While UV rays affect all skin types, those with oily and acne-prone skin are more susceptible to sun damage. This is because prolonged or unprotected sun exposure aggravates the causes of acne or makes existing breakouts worse. This makes adequate sun protection a must if you have this skin type.
Your acne and sun exposure
The sun may seem like improving the skin by drying out the pimple, but what it actually does is increase melanin production and thicken the epidermis. This can clog the pores and prompt the skin (sebaceous gland) to produce more oil or sebum in dry areas. This can then lead to more breakouts or blemishes.
Here are the other ways sun affects your acne:
- The UV rays from the sun can cause acne marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) or make existing acne marks darker. This is because the sun can cause an increase in melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color.
- As the sun dries out the skin, it can also harden the skin cells on the surface. This can interfere with the natural process of shedding skin cells, blocking and clogging the pores. This then increases your likelihood of developing blemishes.
- Some acne medication may make the skin more sensitive to the sun. This is particularly true for products with topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, isotretinoin, and antibiotics. Excessive or unprotected sun exposure while using medications can lead to itchiness, rashes, scaly bumps, and inflammation.
- The UV rays can combine with the chemical ingredients in skincare products and trigger a particular type of acne called Acne Aestivalis. This mostly affects young and middle-aged women (between 25 and 40) and is characterized by small and reddish papules on the skin.
- Both the sun and warm weather increase sweat production and accelerates the rate at which it degrades on skin surface. This then creates an ideal environment where bacteria associated with acne (P.acnes) can spread and thrive.
Sun protection for acne-prone skin
If you want to protect your skin, the best way to do it is to limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. This is especially true during the sun’s intense hours or when the UV rays are strongest, between 10am and 4pm. Other ways to protect your skin from the sun include:
Wear protective clothes and accessorize – If possible, wear protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts and pants, or loose fitting garments with tightly woven fabrics. It is also recommended to wear sunglasses that protect the eyes and surrounding skin or a hat that shades your face and ears.
Be more cautious – If you taking acne medications that can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, limit the time you spend outside or be more cautious when going out in the sun. The same is also true if you take antibiotics, anti-fungals, anti-inflammatory, and blood pressure medications.
Choose and wear the right sunscreen – When buying a sunscreen, choose a formula with a lightweight texture and is labeled non-comedogenic. This means that the product is specially formulated to avoid blocking pores and causing blemishes. You might also want a sunscreen that is formulated for acne-prone skin.
We recommend the Clear Defense SPF 45 with Broad-Spectrum. This sunscreen is lightweight and provides the highest possible level of protection while restoring the skin’s youthfulness. It is also fast absorbing and features a high level of Niacinamide to promote a smoother, clearer complexion. This sunscreen also:
- Prevents UV and infrared damage to skin
- Improves the look of lines and wrinkles
- Reduces redness, hyperpigmentation, and blotchiness
- Increases elasticity and firmness
- Leaves no residue in the skin
Apart from protecting your skin from the sun, you should mind your skincare products. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, be sure to choose dermatologically proven products that are right for your skin type. Visit this page to learn more about other professionally formulated products ideal for oily skin types.