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11 of the best sunscreens for protecting dry skin

Picking a skincare product as per your skin type is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your skin. Ideally, that is how you can reap in the benefits the most. Starting from face cleansers (the first step of a skin care routine) to sunscreen (the last step), everything in your skin care kitties should have your skin type written all over them. Yes, even sunscreen, especially if you have dry skin.

If your dry skin gets aggravated or irritated easily, consider choosing a sunscreen which is particularly created for such a skin type. Gone are the times when sunscreen formulas were only limited to a particular few.

Nowadays, the beauty market is flooded with distinctive formulations catering to different types of skin, and do more than just protect it from sun damage. For that matter, the best sunscreen for dry skin is one that ensures extra hydration without leaving a greasy or sticky residue behind. They also aim at maintaining your skin’s natural moisture barrier owing to their ingredients.

If you’re someone with dry skin but haven’t been able to find the sunscreen that’s best suited for you, here’s everything you need to know about the best ones to invest in.

How to choose the best sunscreen for dry skin?

For anyone who has dry skin, the aim should always be to pick a skincare product that adds additional moisture to the skin. Hence, you should opt for a sunscreen that’s infused with moisturising and hydrating properties. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerine, jojoba oil, ceramides and aloe vera. Regarding the texture and formulations, opt for creamy ones as they tend to feel comfortable on the skin and do not irritate it further.

Know which sunscreen is best for you with this ultimate guide to sunscreens in India

Here are some of the best sunscreens for dry skin

(Main and Featured Image: Courtesy Laneige)

The Shadow SPF 50+ Cream by Fixderma is a lightweight sunscreen providing broad-spectrum protection from harmful UV rays. It’s non-greasy, photostable and has a moisturising effect owing to its ingredients like octinoxate, titanium dioxide, avobenzone and benzophenone-4. While it is perfect for dry skin, this sunscreen is also ideal for other skin types including sensitive skin.

Image: Courtesy Fixderma

A moisturising sunscreen with a lightweight and watery texture, the Laneige Watery Sun Cream effectively guards the skin against the harmful sun rays. Best suited for dry skin, this sunscreen glides on effortlessly and maintains the skin’s barrier all day long. It also lends you a refreshing beachy glow.

Image: Courtesy Laneige

A herbal and natural sunscreen that’s enriched with the goodness of jojoba oil, grape seed and zinc oxide, this sunblock by Just Herbs is ideal for normal and dry skin. It is a two-in-one broad-spectrum protective sunscreen lotion that moisturises your skin and also protects it from both UVA and UVB rays. It is an ayurvedic formula that does not leave any white cast and is safe to use. It also comes in another variant — No-Sun Jojoba Wheatgerm Sun Protection Gel that’s ideal for combination and oily skin.

Image: Courtesy Just Herbs

With a hydrating effect on the skin, this broad-spectrum SPF 30 creates a protective layer on the skin to shield it from the damaging sun rays and prevent premature ageing. This non-greasy formula feels weightless on the skin and leaves it feeling soft and supple. Researched and developed by dermatologists, it is ideal for all skin types.

Image: Courtesy Kaya

I’m Aqua Sun Essence by Suntique is a water based sunscreen for dry skin with SPF 50+/PA++++ protection. Formulated with Centella Asiatica and aloe vera, it has a cooling and hydrating effect on the skin and gets absorbed quickly. It is perfect to wear for outdoor activities as its double protective layer blocks out the UV rays. Furthermore, it does not leave any white cast or irritate the skin.

Image: Courtesy Suntique

The Vaseline UV Protection Sun Stick is a sunscreen that provides strong sun protection and rich moisturisation to the skin. Packed with SPF 50+/PA++++, this sunscreen for dry skin is also infused with a water-holding technology that effectively hydrates your skin and has a cooling effect. It has a light texture that feels comfortable on application.

Image: Courtesy Vaseline

A powerful sunscreen and moisturiser in one with SPF 50+/PA++++, this UV protector prevents the skin from sun exposure and brightens the skin tone in equal measure. It includes a Blue-ray Shield technology defending the skin from being harmed by blue light. Other ingredients include panthenol that strengthens skin barrier and purple viper’s-bugloss seed oil that hydrates the skin deeply and constantly.

Image: Courtesy Rovectin

Get summer ready with a hydrating and enriching dose of goodness with this skin care kit by Clinique that has everything you need to revel in the sun. This set includes — the ultra-lightweight Mineral Fluid Sunscreen with SPF 50, the After Sun rescue balm enriched with moisturising and soothing aloe and a Moisture Surge Face Spray that replenishes skin’s moisture level.

Image: Courtesy Clinique

The vitamin E sunscreen lotion by The Body Shop has a milky and lightweight formula that aims at moisturising and protecting your skin against UVA and UVB damage with SPF 30. It locks in the moisture to provide 48 hours of hydration, softness and smoothness. While its antioxidant properties fight free radicals, the bio fermented hyaluronic acid keeps the nourishment in check.

Image: Courtesy The Body Shop

This moisturising sun cream provides an effective protection from UV rays and blue light with SPF50+/PA+++. With anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties, this sunscreen for dry skin also calms and hydrates the skin while strengthening its moisture barrier. It quickly absorbs into the skin without leaving any residue or white cast, and is even ideal for people with normal skin type.

Image: Courtesy Thank You Farmer 

SunShun sunscreen with SPF 30 by Omorfee is an organic formulation that effectively protects the skin from sun damage. It is both water and sweat repellent and does not leave any traces of greasiness behind once it gets absorbed into the skin. Its key ingredients include calamine, almond oil, apricot oil and soybean oil along with pure clary sage oil that regulates sebum and protects the skin from infections.

Image: Courtesy Omorfee

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Does zinc oxide sunscreen cause dry skin?

Answer: A zinc oxide based mineral sunscreen might further dry out your skin if you already have dry or extra dry skin. Hence, if you still want to use a mineral sunscreen and not a chemical one, opt for formulations that are hydrating, moisturising and soothing. You can also choose creamy textured sunscreens as they tend to feel more comfortable on dry skin.

Question: How much SPF is good for dry skin?

Answer: No matter what your skin type is, your sunscreen should always have an SPF of minimum 30. Additionally, it should also be broad-spectrum (protecting from both UVA and UVB rays).

Question: Should I use sunscreen on dry skin daily?

Answer: Yes, one should wear sunscreen every single day of the year irrespective of their skin type or their skin tones. However, it is essential that you choose one that’s ideal and best suited for your skin type. For instance, while a creamy sunscreen would work wonders for dry skin, it might have side effects for oily or acne-prone skin.

Question: Is sunscreen better than a sunblock?

Answer: While both sunscreen and sunblock aim at shielding your skin from sun damage, the basic difference between the two lies in how they work. A sunscreen (containing organic chemical ingredients) works by absorbing the light and converting it into heat. Whereas, a sunblock (formulated with mineral components like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) forms a protective layer on the skin to deflect and scatter the UV rays away from the skin. It all comes down to what your preference is and what ultimately works better for you.

Question: How to make the sunscreen stay long?

Answer: Ideally, you should reapply sunscreen every two to three hours throughout the day. However, to ensure that it lasts for that amount of time, apply it generously on all exposed areas and always opt for a sweat and water-resistant sunscreen that does not budge. When using a tinted sunscreen as your base makeup, you can set it up with an SPF infused compact or setting powder.

11 of the best sunscreens for protecting dry skin

Divya Arora

With an academic background in Public Relations, Divya has a flair for writing about topics spanning genres like lifestyle, beauty, fashion, travel, FnB, tech and entertainment. She fancies everything that's a wholesome blend of contemporary finery and timelessness. Quirky earrings and tees are her weakness. When not creating content, you will find her devouring food, snuggling in with a book and a cup-a-chai, admiring skies or revisiting Hogwarts.


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