Sunscreen. It should be simple. Wear it all day, every day, all year long. But for many people, sunscreen is only for warm weather. And there are people who avoid sunscreen for acne reasons. There’s even the misguided belief that a little sun exposure will help dry out blemishes.
This is totally untrue. First, it is crucial for people with acne-prone skin to wear sunscreen to prevent UV rays from worsening acne scars. Second, the sun doesn’t heal acne, it can actually cause breakouts. There is sunscreen for acne-prone skin. It won’t cause breakouts and won’t feel greasy.
Obviously, greasy-feeling sunscreens aren’t fun for people with acne-prone skin to wear. They can leave the skin feeling oilier and can clogg pores and trap dirt under the skin, leading to more breakouts. If you think sunscreen is causing your breakouts, you’re probably using the wrong kind. There are lots of sun protection options that won’t cause pimples. Follow these tips to find the right sunscreen for acne.
Look for non-comedogenic and oil-free
The simplest way to find a suitable sunscreen for acne is to find ones that say “non-comedogenic” and “oil-free”. These sunscreens won’t clog pores. Keep in mind that some oil-free sunscreens can still cause breakouts due to the presence of lanolin (waxy substance found in sheep’s wool), so be sure to check the label for lanolin. Sunscreens containing cocoa butter and butyl stearate should also be avoided as they are too heavy for acne-prone skin.
Avoid chemical sunscreens
Breakouts from sunscreen can be caused not just from clogged pores, but from sensitivity to chemical ingredients found in sunscreens. Avoid sunscreens that contain avobenzones, benzophenones, oxyphenones, methyoxcyinnamate and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). These chemicals can cause breakouts. Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays. They are not ideal for acne-prone skin because of the greasy effect they leave on the skin.
Also avoid using water-resistant sunscreens. The chemicals in water-resistant sunscreen cause breakouts because they create a top layer on the skin that makes it hard to remove when cleansing skin later. This leads to skin irritation and inflammation.
Wear physical sunscreens
Physical sunscreens are the most ideal for acne-prone, oily skin (and really, for everyone!) because of their lighter texture and smooth application. Instead of absorbing the sun’s rays, the zinc oxide and titanium oxide ingredients block and reflect UV rays away from the skin. Physical sunscreens have a drying effect on the skin, instead of a greasy feeling. So they don’t clog pores.