Sunscreen and acne can be a tricky combination. Even if your skin is prone to acne, you still need to protect it from overexposure to the sun. Dermatologists recommend that people with acne use sun protection every day. People with acne who use topical retinoids are more suceptible to sunburn on the areas to which the topical retinoids are applied, and sunscreen is necessary to avoid damaging sunburn. Choose a sunscreen that is labelled “noncomedogenic,” which means that it doesn’t block pores. It should be applied after application of topical acne medication.
Sunscreen and Acne
Because acne-prone skin tends to be sensitive, look for products that are labeled hypoallergenic. A few of the brands that work well with sensitive, acne prone skin include Cetaphil SPF 15, which is available from drugstore.com, and in drugstores. It is made to be lightweight, free of fragrance, and suitable for using underneath makeup or after shaving. Cetaphil also has a stronger sunblock, Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50. It contains micronized titanium dioxide and is non-greasy, non-comedogenic, and fragrance free. Sunscreen and acne usually get along better the fewer the chemicals in the sunscreen.
But if sunscreen and acne is tricky, sunscreen and rosacea is super tricky. Rosacea is not the same as acne, even though it is sometimes mistakenly called adult acne, because it occurs primarily in adults ages 30 to 50, particularly if they have fair skin. Rosacea usually doesn’t include blackheads or whiteheads, just small red bumps that are not extractable like blackheads. Rosacea usually affects the nose first, causing it to become red and bumpy with dilated small blood vessels. Left untreated it can progress to a condition called rhinophyma which causes a thickened, red nose and cheeks. rosacea sunscreen is a very important part of skin care for those with rosacea.
People with rosacea do have very sensitive skin that is more vulnerable to damage than normal skin. The problem is that people with rosacea need protection from ultraviolet sunlight, but they are often sensitive to the chemicals in sunscreens. Rosacea patients do better with physical rather than chemical sunscreens. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that are unscented are usually best. People with rosacea often have to try several different brands of sunscreen to find one that works for them. Some people have luck with sunblocks formulated for infants because they use titanium dioxide and are usually unscented.
For those with acne or rosacea, sun protection is important for healthy skin. Because people with these conditions may not be able to tolerate heavy application of sunscreen on their faces, a lighter application plus the use of a wide brimmed hat can work well without irritating skin. Skin care products (not just sunscreens) that are labelled hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic are often the best choices for people with rosacea or acne.
Sunscreen and acne can go together successfully, but sometimes not without trial and error. The same is true with rosacea and sunscreen, but finding appropriate sun protection is very important to people with either of these skin conditions.