For a product that has so many wonderful qualities — protecting us from sun damage! preventing fine lines and hyperpigmentation! — sunscreen sure does come with a lot of bummer side effects. Bad formulas can be heavy or ashy or get stuck in your eyebrows, but nothing feels quite as insulting as when your SPF breaks you out. You were trying to do something good for your skin, after all.
According to dermatologist Jennifer M. Segal, MD, two things can cause sunscreen-related pimples: Clogged pores from comedogenic ingredients or a sensitivity to chemical UV-blocking agents. In other words, mineral sunscreens can sit on top of your skin and gunk up pores, while chemical ones might irritate vulnerable skin.
Until now. Thanks to some forward-thinking formula innovations, sunscreen's reputation is starting to change. "Traditionally, mineral blocks have been very thick, but newer micronized formulations of zinc and titanium dioxide are smooth, cosmetically elegant, and very light," says Dr. Segal.
Ahead, we've rounded up 25 tried-and-true mineral and chemical sunscreens to protect your skin without having to deal with flare-ups.
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