13 Best Sunscreens For Acne-Prone Skin – Reviews (2022)

Try any of these sunscreens meant for acne-prone skin and protect your skin from sun damage.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Schwarzburg, MD
By Oyendrila Kanjilal, Certified Skin Care Coach
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Sunscreen helps to prevent wrinkles, clogging-pores and protect your skin from harsh sun rays. In addition, acne-prone skin is likely to develop hyperpigmentation post-inflammation. This is why you need the best sunscreen for acne-prone skin to keep your skin protected from sun damage and prevent acne scars from becoming permanent.

In this article, there is a list of the 13 best sunscreens that are oil-free and suitable for acne-prone skin. Read on below!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Overall: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
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Best Dermatologist-Recommended:Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen
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Best Non-Comedogenic: Sun Bum Face Stick
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Best Lightweight: Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen
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Best Fast-Absorbing: Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen
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Best Non-Greasy: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen
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Best Fragrance-Free: Cetaphil Dermacontrol Facial Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin
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Best For Soft Skin: Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Faces Weightless Sunscreen
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Best Organic: Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer
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Best Non-Irritating: Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35
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13 Sunscreens For Acne-Prone Skin

1. Best Overall: EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

The EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen is a dermatologist-recommended product that helps calm, soothe, and protect sensitive skin. This mineral-based sunscreen is silky and lightweight. It contains zinc oxide and offers broad-spectrum coverage against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. It does not leave behind any residue.

The active ingredients are 9.0% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octinoxateinactive. Other ingredients are Purified Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Peg-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lactic Acid, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, and Butylene Glycol.

Check out this video where they have tested the sunscreen indoors as well as outdoors.

Pros

  • Protects from UVA and UVB rays
  • Antioxidant protection combats free radicals
  • Colorless
  • Odorless
  • Trusted for 25 years
  • Oil-free
  • Contains zinc oxide
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Recommended for acne-prone skin, rosacea, and discoloration
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Does not leave residue
  • Recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation

Cons

  • Not for people with dry skin
  • May cause allergic reaction (perform patch test before use)
  • Expensive for a drugstore brand

2. Best Dermatologist-Recommended: Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen

The Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen is a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer. It is made with Helioplex technology that offers an impressively broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection with SPF110, which helps shield six layers of skin from sun damage and aging. The moisturizing ingredients hydrate and replenish the skin with a youthful glow. The sunscreen is PABA-free, doesn’t clog pores, and is dermatologist-tested. For a thorough demo of using this lotion sunscreen, you can check this video out on YouTube.

The active ingredients are: Avobenzone 3% (sunscreen), Homosalate 15% (sunscreen), Octisalate 5% (sunscreen), Octocrylene 10% (sunscreen), and Oxybenzone 6% (sunscreen). Other ingredients include water, styrene/acrylates copolymer, silica, beeswax, cyclopentasiloxane, ethylhexylglycerin, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, chlorphenesin, triethanolamine, disodium EDTA, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, BHT, methylisothiazolinone, diethylhexyl 2,6-naphthalate, and fragrance.

Pros

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Broad spectrum SPF of 110
  • Protects skin from photodamage and aging
  • Protects from UV-A and UV-B rays
  • PABA-free
  • Oil-free
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May cause eye irritation if it gets into your eyes
  • May cause redness
  • May leave a white residue

3.Best Non-Comedogenic: Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Face Stick

The Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Face Stick is a vegan, reef-friendly, broad spectrum moisturizing roll-on stick sunscreen enriched with vitamin E. It is non-greasy, non-comedogenic, dermatologist-approved, and water-resistant. It is suitable for all skin types. This sunscreen is hypoallergenic. It is paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and octinoxate-free.

Ingredients of this product include Avobenzone 2.00%, Homosalate 15.00%, Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.00%, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Beeswax, BHT, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Fragrance, Ozokerite, Paraffin, Polyester-8, Polyethylene, and Tocopheryl Acetate.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Enriched with vitamin E
  • Oil-free, non-greasy
  • Dermatologist-approved
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Octinoxate-free
  • Oxybenzone-free

Cons

  • Less quantity for the price
  • Not suitable for tropical climates

4. Best Lightweight: Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen

The Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen is specially formulated for acne-prone skin. It has an SPF of 55. It is stabilized with Helioplex technology and features an active ingredient, avobenzone. This light sunscreen leaves a matte finish. It allows the skin to breathe and keeps skin problems at bay. It is non-comedogenic and non-greasy.

The active ingredients are Avobenzone 2.7% (sunscreen), Homosalate 4% (sunscreen), Octisalate 4.5% (sunscreen), Octocrylene 6% (sunscreen), and Oxybenzone 4.5% (sunscreen). Inactive ingredients are acrylates/dimethicone copolymer, BHT, bisabolol, butylene glycol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, capryloyl glycine, caprylyl glycol, cedrus atlantica bark extract, cetyl dimethicone, chlorphenesin, cinnamomum zeylanicum bark extract, diethylhexyl 2,6-naphthalate, dimethicone, disodium EDTA, ethylhexyl stearate, ethylhexylglycerin, mannan, neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, phenoxyethanol, polyester-7, portulaca oleracea extract, propylene glycol, sarcosine, silica, sodium polyacrylate, steareth-100, steareth-2, styrene/acrylates copolymer, trideceth-6, xanthan gum, water.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • SPF 55
  • Dermatologist-approved
  • Non-greasy
  • Lightweight
  • Protects from UVA and UVB rays
  • Doesn’t clog pores
  • Water-resistant up to 80 minutes

Cons

  • Needs a couple of minutes to absorb into the skin
  • May not be suitable for skin prone to rashes
  • May cause eye irritation

5.Best Fast-Absorbing: Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen

The Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen is a non-comedogenic, water-resistant, and kid-friendly moisturizing lotion with an SPF of 50. It is lightweight and fast-absorbing. It does not have a typical “sunscreen” smell as some of its key ingredients are extracts of citrus, basil, bois de rose, and sunflower.

The active ingredients are Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octinoxate, Octisalate Extract, and Rosemary Leaf Extract. It comes in a travel-friendly small, slim tube. Click here to check out this YouTuber’s unbiased review.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Natural key ingredients
  • Fast absorbing
  • SPF 50
  • Travel-friendly packaging
  • Doesn’t leave a white residue
  • Odorless
  • Hydrating
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not oil-free

6.Best Non-Greasy: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay is a premium and trusted skin care brand. The Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen from La Roche-Posay is oil-free and is formulated with Cell-Ox Shield technology (which makes it specially designed for sensitive skin). It offers broad-spectrum SPF 60 protection. It combines UVA and UVB filters and antioxidants that protect your skin from the sun and free radicals. It has an oil-absorbing property and gives your skin a matte finish. It does not clog pores. However, if you want to understand how to use the product, check this video out.

The active ingredients are Avobenzone 3% (sunscreen), Homosalate 15% (sunscreen), Octisalate 5% (sunscreen), and Octocrylene 7% (sunscreen). The inactive ingredients are water, silica, dicaprylyl carbonate, styrene/acrylates copolymer, butyloctyl salicylate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, nylon-12, PEG-100 stearate, glyceryl stearate, perlite, beeswax, ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, phenoxyethanol, PEG-8 laurate, behenyl alcohol, sodium stearoyl glutamate, chlorphenesin, p-anisic acid, xanthan gum, tocopherol, disodium EDTA, arachidyl alcohol, diethylhexyl syringylidenemalonate, propylene glycol, cassia alata leaf extract, maltodextrin, stearyl alcohol, t-butyl alcohol, caprylic/capric triglyceride.

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Formulated with exclusive Cell-OX Shield technology: UVA/UVB filters + Antioxidants
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • SPF 60
  • Tested on sensitive skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Octinoxate-free
  • Allergy tested
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Water-resistant (80 minutes)

Cons

  • Not suitable for dry skin
  • Expensive
  • May leave a white residue on your skin

7.Best Fragrance-Free: Cetaphil Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin With Sunscreen

Cetaphil is a known and trusted drugstore brand. This product from the brand is made for acne-prone, sensitive skin. It doesn’t clog pores. It is lightweight, non-greasy, and is absorbed quickly into the skin. It is formulated with Oleosome technology that causes less irritation and greater hydration. It has also shown to reduce dryness and skin roughness in people undergoing acne treatment.

The active ingredients are: Avobenzone 3%, Octisalate (5%), and Octocrylene (7%). The inactive ingredients are water, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Silica, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sucrose Tristearate, Dimethiconol, Pentylene Glycol, Polysorbate 61, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Panthenol, Triethanolamine, Allantoin, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Zinc Gluconate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, and Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Gentle
  • Fragrance-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Oil-free
  • Clinically tested for tolerability with acne treatment
  • SPF 30
  • Controls shine
  • Hydrates skin
  • Lightweight and gentle
  • Absorbs quickly

Cons

  • Avoid contact with the eyes
  • May not be very mattifying for oily skin
  • Not suitable for application under makeup

8.Best For Soft Skin: Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Sunscreen

The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Sunscreen is a pocket-friendly, broad spectrum UVA and UVB sun-protection moisturizer. It is lightweight and has SPF 30. It is recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV sunscreen. The formula is breathable, has a silky finish, and leaves your skin soft and glowing.

The active ingredients are Avobenzone 2.0%, Homosalate 5.5%, Octisalate 4.5%, and Octocrylene 4.0.

Pros

  • SPF 30
  • Recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation
  • Hydrating
  • Lightweight
  • Silky texture
  • Leaves the skin soft and glowing
  • Water-resistant (80 minutes)

Cons

  • Not fragrance-free
  • Not suitable for use in tropical climate

9.Best Organic:Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer is a zinc-based sunscreen that hydrates the skin and protects its natural moisture barrier. It provides broad-spectrum protection to the skin to prevent the signs of premature aging caused by harmful sun rays. This fast-absorbing formula blends well into the skin without leaving a white cast. It has organic pomegranate, aloe vera juice. And malic acid that soothes your acne-prone skin and clarifies for a brighter skin tone

The active ingredients are Zinc, Aloe Leaf Juice, Pomegranate, Malic Acid.

Pros

  •  Organic
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Suitable for oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin types
  •  Non-sticky
  •  Absorbs quickly
  •  Blends easily
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Silicone-free
  •  Chemical-free
  •  Gluten-free
  •  Vegan
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Synthetic fragrance-free

Cons

  •  Strong smell

10.Best Non-Irritating:Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen

The Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreeen is formulated with pure, gentle ingredients to provide broad spectrum protection against UV-A and UV-B rays. It is an anti-aging sunscreen with SPF 35. It is enriched with smoothing silk extract, pore-tightening Japanese wild rose, and antioxidant-rich loquat leaf extract. This lightweight formula blends effortlessly into the skin to give a smooth and natural-looking skin.

The active ingredients are Octisalate 5% and Zinc Oxide 15%. Other ingredients include water, isododecane, cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Glycerine, Dimethycone, Octyldodecyl, Neopentanoate, Behenyl Alcohol, Rosa multiflora fruit extract, Eriobotrya Japonica Leaf Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract, Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Sericin. Algea Extract, Lecithin, Inositol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sorbitan Tristearate, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Silica, Potassium Sorbate, Beheneth-20, Disodium EDTA, Methicone,Tin Oxide, Mica, Iron Oxides, Alcohol, Fragrance, and Titanium Dioxide.

Pros

  • Non-irritating
  • Non-sensitizing
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Cruelty-free
  • Oil-free
  • No synthetic fragrances
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Free of urea, DEA, TEA, aminobenzoic acid, homosalate, oxybenzone, and octinoxate

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can have an unpleasant smell
  • Can be too shiny

11. Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non Greasy, Oil Free Sunscreen

The Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non Greasy, Oil Free Face & Body Sunscreen comes with SPF 50 and protects the skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays. The enriching antioxidants (vitamins A, E, and C), aloe, and kaolin help protect the skin from oxidative damage and give it a youthful glow. The formula is silky and is suitable for all skin types. It goes on smooth and leaves the skin soft and matte.

The active ingredients are Homosalate 10%, Oxybenzone 6%, Octisalate 5%, Avobenzone 3%, and Octocrylene 2%. Other ingredient are Water, Butylene Glycol (hydration/texture enhancing), PEG-8 (texture enhancing), Polyethylene (texture enhancing), Silica (absorbent), Dimethicone (hydration), Picea Excelsa Wood Extract (skin-soothing), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A/ antioxidant/skin replenishing), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Titanium Dioxide (texture enhancing), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (hydration/skin-soothing), Bentonite (absorbent), Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate (texture enhancing), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (texture enhancing), Sodium Polyacrylate (texture enhancing), Kaolin (absorbent), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (preservatives), and Chlorphenesin (preservative).

Pros

  • Soothes the skin
  • Absorbs excess oil
  • Water-resistant
  • Sweat-resistant
  • SPF 50
  • Soft and hydrating
  • Matte finish
  • Oil-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-irritating
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Texture may not be consistent
  • May not suit oily skin or tropical climates

12. Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen

The Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen is a super pocket-friendly and heavy-duty broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA/UVB rays. It provides SPF 30. The formula is non-greasy, sweat- and water-resistant, absorbed quickly, and won’t run into your eyes.

The active ingredients are Avobenzone 3% and Oxybenzone 4% (Sunscreen). The inactive ingredients are water, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Capryl Glycol, Hydrogenated Dimer Dilinoley/Dimethylcarbonate, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, and Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide Peg.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Protects from UVA and UVB rays
  • Non-greasy
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Absorbed quickly

Cons

  • May exaggerate pores
  • May leave a white residue
  • Can cause a burning sensation
  • May sting the eye if it gets in

13. COOLA Full Spectrum 360 Mineral Sun Silk Sunscreen

The COOLA Full Spectrum 360 Mineral Sun Silk Sunscreen provides broad spectrum SPF 30. It is enriched with vitamins and antioxidants and protects the skin from pollution and blue light. The main active ingredients are Zinc Oxide (15%) and plant-derived Full Spectrum 360° complex. These help mitigate skin aggressors. The plant stem cells and niacinamide help leave the skin looking youthful and naturally glowing.

Other ingredients include Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Didecyldimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Methylpropanediol, Niacinamide, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyisobutene, Polyquaternium-80, Propanediol, Schinus Molle Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, and Jasminum Sambac Leaf Cell Extract.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Reef-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • SPF 30
  • Enriched with plant-derived Full Spectrum 360° complex
  • Gives the skin a youthful glow
  • Good for application under makeup

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May leave the skin feeling dry
  • May leave a white residue

These are the top 13 sunscreens for sensitive, acne-prone skin. But how do you decide which one is the best? Here’s a list of things to keep in mind.

“SPF is a non-negotiable skincare product,” says, Dr. Schwarzburg, MD Cosmetic Dermatology. “The higher the SPF, the better. SPF 55 is great to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays that cause sun damage and premature aging. However, it is best to do a patch test on a small area before using a new product to ensure that you have no allergies or sensitivities to the cream and can safely use it.” The section below will guide you choose the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin. Take a look!

How To Choose Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin

When buying sunscreen for acne-prone skin, you have to be extra careful. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Buy a sunscreen that has SPF 30 or higher.
  • Check if the sunscreen is non-comedogenic.
  • Check if the sunscreen is hypoallergenic.
  • Check if the sunscreen has zinc oxide.
  • Buy mineral sunscreens. They do not clog pores.
  • Look for the ingredients list. If the product contains fragrance or oils, it is not for you.
  • Go for sunscreens that have a liquid-like or gel texture.
  • If possible, consult your dermatologist before buying sunscreen.

Managing acne-prone skin, especially in hot weather, can be quite challenging. The harmful sun rays also cause permanent hyperpigmentation, redness, and acne breakouts. Therefore, it would be best to use a sunscreen specially formulated for acne-prone skin to reduce inflammation and protect your skin from causing serious sun damage. These sunscreens are lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic. However, some products may dry out your skin and not be suitable for rosacea-prone skin. Pay close attention to your skin’s needs before picking up the right skin care product that ideally matches your skin type.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use sunscreen if I have acne?

Yes. Certain sunscreens contain ingredients like zinc oxide and niacinamide that reduce inflammation and relieve acne. Sun damage cause tanning that can make your acne look worse. So apply an acne-prone sunscreen if you have acne before going out in the sun.

Does sunscreen increase acne?

Certain sunscreens are oily and have ingredients that clog your pores and cause acne. Additionally, acne-prone skins are often sensitive to certain UV-blocking ingredients in the sunscreens which develop small bumps on your face. Therefore, always opt for non-comedogenic sunblocks that do not aggravate acne issues.

Can I sleep with sunscreen on?

No. Sleeping with sunscreen on is hazardous to your skin. Sunscreens are made with active ingredients that become inactive if left on the skin for a long time. Even non-comedogenic sunblocks start to clog your pores if not washed properly at the end of the day.

Is chemical sunscreen better for acne?

Chemical sunscreens are made with chemical active ingredients like oxybenzone. They allow the sun rays to be absorbed into the skin and thus are harmful to acne-prone skin. It can aggravate the inflammation and draw a lot of pigmentation in and around the affected area.

Is it okay to mix sunscreen with moisturizer if I have acne?

No. Mixing sunscreen with a moisturizer reaps no benefits. On top of that, the process can reduce the potency of the sunscreen, and also clog your pores further causing more acne to develop.

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Oyendrila holds a master's degree in English Literature from the University Of Calcutta, West Bengal, and is a certified skincare... more

Dr. Schwarzburg

( MD)
Dr. Schwarzburg is a leading authority in the field of minimally invasive cosmetic and laser medicine in New York City.... more

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