Should people with acne avoid skin care products like lotion and sunscreen?

Acne patients need to take care of other skin issues just like everyone else. Even if you have acne, your skin can be dry, and you may need a lotion. That being said, some lotions for acne-prone skin may be different than those for other types of skin. Moreover, sun protection is a must for all patients. Excess sun exposure can lead to skin damage, stimulation of oil production, precancerous and cancerous skin lesions, and fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, many acne medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun to begin with!

So even if you have acne, it is ok to use lotions for dry skin, and it is a must to apply sunscreen!


Definitely not!  Patients using acne medications, whether prescription drugs or over-the-counter acne remedies, may have a greater need for sun protection and skin hydration than the average person.  

Certain acne products called retinoids (examples are tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, and isotretinoin) can make your skin more vulnerable to sunburn and windburn, so don't be afraid to protect yourself with a broad-spectrum high-SPF sunblock...just make sure it's labeled as oil-free, non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, or non-pore-clogging.

Moisturizing lotions are a must for some acne sufferers using products that dry the skin, like benzoyl peroxide and any medication in a clear gel or solution base. Sometimes acne-prone skin is oily enough to tolerate drying agents without using moisturizers, but if your skin feels tight and dry or is red and peeling, first speak to your dermatologist...then go ahead and hydrate with a product that doesn't clog pores.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Proper skin care, including mild cleansing and moisturizing, is important for those with acne and a good, daily routine can be effective in helping to manage it. Look for lotion and sunscreen that are non-comedogenic, to help prevent clogging of pores.

A common myth claims that people with acne should avoid using certain skin care products, like moisturizers or sunscreens, because they will make skin more oily and increase breakouts. However, this isn't quite the case-it's still important for people with acne to moisturize and protect their skin. Simply choose the right products, like oil-free moisturizers and sunscreens specially formulated for faces or sensitive skin. Also, if skin is sensitive to certain chemicals like lauryl sulfates, be sure to avoid products with those irritating ingredients.

Continue Learning about Acne Prevention

Acne Prevention

Acne Prevention

If your skin is acne-prone, there are steps you can take to prevent pimples, blackheads and acne flare-ups. Cleansing your skin with products containing salicylic acid, using acne medication and taking care of your skin with nonco...

omedogenic products are all key to treating oily skin, avoiding clogged pores and stopping pimple breakouts. Stress and diet also play an important role in preventing acne. Learn more about acne prevention with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.