Beauty / 26.05.2015

The Skin Doctor: Help! My sun cream gives me spots

By Flavio Refrigeri
Because insuring your skin for the future doesn't mean hating it today



flaviocropWe like sunshine. It’s glowy and warm and makes us feel good. But it’s got a dark side, and it rears it’s head in the form of age spots, wrinkles and upping your skin cancer risk.

But you go a lovely golden brown, rather than blotchy red, so you’re safe, right? Whilst skin damage may not be visible instantly, overexposure to UV rays can cause degenerative changes in the cells of the skin. This damages the skin’s elastin fibres forever, making skin stretch and sag.

Read more: How to tighten saggy upper arms

So it’s vital we all give our skin a bit of extra TLC in the summer months. ‘But sun cream gives me spots!’ says everyone, ever. The good news is there doesn’t have to be a trade off between insuring your skin for the future, and dealing with the daily breakouts we always associate with upping the SPF come summer. You just need to tweak your routine to compensate for the new layer of ingredients on your face. Here’s how to do it.

1. Replace your foundation

You need a tinted moisturiser; which is at least SPF 30. In the summer months your skin will perspire more, increasing the likelihood of clogged pores. It maybe a frightening prospect to step out the door leaving your foundation at home, but your skin needs to breathe. There is a vast range of tinted moisturisers on the market which give fantastic coverage whilst also protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. Remember an SPF needs at least 20 minutes to soak into the skin, so apply before picking the day’s killer outfit.

Read more: The expert guide to layering your skincare products

2. And your SPF

Throw out old sun creams. You would not use a face cream which has been left open in your cupboard for the last three years and the same needs to apply. Over time the active ingredients that protect your skin from the burning (UVB) and ageing (UVA) rays. The older a product is the more likely it is to clog your pores and make you break out too. Lose-lose.

3. Get a facial

There is a misconception that the sunshine will dry out breakouts, encouraging overexposure to UV rays. In some cases there may be short-term improvements they are outweighed by the long-term damage. Think of the long-game, people.

At my London clinic, Clinica Fiore Skin Medical we do one called the Acne Treatment Intense Pulsed Light facial and it really works. The light emitted from the IPL directly targets overactive sebaceous glands, reducing the number and severity of the acne lesions so you’ll have fewer, and less angry breakouts. The light also stimulates the production of new collagen to improve skin texture, reducing the redness. It starts at £60 and includes a consultation so we can work out the root cause of the problem.

4. Drink!

This is likely to become a regular theme of my column but I can’t stress enough the importance of drinking water. The skin is an organ made up of cells, and like any cells in the body they cannot function properly without it.

Read more: How to drink more water

Dehydrated skin will present itself by becoming dry, tight and flaky, leading to wrinkles. So make sure you have water to hand; by your bed, on your desk, in your bag, car – everywhere!


Do you struggle with summer breakouts? Tweet and tell us @healthymag, or join in the conversation on our Facebook page.

Flavio Refrigeri is a celebrity skincare expert and Healthy online’s own resident skin specialist. To find out more about him and his clinic Clinica Fiore Skin Medical head to



The Skin Doctor: Help! My sun cream gives me spots
Article Name
The Skin Doctor: Help! My sun cream gives me spots
'Sun cream gives me spots' is one of our biggest summer beauty mares. But our skin doctor says you can protect against wrinkles and keep skin clear
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo