Will Sunscreen Help Acne? An Evidence-Based Guide

will sunscreen help acne

Will Sunscreen Help Acne? An Evidence-Based Guide

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people all over the world. For many, it can cause embarrassment, low self-confidence, and even depression. Sunscreen has long been touted as a potential way to help clear up acne, but is this claim backed up by scientific evidence?

In this article, we'll explore the available evidence and see if sunscreen is indeed a viable solution

What is Acne and its Causes?

Acne is a skin condition that is characterized by pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.

It is typically caused by the overproduction of oil in the skin, clogged pores, and bacteria. That over production can be caused by hormones, diet, and/or lifestyle.

Acne can occur on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. It is most common during puberty, when hormone production increases, but it can occur at any age.

Common causes of acne include genetics, hormones, stress, diet, and certain medications.

Genetics play a large role in determining the severity of acne; people with a family history of acne are more likely to develop it.

Hormones, such as those produced during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can also cause the body to produce excess oil, leading to acne.

Stress can also trigger the production of hormones that can cause acne.

Diet can also play a role; high-sugar, high-fat, and processed foods can trigger the production of oil and hormones that can lead to acne.

Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can also make acne worse.

Our Mineral Sunscreen with 25 SPF and contains an entirely natural ingredient list which will not only help with sun protection but also improve your skin, and it ships for free in the US.

What is the Link Between Sunscreen and Acne?

Sunscreen is a product that is used to protect the skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is commonly used by people with acne-prone skin, as it is thought to help reduce the appearance of acne.

The idea behind it is that UV rays can inflame and irritate the skin, which can worsen acne.

Per a medical study that was conducted in 2022, in as little as two weeks of sunscreen use, caused a reduction in acne for sunscreen users.

Especially with sunscreens that include zinc, which is an anti inflammatory, this important step can help calm skin as well as protect it from harmful rays and the irritation of skin that is associated with sun exposure.

What are Some Other Ingredients to Look for in a Sunscreen for Acne?

There are many natural ingredients that can help with acne in a sunscreen, and here are a few we highly recommend:

Green Tea Extract: Green tea contains plant-based compounds called catechins. Catechins have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. One catechin compound in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has significant anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties that could help prevent or treat acne.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant, and can help reduce the redness and swelling that is associated with acne. Vitamin C can also help reduce the scarring and discoloration that often occurs with acne.

Milk Thistle / Silymarin: Milk thistle is also an anti inflammatory and antioxidant - and when it comes to acne, you'll need these ingredients in your routine to make a difference.

Willow Bark: Willow bark contains salicylic acid, which is a well known skin care remedy. Not only can it help reduce inflammation, but it can help clear out pores.

What are the Other Treatments and Products That Can Help Clear Up Acne?

Even though you're considering adding a sunscreen to your skin care routine to help curb acne, there are other things that can help curb acne:

Topical medications, such as retinoids and gentle non abrasive exfoliants can be used to treat mild to moderate acne. Retinoids, such as vitamin a can help reduce inflammation and the production of oil.

A glycolic acid treatment in a low percentage can help clear out pores, reduce scarring, discoloration, and help balance your skin.

In addition to these things, products such as cleansers and moisturizers can help reduce the appearance of acne. Cleansers help remove dirt, oil, and bacteria from the skin, while moisturizers help keep the skin hydrated.

What Tips Can You Use to Choose the Right Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin?

If you decide to use sunscreen to help reduce the appearance of acne, it is important to choose the right product for your skin.

When choosing a sunscreen, look for ingredients that are non-comedogenic. These products are designed to not clog pores, which can help reduce the risk of breakouts.

You should also look for a sunscreen that is naturally formulated to avoid dangerous chemicals that most sunscreens on store shelves contain. Oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octocrylene and
octisalate and the ingredients to steer clear of.

Finally, avoid sunscreen that is heavy in oils, fragrances, or alcohol, as these can irritate the skin and make acne worse.

Our Mineral Sunscreen with 25 SPF and contains an entirely natural ingredient list which will not only help with sun protection but also improve your skin, and it ships for free in the US.


In conclusion, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that sunscreen can help clear up acne. If you decide to use sunscreen for acne-prone skin, it is important to choose the right product, like our mineral sunscreen at noted above. With the right combination of treatments and products, you can reduce the appearance of acne and improve your skin health.

Profile Image Jeanette @ Claribelskincare.com

Jeanette @ Claribelskincare.com

I'm a formulator and skin care expert, wife, parent, and fur baby mom. I specialize in active ingredient research and studies, and share that information with you via our blog and products. Please reach out anytime you have questions!

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