Acne and SPF: Find Your Dream Sunscreen

Acne and SPF: Find Your Dream Sunscreen

We’re deep into summer, and you’re feeling fantastic. It’s all pool days, beach holidays, bikini pics and then uploading it all to Insta stories. And while your body may be loving the vibe, you still haven’t found the one. No, you’re delighted being single this season, and your SPF mate hasn’t ticked all your boxes. Just because you’re an acne skin type (like many South Africans), why is coupling up with the perfect sunscreen so hard? For those who suffer from breakouts, the feedback is often that an SPF makes skin feel heavy, oily (or somewhat oilier) and hot. Sound about right? And if using the wrong one causes clogged pores, then a switch-up must happen. Fast! 

Dream Sunscreen: It’s All in the Ingredients

A little bit of homework really makes for a happy sunscreen relationship. And for acne skin, it’s crucial. Doing your research means you’ll know which ingredients will help keep your skin condition under control. In other words, not contribute to any reactions or worsen your underlying causes of acne. Unfortunately, it’s the SPFs that help with watersports and water resistance that can mean bad news to pimple-prone skin. These have typical long-lasting ingredients like avobenzone or oxybenzone on the ingredients list. 

Instead, look to a lightweight formula physical sunscreen containing ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (shout out to Neostrata Defend Sheer Physical Protection SPF 50.) Rather than absorbing light (like a chemical sunscreen does), a physical sunscreen doesn’t convert the sun’s rays into heat to protect your skin. So they’re known not to make your face feel as hot and sticky and, therefore, potentially reactive. See how it works?

Acne beyond SPF: Other Ways to Keep Your Cool

Smart sunscreens (like Heliocare 360 Gel Oil Free SPF 50) asidekeeping your skin cool is essential for sensitive skin, be it acne-prone or another condition. Lose the thick, very emollient products (the ones that are super-moisturising and even highly fragranced), and go for formulated goodies for sensitive, reactive and oily skin types. And then get a few new tricks up your summer sleeve. 

A simple remedy of applying ice to the skin (it’s excellent as an anti-ageing measure, by the way) works as an anti-inflammatory, cooling the skin down quickly. That super-hot car ride you just did from the dam back to your apartment? Work fast to ice your skin, and then apply a chilled aloe vera gel or repair gel laced with anti-oxidants like soothing Vitamin E (try Lamelle Nourish Rescue Repair Gel) after a day of being out of harmful UV rays. This helps soothe agitated skin, calming a potential flare. 

Acne, like everything, is just part of life. Learning to live with it – and living your best Summer life – means one less thing to worry about. With the correct SPF, your beautiful skin is the best chance to feel amazing and look fabulous. Here’s to a season of discovering your happiest skin journey yet! 

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