The beneficial effects of adequate sun exposure are multiple. There has always been a lot of talk about people suffering from acne getting better from this condition in the months with more solar radiation. What’s true in this affirmation? Today we explain the effects of the sun on acne.
Does the sun improve acne?
Solar radiation causes an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin surface because it inhibits the processes of repair and regeneration. That is to say, the skin becomes less reactive to the external aggression that supposes the ultraviolet radiation. Thus, it manages to adapt to environmental conditions and synthesizes melanin, our natural pigment to protect us from the sun. Therefore, this effect is beneficial in immune-based diseases such as psoriasis, other dermatoses such as eczema and to some extent in acne.
The sun exerts an immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory and bactericidal function on the bacteria that make negative synergy in the development of acne. In a way, it produces a local dehydration and can help the regulation of cutaneous sebum.
So, does the sun improve acne? We should be cautious about this assertion, because, although there are multiple studies that appreciate a slight improvement during the summer, it can also happen that some individuals worsen with tissue vasodilation that the sun causes on the skin surface. The increase in permeability produces more risk of clogging of the pores and, therefore, worsening of acne.
Rebound effect of the sun on the skin with acne
Despite the benefits of the sun on the skin surface in acne skin, it is true that it is usually temporary and usually the lesions become worse once past the summer.
This happens due to tissue damage that the sun makes locally disappears when we stop taking the sun. By eliminating a factor from the equation, the skin regains its functions and becomes uninhibited, so that the processes of regeneration of the skin and sebum channeling to the cutaneous surface begin again.
And most importantly, let’s not forget the negative effect of the sun on the skin surface. Solar radiation produces oxidative damage that accumulates over the years and promotes skin aging. So photoprotection must be fundamental for two reasons: to prevent the formation of free radicals and to prevent photosensitization of the skin. An acne skin is more sensitive than normal skin due to the cellular suffering produced by the inflammation processes of comedones, papules, and pustules.
Protect your skin from the sun
We recommend that you try a suitable exposure to the sun if you have acne skin and you are not in treatment with retinoids. If the effect of dehydration makes your acne better, take the sun, but do so in moderation.
Always avoid the hours of maximum solar intensity (from 12 to 16 h) and use high solar filters that do not contain fat (oil-free, noncomedogenic).
It is important that the specific photoprotection is with products whose emollients do not have an excessively moisturizing base, but a protective one. Acne skin is sensitized to the inflammation produced by bacterial superinfection on the hair follicles. Therefore, the products you use must respect your skin phototype and carry at least a 30 protection factor, and we recommend the gelled textures, which will produce a sensation of freshness and acceptable hydration. Finally, remember to hydrate your skin regularly.