Having a sensitive skin is difficult but imagine sensitive skin out in the sun. Oh! It’s a nightmare. Wearing sunscreen for any kind of skin is highly recommended to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, skin cancer, and other skin diseases. And if one is hypersensitive all the more reason to put a sunscreen on. For sensitive skin using any kind of thing or chemicals is a big no-no as they cause more harm than good.
Trying out every kind of sunscreen available in the market and visiting every dermatologist in town tired me out and made me despondent. Finding SPF options that don’t contain skin irritants like parabens, fragrances, and dyes to help me in preventing itching and a breakout was a tough job. At last I turned to the beauty industry to seek some remedy and I actually found what I was looking for. The problem wasn’t exactly my super sensitive skin but my sunscreen.
Choosing the best available brand is not enough. The ingredients used in them might not suit your skin type and in fact clog your pores and trigger irritation and allergies when you come in contact with the sun. So it’s advisable to read the label and know if the things that have been put into it are suitable for you or not.
Natural Vs. chemical blockers
Let us first know about the kind of sunscreens available. There are two, physical and chemical blockers. Chemical blockers have ingredients that convert the harmful UV rays into infrared rays whereas the natural blockers don’t let these rays touch your skin at all. But at the same time natural blockers make your skin look white and pasty. Yet the chemical damage your skin. So the cosmetic companies came up with the solution and the combination of the two.
Beware of these chemicals
Though natural sun blocks are not fully safe and pure, they are to a great extent better than the chemical ones. The chemical based sunscreens are infused with such ingredients that penetrate the skin layers and cause deep damage. You’d think that by reading the label of the sunscreen you will know it is natural and safe one but sorry to disappoint you. Sadly, not all labels are honest and forthcoming.
When reading the label make sure to avoid these chemicals that can cause damage to your skin
- PABA( para-aminobenzoic acid)
- Amino benzoic acid, glyceryl amino benzoate, Ethyl-4-bis amino benzoate, Amyl dimethyl PABA, Glceryl PABA, Ethyl dihydroxypropyl PABA and Octyl dimethyl PABA (2-ethylhexyl dimethyl PABA).
- Salicylates, Octyl salicylate (2-ethylhexyl salicylate), Homosalate (HMS or homomenthyl salicylate, and Triethanolamine salicylate.
- Benzophenones, Avobenzone (Butyl methoxyl-dibenzoylmethane)
- Helioplex, Meradimate, Parsol 1789, Sunzerse OT.
Sensitive skin friendly sunscreen substances
Most natural filters used in the sunscreen are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, technically chemicals yet less damage causing substances. Other ingredients are also used like
- Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A; which has natural SPF,
- Mulberry leaf extract,
- Vitamin E
- Beta carotene.
These mineral based sunscreens are highly prescribed for the sensitive skin type but many dermatologists suggest a healthy mix of both chemical and natural ingredients. Only physical sunscreens form a protective layer which might irritate many people and as said earlier chemical ones are the damage causing ones. Both the physical and the chemical ingredients balance out the discomfort or damage of the other and hence these are the best sunscreens for sensitive skin.
Chemical based sunscreens are cosmetically more enhancing as they become invisible in comparison to the physical sun blocks. The physical sun blocks tend to show more on the skin and with absence of certain chemicals is more likely to cause irritation to the skin. But with all the recent innovations in protection from the sun, complaints like inconvenience and unflattering residue can longer be the excuse to not use a blended sunscreen for your sensitive skin type.
So all you people having sensitive skins and afraid of going out in the sun, go find the best sunscreen suited for your skin type and let your hair down and have fun.