Why Isn’t The Sun An Acne Cure, And How Do You Protect Spot-Prone Skin?

Have you ever wondered if the sun can provide a solution to your skincare woes? While a little sunlight is definitely good for us all, spending time in the sun is not an acne cure. Even worse, if you’re not protecting yourself properly, the chances are you’re doing your skin far more harm than good! 

What’s behind the myth that the sun cures acne?

This whole thing is based on a misguided theory from the 1950s. Doctors at the time thought that the heat and rays from the sun could dry out acne, reduce redness and even out skin tone. As a result, they recommended patients suffering from pimples or blackheads (usually due to a natural build-up of sebum and dirt) use sun lamps or spend time in the sun, claiming that the rays would have an antiseptic effect. Unfortunately, although science has proven it not to be true, this unhelpful myth is still commonly believed. This is probably because one of the damaging effects the sun can have on the skin is to dry it out, which can create a very temporary improvement for oily skin types. Not only does it not cure acne though, in the long run using the sun as a form of face care will most likely cause far bigger problems. The drier your skin gets, the more natural oils it will produce to try to combat the issue, leaving you more prone to breakouts than before — exactly the opposite of what you were hoping for!  


3 benefits of protecting acne-prone skin from the sun

  1. We all love catching some rays when the sun is shining, and sensible sun exposure can give your body and mind the pick-me-up it craves. The key to enjoying the benefits of the sun is to protect yourself from the bad bits. That’s why applying sun cream allows you to protect and nourish your skin while still getting your daily dose of vitamin D.

  2. Prolonged sun exposure actually weakens the skin, and people with sensitive, spot-prone complexions are particularly vulnerable to aggressive acne attacks when the skin is feeling thin and fragile. If you’ve got delicate skin, look for tailor-made sunscreens that work for your skin type.

  3. In the past, a lot of sunscreens had a reputation for having a heavy formula that felt thick or oily on the skin. It’s understandable that the idea of rubbing something greasy onto blackhead or pimple-prone skin was less than appealing. Luckily, science has moved on and there are plenty of lighter and fresh-feeling formulas that are far more skin friendly. These non-greasy sunscreens are specifically designed for people who are worried about pimples or acne, and do an excellent job of keeping your skin nourished without causing breakouts.


No matter what your skin type, while the sun won’t cure your acne, you can enjoy the sun safely by choosing a sunscreen and skincare routine that best suits you.