Products that Amplify the Sun's Effects if You Have Acne

Products that Amplify the Sun's Effects if You Have Acne

Sun is actually very important for our health. When your skin is exposed to natural sunlight (UV rays), your body produces an essentail nutrient, Vitamin D. Having the right level of Vitamin D in your body enables better bone health, psychological balance and even has the potential to assist in decreasing the risk of certain diseases.

On the other hand, sun radiation (UV rays) also damages the DNA of your skin and may result in the most serious form of skin cancer (melanoma) as well as cause dry or discolored skin, premature aging, brown spots and interference with acne treatment.

So how do you find a balance, and protect yourself against sun damage, especially when you have acne?

1.  Be an Educated Consumer

If you're in the process of treating your acne, be aware of the ingredients your acne treatment contains. Most acne products increase your skin sensitivity to UV rays and therefore, AMPLIFY its damaging effect.

Here's a list of products and ingredients that require special protection against sun exposure:

Retinoic acid based topical products

Products including Retin-A (Tretinoin, Vitamin A derivative)

  • Avita
  • Renova
  • Retin-A
  • Retin-A MICRO
  • Retisol-A
  • Stieva-A
  • Vitinoin
  • Adalapene (Differin)
  • Isotretinion (Accutane; Curacne, Isotane, Isotret, Isotretin, Isotrex, Isotrexin, Oratane, Procuta, Roaccutan, Roacutan)


  • Tetracyclines (Tetracycline, Oxytetracycline, Demeclocycline, Doxycycline, Lymecycline, Minocycline)

Over the Counter (OTC) Products

  • Products containing salicylic acid, benzyol peroxide or alcohol

2.  Choose Products Wisely

Choose acne treatments that don't amplify your skin's sunlight sensitivity that will greatly reduce the effects of sun damage, while shortening the time it takes for you to treat your acne! Take note that AcnEase® is a treatment without any sun restrictions and is completely safe to take all year long. 

The right sunscreen

Check the EWG's Skin Deep® Guide 2012 Sunscreen Report (the 2013 report will be coming out soon this spring) for sunscreens that base their protective properties on these two major ingredients:

  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

When both of those ingredients are at a level of 6% or higher, you are covered. Green tea extract, aloe extra, shea butter as well as some other botanical humectants (moisturizers) will keep your skin from drying. Choose a product that has between a 0-2 rating.

Keep your skin sun-safe while enjoying the sunny days and your clear complexion!

All my best,
Dr. Agnes


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