How to beat sunscreen breakouts

Daily sunscreen use is an absolute must but sunscreen breakouts are not part of the deal. One of the reasons we hear a lot about sunscreen avoidance is that it causes breakouts and exacerbates existing acneic conditions.

Black Skin DirectorySun Awareness Month 2018-1.jpg

We know and understand the consistency of sunscreens can vary - from sheer and lightweight lotions to thick and occlusive creams. Sometimes they also have silicone in them which form a blanket type cover over the skin. All of these factors can influence the possibility of a breakout or a sunscreen irritation - those little rough bumps and rashes on the skin that look like acne, but don’t respond to acne type treatments.

We think sunscreen is an extremely important factor for healthy skin, so we asked our founder and Aesthetician, Dija Ayodele to give us her top tips on beating SPF breakouts.


1.     Perfect your cleanse

Do a thorough double cleanse every evening.

First cleanse is to remove the ‘gunk’ and second cleanse is to clean your skin.

Dija has a tried and tested cleansing routine she loves.  ‘I use the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil as my first cleanse – really massaged well into my skin to dislodge make up, pollution and sunscreen. Then I use a warm flannel and water to rinse off.’

Follow with a deep pore facial wash as your second cleanse, taking the time to massage all over your skin to guarantee a good clean. Don't forget to take it up to the hairline and down to the décolleté, you’d be surprised how much make up and oils can travel on your skin. Dija prefers an Alpha Hydroxy Acid based cleanser with lactic or glycolic acid, leaving it on the skin for a couple of minutes to get to work.

2.     Go deep

Clogged pores, oil and dead skin cells are the perfect breeding ground for breakouts, so twice weekly deep cleansing masks are perfect to draw out excess oil, keep dead skin cells at bay and pores free of gunk and debris.

Dija’s pick:  MZ Skin Instant Clarity Refining Mask, with both Lactic Acid and the gentler Lactobionic Acid to restore radiance to the skin, whilst packing a 10% exfoliating and oil eliminating punch.

 RADIANCE & RENEWAL: Instant Clarity Refining Mask 100ml, £110

RADIANCE & RENEWAL: Instant Clarity Refining Mask 100ml, £110

3.     Don’t skip moisturiser

Moisturise and hydrate with a lightweight active laden lotion or serum to prevent the skin going into an oil productive overdrive. Limiting excessive oil on the skin will go a long way in staving off a breakout.

4.     Look inside and outside the bottle

Investigate your sunscreen and it’s ingredients.

It may contain an ingredient that irritates your skin, so you may have to switch to a different brand. Sunscreens are available in many different vehicles – gels, lotions, creams, sprays, powder and oil free preparations. Like all skincare, formulation is king. Some will agree with you and some won't. It's a matter of finding out what works for your skin.