As summer approaches, you may be looking for a sunscreen for your sensitive skin. You already know how difficult this can be, along with finding other skin care products that work without irritating. You may like the ingredients and trust the clinical science behind the formulation, but as for your skin? It may break out, turn red or become itchy; unpleasant side effects that can often linger for days.
So what is the best sunscreen for sensitive skin? The answer is, it depends. If you already know what your skin reacts to, then avoid products that contain problematic ingredients. Of course this isn’t always easy as most skin care products contain a myriad of ingredients so it isn’t easy to identify the offending ones. Products with fragrances should definitely be avoided. And, potent ingredients – which are beneficial to non-sensitive skin types – may be no-nos for you too. You may have to stay away from alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), retinol and even some cleansers.
Don’t think that natural or organic is necessarily any better for sensitive skin. An ingredient that comes from a plant isn’t always less problematic than one sourced in a lab. Think poison ivy…
When it comes to sunscreens for sensitive skin, you may tolerate physical blocking formulations better than chemical based ones. Ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work by sitting on top of the skin and both blocking the absorption of UV rays and deflecting them away from the skin’s surface. Newer chemical based sunscreens are safe and effective and often contain physical blocking agents as well.
Anthelios sunscreens and Ombrelle sunscreens contain Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL, which provide excellent UVA/UVB coverage and are available in a variety of formulations for most skin types. Sensitive skin may better tolerate a children’s formulation, which are designed for kid’s delicate skin. If you are tempted to go this route, consider Anthelios Dermo Kids Lotion SPF 45. If you lean more towards chemical free options, consider Keys Solar RX SPF 30 or Cliniderm SPF 45 Lotion. Containing zinc oxide, these sunscreens are ideal for anyone, but could just be the perfect sunscreen for your sensitive skin.