These non-greasy staples are set to become your new sun saviours  

We know the drill: sunscreen is an everyday essential that helps protect skin against harmful UV rays and, thus, premature ageing. If, however, your skin is oily, you may have been put off in the past by thick, heavy creams that leave behind a greasy film of residue. 

Thankfully, this is no longer the case as the latest SPFs boast new-generation formulas, spanning everything from silky fluids to dry-touch gels that are laced with skin-loving ingredients. So much more than an SPF, these savvy staples hydrate, mattify and prevent pigmentation – all while providing the best protection for you and your family. 

You’ll find thousands of summer essentials at Boots, including a vast selection of sunscreens for oily skin that will suit every budget. So, whether you’re heading to a festival, beach, wedding or barbecue, be sure to arm yourself with one of these souped-up shields for everyday protection. Summer had better be ready for us! 

Which sunscreen is best for oily skin? 

‘Lightweight, oil-free sunscreens are the best formulations for oily skin types,' says Dr Catharine Denning, advanced aesthetic doctor. Some sunscreens also include mattifying ingredients that those who are shine-prone might find helpful. In terms of texture, Dr Denning recommends gel – ‘it’s one of the best options for oily skin.’  When choosing between mineral vs chemical sunscreens, Dr Denning confirms that both are fine for oily skin. Although if your skin’s sensitive, mineral sunscreen may be best as it’s generally considered gentler. There are also a number of sunscreens out there that use a combination of mineral and chemical filters to ward off UV damage in a variety of ways and, if you’re worried about a white cast, opt for a tinted or an invisible formula that dries without a trace. 

What to avoid when choosing the best sunscreen for oily skin 

Try to avoid rich formulas that contain ingredients that are more likely to clog pores. ‘As you can imagine, the more oil you add to an already oily complexion, the more likely you are to cause congestion and leave skin shiny,’ says Dr Denning. 

Watch out for ones that are occlusive-heavy. ‘The most commonly-used occlusives are petrolatum and silicone-based ingredients, which seal over sweat glands, blocking the pores from releasing oil, and which can lead to congestion.’  

Our pick of the best sunscreen for oily skin at Boots
Best for everyday wear

Eucerin Sun Protection Oil Control Dry Touch Sun Gel-Cream SPF50+ (£16)

• Size: 50ml 

Want a sunscreen that’s ultra-lightweight and sits well under make-up? Meet your new go-to. This gel-to-cream formula quickly sinks into skin delivering maximum UVA and UVB protection while helping balance a slippery T-zone (thanks to L-Carnitine). Skin is left matte, shine-free and perfectly primed for your base.

Best for dark spots

Garnier Ambre Solaire Anti-Dark Spots & Anti-Pollution Super UV SPF50+ (£8)

• Size: 40ml

• Non-comedogenic

• Fragrance-free 

Another great everyday SPF for oily skin, this non-comedogenic face fluid is loaded with very high protection as well as nourishing vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to help prevent sun-induced dark spots. Skin is left hydrated and protected without any leftover residue. Top tip? Shake well before application.

Best for under make-up

Clinique Superdefense City Block SPF50 Daily Energy + Face Protector (£23)

• Size: 40ml

• SPF50

• Non-comedogenic

• Fragrance-free

• Tinted formula 

Clinique know a thing or two about skincare and their City Block SPF50 is a firm favourite that’s loved for its weightless texture, oil-free formula and hydrating benefits (thanks to hyaluronic acid). It also doubles up as a primer with a hint of tint to re-energize skin.

Best for a matte finish

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel SPF50+ (£18)

• Size: 50ml

• SPF50+

• Non-comedogenic

• Fragrance-free

This new generation SPF is formulated with Airlicium (an ingredient used by NASA) that absorbs three times its weight in oil to keep skin matte and shine-free. It also contains the brand’s hydrating Thermal Spring Water and a patented filtering system to protect skin from UV rays.

Best for maximum protection

Soltan Face Protect & Moisturise SPF50+ (£5.50)

• Size: 50ml

• Maximum 5 star UVA protection 

Swap your heavy-duty moisturiser for this non-greasy SPF. Not only does the lightweight cream protect skin from harmful UVB and UVA rays (with the highest UVA star rating – one of the ways sunscreens indicate UVA protection levels, though it’s not the only means), it also helps smooth and hydrate skin (as oily skin can also be dehydrated). This is thanks to a hefty dose of powerhouse ingredients, including shea butter and glycerin.

Best for the beach

 La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 SPF50+ Invisible Fluid (£18)

• Size: 50ml

In terms of texture, fluid formulas reign supreme for oily skin types. And this one, from La Roche-Posay, comes up trumps, protecting skin from UVB and UVA without leaving behind a greasy residue. What’s more, it’s invisible and resistant to water, sweat and sand.

Best for premature ageing

Soltan Face Protect & Moisturise SPF30 (£5.50)

• Size: 50ml

• Maximum 5 star UVA protection 

If you’re after an SPF 30 that’s suitable for oily skin types, you can’t go too wrong with this formula. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, contains an anti-ageing complex and protects against both UVB and UVA rays that can contribute to fine lines and wrinkles.

Best for congestion

 La Roche-Posay Anthelios Oil Correct SPF50 (£25)

• Size: 50ml

Hands down one of the best sunscreens for oily skin around, this broad-spectrum protector is laced with salicylic acid to decongest pores, niacinamide to even skin tone as well as zinc to reduce shine. Tick, tick, tick! 

Best for humid conditions

Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF50 PA++++ (£40)

• Size: 60ml

• Non-comedogenic

• Fragrance-free  

Specifically created with oily skin types in mind, this refreshing gel SPF stands up to humid conditions with its dry-touch formula that leaves skin with a velvet matte finish. In addition to UVA and UVB protection, it also protects skin from environmental aggressors like pollution.

Best for city breaks

Shiseido Urban Environment Age Defense SPF30 (£34)

• Size: 30ml

• Oil-free

Off on a city break? Protect your skin from harmful UV rays and environmental aggressors with this hard-working SPF30 that’s brimming with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. Suitable for all skin types, including oily, the silky texture spreads seamlessly without ever feeling sticky.

Best for on the go

Clarins Mineral Sun Care Face Compact SPF30 (£27)

• Size: 15ml 

This clever compact from Clarins is the ultimate handbag hero that can be used to touch up your SPF wherever and whenever needed. A mineral formula, it protects skin from UV rays with high-level filters and plant-based extracts. It’s also tinted for a soft-focus finish. 

Best for water resistance

Bondi Sands Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+ (£6.99)

• Size: 75ml

• Fragrance-free 

Although this SPF is brimming with hydrating ingredients, like aloe vera and vitamin E, it doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy or uncomfortable. Instead, it sinks straight in to provide UVA and UVB protection that’s resistant to water for up to four hours – impressive, right?

All prices correct on date of publication