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Pimples after sunburn peeling: Does Getting More Sun Exposure Help With Acne?

Does Getting More Sun Exposure Help With Acne?

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Chances are you’ve waged war against acne at different times of your life. Although popular wisdom says that acne is only a problem for teenagers, that’s just not the case. Adults also get pimples and sometimes struggle with constant breakouts. While most acne sufferers have tried myriad remedies, using the sun to combat breakouts is not the best way to treat your breakouts. Read on to learn why sun exposure to treat acne is only a temporary solution and how adopting a better skin care routine can help reduce breakouts.

Can the Sun Help with my Acne?

Many people believe sun exposure dries out acne-causing oil, thereby curing breakouts. Additionally, getting a tan can temporarily camouflage the blemishes on your face. While that strategy will work in the short run, exposing your skin to too much sun will eventually backfire, causing more breakouts in the future. Here’s why:

  • Flaky skin from a sunburn builds up more dead skin cells that clog pores and cause more breakouts.
  • Sun exposure causes unwanted skin inflammation.
  • The sun can cause dark spots and scarring to appear after pimples heal.
  • Sun exposure puts you at a higher risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging.
  • If you’re taking certain medications for acne, your skin can be more sensitive to UV light, making it burn faster.
  • Sunbathing leads to sweating, giving bacteria a place to thrive and causing more breakouts.

So, while a little sun exposure can temporarily reduce acne, you should adopt more effective methods to keep your breakouts in check.

Effective Skin Care Routines to Reduce Acne

Acne is usually caused by hormone imbalances. When your hormones are out of balance due to causes such as puberty or pregnancy, your skin’s sebaceous glands overproduce sebum (oil). Excess sebum clogs your pores, giving bacteria a place to thrive causing pimples, and setting off a vicious cycle of breakouts. To learn the root cause of your acne, try the following tips to keep your breakouts under control.

  • Wash Your Face: Wash your face at least twice a day with a mild, oil-free foaming cleanser formulated for oily skin. Don’t harshly rub your skin. Pat dry gently with a clean towel. If possible, wash your face immediately after a workout or other athletic activities. Make sure you wash away makeup before bed. Sleeping with makeup clogs pores and makes acne worse.
  • Use a Toner: Lightly apply a toner or astringent to your face to remove remaining oil. Don’t overdo it – too much astringent can irritate your skin and cause it to produce even more oil.
  • Moisturize: Even acne-prone skin needs a dab of moisturizer to stay in balance. Use only a gentle, oil-free moisturizer and apply sparingly.
  • Apply Sunscreen: Your moisturizer might contain sunscreen, but before going outside apply a sunscreen designed for faces that contains at least SPF 30. Reapply every two hours if you’re planning to spend the day outdoors.
  • Spot Treat: Experiment with different over-the-counter acne fighting products. The most popular treatments contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Use as directed. Be patient with these products since they can take up to eight weeks to deliver results. If you don’t see any results, see a dermatologist.

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Symptoms, Causes, Risks, and Treatment

Comedones are a common type of acne. This term refers to clogged pores, which look like small bumps in the skin.

If the comedones are due to prolonged sun exposure, they’re called solar comedones. But despite the name, these are different from acne.

Solar comedones are noninflammatory and appear symmetrically on your face. They’re typically found along your temple and around your eyes. Sometimes, they can show up on the side of your neck, earlobes, and forearms.

Solar comedones are also known as:

  • senile comedones
  • sun acne
  • nodular elastosis with cysts and comedones
  • Favre-Racouchot syndrome

The condition is most common in middle-age and older adults. Approximately 6 percent of adults ages 50 and over have solar comedones.

If you’re curious about solar comedones and what causes them, read on.

Share on PinterestSolar comedones are small skin-colored or dark bumps that appear in areas exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Dermnet New Zealand.

Though the specific cause of solar comedones is unknown, researchers have determined possible factors.

These include:

Chronic sun exposure

Solar comedones are commonly associated with long-term sun exposure. That’s why they’re often seen in exposed areas of the body, like the sides of your temple.

Chronic sun exposure can happen after many years spent working an outdoor job, like farming. It can also be related to years of frequent sunbathing.

It’s unclear how exactly sunlight causes solar comedones. However, it’s likely due to damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a form of energy produced by sunlight.

UV radiation can damage DNA in your skin cells and cause premature skin aging.

The radiation can also damage the elastic tissue in your skin, leading to solar elastosis. This causes thickened, yellowish, and severe wrinkling. It’s often seen with solar comedones.

It’s hypothesized that solar comedones due to sun exposure affect men more frequently than women.

Heavy smoking

Smoking cigarettes for many years can also contribute to solar comedones.

In fact, it can act synergistically with sun exposure. This means the effects of both factors can interact and increase your risk of solar comedones.

There are some theories on how smoking increases your risk.

Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals, some of which may damage your skin. The heat from a lit cigarette might also produce radiation.

However, more research is necessary to understand how smoking specifically contributes to solar comedones.

Radiation therapy

A less common cause is radiation therapy. It uses radiation to treat cancer, but it can also damage the skin. In rare cases, this could lead to comedones and other lesions.

Solar comedones related to radiation therapy can develop during or after the treatment. They can show up between 2 weeks and 6 months after therapy is completed.

The comedones can also show up anywhere on the body, but they typically appear on face, neck, and scalp.

If you have solar comedones, you’ll have different types of bumps.

Closed (whiteheads)

Closed comedones, or whiteheads, are plugged pores that have closed over. They look like small white or skin-colored bumps, depending on your skin tone.

Typically, solar comedones start as whiteheads. They eventually turn into open comedones over time.

Open (blackheads)

Open comedones, or blackheads, are clogged pores that aren’t sealed. The top of the pore is open, revealing a black spot.

The black spot isn’t dirt, though. It’s oil that has been exposed to air.

Solar comedones are not cancerous. For most people, they’re more of a cosmetic concern.

However, the main causes of solar comedones have other risks. Chronic sun exposure and cigarette smoking increase the risk of:

  • skin cancer
  • premature skin aging
  • poor immune system function

Smoking cigarettes also increases the risk of:

  • heart disease and stroke
  • lung diseases
  • cancer almost anywhere in the body
  • infertility
  • poor bone health

So, while solar comedones aren’t directly harmful, their causes are associated with other health issues.

Treatment for solar comedones typically includes a combination of:

  • medication
  • surgical techniques
  • lifestyle changes

Solar comedones extraction

Comedones can be manually removed. Your health provider uses a device called a comedo extractor to squeeze the bumps and unblock your pores.

Although this treatment is effective, the comedones will likely return.

Other surgical techniques

A doctor might use the following treatments instead of extractions:

  • dermabrasion
  • curettage
  • laser resurfacing
  • comedone excision

The best option depends on the severity of your comedones.

Topical retinoids

Topical retinoids are medications designed to unclog pores. They exfoliate your skin and promote collagen formation, which can help reduce comedones.

A dermatologist may suggest over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription retinoids.

Topical retinoids can dry out the skin, so it’s important to avoid using too much too soon. It’s recommended to apply a light moisturizer after using a retinoid.

Decreasing the frequency of retinoid application may make it more tolerable for your skin.

Lifestyle changes

You’ll also be asked to make several lifestyle changes to slow down the formation of solar comedones.

This includes:

  • avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or wearing a hat if you do need to go outdoors
  • applying broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30)
  • quitting smoking, if you smoke (this is often difficult, but a doctor can help craft a plan that works for you)

Solar comedones are often related to prolonged sun exposure or cigarette smoking. In some people, they’re caused by radiation therapy.

These comedones include whiteheads and blackheads, but they’re not inflamed — unlike the comedones seen in regular acne.

The comedones can be treated with topical retinoids and extraction. However, it’s still important to cut back on sun exposure and cigarette smoking to prevent more comedones from forming.

3 reasons and what to do if sprinkled with acne

Dreamed of smooth and radiant skin, but got a face strewn with pimples? This is not such a rare surprise after peeling. Let’s talk about the reasons for such injustice and how to avoid it.

4 minutes


Alina Kharaz

Maria Nevskaya


  • Why Pimples Appear After Peeling
  • Acne after peeling: what to do
  • Pimple Prevention
  • Skin care after peeling

Why pimples appear after peeling

Paradoxically, it is true that peeling is one of the most popular methods of fighting acne. Without regular exfoliation, according to cosmetologists, it is quite difficult to cope with the problem of acne. Removal of the upper layers of the epidermis cleanses the pores of sebum and dead cells, which create a breeding ground for opportunistic bacteria.

Why then do acne occur? The reasons are conditionally divided into three large groups.

Violation of the rules for peeling

The procedure violates the integrity of the skin. Therefore, strict adherence to the rules of antiseptics during peeling is necessary. Also:

  • careful selection of peels;

  • compliance with the procedure protocol;

  • compliance with the rules of skin care after peeling.

Preparation for peeling, care after it, the procedure itself – all this requires a very serious attitude from both the patient and the cosmetologist. © Getty Images

Our behavior

Alas, some of us act frivolously.

  • They touch the defenseless skin after peeling with their hands – not always clean.

  • Self-tear off scales.

  • Improper care of the face. For example, they clean it with aggressive lotions or use inappropriate creams.

  • Violate post-peel rules of conduct. Under the ban – a bath and a sauna, a pool with its chlorinated water, sports loads “up to a seventh sweat”, going outside without sunscreen.

Touching your face with your hands, especially if they have not just been washed, is in principle a very bad habit. And after peeling, this is a completely right way to such a complication as acne. © Getty Images

Individual characteristics of the organism

Possible force majeure in the form of:

  • allergic reactions to drug components;

  • 90,004 undiagnosed diseases that, with a decrease in immunity (and peeling is still stressful for the skin and the body), can manifest themselves, for example, problems with the intestines, latent infections;

  • hormonal fluctuations, manifested by inflammatory reactions.

“Peeling should not be treated as a simple procedure,” warns Ekaterina Turubara, Vichy brand expert. – It is prohibited for any existing skin damage: abrasions, scratches and cuts, squeezed pimples. The presence of various rashes caused by allergies, eczema, herpes, etc. (with the exception of comedones and acne) is also a reason to refuse the procedure. The exception is already healed and formed scars and scars – they may become less noticeable after a peeling course.

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Acne after peeling: what to do

There is only one answer: do not engage in amateur activities, but make an appointment with a dermatologist.

  • The doctor will understand the causes of acne.

  • Prescribe appropriate treatment.

  • Adjusts skin care rules.

Pimples after peeling may indicate a latent infection, so the doctor may even prescribe an antibiotic. © Getty Images

Even if the face itches and itches, it is strictly forbidden:

All this can increase inflammation, lead to scars and pits, which are difficult to get rid of later.

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Pimple Prevention

Let us remind you that acne formation after the peeling procedure is not a side effect, but the result of non-compliance with the rules during the procedure, as well as incorrect post-peeling care.

To reduce the risk of trouble, follow these simple tips:

  • do peeling only in the clinic with a beautician;

  • do not touch your face with your hands after the procedure;

  • take proper care of your skin: wash your face with thermal water, apply soft soothing, moisturizing and regenerating creams;

  • follow the post-peeling regimen: refrain from visiting the bath and pool, excessive physical exertion;

  • go outside only “under cover” of sunscreens with SPF 50.

The peeling frequency is determined by the specialist.

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Skin care after peeling

We warn you right away: if acne has already appeared, only a dermatologist or cosmetologist will help you choose the care. And in our review – a list of remedies for those who do not suffer from acne yet.

Moisturizing rich cream for dry and very dry skin Aqualia Thermal, Vichy – This comfortable “isotonic cocktail” includes vegetable sugars from maple, birch and beech wood and hyaluronic acid. The skin is restored, soothed, hydrated for 48 hours. Recommended for use in the morning and evening.

Effaclar H Iso-Biome, La Roche-Posay multi-repairing treatment for skin irritated by overdrying agents, apply morning and evening to cleansed skin. Lipids, vitamins B3 and E work on the restoration and protection of the epidermis, as well as the elimination of inflammation.

Hydrating B5 Masque, SkinCeuticals maintains moisture balance and healthy looking skin thanks to a rich composition that includes hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, components of natural moisturizing factor. Use 1-2 times a week.

Aquasource Moisturizing Face Cream, Biotherm attracts moisture and stores it inside, smoothing the skin. The effect is provided by the extract of thermal plankton. Suitable for normal to combination skin, apply in the morning to protect against environmental aggressors and in the evening to restore.

Ultra Facial Cream, Kiehl’s Moisturizing Face Cream – Squalane, derived from olive oil, and antarcticin, an antioxidant glycoprotein, provide comfort, balance and fullness to the skin. Recommended for use in the morning and evening.

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The Ordinary Blood Peel AHA 30% + BHA 2% full review

The Ordinary Blood Peel AHA 30% + BHA 2% full review

AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution is one of The Ordinary’s most powerful acid peels. It is so popular that it is very difficult to buy it – it is taken apart in 2-3 hours if it appears on large sites.

Even the restrictions “no more than 2 pieces in one hand” do not help to contain demand. At the same time, Ordinari does not spend a single cent on advertising red peeling AHA 30% + BHA 2%. The secret of its popularity is its effectiveness and pleasant price, because of which the Internet is filled with a flurry of positive reviews!

The Ordinary blood peel contains 4 types of acids: salicylic, glycolic, tartaric and lactic, each of which has a different effect.

Glycolic acid is the most concentrated in the product, it belongs to the AHA acids that work on the surface of the skin, even out the relief and tone and exfoliate dead skin cells. BHA-acid (salicylic), on the contrary, is able to penetrate deep into the pores and cleanse them.


AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution is suitable not only for the face, but also for the back, forearms and décolleté. It will help get rid of rashes and follicular hyperkeratosis in these areas.

Also contains aloe vera juice, Tasmanian mountain pepper fruit and leaf extract, black carrot extract, hyaluronic acid crosspolymer and provitamin B5 to eliminate acid irritation and speed up skin repair.

Buy peeling


Great for those with insensitive oily, combination or normal skin that is familiar with acid treatments and responds well to it.

If you have dry/sensitive skin or haven’t tried acids yet, we advise you to pay attention to milk peels Lactic Acid 5% + HA and Lactic Acid 10% + HA and Mandelic Acid almond peel 10% + HA. They gently exfoliate, retaining moisture without damaging the skin.


Making a patch test. We apply peeling on the inner bend of the elbow, wait 10 minutes and make sure that there is no allergic reaction

Before peeling, you need to clean the skin, if desired, you can also steam it for a greater effect (with special masks or steam baths)

Apply to dry skin without touching the face with the dropper. It is best to order a professional brush for applying peels and masks. For the first time, it is better to apply a thin pinkish layer. The skin may tingle and tingle a little. If it stings very strongly, it is better to wash it off ahead of time.

Keep exactly 10 minutes, for the first times you can reduce the time to 5-7 minutes


A huge plus of peeling is that its area of ​​application is not limited to the face! Happy owners of red peeling apply it on problem areas throughout the body from the neckline to the knees .


Never sunbathe or apply peeling before traveling to equatorial countries!

Blood peeling effectively fights acne and hyperkeratosis (goose bumps) in any areas. Whitens dark spots in the armpits, groin, elbows and knees. Gives a good anti-aging effect on the neck and décolleté. The time and method of application does not differ from the use of the product on the face!

Do not use more than 2 times a week

Do not leave it overnight (yes, they do on TikTok, but peeling is not intended for this)

If possible, use the product before bedtime and refrain from following days from “heavy, aggressive cosmetics

Do not use immediately (before / after) retinol and vitamin C

skin and bypass acne foci (do not apply peeling on them)!If you peel on a pimple, there is a chance to damage the “lid” of the pustule and spread the infection all over your face.