Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin: Thirst-Quenching & Hydration to the Max!

Is your skin kind of a drag? These super moisturizing sunscreens will re-hydrate your dried out skin, no problem!

Dry skin can be a real pain, especially in the summer when you want to go out and enjoy the sun but don’t want to feel like your skin is a sheet of sandpaper.

So what’s the best sunscreen for people with dry skin?

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a sunscreen that’s good for dry skin.

  • Look for moisturizing ingredients. Those who struggle with dry, itchy skin will want to look for sunscreens that contain hydrating ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, or emollients like shea butter or jojoba oil which will help to keep your skin feeling plump and hydrated.
  • Avoid alcohol or other drying ingredients. If you already have dry skin, the last thing you want in your sunscreen are ingredients that dry out your skin further. So steer clear of sunscreens that contain drying alcohols like ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate or benzophenone-3. Look at the ingredients label and avoid drying ethanol (which also goes by “SD alcohol” or “alcohol denat”). However, there are also some fatty alcohols that can actually soften the skin, so if your see cetyl, stearyl or cetearyl alcohol, you don’t have to worry.
  • Choose SPF 30 or higher. No matter what sunscreen you choose, always make sure it has an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Other Things to Consider in A Sunscreen (Whether Your Skin is Dry or Not)

There are a few other important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for any sunscreen, whether you struggle with dry skin or not.

  • Sweatproof or water proof. If you plan or exercising with sunscreen on or want to take a swim, look for a sunscreen that’s labeled “sweatproof” or “waterproof” to make sure it won’t come right off when you start to perspire or get wet.
  • Physical blockers or chemical blockers. Consider if you prefer physical mineral sunscreens vs chemical sunscreens – physical sunscreens use minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as their active ingredients, while chemical sunscreens use ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene. Some people prefer physical sunscreens because they don’t tend to be as irritating as chemical sunscreens, but others find that physical sunscreens can be more difficult to apply and can leave a white cast on the skin.
  • Skin irritation issues. People with dry skin may be more prone to skin irritation from sunscreens, so it’s important to look for ones that are free of potential irritants like fragrances and parabens. In some cases, this might mean avoiding chemical filters as well.
dry skin

Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin: Our Top Picks

With all that in mind, here are our top picks for the best sunscreens for dry skin:

1. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion

CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

  • 100% Mineral-based sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB coverage
  • Can often leave a white cast - apply evenly in thin layers and thoroughly massage into skin
  • Suitable for use under foundation and face makeup
  • Oxybenzone free, avobenzone free, and benzene free, making it Hawaii-compliant
  • Includes three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to help restore the skin’s natural barrier
  • Oil free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic, and suitable for sensitive skin

The CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion is a broad-spectrum SPF 50 physical mineral sunscreen formula that offers a boost of skin-soaking hydration thanks to its three essential ceramides that are included in the CeraVe formula.

In addition to the hydrating effect, this sunscreen is also oxybenzone free, oil free, paraben free, and fragrance-free. It’s also made without chemical filters, is allergy-tested, and non-comedogenic too!

Basically, all this means that this popular sunscreen is great at combating dry skin, while also being a perfect choice for anyone with sensitive skin since it offers a low risk of skin irritation.


  • No chemical filters
  • Includes three ceramides for hydration


  • Some people (especially tanner people) complain of white cast

2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Sunscreen

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Sunscreen

Smooth, soft, skin-quenching gel sunscreen

  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection
  • Re-hydrating formula for dry skin
  • Lightweight, non-greasy feel with no white cast
  • Layers invisibly under makeup

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is an SPF30 chemical sunscreen that packs a mega pump of hydration to soothe dry skin, thanks to its inclusion of purified hyaluronic acid.

Fans love it for its lightweight, non-greasy design. Plus, it’s oil-free, oxybenzone-free, and non-comedogenic, so it’ll keep you save from UV rays without clogging up your pores.

This sunscreen prides itself on providing hydration for up to 8 hours, and for its ability to layer invisibly under makeup so you can wear it at the beach or out on the town.


  • Includes hyaluronic acid to hydrate dry skin
  • Lightweight feel that layers well with makeup


  • May irritate some skin types as it includes avobenzone (a chemical filter)

3. EltaMD UV Restore Anti Aging Face Sunscreen

EltaMD UV Restore Face Sunscreen

EltaMD UV Restore Face Sunscreen

A super hydrating, skin-repairing face sunscreen for better complexion

  • Broad spectrum SPF 40 face sunscreen
  • Designed to repair sun damaged skin and to improve skin's smoothness
  • 100% mineral active ingredients with zinc oxide
  • Can be worn alone or under makeup, with minimal to no white cast
  • Inclusion of squalane helps restore skin's moisture and suppleness

The EltaMD UV Restore Anti Aging Face Sunscreen is a unique SPF 40 physical mineral formula that uses transparent zinc oxide to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

But what sets this sunscreen apart is its inclusion of hyaluronic acid, which not only helps to hydrate the skin but also minimizes fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance.

It actually markets itself as a youth-restoring formula. And while it’s reasonable to be sceptic of such accolades, it does seem like many people who regularly use this sunscreen see their face get a bit firmer and smoother over time. Cool!

This sunscreen is also good for sensitive skin, as it is fragrance-free and paraben-free. Plus, the transparent zinc oxide is designed to minimize white cast (although tanner folks still seem to get a chalkier look).


  • Uses hyaluronic acid for skin hydration
  • Designed to minimize fine lines
  • Uses transparent zinc oxide


  • Some brown and dark-skinned users still end up with a white cast

4. Bondi Sands Fragrance Free Daily Sunscreen Face Lotion

Bondi Sands Sunscreen Face Lotion

Bondi Sands Sunscreen Face Lotion

A gentle, hydrating face sunscreen from down under

  • Australian-made broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen
  • Vitamin E and aloe vera provide boosted skin hydration
  • Designed specifically for the face and sensitive skin
  • Fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free
  • Not tested on animals

The Bondi Sands Fragrance Free Daily Sunscreen Face Lotion is a gentle, fast-absorbing chemical sunscreen with an SPF50 rating.

It’s an Australian-based sunscreen. And if we know anything about the Aussies, it’s that they love a good pint and are serious about their sunscreen.

As one of our top picks for the best sunscreen for dry skin, it contains vitamin E and aloe vera to help hydrate, and is free from parabens, sulfates, and fragrances.

This makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin, as it is also dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic too! The invisible, non-greasy finish is perfect for everyday wear, and fans note that there’s no white tint at all (which makes sense, since this is a chemical sunscreen formula).


  • Uses vitamin E and aloe vera to hydrate dry skin
  • Very affordable sunscreen
  • Chemical formula that works for most sensitive skin
  • No white cast


  • Despite suppodesly being fine for sensitive skin, it does contain chemical filters that may irritate some skin types

5. Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Hydrating Fluid Face Sunscreen

Paula's Choice RESIST

Paula's Choice RESIST

A lightweight moisturizer with sunscreen aimed to restore a youthful apperance

  • Broad spectrum SPF 50 protection
  • Lightweight moisturizer paired with broad-spectrum sun protection
  • Boosts skin's defenses with a blend of antioxidants
  • Water-light consistency with matte-finish
  • No fragrances or parabens

The Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Hydrating Fluid Face Sunscreen SPF 50 is a water-light sunscreen that uses chemical filters to provide broad spectrum protection.

But what makes this sunscreen unique is its inclusion of pomegranate and goji berry extracts, which are known for their antioxidant properties. These help to fight free radicals, and also help to keep the skin hydrated.

This is another sunscreen that touts itself as a youth-restoring lotion and its popularity seems to imply that it’s not a completely baseless claim.

This sunscreen is also great for those with oily or acne-prone skin, as it has a matte finish that helps to control shine. Plus, it’s 100% recyclable through Terracycle and contains chamomile and green tea to calm any redness you might be battling.

As a bonus, this sunscreen is also cruelty-free and is even Leaping Bunny Certified!

The only downside is that, as a chemical filter sunscreen, the inclusion of avobenzone and octinoxate could cause irritation in those with extra-sensitive skin. But that’s the cost of not having to deal with a white cast!


  • Relies on pomegranate and goji extract to combat dry skin
  • 100% recyclable via Terracycle
  • Leaping Bunny Certified
  • No white cast


  • Inclusion of avobenzone and octinoxate may not work for ultra-sensitive skin types

6. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face-Moisturizing Sunscreen

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Daily Sunscreen

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Daily Sunscreen

A super moisturizing sunscreen made with antioxidant oat

  • Broad spectrum SPF 70 protection
  • Made with antioxidant oat to moisturize and nourish skin
  • Lightweight formula that's fast-absorbing, oil-free, and non-comedogenic
  • Sweat-resistant and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes

The Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face-Moisturizing Sunscreen is another great option for those with dry skin, as it contains antioxidant oat to help keep the skin moist and hydrated.

This sunscreen is oil-free and fast-absorbing, making it ideal for those with oily skin that’s prone to getting greasy. It’s also sweat and water-resistant, making it perfect for those who spend a lot of time outdoors.

Plus, it has a high SPF rating of 70, so you can be sure you’re getting plenty of protection from the sun’s harmful rays, even when you spend all day out in the sun.

Keep in mind that it is a chemical sunscreen that contains avobenzone and oxybenzone. This formula will likely be fine for your body, but certain folks might experience irritation when using it on their face (see more about the differences between face vs body sunscreen here).


  • Include antioxidant oat
  • High SPF rating
  • No white cast


  • Chemical filters avobenzone and oxybenzone may be problematic for some

Dry skin can be a real pain, but with the right sunscreen, you can keep your skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays all year long while nourishing and rehydrating your skin!

Have you ever used a sunscreen specifically for dry skin? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

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