Can Sunscreen Cause Acne? Unraveling Skincare Myths & Facts

Can Sunscreen Cause Acne? Unraveling Skincare Myths & Facts

Sunscreens and Daily SPF are highly effective at safeguarding your skin from detrimental UV rays. However, many individuals worry about skincare myths and misconceptions that suggest using sunscreen can trigger acne. 

To clarify whether or not this is true, it's important to explore the specifics of this myth and gain a comprehensive understanding of how sunscreen works in relation to our skin. 

The question is can sunscreen cause acne? or does it help it? Does sunscreen cause acne? Or just some specific formulations that are detrimental to your skin type. 

Hence, let’s do the work of being myth-busters and unravel the reality behind this not-so-straightforward relationship between sunscreens and acne. To put this matter to rest once and for all.

Importance of Wearing Sunscreen, Why Should You Wear Sunscreen All Year Round?

Using sunscreen daily is essential to keep your skin healthy and shield it from the detrimental impact of the sun. It minimizes the possibility of sunburns and helps in skin protection. 

The use of sunscreens is crucially emphasized by all doctors and dermatological experts. Because it helps avoid signs of aging from prolonged exposure to sun rays and without sun protection you can harm your elastin, collagen, and skin cells. 

Furthermore, Sunscreens help you evade skin discoloration while reducing the risk and probability of skin cancer. Hence, to avoid sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays, applying sunscreen is crucial. 

It's important to note that even on cloudy days, up to 80% of the sun's harmful rays can still reach your skin through the cloud cover. Sunscreen is an extremely essential part of your skincare routine, but most people misunderstand the effects of sunscreen and deliberate can sunscreen cause acne? And whether they should use it, as some sunscreens and formulations do not suit their skin type. 

Can Sunscreen Cause Acne? Or Does it Help It?

Does sunscreen cause acne for real? Is it true that sunscreen give you acne? The connection between acne and sunscreen is not simple. 

Can sunscreen cause acne? is a good question to ask when building your screen care routine as many cosmetic products including sunscreens are directly or indirectly responsible for skin issues. 

However, sunscreens themselves may not directly be the cause of your acne, they can lead to clogged pores and skin irritation if they contain comedogenic ingredients. 

Hence, it's crucial for individuals who are suffering from acne to select non-comedogenic products, which don't obstruct or clog skin pores. 

To further elaborate on the matter of sunscreens and acne we have enlisted a well-researched guide to help you select the right sunscreen for your daily use. 

Whether your skin is acne-prone or sensitive now you don’t have to worry about causing your skin further damage by following the guide below:

Choose a Face-Specific Formulation: To prevent or worsen breakouts while using sunscreen, skincare professionals and dermatological experts suggest certain specific options. 

For instance, it is advised to seek out sunscreens labeled as face-specific rather than body-centric since they have different and distinct formulations. Sunscreens specifically formulated for the face possess lighter textures and may even feature substances like niacinamide that assist in diminishing the possibility of acne outbreaks.

Choose the Right Ingredients: Closely examining the list of ingredients is important. As all sunscreens are not equal, certain formulas may contain acne-inducing components while others can potentially enhance breakout appearance. 

Although individual skin sensitivities vary and should be considered, skin specialists suggest these ingredients typically suit those with prone-to-acne complexions and skin types:

  • Niacinamide: In terms of preferences for acne-prone skin, niacinamide is a prominent highlight. This ingredient is new and favored by skin experts due to its diverse range of benefits such as combating acne, reducing oil production and blemishes while enhancing texture, and addressing unwanted discoloration. Additionally, facial sunscreens increasingly include this component.
  • Zinc Oxide: According to dermatological experts, zinc oxide found in mineral-based sunscreens can aid in acne treatment by reducing inflammation and regulating skin sebum production.
  • Antioxidants: We also suggest seeking out products that contain antioxidants as they can aid in decreasing inflammation that causes acne.
  • Squalane or Ceramides: The presence of squalane or ceramides in sunscreens can additionally aid in maintaining a healthy skin moisture barrier and potentially decrease the occurrence of acne.
  • Fragrance-Free: It is advised to steer clear of sunscreens with added fragrance because using sunscreens with additional fragrance can cause breakouts if you have acne-prone skin.

To sum up, choose sunscreens that are labeled non-comedogenic as they have a lower probability of causing breakouts. Select facial sunscreens that are specially formulated for the face as they might contain acne-preventing elements. 

Finally, It's essential to be aware of your unique skin sensitivities since what may work for one person might not suit another. Therefore, it is crucial to observe how your skin responds to different formulations.

Does Sunscreen Cause Acne? 

The absorption of UV light by chemical sunscreens produces heat that may create an impenetrable barrier for sweat and sebum leading to further obstruction of skin pores. 

Hence, those with acne-prone skin should be cautious when using chemical sunscreens as they have the potential to cause breakouts. Furthermore, the presence of comedogenic ingredients in some formulations can lead to clogged pores and thus, aggravate acne. 

While many chemical sunscreens have the potential to cause acne, not all of them do as some chemical sunscreens do not intensify your acne and there are plenty of options that are safe to use. 

Acne arises when the sebaceous follicles of the skin become obstructed with dead cells, dirt buildup, and oil secretion. Sunscreens that could potentially cause acne have extensive occlusive formulas or chemical irritants. 

Hence, Aside from searching for acne-fighting elements, it is advisable to steer clear of ingredients that are known to cause breakouts.

According to our experts, certain sunscreens contain these components to enhance the texture of your skin, while others serve as a type of sunscreen themselves. 

If you happen upon an adverse reaction after using a particular sunscreen product, identify its formula's contents and explore alternative options. Avoid the ingredients enlisted below:

Heavy Occlusive Formulas: Using sunscreens that contain heavy occlusive ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, mineral oil, and beeswax can cause blemishes and acne.

Chemical SPF filters:  Chemical SPF filters specifically avobenzone, have the potential to cause reactions in individuals with acne-prone skin. It is recommended to opt for a mineral-based sunscreen as an alternative option.

Fragrance: The incorporation of fragrance heightens the likelihood of irritation which may ultimately result in acne development.

Ultimately, wearing sunblock plays an integral part in safeguarding our skin against damaging UV radiation. Sunscreen also plays an essential role in maintaining clear and healthy skin and is a crucial addition to your skincare routine. 

Even though some people may experience acne from certain non-comedogenic sunscreens, utilizing the appropriate sunscreen can aid in preventing and healing acne.


On an ending note, we hope we have answered the daunting question of whether can sunscreen cause acne? for you. Every day, we are exposed to the sun in various ways such as running errands, working indoors, or driving. Furthermore, fluorescent lights used inside offices also emit some amount of UV rays that affect us daily. 

Hence, the use of Sunscreen is crucial all year round, including during winter or summer times because the sun's UV rays can still penetrate windows and windshields. Additionally, snow reflects sunlight which increases exposure to harmful radiation. 

Skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and acne can deteriorate due to the effects of sun exposure. However, regular application of sunscreen minimizes potential flare-ups. For optimal protection, be sure to select a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours.

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