The Drugstore Sunscreen That Kept Me Breakout-Free in Tropical Humidity

Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen SPF 50, $15, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:available here;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">available here</a>
Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen SPF 50, $15, available here

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While I get the occasional hormonal breakout regardless of where I am, my skin is very sensitive to climate, and in tropical, humid locales, it suddenly resembles that of a greasy, pimply teenager. I travel to Mexico at least once yearly (to visit my dad who retired in a small seaside town), and I can practically feel the oil oozing out of my pores the second I disembark the plane. I literally always return with drastically worse skin than when I left.

Clearly, the products I rely on in Los Angeles don't translate below the border, so sometimes I'll pick up something new that I hope will keep my pores as unclogged as possible. Serendipitously, I ended up on a Target run with a beauty editor friend who wisely told me to prioritize a good oil-free sunscreen.

I can't remember the last time I bought a Neutrogena product, but thanks to Target's growing (and incredibly frustrating) tendency to lock every item I could ever want inside a cabinet, it won out over several prestige brands based on the literal lack of barrier to entry. The packaging of this particular item also couldn't have more loudly and repetitively advertised all the qualities I was looking for ("Clear Face," "BREAKOUT FREE," "oil-free," "won't cause breakouts").

My expectations were still pretty low; because I already had a couple tiny chin breakouts before I left, I wasn't exactly setting this product up for success. But after a few days of using this in place of moisturizer each morning, those breakouts actually... went away. And while this sunscreen's finish isn't exactly matte, my skin didn't become shinier throughout the day, which is what would usually happen. It also sat well under makeup (which I kept to a minimum and only wore at night) and didn't leave a white cast on my lightish-olive skin.

By the end of my trip, my skin was perfectly clear, meaning, for the first time ever, it actually improved in a tropical climate. I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of all the cervezas or cheesy food, so I'm giving this sunscreen a lot of credit.

Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen SPF 50, $15, available here

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