If you have acne, you’ve probably busted out the occasional salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide treatment. Keep reading to discover why some acne treatments and sunscreen are better when they’re used together.
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a clear complexion after trying tons of acne-fighting products. Want to know how to ensure that all that hard work and money are going to last? Well, you must wear sunscreen! Keep scrolling to learn why you need to protect your acne treatment investments with some good ‘ole SPF.
If you use salicylic acid, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun.
Salicylic is one of the most widely-used acne treatments; it’s in a lot of over-the-counter products for acne and it’s one of the most effective and affordable ways to battle pimples. “Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that helps remove excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin to keep the pores clear, and since it thins out the surface of your skin, sunscreen is a necessity with it,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
If you regularly use salicylic acid, here’s what your altered skincare routine should look like: After you apply your salicylic acid treatment, apply a soothing moisturizer and then top that off with sunscreen. This rule applies even if you only use salicylic acid at night (the top layer of your skin will still be thin in the morning, so SPF is needed over your moisturizer!). If your skin is sensitive and a bit irritated (which can happen with salicylic acid), choose a 100% mineral SPF to lessen your chances of further irritation.
A great choice is our new lotion, Zincscreen SPF 40, which contains 100% zinc oxide as its sunscreen active. Even more, the zinc oxide particles are non-nano, which means they are larger than 100 nanometers and won’t seep into your skin, but instead sit gently on top of it. It’s a super gentle formula that’s also non-comedogenic, and contains winter cherry to help protect from blue light.
If you use benzoyl peroxide, here’s why you should use SPF…
While benzoyl peroxide isn’t an AHA or BHA, but rather a chemical compound that is considered a non-prescription drug, it still works to exfoliate skin and fight acne. Benzoyl peroxide exfoliates the upper layers of the skin to get rid of clogged pores and oiliness. It works to kill acne-causing bacteria by helping turn over the skin faster and get rid of dead, oily skin cells.
During this process, your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun, which means that it could get sunburned more easily. You’ll want to use sunscreen to prevent this, because – hot tip from Dr. Zeichner – “getting a sunburn can make your skin even more sensitive, which makes it more difficult to treat acne.”
A big goal when you’re using acne treatments like this should be to prevent your skin from getting sun damage, because you don’t want to throw a wrench in your benzoyl peroxide product’s plans to clear your skin!
A wonderful sunscreen to use with acne-prone skin is our 100% Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40. It uses only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as its sunscreen actives so it works well with oily and acne-prone skin, it protects from blue light and it contains a translucent tint to offer a nice hint of coverage to mask any redness or scarring.
In general, wearing sunscreen will help to fade any post-acne scarring and pigmentation faster.
Chances are that if you’re investing in salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide (or any acne treatment), then you’re also trying to avoid post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), or acne scarring. Guess what? Sunlight is one of the main causes of pigmentation… Exposure to the sun increases melanin, which is what causes skin cells to darken and remain dark. So if you don’t load up on the SPF, your acne scars will take a much longer time to heal, and you may even develop extra unwanted pigmentation.
Moral of the story? Wearing sunscreen will help those scars and redness disappear faster and will help prevent new pigmentation from forming.
A wonderful choice to protect your acne scars from getting darker and to help conceal them is the 100% Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40. The featherlight formula won’t irritate your skin and the translucent tint will help to even out your skin tone and conceal any redness.
+Have more questions about acne treatments and sunscreen? Leave them in the comments!