Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin



Good Morning Ladies!

Beauty Mantra is on the lookout for best sunscreen for oily skin. People with oily skin have to be more choosy with their skin care products. During the extreme of summers in May and June I like to wear light make-up. Especially when I have to step out in the sun. And many times I wear just a good sunscreen. I am sure there are others like me out there. So I thought of researching the market and reviewing some sunscreens suitable for oily skin!

What Are We Looking For?

I am looking for the following qualities in a good sunscreen

  1. Should balance oily skin
  2. Should prevent oil secretion
  3. Should have high SPF
  4. Should offer protection against both UVA and UVB
  5. Price
  6. Availability

The Testing Process

I recruited 2 family members my cousin sister (age 36 years) and my sister in law (age 20) and 2 friends (both around 28 years of age). All of them have oily skin. We identified 6 sunscreens from commonly available and popular brands. The brands are

  1. Lakme
  2. VLCC
  3. Lotus
  4. Neutrogena

Each lady tried 3 sunscreen. The trial period for each sunscreen was 1 week. This means each sunscreen was tried by 2 people. The sunscreen was applied by the our ladies after morning skin care routine (scrubbing, cleansing, toning etc).  Based on their inputs we have compiled the following review.

I would like to add a disclaimer here. The reviews given below are based on individual likes, preferences, and opinions.

Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin – The Opinions

VLCC Matte Look Sun Screen Lotion SPF 30 PA+++

This is a popular product from VLCC and has a oil free formulation. It is light on the skin and is easily absorbed. It has matte effect on the skin but not much. For very oily skin the matte effect disappeared in about 1-2 hours and oiliness returned in the skin. Skin remains oil free longer if a toner is applied in the morning. SPF is 30 which is good given the fact that we are rarely out in the sun for extended periods. The product is PA+++. So the product offers protection against both UVA and UVB. Price is reasonable at MRP of Rs 245 per 100 gm (On VioletBag.com). The product is also easily available at general stores and chemist shops.

From a score of 10 we are deducting 2 points because it does not control oil secretion very well. We are deducting 1 point because SPF is 30 which may be less for some!

Final Score 7/10

VLCC Oil Free Sunscreen Gel SPF 15 PA+

This is a basic sunscreen product from VLCC. The best part is that it is gel based therefore quick to apply and spreads evenly. In our experience we found that it was absorbed quickly. The skin did not look very matte after application and the oily look on face was back rather quickly. Aloe Vera extract gives cool feeling on application. Since SPF is 15 and its only PA+ the sunscreen may not be suitable for fierce Indian summers. MRP of 235 for 100ml tube. This can also be bought online from violetbag.com.

We are deducting 2 points each for low SPF and low PA.

Final Score 6/10

Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel SPF 50 PA+++

Oil free formulation ideal for oily skin. There is some matte effect after application. Though the effect disappears quickly for oily skin. Applying gel based sunscreen after applying toner gives better relief from oily skin. Price is slightly on the higher side at MRP of Rs 225 for 50gm (or Rs 450 for 100 gm) makes it about twice as costly as VLCC Matte Look Sunscreen lotion. This is a big negative.

We are deducting 3 points for high cost and 1 point for not so good ability to stop oil secretion. At the same time we are giving +1 for high SPF.

Final Score 7/10

Lakme Sun Expert Fairness + UV Lotion SPF 24 PA++

Lakme is an established brand with a long history and some iconic products. I have always felt comfortable using Lakme. This sunscreen is also a part of  Lakme’s latest Sun Expert Range.

The product fell below our expectations. Even though the bottle said the product is suitable for all kin types it left a yucky “chip-chip” feeling long time after being applied. Stepping out in the sun with this sunscreen on can gurantee one thing – You will attract a lot of dust and pollution. Also it does practically nothing to control oiliness.

SPF 24 is slightly low – neither here nor there kind of SPF. PA++ is good but PA+++ would have been appreciated. MRP is Rs 180 approx for 50ml. Good point is that the product is easily available. Verdict – A BIG let-down considering Lakme brand name.

Final Score 6/10

Lakme Sun Expert Fairness + UV Lotion SPF 30 PA+

This product is also a part of Lakme’s latest Sun Expert Range and is suitable for oily skin. We had high hopes from this sunscreen because the tube says it is for oily skin.

And were we delighted! When we first poured the sunscreen on our palms the unanimous feeling was – “Now this feels like it is meant for oily skin”. It was so light to feel. Non oily formula means it was absorbed very quickly by skin. The feeling was “I can step out in the sun immediately after applying this sunscreen” – It was so quickly absorbed.

It prevented skin from becoming oily for a long time. Our testers reported freedom from facial oiliness for an average of 4+ hours which is excellent. This may be because the product has mineral clay? (Will appreciate reader’s input here. Do you think mineral clay in cosmetics help fight oiliness longer?). Face and arms felt cool after application.

The downside is only PA+ (remember PA offers protection against UVA rays). PA++ would have been much better since UVA causes much sun damage.

MRP is Rs 180 for a 50ml tube.

Deducting 2 points for low UVA protection. Otherwise a great sunscreen

Final Score 8/10

Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50+ PA+++

Neutrogena offers some amazing sun protection solution. So we decided to evaluate this product. And Neutrogena did not disappoint. This is an extremely light sunscreen and is absorbed very quickly leaving a fresh dry feeling. After applying the sunscreen there was no shine on the face. We mean absolutely none. The company claims its Helioplex technology offers superior sun protection. But we have no way of verifying this claim. But the plus points are

  1. Extremely light on the skin no oily feeling on application
  2. Very High SPF of 50 & PA+++
  3. No shine after application
  4. Oiliness is controlled (but for less time than Lakme Sun Expert +UV Lotion SPF 30 PA+)

The negative is price which is Rs 500 for 88ml. But for those who are not price sensitive this may well be the best sunscreen for oily skin.

Final Score 9/10

Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin – The Verdict

Based on our experience of using the above products for 1 week we are proposing 2 sunscreens as being best for oily skin

  1. Lakme Sun Expert Fairness + UV Lotion SPF 30 PA+ – Amazing oil control and easy on your purse! but low on UVA Protection :-(
  2. Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50 PA+++ – Very light on skin does not give oily feeling or shine to the face. High SPF and UVA+++ protection. But negative is high cost.

Your feedback/ reviews are most welcome.

13 Responses to Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

  1. Gajgamini August 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Very nice and comprehensive review. Thanks.

  2. Shikhar October 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Great review … helped me a lot. Thanks :)

    • admin October 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

      Thanks Shikhar….

  3. Ashume November 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    thanx,i will try

  4. sandeep December 3, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    As per ur advice I tried neutrogena, but still my face oily
    Suggest any other sunscreen for me

  5. Savita Dsouza April 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Here i would like to bring to your notice that Neutrogena is a sun block. There is a vast difference between a sunscreen and a sun block for people with very sensititve skin or the ones getting sun rashes like i do sun blocks dont work. Sun rays arent totally bad so v dont have to block it just screen out the bad/harmful rays. so pls choose wisely

    • admin April 11, 2013 at 11:23 am #

      Hi Savita,
      Thanks for pointing out the difference. Great input! :-)

    • richa September 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      thanks for d information

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