Accutane has a high success rate in treating acne; however, the medication is known to cause side effects, such as dryness, redness, sensitivity, and irritation.
This medication will also increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, and along with the uncomfortable burning sensation you may experience, there is the added risk of developing hyperpigmentation and severe sun damage.
Therefore, while you should avoid direct sun exposure for a prolonged time whilst taking Accutane, you should also be diligent with applying sunscreen for added protection.
Here are fifteen best sunscreens to use while on Accutane:
Aveeno – Positively Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 – $10
Best for sensitive skin.
The Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is an excellent mineral sunscreen for sensitive skin that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as main protective filters against UV damage.
The lightweight formula dries sheer with a velvety matte finish, and leaves a slight white cast due to the mineral filters.
It’s also sweat and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and it has SPF 50, which means it’s suitable for outdoor activities.
Lastly, the Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is free of alcohol and fragrance, which means it won’t irritate already sensitive skin from Accutane.
Bioderma – Photoderm Max Aquafluid SPF 50 – $21
Best for combination, dry, and sensitive skin.
Bioderma Photoderm Max Aquafluid SPF 50 is one of the best European sunscreens for dry and sensitive skin on Accutane.
Unfortunately, it’s not available in the US yet, but you can easily find this sunscreen in any online store or your nearest pharmacy if you live in Europe.
Photoderm Max Aquafluid has the highest sun protection factor and uses chemical filters to absorb UV rays.
It has a lightweight, runny consistency that dries down into a velvety matte finish and is water-resistant for up to 30 minutes.
The Photoderm Max Aquafluid doesn’t contain fragrance or drying alcohols, which makes it excellent for irritated and reactive skin.
Differin – Oil-Free Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30 – $12
Best for oily, sensitive, and irritated skin.
The Differin Oil-Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30 is a great option for sensitive and irritated skin on Accutane.
Although it’s marketed as “oil-free,” this product doesn’t dry matte, and it leaves a hydrated glow behind.
However, the Differin Oil-Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30 is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin due to its lightweight consistency and non-comedogenic formula.
This chemical sunscreen uses several cosmetically elegant UV filters, and it also contains a couple of soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients, including zinc and allantoin.
Finally, the Differin Oil-Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 50 is fragrance-free, which makes it a good option for anyone who’s allergic or sensitive to fragrance, and it comes in a good-sized bottle of 118 ml (4 oz) for only $12.
Vanicream – Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – $18
Best for sensitive skin.
Vanicream Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is a lightweight mineral sunscreen that applies smoothly and hydrates the skin without leaving a sticky or greasy residue behind.
It’s formulated with non-nano zinc oxide for broad-spectrum UV protection, and while it doesn’t leave a terrible white cast, medium and dark skin tones may notice it more than pale skin.
All in all, it’s a great, simple, and affordable sunscreen formulated without irritating fragrance or drying alcohols, making it a suitable option for Accutane-induced dryness and irritation.
Blue Lizard – Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 – $17
Best for dry, sensitive, and irritated skin.
Blue Lizard is an Australian sunscreen manufacturer known for making reef-safe sunscreens with innovative packaging that “detects” UV rays and changes the color into dark blue, depending on the UV strength.
The Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is particularly suitable for irritated skin going through an Accutane treatment.
It’s formulated with mineral filters, including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, as its primary agents against UV damage, but it also contains emollients, antioxidants, and soothing components such as green tea extract to calm redness and irritation.
The product does leave a slight white cast that may be more prominent on medium to deep skin tones, but it can be easily covered with makeup.
Cocokind – Daily Sunscreen SPF 32 – $20
Best for dry, sensitive skin.
The Cocokind Daily Sunscreen SPF 32 is a reef-safe, mineral-based sunscreen that uses a high percentage of non-nano zinc oxide as a protective filter against UV rays.
It is suitable for medium and deep skin tones and leaves the skin with a natural-looking, glowy finish.
It does have more than a few clogging ingredients that could be a problem for oily, acne-prone skin; however, it is a suitable option for dry, sensitive, and irritated skin due to Accutane.
La Roche Posay – Cicaplast Baume B5 SPF 50 – $12
Best for all skin types.
The La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5 is a rich, non-comedogenic moisturizer often recommended to those whose skin is getting used to tretinoin or Accutane due to its ability to soothe irritation within seconds of applying it.
The brand also came out with the Cicaplast Baume B5 SPF 50, which is pretty much the same moisturizer with added SPF and featuring a heavily moisturizing yet non-comedogenic formula suitable for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin.
The Cicaplast Baume B5 SPF 50 also contains soothing and barrier-repairing components such as zinc and panthenol, along with moisturizing and skin-softening ingredients such as shea butter and ceramides that help restore the skin’s lipid barrier and prevent acne scarring.
The sunscreen version of the Cicaplast Baume B5 is free of fragrance and drying alcohol, which makes it suitable for irritated, sensitive, and reactive skin.
La Roche Posay – ANTHELIOS Invisible Fluid SPF 50 – $25
Best for dry, dehydrated skin.
La Roche Posay’s Invisible Fluid SPF 50 is a lightweight sunscreen with a runny consistency that sinks into the skin like a dream immediately after application.
The sunscreen doesn’t leave a white cast, which makes it suitable for medium and dark skin tones, and is hydrating to the skin without leaving an overly greasy layer behind.
The La Roche Posay’s Invisible Fluid SPF 50 also comes in a non-fragrant version, so make sure to pay attention to that if fragrance in skincare is causing issues for your skin.
La Roche Posay – ANTHELIOS Ultra Hydrating Cream SPF 50 – $25
Best for dry skin.
The Anthelios Ultra-Hydrating Cream SPF 50 is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a rich consistency specially designed for dry skin that gets easily irritated.
It’s free of fragrance and contains soothing and barrier-repairing ingredients such as glycerin and propanediol, as well as other emollients that help soften the skin and prevent trans-epidermal water loss.
It might not be the ideal option for someone whose skin gets oily even while on Accutane, but it is a perfect choice if you are dealing with dryness and irritation caused by this medication.
EltaMD – UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 – $34
Best for sensitive, rosacea-prone skin.
EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 is a high-quality product and the best sunscreen for Accutane users, especially for extremely sensitive skin that’s prone to severe dryness, redness, irritation, and rosacea.
This 100% mineral sunscreen is formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the primary filters against harmful UV rays. These natural mineral compounds are known to protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin damage and premature aging.
In addition to sun protection, the sunscreen also contains skin-soothing antioxidants.
These ingredients help combat skin-aging free radicals, reduce the appearance of redness, and alleviate irritation.
While Accutane may not typically be prescribed for those with rosacea, the EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 is an excellent sunscreen option for individuals with skin sensitivities or reactions to this harsh medication.
Its lightly tinted formula can also help blur imperfections, providing both protection and a touch of color for healthy-looking skin.
EltaMD – UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 – $35
Best for dry, stressed, and damaged skin.
The EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 is a high-end mineral sunscreen specifically formulated to restore moisture to dry and damaged skin going through an Accutane treatment.
This product is a 100% physical sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays thanks to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Moreover, this sunscreen is also oil-free and water-resistant, which means it’s suitable for oily skin and also won’t easily wash off, even when you’re sweating or participating in activities involving water.
The EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 not only protects your skin from sun damage but also helps to rejuvenate and hydrate it, making it an excellent skincare addition for those who experience dryness or stress-related skin issues due to Accutane.
Elta MD – UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 – $41
Best for oily and acne-prone skin.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is another high-quality sunscreen designed for sensitive skin types prone to breakouts and discoloration, including those with acne and irritated skin due to Accutane.
The sunscreen contains a combination of mineral and gentle chemical filters to prevent skin damage caused by UV rays, along with beneficial antioxidants such as brightening niacinamide that can help even out the skin tone and strengthen the skin barrier.
Moreover, this product is lightweight and leaves a velvety finish on the skin, making it an excellent choice for daily use, especially under makeup.
It is also formulated without fragrance or alcohol, but it does have a faint scent of almonds that’s quite pleasant and won’t cause discomfort like some heavily fragranced sunscreens.
EltaMD – UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 – $42
Best for severely dry, cracked, and irritated skin.
EltaMD UV Restore SPF 40 is the best sunscreen while on Accutane and dealing with extreme dryness, irritation, and sensitivity caused by the medication.
It provides high UV protection with mineral filters such as zinc oxide while also containing other ingredients that help restore and strengthen the skin barrier, including caprylic/capric triglycerides, squalane, anti-inflammatory ginger root extract, and a few moisture-retaining silicones.
The EltaMD UV Restore SPF 40 is also available in a tinted version, but the tint turns a little orange when fully dried down, so it might not be a good option for everyone.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 – $42
Best for all skin types.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 is a tinted mineral fluid containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the main UV filters, making it suitable for sensitive skin and the skin around the eyes that can get severely dry from Accutane.
It has a lightweight, runny, and non-greasy consistency that leaves a beautiful glow when fully dried.
It’s suitable for all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin, and it’s exceptionally good for covering redness caused by acne.
SkinMedica – Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 35 – $42
Best for dry skin.
SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 35 is the priciest option on the list; however, it has been consistently praised by tretinoin and Accutane users due to its moisturizing and skin-softening formula that helps relieve dryness and irritation caused by the medication.
The sunscreen is also non-comedogenic and suitable for acne-prone skin while also containing multiple soothing and redness-relieving ingredients that can help reduce the appearance of redness and inflammation.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
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