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I am looking for just a sunscreen that won't aggravate my skin and acne. I am currently using a moisturizer that contains SPF 15, but I would like to get a sunscreen with a higher SPF, preferably a spray, but I am not sure how effective sprays actually are. The less touching of the face, the better for me, but if the best sunscreens are ones I would have to apply, then I will settle for that. Does anyone have any suggestions for good sunscreens that work for them that are effective and have not been problematic for causing aggravation to skin and breakouts?

10/03 Update:

So, I spent the entire night doing research on the best sunscreens to use because I had planned on getting Hawaiian Tropic Sensitive Skin SPF 30 later today. I am glad I did my research before forking out any money. All but one product under that brand name was rated a 7 out of 10 with high health concerns. I came across this information on the Environmental Working Group page which lists the safest sunscreens. Here is the link if you wish to look for yourself: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/

A rule of thumb you should know when looking for a sunscreen: if it says that it has an SPF of over 50, beware. According to the EWG, the FDA states that SPF's higher than 50+ are misleading. When you go to buy SPF 75 or 100, you are not getting what you are paying for.

So, upon looking at the top rated sunscreens, I continued to do research on the product and looked at user reviews from various different sites. What I noticed is this: The top rated sunscreens (rated 1) appeared to all contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide as the key ingredients. Safer, more natural, and organic, supposedly, but not good news for acne prone skin like mine. The constant complaint I read was how heavy the sunscreens were and how they would turn the skin white (as a mime). Another issue I continuously found in reviews was that it seemed that breakouts and clogged pores were another constant theme. It sounds to me that the breakouts may be caused by the two Oxides, so it sucks but I have to stray away from the safest products in order to spare my face from the itching, redness, and irritation possibly caused by these ingredients. Basically, I wasn't able to find reviews stating "no breakouts" until products on the list that were around a rating of 5 ("caution" rating). This is where Octinoxate, Octisalate, and Oxybenzone become the key ingredients that replace the two Oxides. This is what the reasonably priced drugstore sunscreens appear to consist of, which is why they have ratings as high as they do stating to "avoid" these products. I found several between the 3 and 5 rating ("caution"), but the price was too far out of my range, I could not instantly determine whether the product was non-comedogenic without a lot more research, or I wasn't able to find any reviews to determine whether users had problems with irritation, clogged pores, and/or breakouts.

I came across DERMAdoctor Body Guard exquisitely light SPF 30 for face and body. Sure, it had a rating of 5, but that seems to be about all I can get at this point when dealing with acne and with what sounds like a very good possibility of irritation and breaking out with lower rated sunscreens, and it being in the "caution" category is better than being in the "avoid" category so I bought one 4 oz. bottle (which is good for the price considering most companies were asking the same price or more for a 1.7 oz. bottle of their brand). These are basically the two statements from the page that sold me on the product, "Simply apply it and within minutes it's no longer noticeable; no greasy texture, pore plugging, acne or rosacea flare-ups or dripping into the eyes," and, "Body Guard is most definitely oil-free and non-comedogenic. But to make things even better, forty five percent of individuals enrolled in comedogenicity testing of this product found their acne improved; presumably in response to a reduction in surface skin oils."

Plus, the site is having a sale until the 6th where everything is 20% off. It ended up being cheaper than Amazon.com with the discount, and though the shipping was about .20 more than Amazon, I have a feeling that I will probably get it sooner with the shipping through this company. Plus, you get to pick 3 free samples from a list of products when you are placing your order (and since I purchased a sunscreen, I got an additional 5 day sample of dietary supplements that have a retail value of $10 on top of all the discount and sample perks). :dance: The site is also accredited with the Better Business Bureau (I am a stickler for dealing with companies that are accredited and/or have an A+ rating with the BBB) with an A+ rating so I shouldn't have any problems with them if I need to make a return and I can feel secure in the fact that they are a legit online company.

It looks like the brand DERMAdoctor sells quite a bit of products, including acne cleansers, retinol, facial microdermabrasion and chemical peel, body scrubs, anti-wrinkle products for those of us with mature skin, and even deodorants. Obviously, I can't make a recommendation that these products are effective (I can only review the sunscreen after using it for a while), but here is the link for those of you that may be looking into any of these types of products offered:


The site also sells MANY other brands including Cetaphil, CerVe, Aveeno, and others that I can't even afford to look at! These are easy to access through the link. Just click the "Brands" tab on the top left, or on the brand you are looking for on the long list at the very bottom of the page. Hopefully this site will be able to help at least some of you out.

Happy searching!

10/31 Update:

I have been using the DERMAdoctor sunscreen for a couple of weeks now and I love it. I have not had a single problem with it causing a breakout. I can't honestly comment on whether it is improving my acne since I am on the DKR and my face was clear prior to beginning use of the sunscreen. It certainly hasn't made my complexion worse! It is extremely light and a bit moisturizing. It leaves no white residue whatsoever and it leaves a matte finish instead of being greasy. Even though it is a sunscreen for face and body, I only use it on my face because it is too expensive to use on body. I have ordered SuperGoop to use as my body sunscreen (it only rates a 3 on the EWG toxicity level). Once I run out of my DERMAdoctor, I will experiment with the SuperGoop on my face to see how it affects my complexion since SuperGoop is so much more affordable and safer.

Edited by MINIac

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wow, thankyou for posting this and all the research!! :)

I am amazed! Thank you for actually reading all that!

You are welcome. :)

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Yes thank you for this post! It was so interesting for me to read because last summer I splashed out on this really expensive chemical free, environmentally friendly, cleaned your house sunscreen because i was told that it was "really good for your acne" so of course I bought it. After using it a couple of days consecutively I started developing these swollen cysts on my cheeks and chin. I thought it was unusual because usually sand and surf being relaxed really help my skin but i didnt link the two. After a few months of using it I started to subconsciously think that sunscreen wasnt doing me any favours and went back to my regular chemical laden suncreen.

So Summers rolling round again here in oz and I was just pondering whether I was being crazy thinking it was the sunscreen that was giving me acne. And you know what? top two ingredients on the bottle is the two oxides!

Thanks MINIac Im staying well clear

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my derm reccomended Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 sunscreen made specifically for acne prone skin...kinda pricey so i haven't bought it yet but they have it on amazon ;) the samples i tried were really nice

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I have yet to find a good moisturizer with sunscreen that provides high enough uva/uvb protection, but doesn't break me out. I'll check that out.

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