Are you on accutane and looking for the best sunscreen to use? It’s essential to find a good, reliable sunscreen option because your skin is more sensitive to the sun when taking accutane medication.
However, those of us prone to break out or with sensitive skin likely know that not all sunscreens play nice with our skin.
For your best chances of success, you’ll want to find a sunscreen that doesn’t irritate your skin, allowing you to easily apply and reapply for ongoing UV protection while you’re on accutane (and while you’re off accutane too, as skin cancer is no joke)!
We’ll run you through a few things you’ll probably want to consider when choosing a sunscreen while on accutane
What to Look For in a Sunscreen for Accutane Users
High SPF Rating. You’ll likely want to opt for an SPF 30 sunscreen or higher – we think SPF 50 is an ideal option. SPF 50 protects against 98% of UV radiation, while SPF 100 offers just 1% more for 99% protection, so once you get past SPF 50 the difference in protection is fairly minimal.
Broad Spectrum Protection. You’ll want to make sure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are responsible for skin aging and wrinkles, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and play a larger role in skin cancer. Look for sunscreens that promise broad spectrum protection to get full coverage.
Optimal Coverage. You’ll want to avoid sunscreens that leave your skin feeling greasy or uncomfortable after application – especially if you’re prone to breakouts when using certain products! When it comes to coverage, look for something with an even, lightweight application.
Tinted Sunscreen. Some people using accutane choose tinted sunscreen options as they can help even out uneven skin tones and reduce the appearance of acne breakouts – especially if you don’t normally wear makeup over sunscreen.
Ease of Application. You’ll be applying sunscreen often – find one that is easy to spread on skin without leaving behind a white sheen!
Ingredients. Depending on your preference, you may prefer a mineral or physical sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen can be more likely to cause irritation – oxybenzone is a particularly common irritant that many people prefer to avoid. Mineral ingredients tend to be best when it comes to sunscreens for sensitive skin, although they can leave a white cast in some cases (especially if you have darker skin).
Non-Comogenic. If you’re prone to acne or irritation, look for sunscreens that are non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic basically means the sunscreen shouldn’t clog up your pores. Avoid sunscreens with oils or fragrances, as these ingredients can be problematic or sensitive skin.
Avoid Alcohols. Alcohols and astringents can be drying and irritating to skin, so avoid those ingredients if possible, as accutane can already cause your skin to be drier than normal.
Skip the Powders. Normally we’re fans of sunscreen powders and sunscreen sprays, but when on accutane we think its best to stick to sunblock lotions. Why? Well, sprays and powders are notorious for being under-applied – it’s just a lot tougher to know how much skin you’ve gotten covered with sprays and powders. On accutane, your skin is much more sensitive to the sun than normal, so we think taking any risks of under-applying sunscreen isn’t worth the risk. That’s why we’re sticking to sunscreen lotions here!
Best Sunscreen for Accutane: 5 Favorites!
Let’s jump in and take a look at our favorite sunscreens for accutane users!
1. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
EltaMD is known to be a favorite of dermatologists, and that’s really no surprise. This ultra gentle, lightweight sunscreen feels effortless to apply while protecting your skin with broad-spectrum SPF 46 protection against UVA and UVB rays!
This unscented, oil-free sunscreen won’t clog pores, irritate your skin, or exacerbate acne. With zinc oxide as the active ingredient, it offers mineral protection (however, it’s important to note that this formula does include octinoxate too).
In addition to being a solid pick for anyone with sensitive skin, EltaMD is a popular sunscreen for rosacea sufferers or those with other skin discoloration issues.
A little goes a long way – this 1.7 oz. bottle should last you several weeks and maybe even then some! With a very easy and smooth application that doesn’t make your face feel greasy or cause breakouts, it’s no wonder this is a fan favorite of those on accutane.
2. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face BB Cream
Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face BB Cream is perfect for those who want a bit of help covering up acne marks while also receiving great UV sun protection – like people on accutane!
This mineral-based sunscreen has SPF 50 and relies on titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide broad spectrum UVA& UVB protection.
It contains no oxybenzone, no PABAs, and no oils or alcohols that might dry out your skin.
This formula includes kakadu plum and vitamin C to moisturize skin, along with eucalyptus and red algae to act as natural antioxidants that helps the skin’s defenses against free radicals.
Since this is a tinted face BB cream sunscreen, you can simply apply it all over your face and on your acne marks for camouflaging with no additional foundation needed. It has a lovely matte finish that is said to minimize fine lines and wrinkles too for really great smooth coverage (and using it first hand, I can attest to this).
While some find the finish a little too mattifying, most seem to love it. This formula is vegan and cruelty-free too!
3. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
The Unseen Sunscreen is Supergoop!’s most popular sunscreen, and it’s made for those with oily or combination skin types as well as mature skin due to its velvety finish.
Highly rated by dermatologists and aestheticians alike, this sunscreen is perfect for protecting your face alone or before applying makeup. It provides both UVA & UVB protection but has no fragrances or parabens so you can feel free to layer any other products over it without worrying about breaking out or experiencing irritation.
Additionally, this sunscreen contains antioxidants and is oil-free and scent-free too! It goes invisible on the skin and provides great shine control as well, yet still manages to provide a healthy dose of moisture without feeling greasy.
This particular sunscreen is ideal for those with oily or combination skin as well as people who wear makeup everyday since the formula will not pill or break down makeup. As the name suggests, it’s truly invisible and does not leave a white cast or greasy feeling after application, unlike some other sunscreens!
It should be noted that while this is a chemical sunscreen, it does not contain two of the most problematic chemical filter ingredients – it’s oxybenzone- and octinoxate-free.
4. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50
The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50 is another popular sunscreen for people on accutane. This product’s tinted formula soothes redness caused by accutane, which also makes it a popular sunscreen for hyperpigmentation, and it feels very lightweight on your skin too!
The tint offers more coverage than the non-tinted version (although that one’s popular too in its own right), so you can go without wearing makeup.
And thanks to its active ingredient of titanium dioxide, this sunscreen provides protection from UVA and UVB rays with an SPF 50 rating.
Fast-absorbing and oil-free, this sunscreen goes on smoothly with a matte finish. It also contains antioxidants to help prevent damage caused by free radicals, so it’s not just practical but also good for your skin! Dermatologist and allergy tested, it’s a gentle facial sunscreen that’s sure to protect your skin, even when it’s more sensitive due to your accutane regiment.
5. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 60
Neutrogena is a well trusted provider of sunscreen. Their Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen is no exception, offering SPF 60 sun protection with this sunscreen lotion built to shield sensitive skin from harsh rays while absorbing quickly and easily into the skin.
The lotion goes on clear without an overbearing white tint, even with its mineral ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It works great both on face and body, making it a great pick for covering your entire body. It can even provide 80 minutes of water resistance for swim sessions!
Neutrogena’s hypoallergenic formula helps to avoid any potential irritations, and it’s oil-free and has no fragrance, making it perfect for even those with ultra sensitive skin on accutane.
Accutane is a powerful medication that reduces the amount of oil in your skin. The side effects for taking accutane can include dry, irritated skin and an increased risk for sunburns, so look for a broad spectrum mineral SPF with ingredients that will be gentle on the skin
If you are on accutane it’s best to use sunscreen every day, even if its cloudy outside! Don’t forget about reapplying!
Hopefully this article has helped you identify some of the best sunscreens for those who have been prescribed accutane medication. Any favorite accutane-friendly sunscreens we missed? Share your favs in the comments!
How does accutane affect my skin?
While you are taking accutane, it’s very important to protect your skin from the sun because your skin will become even more sensitive to the sun than normal. Unprotected sun exposure could permanently damage your skin complexion, cause premature aging, or increase your risk for melanoma. Always apply broad spectrum mineral sunscreen of at least SPF 50 every day to avoid harmful UV rays. Remember that sun exposure is cumulative, so it’s important to reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day – especially after a swim or after any time you become sweaty, where sunscreen has the potential to rub or run off.
Can you tan on accutane with sunscreen?
No, you really cannot tan while on accutane, as your skin is much more sensitive to the sun than normal, and attempting to tan could do serious injury to your skin. It is recommended to always wear at least SPF 50 sunscreen on accutane – do not attempt to tan and instead opt for full and ongoing protection with dedicated sunscreen use!
Can I use sunscreen while on accutane?
Yes, it is completely safe to use sunscreen (broad spectrum SPF 50+ mineral sunscreen) while on accutane, and you absolutely should! While you’re taking accutane it’s really important that you wear broad spectrum sunscreen because your skin will be much more sensitive to the sun than normal and could cause severe damage or even cancer if unprotected!
How do you protect your skin from the sun on accutane?
To ensure your skin is completely protected from sun damage, you should wear sunscreen at all times when out in the sun. This means wearing broad spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF 50+ rating every day, even if it’s cloudy outside! You may also want to consider using sun protective clothing and wearing a UV sun hat.
What should you not do while on accutane?
Avoid tanning while taking accutane – use sunscreen regularly! Also avoid spending too much time in direct sunlight, especially between 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are most intense.
Can I go outside while on accutane?
You can go outside, but you should never go outside unprotected on accutane. Always wear broad spectrum sunscreen and ideally UV clothing and a UV sun hat as well!