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How Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Actually Helps Your Acne

how sunscreen prevents acne

Back in the 70s, celebrities, models, and common folk alike, used to go to the ultimate extremes in search of that perfect tan. We’re talking about cooking oil and aluminum foil (Oh, how I wish I were kidding). Thanks to scientific advancements we now know the absolute importance of daily sunscreen application. But, what if you’re one of the 60 million Americans that suffer from acne? How do you add sunscreen into your already time-consuming skincare routine without causing more possible damage?

One of the most common reasons for not using sunscreen is the risk of aggravating acne. Here’s what to look for to protect your acne-prone skin.

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is found in many sunscreens. The benefits of this mineral are twofold: One, it adds the safest protection against damaging sun rays and two, zinc oxide is a known treatment for, wait for it... acne! Always, always, always use a sunscreen that has this acne-fighting mineral in the ingredient list. 


While sunscreen doesn’t cause acne, some thicker sunscreens can clog pores. Thankfully, there are more than a few oil-free formulas available. Also, look for formulas that do not contain pore-clogging ingredients like petroleum or mineral oil. If you are still concerned about possible breakouts, try applying the sunscreen on top of your acne medications to provide somewhat of a barrier between the lotion and your skin.

Anti-aging and Skin Damage

Not reapplying regularly can result in burnt, irritated, and damaged skin. This is turn, can ultimately increase the risk of acne flare-ups, not to mention, cause spots and wrinkles. This means that sunscreen also provides anti-aging benefits by preventing the damage of your skins ‘building blocks’, its natural elastin, and collagen.

Acne Scarring

Sun causes damage and the heat can not only damage but also irritate your skin. Sun exposure is also more likely to darken the pigmentation of the skin, making scarring and the acne itself much more noticeable. Using and reapplying sunscreen can greatly reduce the chance of acne flare-ups. 

All-natural or Organic

Unfortunately, many of the chemicals found in popular sunscreens can penetrate the skin and cause havoc. These chemicals have been known to accidentally seep into the bloodstream and affect or disrupt important hormones. Organic and all-natural sunscreens are just as effective and better for your health, overall.


The sun and heat absolutely dry out the skin as well as depleting any moisture. Dry skin is more susceptible to damage from rays. Sunscreen helps to moisturize the skin, lowering the risk of it drying out. You can also look for a light yet hydrating sunscreen for an added boost to your possibly parched skin.

"Look for sunscreen that is very light in texture (especially if you have oily skin). For acne-prone skin, look for sunscreen that contains ingredients that treat acne or sebum and ingredients such as zinc or zinc oxide." Lastly, Dr. Roos suggests: “Apply sunscreen about 15-20 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply at least every 3 hours for protected skin that won't break out”.

-Dr. Nina Roos, Dermatologist/Vichy Laboratories

There are plenty of corners to cut when it comes to preventing acne breakouts, however, skipping sun protection should never be one of them. ZINC IT OVER is a broad-spectrum zinc oxide sunscreen spray that can provide you with a light, hydrating and nourishing option for your acne-prone skin. Remember to reapply every few hours and wash your face completely clean every night before bed.

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