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It shouldn’t be new information that the sun can be damaging to your skin, and that if you’re going out, you need to wear broad spectrum SFP 30 or higher sunscreen to protect your skin from damage. What’s not as commonly known, though, is that not only is it possible to be allergic to certain sunscreens, but furthermore, whether you’re allergic to any of them or not, having sensitive skin can limit the kinds of sunscreen you can use without getting redness, itchiness, dryness, and other skin issues that come up when sensitive skin gets agitated. Vine Vera knows it’s already hard enough to deal with sensitive skin if you have it, and the fact that sunscreen, something you need to protect your skin from damage and irritation, can also cause irritation itself. Whether you have sensitive skin yourself or you know someone who does, Vine Vera’s compiled a simple, easy list of tips to help solve issues when it comes to sensitive skin and sunscreen.
First off, let’s talk about specific skin allergies; when your skin is specifically sensitive to a particular substance or substances and triggers an allergic reaction when they’re applied. The most important thing to remember if it turns out you’re allergic to sunscreen is that being allergic to a sunscreen does not mean you’re allergic to all sunscreens. Be mindful of the sunscreens you’ve used that caused a reaction, and write down the active ingredients. Do this every time you use a new sunscreen that causes a reaction, and you should notice a trend of one or two specific ingredients. Avoid those, and you should be okay.
Consider, too, that allergies to physical sunblocks are all but unheard of, meaning that if you’ve got a sunscreen allergy, it’s probably to an active ingredient in chemical sunscreens, so switching to a physical could clear it right up for you.
No matter what your skin type or skin color, you can get damaged from the sun if you don’t use sunscreen every day, and reapply every couple hours. But if you have sensitive skin, you can probably get a much, much worse sunburn than other people get with the same amount of sun exposure. The sunburn will cause more irritation and pain if you have sensitive skin, so you may want to consider a higher SPF than most people use; 50 is a good number to shoot for.
If you have sensitive skin and are shopping for sunscreen, another thing to consider is that getting sunscreen marketed with “sensitive skin” marked prominently on the label is always a solid idea. Beyond that, try combination sunscreen+moisturizers and see if they’re easier on your skin than plain sunscreen, and look for dye-free sunscreens.
The most important identifiers you should be looking for on sunscreen labels are “non-comedogenic” and “hypoallergenic.” Be sure that your selected sunscreen makes both of these claims, and you should be good to go.