For a product that has so many wonderful qualities — protecting us from sun damage! preventing fine lines and spots! — sunscreen sure does come with a lot of bummer side effects. From being thick and pasty to stinging your eyes, nothing feels quite as insulting than when a formula breaks you out. You were trying to do something good for your skin, dammit.
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, the mineral sunscreens can sit on top of your skin and gunk up pores, while the 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. Hallelujah.
Ahead, we've rounded up tried-and-true mineral and chemical sunscreens to protect your skin without irritating it.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.