Can Sunscreen Cause Acne?

If you type “Can sunscreen” into google, you will most definitely see the search results “… cause acne” “… cause pimples” and we get it. There’s nothing worse than trying to protect your skin, but in return, your skin breaks out.

Let’s unpack if sunscreen can cause acne, and what we can do to stay blemish-free and UV protected.

Short answer: Yes. Your skin can react to sunscreen, but not all sunscreen is made the same and you can absolutely avoid it. 

Noosa Naturals Sunscreen

When it comes to any type of skincare, there is always the risk of reacting to certain ingredients within the formula which can lead to skin becoming irritated. Some ingredients mostly found in chemical sunscreens can be known to irritate the skin and eyes, potentially leading to inflammation and breakouts. These sunscreens generally use chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate that are absorbed into your skin and convert UV radiation into heat. This conversion of heat is then released out of your body, which can also mean that your face sweats more, potentially clogging your pores.

Noosa Naturals Sunscreen

But this doesn’t mean we should scrap sunscreen altogether. Mineral (physical) sunscreen works as a physical barrier between you and the sun, sitting on top of the skin’s surface rather than absorbing into it and reflecting the UV rays. Mineral sunscreen is usually recommended for people who are acne prone or have sensitive skin. Skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis and eczema can worsen when chemicals are involved, but switching to a mineral sunscreen will calm your skin and even improve it. The active ingredients most commonly contained in mineral (physical) sunscreens are Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide, which are natural filters. Mineral sunscreens are safe for pregnant people, babies and children, and overall, much safer for our reefs and the environment. 

Noosa Naturals Sunscreen

Don’t let one bad sunscreen experience dishearten you, neglecting sunscreen daily can also have a catastrophic effect on your skin. Although we all know the common negative effects of not wearing sunscreen; sunburn, skin cancer and premature ageing, if we ignore all of that (for a second) you will see that not wearing sunscreen also causes hyperpigmentation and can make your acne worse.

If you currently have active blemishes, exposing them to the sun for long periods can damage the skin further, causing the spot to become extra irritated and worsen in colour. In addition, acne scars and hyperpigmentation suffer under the sun, deepening the colour and longevity of the scars.

Still nervous about sunscreen? We totally get it. Below are some extra tips when wearing mineral sunscreen that will ensure your skin, and you, are happy. 

          Double cleanse at the end of the day.
–        Make sure you are cleansing your skin twice to make sure all product and     
       environmental build-up is dissolved, and your second cleanse
cleans your skin.
       The Noosa Naturals team recommends using an oil-based cleanser for your first
       cleanse, this is best for removing makeup and sunscreen, and going in with a gel             or cream-based face wash for your second cleanse.
          Apply your sunscreen with clean hands.
         Although simple, this is easy to forget. It is always recommended to reapply
       sunscreen once every 2 hours for optimal UV protection, so ensuring you have
       washed hands will help combat the spread of any germs you may have picked
       up during the day.
          Learn what ingredients your skin loves (and what it doesn’t) – Introducing a new
       product in your skincare routine can be hopeful, and a little bit scary, but taking
       your time to understand what your skin reacts positively to will make a world of

*Hot tip – try one new skin care product at a time and give it at least a week to see how your skin reacts to it. This way if it doesn’t work for you, you’ll know which
product in your routine is causing the issue.

Noosa Naturals Sunscreen

Noosa Naturals’ only active ingredient is 100% natural Zinc Oxide which is anti-inflammatory and an effective fighter against bacteria and irritation! Noosa Naturals mineral sunscreens are 100% natural, and certified organic and are also packed with incredible ingredients that sensitive and acne-prone skin love! Some of our favourite ingredients include:

–   Green Tea
–   Jojoba Oil
–   Hinokitiol

Always remember, you can have an extensive skincare routine, but if you’re not religiously wearing sunscreen, none of your fancy serums and creams are worth it. Noosa Naturals is a local, 100% Australian Made and owned Queensland brand that prides itself in offering you broad spectrum SPF50 sun protection with skin-loving ingredients. Learn more about our sunscreens here.