One of the most common false beliefs about acne is that sunscreen will give you an acne break out. Along with that comes the myth that the sun will actually help heal your acne. Neither of those could be farther from the truth. The damaging rays of the sun should be screened from your skin at all costs, especially if your goal is to clear your complexion and keep it free of acne scars.
We all know that the sun can cause early aging as well as some forms of skin cancer. But why exactly is the sun your skin’s worst enemy when it comes to treating acne? Here are the top 5 reasons the sun is terrible for acne-prone skin and some great reasons to wear sun protection all year long.
1. The Free Radical Factor
The sun’s UV rays, those powerful beams of light, cause free radical damage on your skin. Those free radicals lead to inflammation. Acne is actually an inflammatory skin problem, so adding more inflammation to the skin when you have acne only leads to, you guessed it, more acne. Some recent studies have even shown that free radical activity directly correlates to severe acne. Wearing sunscreen at least 30 SPF every day in combination with a free radical fighter containing vitamin C, will help protect your skin immensely.
2. The Sun Destroys Collagen and Elastin
Collagen and elastin are the building blocks of healthy skin. Regardless of your skin type, you want to preserve as much of those two proteins as possible. Beautiful skin depends on the abundance of collagen you have.
3. The Sun Zaps Your Skin of Moisture
While this may sound like a good thing for acne-prone skin, since most people with acne have too much oil on their skin, it’s actually a really bad thing. The sun damages the skin’s natural barrier, which causes moisture loss. Your body then produces more oil to overcompensate for the moisture loss. It’s a vicious cycle, so wear your sunscreen!
4. Zinc Oxide is Good For Your Skin
One of the best ingredients to block the sun may actually be a potent acne fighter! There are countless forums all over the web claiming that when used on pimples, zinc oxide will clear them up. Zinc oxide is mineral-based physical block. There have been claims that it clears skin the same way benzoyl peroxide does, minus the potential irritation. Take time to read the ingredients on your bottle of sunscreen before purchasing to make sure
it contains zinc oxide as opposed to chemical sunscreen ingredients. Try EltaMD UV Physical Broad Spectrum 41.
5. The Sun Makes Acne Scar Worse
You may feel like getting a tan will help conceal your acne scars. But don’t fall that trap. Sun damage can create hyperpigmentation and in the end this will make your scars look much worse. The sun can darken the acne scars you already have and cause blotchiness elsewhere on your skin. If you want to diminish the look of those red and brown spots left behind after acne, try a Laser Genesis or microdermabrasion.