Sunscreens & Sensitive Skin

People with sensitive, acne prone skin must be careful when choosing sunscreens. Some are far too greasy, oily, clog pores and accentuate acne problems. For people with sensitive skin, choosing sunscreens can be more complicated.

The best sunscreens are ones with broad spectrum for both UVB (cancer causing rays, sunburn) and UVA (penetrate deeper, cause sun damage and wrinkles).

Whilst Lotus Dermatology does not endorse any particular brand of sunscreen, some dermatologically tested brands include:

  • QV
  • La Roche Posay Anthelios
  • Neutrogena
  • Cetaphil

Some things to keep in mind when choosing a sunscreen are thick and greasy sunscreens may trigger acne outbreaks, fragrances, dyes, preservatives and alcohol can cause allergic reactions, and chemical sunblockers, such as pxybenzone, avobenzone and others can aggravate skin and cause breakouts.

Market options are definitely improving and lotions are using natural physical sunblockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide that are non irritating chemicals. More and more non comedogenic (non clogging) sunscreens are becoming available.

If you suffer from sensitive skin, the best way to deal with this issue is to use proven products that others have had success with and to experiment on your own skin. You need to know what triggers an acne outbreak and avoid sunscreens that contain heavy oils or ingredients such as alcohol that can dry and strip the skin.

Another option if outbreaks persist is maybe to avoid sunscreens and choose a moisturiser with a powerful SPF. This avoids having to apply an additional skin care product to a sensitive skin.

Finally, ensure you carefully read all ingredients and equally importantly, reapply sunscreen if outdoors for long periods of time.