Having sensitive skin isn’t easy. In fact, it can be a right old pain. Use the wrong product and the reaction isn’t always so pretty. Lucky for you, nowadays we have so many products that are made specifically with the sensitives in mind.
Sunscreen is one of those products that commonly cause reactions in people’s skin. You really have to do your research and use the right product. Here I have put together the best sunscreens for sensitive skin in 2022.
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The Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
Before we get to the actual sunscreens, I thought I should first answer some common sunscreen questions. There are so many myths and misconceptions regarding sunscreen, it’s times they got cleared up.
Why you need to wear sunscreen even if you never get a sunburn
There are 2 separate reasons for wearing sunscreen, one is to protect your skin from getting burnt and the other is to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. While people with darker skin do have some natural protection that prevents them from getting burnt, they don’t have protection from UV rays. So yup, sorry but everyone needs to wear sunscreen when out in the sun.
Can children wear sunscreen that’s sold for adults?
Children can wear sunscreen that’s made for sensitive skin without a problem. This is because the sunscreen that’s for sensitive skin is made in the same way as sunscreen for babies. The only thing you need to look out for is that the sunscreen has a high enough SPF. Children generally need a higher SPF than adults.
When does the sunscreen bottle expire?
Most sunscreens will say the expiration date on the bottle. But there are always a few that break the rules, in those cases it’s safe to assume that you can use it for up to 12 months.
Is it a must to wear sunscreen every day?
Generally speaking, if you are not going to be locked up in your house all day, you should wear some sort of SPF. For many people, that’s covered in their moisturiser or foundation. If it’s winter or it’s not a sunny day then that should be sufficient. However, in the summer and it’s sunny that is not enough to protect your skin from UV rays. If you will be out in the sun for any substantial amount of time you will need at least SPF30 – 50.
How often should you apply sunscreen when in the sun?
To get the best protection from the sun you need to apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you are exposed to the sun. Reapply every 2 hours after that. I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But in the long run, it is totally worth it. Applying sunscreen can be annoying, but skin cancer can be a life sentence. Sunscreen also protects the skin from premature ageing and lines.
How to choose the best sunscreen
There are sunscreens that protect against UVA rays and there are sunscreens that protect against UVB rays. Since the sun emits both types of rays, you need protection from both and that is called broad-spectrum protection. Always look out for sunscreens that offer broad-spectrum protection because then you will be covered from all rays.
Which is better, a spray or a lotion?
The difference between the two is the difference in how you apply them. Most people when using a spray only spray for a few seconds over each area. That is the convenience of the spray. However, spraying for a few seconds doesn’t give much protection to your skin. So while in theory, a spray is just as good as a lotion, I recommend a lotion because you will automatically be applying the sunscreen better.
The difference between US and EU sunscreens
Did you know that European sunscreens are better than US ones? And that does not mean if you buy a European sunscreen in the US that you get the same as its international counterpart. The US does not allow all the ingredients that many European sunscreens have. This means that if they are sold in the US they require different ingredients from the ones sold in the EU.
The US allows far fewer chemical ingredients than the EU, many of these ingredients are vital in giving better protection from UV rays. It also means that the US sunscreens don’t apply as nicely and are a lot greasier to wear. European sunscreens also have better broad-spectrum coverage than US sunscreens.
US people, it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s 2022 and there’s online shopping often with international delivery as an option. Do I recommend ordering sunscreens from Europe? Oh yes. It’s 100% worth it and international shipping doesn’t always cost a lot.
La Roche Posay is known for its good quality skincare products which have all been approved by dermatologists. They specialise in skin care products for sensitive skin, and the La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid is no exception.
What I love about the La Roche Posay Shaka Fruid sunscreen is that it’s perfect to wear under your makeup. With its lightweight feel and its matte finish, you won’t notice that you are wearing sunscreen at all.
As well as it being for sensitive skin, it is also ideal for oily skin. It won’t cause any breakouts and because of its matte finish, it won’t cause any shininess either. It is waterproof, sand proof and sweatproof, everything you need for it to stay in place properly. I love how it doesn’t leave any grease or white marks. It blends and dissolves perfectly. If you have sensitive skin you probably know that you should keep away from fragrance, well yay for you, the La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid is fragrance-free too. La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid is a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Altruist sunscreens are some of the best sunscreens on the market. They are highly affordable, yet look super classy and expensive. If that’s not enough, with every purchase, they donate some of it to a charity in Africa to help those with albinism. I don’t know about you but I like supporting companies that think of the less fortunate. They are setting good trends.
Putting all their good work aside, this sunscreen is the real deal. Every suncream has an official UVA rating. Altruist is 5* which is the highest rating, this means that when it’s used correctly, it protects your skin from all harmful rays, UVA and UVB.
It is available in SPF 50 and SPF 30. The SPF 50 is slightly shinier than the SPF 30. Applying it is really easy and it dries without leaving any white marks or stickiness.
It is suitable for acne-prone skin and those with very sensitive skin too. You can use it on your face and body. It is fragrance-free, paraben-free and water-resistant.
I don’t think it’s available in the US, but seriously, it’s worth every penny to ship in.
ultrasun Family All Family Sun Lotion is another winner sunscreen for sensitive skin. This broad-spectrum sunscreen can be used on all ages (although you can with most sun creams), it dries invisible which is a must for kids. I remember from the good old days when sun creams stained clothes. The number of clothes we ruined:(
They claim it can protect your skin the entire day after applying it once, I don’t recommend that but it does mean it has very high protection. I often use it on my children before school, that way I know they will be protected the best they can be even without reapplying it.
It is fragrance-free and water-resistant. They also claim that it is formulated with antioxidants, this is another claim you shouldn’t take too seriously. A dermatologist once told me that it doesn’t really work with the chemical combination.
The sun cream works wonders on those with sensitive skin and prickly heat. It absorbs really quickly without any grease.
Mineral sunscreens are one of the latest trends in sunscreen. They use minerals as the active ingredient, and they tend to be less irritating and more moisturising on the skin. Mineral sunscreen doesn’t get absorbed into the skin as a chemical sunscreen does. This makes it better for sensitive skin since what it really does is create a barrier between your skin and the sun.
SkinCeuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense sunscreen is one of the only sunscreens on the market that combines 100% mineral broad-spectrum protection and universal radiance. The colour of the sunscreen adapts to the colour of your skin tone. I love this feature, it means you can use it instead of your foundation or cc cream. You can also apply it under your makeup and it won’t interfere with your makeup at all.
This sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin. It is water-resistant and has no chemicals.
While it may be a little on the pricier side, many say they can’t live without it now and that it’s worth every penny. It’s the quality you’re paying for and the quality that you get.
Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Face and Neck Cream is another sunscreen that you need to try out. This broad-spectrum sunscreen is highly affordable and highly effective. One of its best features is that it has ingredients that absorb any oil that may break out during the day. It also isn’t heavy to wear and there is no grease or shine when wearing it. It’s comfortable and invisible.
The ingredients have many benefits too, it’s enriched with vitamin E which moisturises your skin at the same time as protecting it.
Like any good sunscreen, this one is also water-resistant and fragrance-free.
This is another mineral sunscreen. Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum not only targets protecting your skin from sun damage but also from everyday pollution, which also damages and ages your skin, a lot. It protects your skin from pollution as well as from the blue light on all the devices that we are surrounded by.
The sunscreen has a really lightweight formula that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any greasy residue. It has a slight tint which is a nice change from the classic white sunscreen, this also helps to even out the skin tones. The finish is slightly luminous, so if you have oily skin I don’t recommend using this sunscreen. Generally speaking oily and luminous should not be mixed.
The formula is fragrance-free and made with sensitive skin in mind.
Drunk Elephant is one of those brands that wherever you turn, you see it. It has flooded Instagram with every few skincare posts being another Drunk Elephant product. If they’re that popular, they must be pretty good, no?
This sunscreen is a physical sunscreen which means, instead of using chemical ingredients it uses mineral ingredients that sit on top of the skin, and scatter the UV rays away from your skin. Physical sunscreens tend to be less irritating on the skin, this makes them a better option for sensitive skin.
Umbra sunscreen is an award-winning sunscreen, it is made without any chemicals or silicones. It is also fragrance-free and free from essential oils. Being a broad-spectrum sunscreen, it will protect against all harmful rays.
The formula is quite thick and it has a sticky consistency to it. You only need a pea-size amount each time because a little goes a long way. Once the sunscreen is absorbed the stickiness goes away and there is a slight shimmer to it. It is lovely for those with dry skin but I don’t really recommend it if you have oily or acne-prone skin, the shimmer and extra oil will bother you.
The main disadvantage that this sunscreen has is its price. It is expensive and I don’t think it’s necessarily better than the other sunscreens mentioned in this review. But then again if you’re a Drunk Elephant fan, then perhaps it’s worth it. It’s your call!
Umbra sunscreen has recently been released in a tinted sunscreen.
This sunscreen is one of the loveliest sunscreens to put under makeup. It is a colourless sunscreen that sinks in beautifully to the skin. With its matte finish, you can be sure it won’t cause you any shininess. What’s more, it actually absorbs extra oil to help your face stay matte for as long as possible. They say you can expect matte skin for up to 6 hours.
The texture is so soft and velvety, you will have a hard time believing that it really is a sunscreen, never mind a sunscreen with an SPF50. The bottle will last you for ages because you only need a small amount each time you use it, a little goes a long way. It is a very good value for money. In fact, one of the questions I often hear about this sunscreen is why is it so cheap when it looks and feels so high end?! That is when you know you’ve struck gold!
FREZYDERM SPF 50 Velvet Face Sunscreen is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you from all harmful rays. It is water-resistant and fragrance-free.
All of the sunscreens that I have mentioned here are worth checking out. They are all good solid sunscreens that will give your skin the best protection that it can have.
There is no best sunscreen, different products work differently for each person. What’s works for you may not work for your friend and that’s normal. We’re all individuals and the trick is finding what works best for ourselves. Btw that can also change, what works for you one year may not work as well the next year. With our forever changing hormones as well as our age changing we have to be open to changing our cosmetics too. Such is the life of a woman. We might as well embrace it:)
Let me know in the comments below what your favourite sunscreen is and why. If you don’t have a favourite sunscreen yet then make sure to check out these best sunscreens for sensitive skin, I’ll be surprised if you can’t find one.
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