If you have sensitive skin, researchers say the fewer chemical ingredients in your sunscreen, the better. Consequently, look for SPF options sans skin irritating parabens, dyes, and fragrances. Natural sunscreens may prevent itchiness and redness after application and broad spectrum or UVA and UVB protection. In this article, we review the best four options to find your ideal sunscreen for sensitive skin.
Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin: Top 4 Picks
1. Vanicream SPF 30 Sensitive Skin Sunscreen or Vanicream SPF 35 Sensitive Skin Sport Sunscreen
Searching for the best sunscreen for sensitive skin is challenging. Sensitive skin is often reactive, too. Prescription medicines such as BHA and tretinoin can make sensitive skin even more reactive to chemical ingredients in sunscreen. Varicream SPF 30 formula’s active ingredients, on the other hand, include zinc oxide (6 percent) and titanium dioxide (3.4 percent).
Vanicream SPF 30 Sensitive Skin Sunscreen calms sensitive adult-children facial and body skin. It’s a broad spectrum formula and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It contains CoQ10 (ubiquinone), a coenzyme factor that’s naturally present in most animals. CoQ10 may decline with age.
Vanicream SPF 35 Sensitive Skin Sport Sunscreen offers a higher sun protective factor. Active ingredients of the sport sunscreen include zinc oxide (11 percent) and octinoxate (2.8 percent). User reviews agree that Varicream sensitive skin sunscreen products are sweat and water-resistant.
Other benefits of using these products include:
- The product is untinted and users say the product adds a glow to the skin.
- It’s non-comedogenic, oil-free, odorless, non-greasy, and gluten-free.
- There’s also no chalky residue.
- The average price per tube is about $15.00.
- It is dermatologist-tested and free of many chemical irritants that bother sensitive skin. This includes dyes, formaldehyde/formaldehyde releasers, parabens, lanolin, fragrances, and preservatives. It’s also PABA and oxybenzone-free.
Users say that Varicream sensitive skin sunscreens’ skin absorption takes a little longer than chemical sunscreens. A small percentage of users prefer a facial-specific sunscreen for sensitive skin.
2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Sunscreen
If you’re searching for a super-light sunscreen for sensitive facial skin, try the Anthelios 50 SPF ultra-light formula with zinc oxide. It’s fast-absorbing and leaves a beautiful matte finish on the skin. What’s more, Anthelios 50 SPF Mineral Sunscreen has won lots of awards, including The Knot Beauty Award (2015), Self Healthy Beauty Award (2013), Women’s Health Beauty Award (2012), and Allure Best of Beauty Award (2012).
If you’re looking for the perfect daily sunscreen to use with or without foundation, Anthelios may be a good choice. The formula leaves skin looking healthy. There’s no greasy feel and it quickly absorbs into the skin.
Some physical sunscreens for sensitive skin leave white streaks on the skin. LaRoche’s proprietary Cell-Ox shield technology combines mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide (5 percent) and titanium dioxide (6 percent) active ingredients. Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid is a broad spectrum formula. It blocks both UVA and UVA rays and protects skin from UV ray-stimulated free radical damage.
In a word, La Roche Anthelios 50 Mineral Sunscreen is an elegant sensitive skin facial sunscreen formula that has the following advantages over other products:
- It’s non-comedogenic, oil-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, oil-free, and non-greasy.
- Minerals in the formula sink into sensitive skin without a trace.
- It’s free of chemicals that irritate sensitive skin.
You can use La Roche Anthelios 50 Mineral Sunscreen on body skin but it’s pricey and designed for facial skin. The average price is about $35.00 per bottle.
The manufacturer recommends reapplication every 40 minutes if you’re in the sun. Don’t use the formula on babies younger than six months.
3. EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen
EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 is Skin Cancer Foundation-recommended. It’s an ideal choice for active swimmers, skiers, runners, skaters, and golfers. It can be worn by people of all skin colors. The product is water and sweat-resistant. It is also dermatologist-tested and the non-drip formula won’t sting your eyes.
EltaMD UV Sport has a higher level of physical UVA/UVB agent. Its active ingredient is zinc oxide (9 percent), one of the best ingredients for treatment various skin problems. Furthermore, this sunscreen also has a few other benefits:
- The product is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, paraben-free, and sensitivity-free.
- One can easily apply it directly to both wet or dry skin.
- The product costs about $20 for a pump (7 oz.) or tube dispenser (3 oz. and 7 oz. sizes), a decent price for such a quality product.
- The EltaMD UV Sport sunscreen is easy to wear alone or under your makeup.
Dermatologists recommend daily use of sunscreen for sensitive skin. Reapply every 80 minutes when you’re in direct sun or every two hours when you’re outdoors.
EltaMD UV Sport is designed for facial skin. Therefore, you’ll also need a sunscreen for body skin.
4. Totlogic Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
If you’re searching for a natural sunscreen for sensitive skin, Totlogic Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 may be the right product for you. It’s designed for use on children aged six months and older, but plenty of moms and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) like Totlogic. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives Totlogic a #1 “skin deep” rating.
Totlogic is a natural sunscreen product. Jill Taft, Totlogic’s founder, whipped up the first batches of child-friendly sunscreen in her home kitchen. The product contains plants and oils, such as coconut oil, mint, aloe leaf, and lavender, and minerals such as zinc oxide, to block UVA and UVB rays.
Other advantages include:
- Totlogic has no chemical fragrance additives. It’s also oil-free, sensitivity-free, non-comedogenic, and paraben-free.
- The product is water-resistant.
- Totlogic is hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and contains no irritating nanoparticles.
- It is a reef-safe formula. In certain parts of the world, visitors wearing traditional sunscreens are prevented from enjoying the beach. Some sunscreen ingredients are toxic to coral and reef systems, but not this one.
- The average price of Totlogic Natural Sunscreen is about $12 per tube. Therefore, it is the cheapest product on our list.
The manufacturer recommends reapplying the product every 80 minutes.
EWG says that some natural ingredients, such as aloe vera, might not be right for everyone. It may be best to consult with a specialist if your skin is extra-sensitive.
Dermatologists instruct us to wear sunscreen every day. Nonetheless, finding an easy-to-use and affordable sunscreen for sensitive skin is quite a struggle for most sun-aware users. Many expensive traditional sunscreens don’t work well for people with sensitive skin. Consequently, always purchase products for your specific skin type.
Let’s face it. The best sunscreen for sensitive skin is the one you prefer. If the product is difficult to use or makes skin look chalky and greasy, you probably won’t use it. However, using a sunscreen every day has health and beauty benefits that outweigh the disadvantages. A recent study showed that people who use sunscreen on a regular basis have younger-looking skin. So what’s it going to be – Vanicream, La Roche-Posay, EltaMD or Totlogic?