More Sun Exposure, More Acne

Summertime means less clothing, more beach time, and that genuine bronzed glow you’ve yearned for all winter. As long as you apply sunscreen, there’s no harm in enjoying the outdoors, right? Wrong. An increase in sun exposure and sunblock usage may lead to more breakouts. Before you slather on SPF and step outside, here’s everything you need to know.

Four main factors contribute to acne.

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Follicle blockage, superfluous sebum secretion (also known as an overproduction of oil), bacteria buildup, and skin irritation and inflammation can all lead to acne outbreaks. If you’re one of the “lucky” ones, you may already suffer from acne-prone skin, thanks to genetics. If not, your SPF could be the reason behind your outbreaks. Many formulas include pore-clogging ingredients like botanicals. Combine that with the sun’s UV rays, which can cause inflammation and irritation, and (bam!) you have an outbreak!

Ditching these ingredients can help avoid clogged pores.

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  • Petroleum and petroleum-based
    Mineral oil, paraffin, and petrolatum are petroleum-based ingredients, often referred to as
    petrochemicals, designed to “lock-in” moisture by acting as a seal between skin cells. While petrochemicals help your skin maintain moisture, the barrier they create also trap sweat underneath the skin’s surface, which can lead to irritation and breakouts. Instead, opt for sunblock formulas with moisturizing jojoba, sunflower, or grapeseed.
  • Oils and heavy butters
    Botanicals and essential oils like soybean oil and cocoa butter can make for great moisturizers, but their potency and heaviness can also clog pores and cause irritation, which may lead to blackheads and acne outbreaks. Instead, search for the label “non-comedogenic” to ensure the absence of pore-clogging ingredients.

Moisturizing parched skin can lessen your skin’s oil production.

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Excessive sun exposure can dehydrate your skin, and alert your oil-producing sebaceous glands to overcompensate to correct the moisture imbalance. To avoid this, apply a moisturizing sunscreen while in the sun, then a lightweight face and body lotion once you’re back indoors.

More Sun Exposure, More Acne: Feature image photographed by Jessica Toscano