We’ve all been told since we were little how important it is to wear sunscreen when we go out in the sun. It may seem redundant, but it’s an important message that far too many people ignore until it’s too late. Additionally, if you’re someone who’s photosensitive, you may be at an even higher risk of getting a sunburn. With these people, even a short amount of time spent out in the sun could cause damage. Although skin care products like sunscreen are designed to protect your skin from the sun, there are some that do the opposite — they make your skin more vulnerable to the sun. This is typically the result of skin care products that remove the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin. Keep reading to learn more about protecting your skin while out in the sun.

Avoid Certain Skin Care Products

Certain acne medication can result in photosensitivity. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t usually burn, you’ll be more likely to burn with this medication applied. The problem is that these medications are typically applied to the face which is already a sensitive area of the body, so you may experience blistering and peeling.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Prescription medication like Onexton and BenzaClin and other over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide are known to cause an increase in photosensitivity. Many acne care products are known to contain this so be sure to check the ingredients and directions to ensure you can use it before going out in the sun.


In addition to topical treatments, oral medications can also contribute to photosensitivity. Doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline, and erythromycin are all types of antibiotics that can make you more vulnerable to sun damage.

Topical Retinoids

Retin-A (tretinoin), Retin-A Micro, Epiduo, Ziana, Tazorac, and Differin all contain topical retinoids and are found to be some of the top offenders when it comes to sun sensitivity. Topical retinoids are used in acne treatment so they’re pretty common.


AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids are often used in anti-aging, anti-blemish, and skin brightening products. You should also keep an eye out for tartaric acid and glycolic acid found in these products.

Skin Care Procedures

Unfortunately, it’s not just skin care products that can make you more sensitive to the sun. Skin care procedures can also play a role. However, if you visit a dermatologist or esthetician, they should make you aware of the negative side-effects and give you an allotted period of time in which you should avoid the sun.


During a microdermabrasion procedure, a machine will remove the outer layer of skin cells and exfoliate the skin. This is used as a skin rejuvenation process making skin softer and smoother. Both dermatologists and estheticians perform this procedure.

Chemical Peels

There are three types of chemical peels: superficial peels, medium peels, and deep peels. Like the medications we mentioned earlier, it removes the epidermis, the upper layer of the skin that protects against UVA and UVB rays of the sun.

Laser Treatment

This technique involves shooting concentrated beams of light at anomalies on the skin in order to remove reduce wrinkles, blemishes, and acne scars.


This procedure is an effective way of treating sun damage, wrinkles, acne scars, and blemishes on the skin, however, like these other skin care procedures, leaves your skin vulnerable to the sun for a short period of time. Most specialists recommend waiting three days after treatment to get back out in the sun for an extended period of time to allow the skin enough time to rejuvenate and heal.

Although the medications and procedures listed above will increase your photosensitivity, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. Many of them are very effective ways of eliminating imperfections on the skin and restoring the skin to a more youthful appearance. Just remember that your dermatologist or esthetician will have your best interest in mind, so if you’re concerned at all about getting back out in the sun after treatment, just let them know.

At MDPen, we offer an innovative and safer alternative to traditional microneedling procedures. Our MDPen allows for more precise treatment and less downtime and trauma in comparison to other skin care treatments. Visit our site today to find a practitioner in your area.