How To Choose a Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin

Sunscreen with acne
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You're afraid sunscreen will make your already temperamental skin break out even more. Besides, who wants a thick, smelly cream smeared across their face everyday?

But you really do need to use sun protection -- there really is no wiggle room on this rule. Skin cancer, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation are all caused by the sun. When you factor in use of photosensitizing acne medications, sunscreen becomes even more of a necessity.

Sunscreen products have come a long way. So make your skin (and your dermatologist) happy by wearing sunscreen daily. Choose one that you love, and you actually won't mind using it every day.

Look for Products that are Labeled Oil-free and ​Noncomedogenic.

This will help save your skin from clogged pores, and keep your face from feeling like an oil slick.

You may be pleasantly surprised at how lightweight many products now are. If oily skin is an issue, you'll be happier with a sheer lotion that is absorbed quickly. 

Don't use a sunscreen meant for your body on your face. These are generally much too thick, heavy, and greasy, and may contribute to breakouts.

Get Broad Spectrum Protection.

For maximum protection, always use a product that is labeled "broad spectrum."  This protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

UVB rays, or the "burn and tan" rays, account for much of the sun damage that occurs on the skin.

Some sunscreens will protect only against this type of ultraviolet light.

UVA rays damage the skin as well, and it is these rays that cause aging of the skin. Overexposure can also cause skin cancer. To completely protect your skin from the sun, you must have a product that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

Pay attention to the SPF.

SPF, also known as Sun Protection Factor, is a way to measure protection from UVB rays. The higher the SFP, the more protection it gives you.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 or higher every day. Sunscreen should be applied every day year-round, even when it's cloudy or rainy.

Consider a facial moisturizer and sunscreen combination.

These may be one of the best skin care products to have come out of the 20th century. The addition of sun protection into a moisturizer means no layering products, which is a real time and money saver.

One step and you're done. Try one; you'll love it.

You're already using a moisturizer, aren't you? If you said no, maybe you should! These don't have to be heavy or greasy either. And using a moisturizer every day will help you beat acne treatment dryness.

And yes, these moisturizer-sunscreen combos can give you just as much sun protection as a stand alone sunscreen. You should still choose a product that gives at least SPF 15 and broad-spectrum protection.

Shop around. If one product isn't quite what you're looking for, try another. 

You can use your sunscreen along with your acne treatment products.

Using a topical acne treatment? You can use sunscreen, too.

Apply it first, wait 20 minutes (or until fully absorbed) and then apply your sun protection over the top.

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