5 things that can irritate acne-prone skin at the beach

Suffer from acne- or blemish-prone skin? Take a look at our list of the top 5 things to be aware of when hitting the beach this summer.

UV rays

As we know, the ‘rebound effect’ that skin tends to undergo post-holiday can lead to an upsurge in acne-related symptoms. This is due to a thickening of the epidermis as a response to overexposure to UV rays, so it’s crucial that those of us with blemish-prone skin remember to layer on the SPF. Gel-based formulations tend to work well on oilier skin.

Salt water

Though salt water can be useful in sterilizing bacteria, those of us with blemish-prone skin should be careful not to spend too much time in the ocean. Salt water can reduce your skin’s ability to protect itself against sun damage by 23%, as well as dehydrating the epidermal layer.[1] For example, the salt levels present in the Mediterranean Sea, the world’s saltiest ocean, reduces skin’s moisture levels by  23% when compared with natural springs or lakes.[2] Choose a water-resistant form of sun protection, such as Vichy’s Mattifying Corrective Care Sun Protection with SPF 30, to make sure your skin is effectively protected, and try and rinse skin with fresh water to avoid a film forming resulting in a build-up of sebum which can lead to imperfections.

[1] Schempp, C. M., Blümke, C., Schulte-Mönting, J., Schöpf, E., & Simon, J. C. (1998). Effect of various salt solutions on ultraviolet B-induced erythema and pigmentation. Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift fur Dermatologie, Venerologie, und verwandte Gebiete, 49(6), 482-486.
[2] Ibid.


We’ll start with the good news: occasional exposure to chlorine can actually help to dry skin out, regulating oil production and improving the appearance of acne. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. As with sunlight, skin can undergo a ‘rebound effect’ if overexposed to drying agents, such as chlorine. While these astringent properties can help calm acne- or blemish-prone skin in the short term, prolonged exposure can result in skin ramping up oil production to counteract what it sees as excessive dryness.[1] To avoid provoking breakouts, try and limit how often you take a dip.


Did you know that as well as reflecting between 20% and 40% of UV rays, sand can remove part of your sun protection[1]? What’s more, sand can stick to the skin and cause annoying rashes after a day at the beach. Fortunately, Vichy Sun Protection’s anti-sand technology means that a couple of swipes are all you need to remove excess sand, leaving your sun protection free to do its job while keeping skin smooth and irritation-free.

[1] Beyer, D. M., Faurschou, A., Philipsen, P. A., Hædersdal, M., & Wulf, H. C. (2010). Sun protection factor persistence on human skin during a day without physical activity or ultraviolet exposure. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine, 26(1), 22-27.


Spending too much time in the sun isn’t just bad news for your skin below the surface. Increased perspiration increases sebum production[1] resulting in worsening acne. It’s important to properly cleanse your face with a foaming gel- or water-based cleanser, before following with a toner. This latter step will act as an astringent, removing excess oil from the surface of the skin.

[1] Cunliffe, W. J., Burton, J. L., & SHUSTER, S. (1970). The effect of local temperature variations on the sebum excretion rate. British Journal of Dermatology, 83(6), 650-654.

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