How to Pick an SPF for Acne | Acne Nutritionist | Katie Stewart

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SPF for acne on a tabletop with sunglasses and sunhat
April 30, 2021

How to Pick an SPF for Acne

How to Pick an SPF for Acne

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And no, I’m not referring to Christmas. I’m talking about Spring and the warmer weather this season brings along with it.

But warmer weather means a stronger sun, and a stronger sun means more sunscreen.

When I suffered from cystic acne, though, the last thing I wanted to do was apply sunscreen that would make my skin look even more red and oily leading to more breakouts.

I’m sure you feel the same way if you have acne-prone skin.

However, using the right SPF is one of the most important factors of healthy skin. Here’s why you need to wear it and how to choose an SPF for acne.

Why Daily SPF is Critical for Acne-Sufferers

No matter the season, you need to apply SPF every single day. For starters, UV rays increase your risk of developing skin cancer, signs of aging and sun spots. 

When it comes to acne-prone skin, daily SPF is crucial because acne will worsen when exposed to infrared heat from the sun. 

On top of that, UV rays cause melanin to set up shop in those dark spots. Meaning, your acne scars will look much more pronounced because there will be a buildup of extra melanin.

So remember to apply SPF under your face cream and makeup anytime you head out the door.

What Sunscreens to Avoid

If you have acne-prone skin, there are a few things to watch out for in order to reduce your risk of breaking out.

First up, avoid SPF products with the harsh ingredients that I discuss in this blog. Toxic ingredients such as fragrance, parabens and endocrine disrupting chemicals can irritate the skin, clog the pores and lead to acne. According to research by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2019, two-thirds of the products examined were found to offer “inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin.” Sunscreens use a form of vitamin A called retinyl palmitate that acts as an antioxidant. Unfortunately, government studies show that it may trigger skin tumours and lesions when applied topically and exposed to sunlight.

Next up, look out for mineral oil in sunscreen. It coats the skin like saran wrap, which clogs your pores and then contributes to more breakouts. This inhibits your skin’s ability to release toxins, promoting acne and other issues.

Finally, make sure the label on the sunscreen says non-comedogenic. This ensures that the product has been tested and proven not to clog pores. Look for non-comedogenic ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

What to Look For in a Sunscreen

Now that you know what to look out for in sunscreen, let’s talk about what to look for.

Choosing an SPF product depends on the type of skin you have– dry skin, sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. No matter the skin type, though, you should always stick to an all-natural sunscreen that is at least SPF 20, broad-spectrum and water-resistant. Also, use sun protection that contains zinc because this mineral reduces redness and inflammation.

Now, here are some specific things to look for depending on your skin type:

Acne-prone skin: Use a non-comedogenic and oil-free sunscreen in order to prevent clogged pores and more breakouts.

Dry skin: Find a creamy sunscreen with a higher amount of emollients to hydrate the skin. Look for ingredients such as shea butter and fatty acids that will lock in moisture.

Sensitive skin: Apply mineral-based sunscreens with zinc or titanium dioxide as the main active ingredients. It’s also important that the sunscreen is fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and paraben-free to prevent skin irritation, redness and rashes.

My Top Recommendations

If you’re looking for a natural sunscreen that won’t cause more breakouts, here are a few of my favourites that you can order online from BeautyCounter:

  • Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20
  • Countersun Daily Sheer Defense For Face with SPF 25 (EWG Verified)
  • Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion or Mist (Allure Best of Beauty Winner)

Be sure to check out EWG’s annual Guide to Sunscreens that they release each spring as well. They rank the best and worst sunscreens for both children and adults.

Let's get your skin finally cleared up.

After years of dealing cystic breakouts, I cleared up my skin for good by fixing my gut, liver and hormones. I went back to school for nutrition and then said seeya later to my job in television. I launched an online nutrition business (before working from home was a thing) so I could help as many women as possible feel confident AF in their own skin, too.

check out my programs here →

Testimonials

"After a few months, my skin improved significantly."

Now my skin is completely blemish-free, I don’t even have to wear makeup. I don’t even break out around my cycle. I really owe it to Katie for her knowledge, and guidance during this clear skin journey. Thank you, Katie!!

-Jenyne W.

"My scars and blemishes from the past continue to fade."

I'm grateful for the knowledge, strength and support to get current breakouts under control while my body continues to detox and heal.

Laurenne B.

"My skin is definitely consistently good now."

I feel like I didn't know why I would go through good spells before and then terrible breakouts. My energy levels and motivation have also returned. This is all so huge for me.

Sara P.

"I actually enjoy the look of my face with less make-up."

 I use to wear a lot of powder and concealer to cover the break out areas, as well as to hide my scars. Both my breakouts and scars are lessening in amount and redness!!

-Nicole B.

Before & Afters

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

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