Having acne-prone skin is a pain to deal with. Seeing the formation and breakouts of acne is a very disappointing feeling and the unpleasant acne scars can really lower your self-esteem. Furthermore, we have the UV rays to deal with on top of the annoying pimples. To help you understand your skin better, let’s talk about how the sun really affects acne-prone skin and how to deal with it.
Table of Contents
- Debunking myths about the sun and acne
- How often should we use sunscreen?
- What is SPF?
- Factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen for acne-prone skin
- Why are Korean Sunscreens Great for Acne-Prone Skin?
- Best Korean Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin
- Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk
- A’Pieu Pure Block Natural Daily Sun Cream
- MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Fluid
- Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk
- SOME BY MI Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream
- Soonjung Mild Defence Sun Cream
- Dr.Jart+ UV Every Sun Day
- MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel
- DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB DAY-LIGHT PROTECTION SUNSCREEN
- COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
- The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco No Shine Hydrating Sun Cream
- Goodal Mild Protect Fresh Sun Gel
- Korean Beauty (SRB) Daily Facial Sun Cream
- Tonymoly Bcdation Multi Use Sun Oil
- Nature Republic California Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick
- IOPE UV Shield SPF 50+ Pa++++ Sun Stick
- AHC Natural Perfection Fresh Sun Stick
- Our Pick
Debunking myths about the sun and acne
Is the sun good for acne-prone skin?
Generally speaking, no. Gentle tanning can help your skin. It is often said that exposing yourself to the sun can help in clearing your acne and that having a tan can cover imperfections.
However, it is important to know that this is a dangerous myth in the long run. This will work and you can improve the appearance of your face by getting a tan as it can temporarily cover reddish areas. However, prolonged exposure to the sun will do more damage and will worsen your acne condition.
Extended sun exposure can:
- Aggravate skin inflammation since the heat from the sun can cause further redness.
- React with acne medication causing it to burn the skin or have a negative chemical reaction on your skin.
- Increase sweating making it more prone to breeding bacteria and produce more pimples.
- Lead to sunburn (especially if your skin isn’t the type that naturally tans under sunlight) clogging your pores with dried skin causing more breakouts.
- Increase sensitivity to UV light making your skin more sensitive.
- Result in the darkening of healed pimples and worsen the appearance of acne scars.
While it’s always best to consult a dermatologist about your skin, it’s best to avoid long exposure to the sun and minimize breakouts. The best way to prevent the harmful effects of the sun is to avoid the sun altogether or protect your skin with a great sunscreen for acne-prone skin.
How often should we use sunscreen?
Sunscreen is an essential skin care product that is highly recommended for everyone. It is advised to apply sunscreen every day, even in cloudy weather, because as much as 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays still penetrate the earth. You should apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out. Also, remember to reapply every two to three hours and apply more frequently if you are swimming or when you’re sweating heavily.
What is SPF?
SPF, or sun protection factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen can protect you from UV rays. The number indicates how long your skin would redden compared to how long it would take if you did not wear it.
So, using a product with SPF 15 would take your skin 15 times longer to burn under the sun. You should also note that the SPF calculation does not apply for UVA rays.
- Use SPF 15 if you mostly stay indoors
- Use at least an SPF 30 if you’re often outdoors even in winter.
Factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen for acne-prone skin
When looking for a sunscreen product, you would be faced with a myriad of options, and it can be difficult to choose the one best suited for you. So, we have enlisted a few important factors to note when shopping for a product.
SPF and PA
As we mentioned, choosing a higher SPF is better if you’re an outdoorsy type of person. Meanwhile, the PA refers to the protection grade a product has against UVA rays and its protection factor is graded by the plus(+) sign following it.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
Chemical and Physical Sunscreen
Sunscreens can come in 2 kinds:
- Physical Sunscreen sits atop the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. Also known as mineral sunscreen, their active ingredients are mainly the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide.
- Chemical Sunscreen gets absorbed into the skin and then absorbs UV rays and releases them from the body, preventing them from penetrating the skin.
No matter how much manufacturers claim it to be, no sunscreen is truly waterproof. Still, sunscreens are labeled water-resistant if they are tested to last for up to 40-80 minutes in the water.
Why are Korean Sunscreens Great for Acne-Prone Skin?
While the benefits of using sunscreens are plenty, they could also cause you some drawbacks. Grease, irritation, and possible acne breakouts are bitter exchanges, especially if you have an oily or acne-prone skin. But Korean sunscreens are a different story. They have a massive edge in not only providing you with protection from the sun’s rays but also keeping your skin healthy. Sunscreens that are designed for oily skin also offer heavy protection without adding unnecessary oils which can make your face look slimy and greasy.
Best Korean Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin
With a lot of products to choose from, we’ve enlisted some of the best products that can give you protection without sacrificing the quality of your skin.
Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk
If you ever find yourself in a hot and humid environment, then the Missha Sun Milk is just the product for you. With its soft non-irritating formula, it is a perfect long-lasting safeguard against UV rays. It also features a water and sweat blocking system, to keep you protected, even in the most humid conditions.
A’Pieu Pure Block Natural Daily Sun Cream
A very helpful product in terms of keeping yourself protected while staying in top beauty. The A’Pieu Natural Sun Cream offers UV protection with its very absorbent and smooth feel without having to interfere with any make-up or leave any white cast on your skin.
MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Fluid
The powerful formulation of this product is great for protecting yourself, even in the strongest sunlight. Without leaving a sticky feel, it can block both UVA and UVB using its carefully designed mineral filter. By also using botanical ingredients that lowers your skin temperature, this sun fluid is also great at preventing heat aging.
Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk
With over 20 natural plant ingredients infused in this sun milk, this would surely give your skin a gentle approach. These ingredients include Sunflower seeds and dwarf ground sedge extract which are great for UV protection. Acai berry and Acerola which gives your skin vibrancy. Aloe vera, cactus, and Hyaluronic acid to give your skin a proper hydration. These are just some of the ingredients that give your skin a mild but effective defense.
SOME BY MI Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream
Give yourself a safe, and skin-friendly product with the SOME BY MI calming Suncream. The product features a Non-nano formulation, which makes its particles too big to be absorbed in the skin, which guarantees safety on your use. This physical sunscreen is great at reflecting UV rays and also contains no artificial fragrance and no artificial coloring.
Soonjung Mild Defence Sun Cream
A mild and hypoallergenic product for your sensitive skin. By physically reflecting harmful UV rays on your skin’s surface, the Soonjung Sun Cream is great in relieving your skin from external stress. It is also wonderful at relaxing irritated skin with soothing ingredients while giving it a non-sticky soft feel.
Dr.Jart+ UV Every Sun Day
With a clear and opaque formulation, this product leaves no ugly white casts on your application and is great to use for many situations. A very effective product on protecting yourself from UV rays while leaving your skin hydrated and moisturized.
MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel
Keep your face looking young by avoiding the consequences of skin aging with Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel. This is the product that protects you from both infrared and UV light and lowers your skin temperature, the perfect solution against heat aging. It is also a convenient product as it absorbs quickly which gives a smooth feeling without leaving any white casts.
DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB DAY-LIGHT PROTECTION SUNSCREEN
Get rid of a lot of dry skin problems by using Neogenlab Protection Sunscreen. With its light-weight formula, this sunscreen can not only give effective protection against UVA and UVB rays but also help against skin dryness, age spots, sun spots, freckles, and fine lines. Using rich, anti-oxidant, and ECO certified ingredients, this will surely give benefits more than just protection.
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
By using Aloe Arborescens Leaf Extract as a key ingredient, this Sun Cream is great at soothing and moisturizing for a soft and plump complexion. This product is an effective sunblock that really feels like a moisturizer without being greasy and leaving white casts.
The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco No Shine Hydrating Sun Cream
With Cottonseed and Chia Seed as base ingredients, this sebum absorbing Sun Cream is versatile in protecting you from UV rays and is capable of hydrating your skin and removing excess shine at the same time.
Goodal Mild Protect Fresh Sun Gel
Made with Jeju Cactus, Cottonseed, and Green tea Water, the Goodal Sun Gel is a powerful UV safeguard. The cactus-derived ingredients are packed full of vitamins to promote a healthy skin and it also gives a light and refreshing finish that doesn’t leave any white cast.
Korean Beauty (SRB) Daily Facial Sun Cream
Rated as PA+++ by the Japanese and Korean Protection and Rating System, this Sun cream is effective in Protecting against UV waves for a broad spectrum of skin types. With products derived from rice bran and rice germ, its advanced formula contains 50 different kinds of nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants designed to leave your skin healthy and glowing.
Tonymoly Bcdation Multi Use Sun Oil
A light and convenient Sun Oil that gives protection with an SPF 50+ and can easily be mixed with skincare products and makeup without disrupting the formula or leaving a greasy residue. Crafted with an intricate Flower Oil Complex (Calendula, Rose, Raspberry Seed Oil) that works to soothe, hydrate, and brighten up the skin.
Nature Republic California Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick
If you’re out for a pool or beach vacation, remember to bring with you the Nature Republic Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick. This very water resistant Sun Stick offers SPF50+ as is a good protection when going out for a swim. It also contains aloe vera extract to help fight against sunburn.
IOPE UV Shield SPF 50+ Pa++++ Sun Stick
Have protection on the go with the IOPE Sun Stick. The portable sun stick is easy to use anytime, anywhere and gives a refreshing texture that protects your skin from UV rays and fine dust. It also contains a V.D. Booster that strengthens the skin barrier to achieve a healthy skin.
AHC Natural Perfection Fresh Sun Stick
A lightweight and easy to apply Sun stick that would surely give a refreshing feel on your skin. Formulated with natural ingredients that are mild for the skin, It offers a SPF50 UV Protection and helps to control sebum to leave a soft finish for your face and body.
We highly recommend you pick the Missha Soft Finish Sun Milk as it has a great formulation when it comes to protecting against the sun in very high heat and can last for a long period of time. The Neogenlab Daylight Protection Sunscreen can really deal with many skin problems and is best for those who have dry skin, so this is definitely a highly recommended sun cream. We also highly recommend for you to choose Tonymoly Sun Oil, this is a really light product that can be applied in many situations and be conveniently used along with make-up and other skincare routine. We also highly recommend the IOPE UV Shield Sun Stick for an effective and skin-friendly Sun stick you can take anywhere.