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You are currently viewing The Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin (SPF50 & AFFORDABLE)

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Trying to find the best sunscreen for dry skin is not easy.

This is especially true if you don’t want a white-film leaving, greasy mess that won’t cost a fortune.

After realising that my mattifying moisturiser-sunscreen was ruining my skin, I knew I had to change something.

I became on the hunt for a new sunscreen for my dry skin.

But again, and again, I only came across either ridiculously expensive 50ml bottles, or cheapies with one-star reviews.

Frustrated and walking around Boots, I stumbled over to the sun care isle with my fingers crossed.

There was a sea of choice – from oily to dry skin – from cream to spray – from spf 2 to spf 100.

Standing in front of the Garnier section, I looked down.

Staring back at me was their ‘Ambre Solaire Protection Lotion‘, with 24 hour hydration.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Hydration bottle.
Garnier Ambre Solaire Protection Lotion bottle.

After buying and trying it, I can certify that it is great.

It is the best sunscreen for dry skin I have used thus far, and is almost perfect on all of my ratings.

I feel it is the best sunscreen for dry skin due to its price.

There may be sunscreens out there that do its job better, but I have yet to find one that doesn’t break the bank.

So, as you may have expected, you will have to accept some compromises with this product.

This is a chemical sunscreen that uses the main ingredients ‘Ethylhexyl Salicylate’ for UVB protection and ‘Titanium Dioxide’ and ‘Mexoryl’ for UVA protection.

In this article, I will review this sunscreen and elaborate on its advantages and disadvantages.



  • SPF50 protection against UVB rays.
  • Cheap for a 200ml bottle.
  • Quick Absorption.
  • Provides ’24 hour hydration’ (Is enriched with sustainably sourced shea butter, which provides soothing properties)
  • Non-greasy and not super shiny.
  • No white film.
  • UVA protection that conforms to European regulations.


It could be the best sunscreen for dry skin with SPF50

This means that it will block 98% of the sun’s UVB (B for burning) rays.

This is a marginal improvement over the 97% for SPF30, and 93% for SPF15.

In theory, the SPF rating tells you how many times longer you can stay in the sun before burning.

For example, if you burn after 20 minutes in the sun without suncream, with spf 15, it will take 15 times longer.

But this is said to be false.

Experts recommend that you should first apply 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun, and then reapply liberally every two hours.


It could be the best sunscreen for dry skin when on a budget

There will be some that disagree, but paying £20-30 for a bottle of sunscreen that you will use up as quick as lightening is not my cup of tea.

It is something that I reserve for if I ever have one million bucks in the bank.

I picked this 200ml bottle up for £6. Not bad.


It has quick absorption

This stuff rubs in very quickly once applied.

There is no waiting around for it to absorb.

Best sunscreen for dry skin information on the back of bottle.
Information on the back of the bottle.

It is hydrating and boasts ’24 Hour Hydration’ – very important for people with dry skin

This is the main thing that I was looking for after my previous sunscreen dried me out like a prune.

I can assure that it doesn’t disappoint.

Infused with the super hydrator glycerine and soothing shea butter, it doesn’t at all dry out my face.

This doesn’t mean that it is a spf moisiturizer though – I put my moisturizer on first.

But as a second layer, it is perfect, and does not at all detract from the overall mission of a nourished face.


It is ‘Non-Greasy’ & ‘Non-Shiny’

It claims to be non-greasy and non-shiny.

Putting this as an advantage is a bit of a stretch, I must admit.

It is slightly greasy, and it is slightly shiny.

But you will not look at all like an oil slick – it instead produces what I like to call a ‘healthy glow’, and I feel somewhat evens out your tone.

If it doesn’t bother me (and most things do), it will probably not bother you.

It is not really possible for a person with dry skin to have healthy and hydrated matte skin.

Mattifying products dry out the skin, so can only really be used by people with oily skin to help them control their natural oil slick.

That is why this is the best sunscreen for dry skin, as it would probably be too greasy and hinder aesthetics for those with any other skin type.


It could be the best sunscreen for dry skin that leaves no white film

But something that is undoubtedly true is that this sunscreen does not leave any white film.

As stated before, it absorbs quickly and completely, not leaving anything but a slight shine and a little bit of grease behind.


It has UVA Protection that Conforms to European regulations

As you will read in the next section, this sunscreen doesn’t have the best UVA (A for ageing) protection.

But it is still good enough to conform to strict European testing.

This means that the UVA protection is at least 1/3rd of the SPF rating, so, you have at least SPF 17 for UVA rays, which, using SPF 15 as the nearest, blocks 93% of them.

That’s much better than nothing.



  • The sunscreen ‘smell’.
  • Can be considered too shiny for some people.
  • Only has 3/5 stars for UVA ray blocking in boot’s own star system.
  • Could potentially cause acne.


The sunscreen ‘smell’

For the first hour or so after application, you may experience the typical horrible sunscreen smell.

There is not much you can do about this, and is probably the worst bit of the user experience with the product.

It is something you just have to deal with.


Could be considered ‘too shiny’

As touched upon earlier, it isn’t mattifying and is slightly greasy, but not to an extreme extent.

But even a little bit of shine might be enough to put you off of this product.

More information on the back of the bottle.
More information on the bottom half of the back of the bottle.

It only has 3/5 UVA Stars

It has 3/5 starts for UVA protection according to Boot’s own UVA protection star rating system.

However, these guidelines are supposedly stricter than the European regulations which this sunscreen conforms by.

As stated earlier, the Europlean regulations mean that the UVA protection is at least 1/3 of the UVB protection. In this case, the UVA protection would be SPF17 as a minimum.

There is little information as to how the Boots star rating actually works, but taking into account that it is stricter, it is likely to be above SPF17, and thus offers 93%+ protection from UVA rays.

93% coverage may not be enough for some people.

This is especially true considering that many people are under-applying sunscreen which lowers the amount of protection it provides.

However, a cheap SPF50 product with 4 or 5 stars on the Boots rating system is a hard task to find.


Could potentially cause acne (could be comedogenic)

This sunscreen includes the ingredient ‘Isopropyl Palmitate’, which acts as a thickening and moisturizing agent.

Even though it is not known to aggravate existing acne, it has been known to clog pores, and thus lead to comodones.

On me, it has potentially caused break outs when I have not double cleansed.

Proper double cleansing with an oil-based cleanser should annihilate the excess cream left on your face, and stop the chance of there being any breakouts.


Conclusion – The Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin

So, there are the advantages and disadvantages of the Garnier Ambre Solaire Protection Lotion.

It is not perfect, but the merits that it holds are damn good, especially for the price.

Perhaps there is something better on the market that does an equally as good job, but without some of the disadvantages.

Unfortunately, hunting for sunscreens is a hard task, and I haven’t found it.

On top of this, I personally believe that you shouldn’t have to spend extortionate amounts on any type of facial product.

The main thing is that it works, and will definitely protect you from the sun and help you look younger for longer.