Is your sunscreen making you break out?

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the sunscreen is flowing — but the breakouts are here in abundance! What’s the deal with that? We show you what to do if your sunscreen is making you break out.

Applying sunscreen

So you’re heading out for a day at the beach and you think you’re doing the right thing by slathering on plenty of sunscreen, but something in the ingredients list doesn’t agree with your skin and you end up covered in breakouts…

While this certainly shouldn’t mean you give up the sunscreen altogether (sunspots, wrinkles and skin cancer — need we say more?), you definitely shouldn’t have to put up with pimply skin. Read on to find out how to zap the zits ASAP.

Not all screens are created equal

If your sunscreen is making you break out, you should try looking for a product that’s oil-free. Obviously if your skin is naturally oily, an oily sunscreen is only going to clog your pores and make your skin worse. Look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label and see if this kind of product treats your skin any better. Also aim for sunscreen products that are fragrance-free as perfumes can irritate the skin. You may have to pay a little extra for these, but the end result will definitely be worth it.

Face vs. body

If your skin is battling your sunscreen, you may want to try searching for two different products: one for your face and one for your body. Just like you’d use different moisturisers for your face and your body, it’s important to use products that are specially developed for that particular type of skin. If you’re also suffering breakouts on your shoulders and back, you may like to search for a noncomedogenic product (see above) for your body too.

Post-sun wash

We all know how important it is to wash our makeup off at the end of the day, and the same rule applies to removing sunscreen. As soon as you head inside after a day in the sun, wash your face carefully to remove all traces of sunscreen. Apply a moisturiser created specifically for your skin type and keep out of the sun. If you use an acne face wash, use this before you apply your sunscreen in the morning and in the night after you remove your product, or as directed.

Experiment with products

If one particular product causes you to break out, don’t give up on sunscreen altogether. Just realise that this particular sunscreen isn’t for you and avoid wastage by seeing if it works for a friend with a different skin type. Try a different brand or type of sunscreen, and keep experimenting until you find one that works for you. You can also try asking the staff at your local chemist or chat to a dermatologist as they may be able to recommend a product for you.

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