All You Need To Know About The Connection Between Sunscreen and Acne


Harsh sun rays can wreak havoc on our skin and sunscreen lotions or creams are indispensable for putting a stop to it. But there is a myth that wearing sunscreen gives acne and breakouts, especially in people who have oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. So, what’s the truth? Does sunscreen really clog skin pores and make acne worse? How to choose the right sunscreen if you are struggling with breakouts? Well, we’ve got you covered in this post. Let’s talk everything about the connection between sunscreen and acne and how to get around the issue successfully.


Connection Between Sunscreen and Acne

Does Sunscreen Cause Acne?

This is a million-dollar question to all of us, right? We don’t want to get our skin burnt by the sun rays or are not ready to impact our complexion by skipping the sunscreen. But at the same time, we also want to keep those pesky breakouts at bay. So, it’s critical for us to learn whether it’s our sun safety products that are causing us acne or not. Well, the answer is ‘it depends’. You should be careful about the type of SPF you are applying to your skin as some of them can lead to the clogging of pores, thereby resulting in acne. They will dry up your skin, irritate it, and cause outbreaks to give you a blemished appearance. However, it is not true for all the sunscreens available in the market as there are quite a lot of brands with products made to meet the specific needs of oily, acne-prone skin.

Also Read – Does Sunscreen Trigger Acne- Facts Revealed! Here

Choosing Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin


As said before, not all sunscreen lotions / creams cause acne/ breakouts and the key is to choose the right one for your skin type. We tell you how to pick the most suitable sunscreen for yourself so that you do not end up getting acne:

  1. Non-Comedogenic

Instead of ‘oil-free’, look for the term ‘non-comedogenic’ in the label while purchasing your sun safety products. A non-comedogenic product is specifically designed for oily, acne-prone skin so that the pores don’t get blocked and the skin doesn’t develop acne. The unique formulation of such products can prevent the skin from drying up, and put a stop to further inflammation caused by the pimples.

  1. Physical Vs. Chemical

There are two types of sunscreens i.e. physical and chemical available in the market. Physical sunscreens (containing titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) are always a better choice for acne-prone skin as they do not clog the pores due to their powdery texture and also reflect or block the UV rays, thereby providing protection from the sun. Being loaded with chemical compounds, chemical sunscreens absorb the rays of the sun and sink into the pores to clog them. This eventually leads to acne and breakouts.

Connection Between Sunscreen and Acne

Also Read – Expired Sunscreen vs. No Sunscreen – Unfold the Truth Here

  1. Broad-Spectrum

A sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection is basically one with the capacity of blocking both UVA and UVB rays of the sun. According to scientists, both of these rays are equally damaging for our skin and hence, we need to shield our skin from both of these. Surprisingly, physical sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are known to have broad-spectrum SPF and they are also quite capable of averting acne.

Using Sunscreen On Acne-Prone Skin

Once you find the right sunscreen for your acne-prone skin, it becomes important to learn how to use it the right way. Here is a basic guideline for you:

  • Pay attention to the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number of your sunscreen. It should always be at least 15 or more for the maximum protection. However, it is recommended that you choose SPF between 30 and 50 as it comes with greater drying capacity and prevents acne considerably.
  • If you have oily skin, stick to a physical sunscreen with a powdery base as it will create a physical barrier to the sunlight without giving you a greasy feel. If this makes your whitish complexion look bad, go for a tinted sunblock with ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, etc.

Connection Between Sunscreen and Acne

Also Read – Sunscreen Facts Decoded – Which sunscreen is best for you ? Here

  • If you have super oily skin, top your sunscreen with an oil-absorbent powder so that the excess oil doesn’t block your pores by any means.
  • If you are using a physical sunscreen, you can apply it right before going outside as it starts working on the skin immediately. However if you are using a chemical sunscreen, make sure that you apply it at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to the sun exposure.
  • Be generous while applying sunscreen even if you have an oily, acne-prone skin. In the case of a chemical sunscreen, you need to reapply it every 2 hours. Otherwise, you can reapply the sunscreen whenever you get wet due to sweating.

Everyone, irrespective of dry, oily or sensitive skin, needs to apply sunscreen. Therefore, skipping it is certainly not a good choice. All you need to do is to pick the most suitable one and use it the best possible way.

Image Credit – Featured, 1, 2, 3

About the author

Nilankeeta

A digital media professional, an ardent beauty lover and a passionate foodie - this is what describes Nilankeeta in a nutshell. She is in a serious relationship with music and can't think of a life without family, friends, and online shopping. When not working on projects or experimenting with foods or humming a new tune, you can find her relishing sarcastic stories saturated in humor and wit.