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Does Sunscreen Cause Acne?


Sunscreen does not cause acne or breakouts.

More Info: Most sunscreens on the market are specially formulated to be non-comedogenic, which is a technical word for products that do not clog pores. Because the compounds in sunscreen do not clog pores, sunscreen is not likely to be the root cause of pimples or acne break outs. However, most sunblock lotions contain oils, fragrances, and other additives. These ingredients may aggravate an acne condition that already exists. If a person has acne and sensitive or oily skin, he or she can purchase hypo-allergenic and oil-free sunscreens. The level of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) does affect acne sensitivity.

For people with mild or moderate acne, there may be some benefit to going without sunscreen. In moderation, sunlight may help heal lesions and dry up cystic acne pimples on the face, back, and chest. The results will vary from person to person, and not everyone will notice improvement. The best times to soak up the sun are before 10 am and after 2 pm when the sun’s rays are less direct. For prolonged exposure to sunlight, or exposure during peak hours, it is important to wear sunscreen, regardless of any acne condition. According to the American Cancer Society, everyone should use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. To get the most protection, it should be applied 20 minutes before going out into the sun, and should be reapplied after swimming and towel drying.



“ACS :: SPF 15.” American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2010.

Magin, Parker, Dimity Pond, Wayne Smith, and Alan Watson. “A systematic review of the evidence for ‘myths and misconceptionsâ€TM in acne management: diet, face-washing and sunlight.” Family Practice Advance Access. Oxford University Press, 11 Jan. 2005. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.

“Salisbury University – New STD Screening for Men.” Salisbury University – A Maryland University of National Distinction. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2010.

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