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How Do I Choose the Best Sun Cream for Sensitive Skin?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Finding a good sun cream for sensitive skin can be a significant challenge, as sensitive skin often reacts to many of the ingredients found in commercial skin products. Ideally, you should look for a sun lotion that is fragrance free and that does not include chemical sunscreens such as oxybenzone. Your best options are to find a mineral-based sunscreen, such as one that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Unfortunately, sun cream for sensitive skin will generally not have a very high sun protection factor (SPF), as a highly concentrated sunblock with a high SPF can cause irritation in many people. This means that you will need to take additional precautions to ensure that you are adequately protected against the burning rays of the sun.

Sensitive skin can be easily irritated by skin care products, including sun protection products. When purchasing a sun cream for sensitive skin, look for a product that is fragrance free. Fragrance oils, even essential oils, can irritate skin. Mineral-based sunscreens are also best, as they are less likely to trigger a reaction than many of the more commonly used chemical sunscreens. Start with a sun cream for sensitive skin that has an SPF of 15. If your skin tolerates it well, you can then try to use products with a higher SPF.

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If you are extremely susceptible to skin irritation, you may need to test more than one sun cream for sensitive skin before you find one that works for you. Inquire about purchasing trial sizes of various sun lotions and creams or try to locate free samples. Test these products on a small patch of skin, discarding those that cause a rash or pain.

In situations where you find that you can use a sun cream for sensitive skin with only an SPF of 15, make sure that you reapply it regularly to prevent sunburn. This is particularly true if you have been perspiring or swimming, but it is also important even if you’ve remained clean and dry, as the effectiveness of sunscreen lessens over time. If you can find cosmetics for sensitive skin that also contain a sunscreen, using such products along with sun cream for sensitive skin can provide additional protection for your face. You may also wish to take common-sense steps to prevent over-exposure to the sun. Stay indoors or under shelter between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses while in the sun.

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