Sunlight, in moderation and with protection, is good for the body and mind. The sun is an important source of Vitamin D which is essential for many of the vital processes in our body. Also, our body’s ability to produce serotonin is directly affected by sunlight, and research has shown that lack of sunlight could lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder that leads to depression.
The truth is, excessive and/or unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays can exacerbate the causes and triggers of acne.
Some people with acne and/or blemish-prone skin report that their condition improves when they enjoy sunbathing. Others with acne will tell you that their skin condition worsens during the warmer, summer months.
These are just some of the effects the sun has on blemish-prone skin:
- Sun causes the skin to dry out. Even oily skin needs moisture when over-exposed to the sun.
- The sebaceous glands, which produce the sebum that gives skin the oil it needs, go into overdrive. This excess sebum production is one of the key stages in the formation of blemishes.
- As a result of skin drying out from sun exposure, skin cells on the surface harden. This interferes with the natural process by which dead skin cells are shed and prevents sebum from draining from pores. Comedones develop as a result.
- Excessive sun exposure and/or inappropriate sun protection will also cause pigmentation issues, and those with acne blemishes or acne scars are particularly prone to hyperpigmentation.
- When considering sun exposure and skin, it’s not just the face we think about. Sunbathing to relieve body acne may deflate some pustules and shrivel them into scars, but, it will also stimulate perspiration causing oils to rise to the surface of the skin which makes matters worse.
Sunbathing has long been touted as a remedy for acne. Unfortunately, the sun can do more harm than good.
The sun’s UV rays “zap ” acne-causing bacteria which is why pimples and red marks look less obvious when your skin is tanned. This may be pleasing at first, but excessive sun exposure can cause pimples that end up as dark scars. Also, many acne medications and topical creams make the skin more sensitive to sunlight and cause it to burn faster.
After sun exposure, surface acne may look less inflamed, even clearer. This is because the skin temporarily produces less sebum. But be warned, acne and inflammation still exist under the surface of the skin. Overall, exposing your skin to the sun unprotected can lead to much bigger problems, including a higher risk of scarring, hyperpigmentation, and more persistent breakouts, not to mention skin cancer.
Treating acne is not an overnight process, but with consistent salon treatments, a daily skincare regimen, and the commitment to
less sun exposure, the problem can not only clear up but can also be kept at bay.
Visit the Kiki Skin and Body Spa menu of services for teens, women, and men to address face and body acne.