Why Does Sunscreen Make My Acne Worse?

Why Does Sunscreen Make My Acne Worse?

Christopher Schmidt, MD

Christopher Schmidt, MD

Co-Founder & Dermatologist


Sun protection is the most critical step you can take to protect your skin’s health, but does wearing sunscreen cause acne breakouts? The answer: it depends on the sunscreen and the person. For those with sensitive, acne-prone skin, choosing the right sunscreen becomes even more critical. 

As a dermatologist and advocate for healthy skin, let me reassure you: not all sunscreens are created equal. Today, let's discuss how to find the right water-resistant sun protection, especially those with acne-prone skin.

The Sunscreen-Acne Relationship

While some cosmetics can cause breakouts, not all sunscreens will. As with many skin products, reactions often depend on individual skin sensitivities. Standard sunscreens, usually designed for the body, might not be ideal for facial application due to their heavier formulations. But the good news is, brands like Dermasport have developed new water-resistant facial sunscreens which not only protect against skin cancer but also combat acne.

Sun exposure doesn't necessarily help acne; in some cases, it can even trigger breakouts and worsen scarring. So, safeguarding your skin against the sun is essential, especially if you're acne-prone.

Selecting the Right Sunscreen

When shopping for sunscreen, prioritize those marketed specifically for the face. Such products, including Dermasport's SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen, often have lighter textures and may contain ingredients beneficial for acne-prone skin. Here are some ingredients to look for:

  • Niacinamide: Effective in reducing acne, oil production, and improving skin texture.
  • Zinc oxide: An anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps regulate sebum production.
  • Antioxidants: Help in reducing acne-causing inflammation.
  • Fragrance-free: Best for acne-prone skin to reduce potential irritations.

Also, steer clear of chemical SPF filters that might cause reactions in acne-prone skin.

Embrace the sunshine with confidence!

For acne-prone individuals, choosing the right sunscreen ingredients is crucial. Thanks to advanced formulations, like the one offered by Dermasport, protecting and caring for your skin has never been easier. Prioritize your skin's health by incorporating a high-quality SPF into your daily regimen. 


  1. Piquero‐Casals J, Morgado‐Carrasco D, Rozas‐Muñoz E, et al. Sun exposure, a relevant exposome factor in acne patients and how photoprotection can improve outcomes. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Published online March 22, 2023. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.15726
  2. Slide show: Sun damage. Mayo Clinic. Published 2018. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/sun-damage/sls-20076973‌
  3. "Sunscreen and Acne: A Comprehensive Review" by Fabbrocini et al., published in the International Journal of Women's Dermatology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7152462/
  4. "Photoprotection in Acne Vulgaris: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of a Novel Sunscreen" by Del Rosso et al., published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970824/
  5. "Sunscreen Use in the Prevention of Melanoma: Common Myths and Misconceptions" by Burnett et al., published in the Journal of Skin Cancer: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4326277/

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