Summary of the issue

Sun and acne

Do acne and the sun really get on well? Although the sun often improves the appearance of acne-prone skin, the benefits are short-lived. Once the exposure is over, your acne is likely to flare up again. Fortunately, proper protection and hygiene will allow you to enjoy the UV rays without triggering new breakouts once you return from your holiday.


Acne: the false benefits of the sun

Why do we think the sun is good for acne-prone skin? Quite simply because the appearance of the skin seems to improve when exposed to the sun, thanks to the drying effect of the sun on the inflammatory lesions. A phenomenon favoured by swimming in the sea or in a pool. The tanning process can thus lead to the belief that exposure to the sun can cure acne. But this situation does not last, on the contrary...

My favourite season is definitely the summer! Not only for going out with friends, having a barbecue with the family and so on, but also because it's the only time of the year when I feel beautiful... I have far fewer pimples and I'm tanned; my skin and I are alive again!

Léa, 23 years old

Why does the sun encourage acne breakouts?

Do you know what the rebound effect is? Your acne that calmed down in the summer can flare up again when you return from your holiday. Hence the term "rebound". Once you’re not exposed to the sun, the acne will worsen because the sun encourages the skin to thicken. This thickening will block the pilosebaceous follicles and prevent the evacuation of sebum. The result is the formation of blackheads and micro-cysts, which can develop into inflammatory lesions. In addition, sun exposure can sometimes cause scars to become pigmented (brown).

As you know, sun protection is essential to protect your skin (against sunburn, skin ageing, etc.), and it is even more so in the case of acne.

What lies behind a pimple




How to avoid the rebound effect? 

Appropriate sun protection remains the best prevention... In the summer, as soon as you go out into the sun, use a very high protection sun care product (SPF 50+). The rest of the year, to protect your skin from UV rays, apply a protection level of 30. Don't forget to choose a product with a texture that is suitable for skin with imperfections, so that the finish is imperceptible on the skin. Not only will this prevent (part of) the rebound effect by minimising the effects of UV rays, but it will also reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation or scarring. 

Acne and the sun: what hygiene to adopt?

Sun protection is not your only ally in enjoying the benefits of the sun without the drawbacks. Daily hygiene is just as important.

Purified skin

To avoid the rebound effect, the skin's pores need to be rid of the sebum and impurities that clog them. As usual, and even more so than usual, don't forget to cleanse your face thoroughly in the morning and evening with gentle products, not forgetting your regular scrub-mask (also gentle) to absorb sebum, exfoliate the skin, and make it clearer and smoother.

Mattified skin

In the morning, to soften your skin, apply a sebum-reducing and moisturising mattifying care product. This will immediately and lastingly reduce shine. Not to mention that it’s an excellent make-up base. 

Expert advice and care rituals

av_acne_schema_photosensibilisation_1x1 1. Hypodermis 2. Dermis 3. Epidermis 4. Abnormal redness 5. UVB-UVA  

Beware of the risk of photosensitisation

Redness, blisters... Some medications can cause the skin to react excessively to sun exposure. Certain molecules used against acne are no exception to the rule. If you are taking an acne medication, whether by mouth or as a topical treatment, check whether the words "photosensitising" appear on the package insert. Generally, there is no need to stop your treatment. However, you may need to change your habits, for example by applying your treatment at night instead of in the morning. Don’t hesitate to ask your dermatologist for advice. Of course, be careful when exposing yourself to the sun and always use a very high protection sunscreen (SPF 50+) even for short periods of exposure!

The right steps to keep a tanned complexion

With the end of your holidays approaching, to maintain your tan and keep a pretty complexion, you can rely on make-up! Choose your products carefully. They must be non-comedogenic. And if you want to conceal a few small acne scars, Avène Dermatological Laboratories have developed a range of high coverage products that combine effectiveness and safety. One last piece of advice: make-up removal is imperative every evening.

Make-up to cover acne

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