Sunscreen Ingredients To Avoid if You Have Acne-Prone Skin

Sunscreen Ingredients To Avoid if You Have Acne-Prone Skin

Published by Jill Goorman on Jul 13th 2022

You probably already know you should wear sunscreen if you plan to spend prolonged time by the pool or on the lake; however, sunscreen should be a part of your daily skincare routine regardless of the weather or season. With that in mind, some formulas contain chemicals that can cause unwanted breakouts and wreak havoc on your skin. Discover the sunscreen ingredients to avoid if you have acne-prone skin and make the best choice for yourself.


Benzophenones are common UV filters in several sunscreen formulas, and oxybenzone and avobenzone are the most popular compounds. Interestingly, many people don’t have issues with these chemicals, but they may cause intense skin reactions and lead to breakouts for people with ultra-sensitive skin.

Certain Oils and Butters

Many sunscreens contain comedogenic oils and butters like coconut oil, cocoa butter, wheat germ oil, and soybean oil. Although they’re natural ingredients, they may clog pores and result in increased acne breakouts. Instead, choose products with non-acnegenic oils like sunflower, rosehip, or jojoba.


Although it might seem like a good idea to use a sunscreen that smells like coconuts and bananas, these fragrances can irritate your skin and cause redness, clogged pores, and breakouts. You can avoid perfumes by smelling the product and ensuring the packaging clearly states “fragrance-free.”

What To Look for Instead

Now that you know what to avoid, you should also know what to look for instead. Sunscreen for sensitive acne-prone skin often contains minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which provide a shield to protect your skin from UV damage. In addition, look for products that are non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, as they’re gentle enough for sensitive skin but still provide protection from the sun.

Knowing the sunscreen ingredients to avoid if you have acne-prone skin can save you from uncomfortable breakouts and skin irritation. You might think it’s better to avoid sunscreen and risk burning, but sun damage can be harmful long after the redness fades. Sun protection doesn’t have to be harsh; you just have to know what you’re looking for in a product.