand has built up its reputation as a skin care friendly sunscreen, durable on even the most sensitive skin. If you are weary of adding both a sunscreen and moisturizer to your daily skincare routine, this is a great replacement for your moisturizer and can be used dually as both a sunscreen and moisturizer.

COOLA Suncare Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Matte Tint

Users compare the texture of this mineral matte sunscreen to whipped mousse, describing it as weightless and non-greasy. The sunscreen is made with rosehip oil, which is full of vitamin C and is great for all skin types. Users with combination skin remarked that after trying several different types of sunscreen to no avail, they’ve finally found a keeper with COOLA’s sunscreen.

JULEP No Excuses Invisible Facial Sunscreen Gel SPF 40 with Rosehip Seed Oil and Vitamin E

Just like the name of this sunscreen indicates, there is no excuse not to wear sunscreen. Hate the feel of typical sunscreen? No problem. JULEP has created a sunscreen gel that is non greasy and so lightweight so you won’t even remember that you are wearing sunscreen. Completely transparent and fast absorbing, this gel sunscreen is easy to incorporate into your beauty regimen and perfect to wear under makeup. Made with rosehip oil, melon extract, and camellia seed oil, this sunscreen also soothes, nourishes, and smoothes skin while you’re wearing it.

Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen with Cellular Response Technology SPF 50

This water resistant and oil-free sunscreen is popular because of its anti-aging properties and long-lasting sun protection. Great for all skin types and moisturizing, while not looking greasy, this is a good option if you are looking for a daily sunscreen, reliable throughout the year. This sunscreen can be used on your face and body, too.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

You are a busy woman, and It Cosmetics knows it. This little miracle-in-a-tube serves as a cc cream, anti-aging serum, AND a sunscreen. Save yourself time and hassle with this sunscreen that doubles as an anti-aging serum and makeup product. This product is great for girls on the run who do not have much time to use several different products in the morning, but still want sun protection and a put together look.

Dermalogica Powerbright TRX Pure Light SPF 50 Face Moisturizer

This lightweight sunscreen moisturizer protects your face all day long without clogging your pores or causing breakouts. The ingredients in this product also work on a cellular level to enhance skin tone and eliminate your dark spots by gently exfoliating your skin, resulting in younger looking, brighter, and more youthful skin. Plus, at SPF 50, it is a great sunscreen option if you spend long periods of time in the sun.

Skinmedica Total Defense Plus Repair Sunscreen SPF 50

Dermatologists and skin care professionals love this brand and this sunscreen because of the combination of UVA/UVB protection and total defense it offers. It works well on all skin types, and is trusted by dermatologists and beauty professionals alike. You do not have to worry about dryness or excess oil when wearing this sunscreen. It goes on smoothly and you will forget that you are even wearing sunscreen.

Sun Bum SPF 30 Lip Balm

If you have ever had a sunburn on your lips you know why we are including Sun Bum’s SPF lip balm on our list. Sunburned lips aren’t only painful, it is also dangerous to get a sunburn on your lips. The skin on your lips is extremely thin, making it highly susceptible to skin damage and even cancer. Protect your lips with this SPF 30 lip balm and never experience a painful lip sunburn again.

Sunscreen: The Facts

Ask any beauty or skincare professional and they will tell you that their biggest skincare secret is sunscreen. We said it before and we will say it again. 90% of skin damage is caused by the sun. That means you can prevent 90% of the aging you see on your skin. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen every single day.

Why you need to wear sunscreen 365 days a year

You should wear sunscreen every day. That’s right. Every single day. Many people are under the misconception that it’s only important to wear sunscreen in the summer when the sun is shining. Wrong.

Sunscreen should be worn every single day, even in the winter and on overcast days. UV rays can be harmful even on cloudy days. In fact, clouds can actually intensify the harmful effects of the sun. Harmful UV rays penetrate clouds and still cause skin damage on cloudy and overcast days. Plus, incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine will make you more likely to remember to apply it daily. Just like you remember to brush your teeth every day because it has been ingrained into your mind, you should apply sunscreen every day too. You are more likely to remember to wear sunscreen if it becomes a habitual part of your daily routine.

Here are some of the benefits of sunscreen:

  • One of the most important - sunscreen helps  protects you from skin cancer
  • Sunscreen prevents brown spots and skin discoloration
  • Sunscreen prevents premature aging and wrinkles
  • Sunscreen shields from harmful UV Rays that can cause skin disorders

What to look for in a sunscreen?

Sunscreens are complex because they have to be formulated in such a way that it has to be strong enough to fight and protect against the powerful rays of the sun. On the flip side of that, you need to be careful with what sunscreen you select, as it can irritate your skin. This is especially important for those with combination skin, as many sunscreens can cause breakouts. Many sunscreens today have antioxidants and other ingredients that soothe and help repair your skin while protecting it from the sun. Look for a sunscreen that has active ingredients that will repair your skin. These include:

  • Zinc oxide
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Avobenzone
  • Octyl methoxycinnamate

You will also want to opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen that is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. This will reduce skin irritation and lowers the risk of breakouts.

How can I get that golden bronze tan without the sun damage?

If you still want a bronzed look, you do not have to (and shouldn’t) forgo your sunscreen or spend hours in the sun. There are great self bronzers that look natural, and best of all, keep your skin safe. The St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse is highly rated and gives you a beautiful bronzed look without the harmful sun exposure. Kate Somerville’s Somerville360 face and body towelettes are also safe and effective self-tanning towelettes that will give you that glowing tan. You can save your skin and still get that glowing look by using self tanners.

Final sunscreen and sun care tips

  • Always apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun or water exposure. This gives your skin time to absorb the sunscreen. If you wait until you are already outdoors, your skin is unprotected and can get burned.
  • Reapply your sunscreen often. Even if the sunscreen is long-lasting, take extra precaution and apply sunscreen every few hours - especially if you are in the water or sweating.
  • Remember the hairline. Skin cancer along the hairline is more common than one would think.
  • Wear a hat! Scalp sunburns are painful and just as dangerous as sunburns on the skin. Plus, wearing a hat also shields your face from excessive sun exposure.
  • See a dermatologist annually if you have moles to make sure none of them become cancerous.

Now you know why you need to wear sunscreen, and you have the tools to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Never let your combination skin prevent you from protecting your skin. Sunscreen is the number one way to protect your skin from premature aging. Keep your radiant, youthful looking, and bright looking skin healthy.