If you have sensitive skin, finding the right sunscreen can be a daunting task. There are so many products on the market, each claiming to be the best, that it’s hard to know where to start. And if you make the wrong choice, your skin may pay the price in the form of irritation or even a sunburn.
That’s why we asked six dermatologists for their picks for the best sunscreen for sensitive skin. Their recommendations include both mineral- and chemical-based sunscreens, as well as products that are designed specifically for people with sensitive skin.
So whether you’re looking for a sunscreen that will protect you from UVA and UVB rays or one that is free of fragrance and other potential irritants, you’re sure to find a product here that meets your needs.
6 Best Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin
Here are six of the best sunscreens for sensitive skin, according to dermatologists:
1. La Roche-Posay Melt In Milk Sunscreen
- Multi-award winning sunscreen with advanced protection in a fast-absorbing, velvety texture that leaves skin hydrated and smooth. Broad Spectrum SPF 60
- Allure 2022 Best of Beauty Award Winner. Water resistant (80 minutes)
- Formulated with Cell-Ox Shield technology: broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants. Formulated and rigorously tested for skin tolerance, even on sensitive skin
La Roche-Posay's Anthelios Melt In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen is a safe and effective option for those with sensitive skin. The sunscreen has been tested by dermatologists and is free of parabens, fragrances, and oils. It is also non-comedogenic and allergy tested. Additionally, the sunscreen does not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate, making it a more environmentally friendly option.
The sunscreen is easy to apply and provides full coverage without leaving a greasy residue. It is also waterproof and sweatproof, making it ideal for active lifestyles. Overall, the La Roche-Posay Melt In Milk Sunscreen is an excellent choice for those looking for a safe and effective sunscreen that is gentle on the skin.
- Tested by dermatologists
- Free of parabens, fragrances, and oils
- Non-comedogenic and allergy tested
- Does not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate
- Easy to apply
- Waterproof and sweatproof
- Some users find the consistency to be too thick
2. BLUE LIZARD Australian Sunscreen
- WE LOVE THE REEF – To help protect delicate coral reefs, our Sensitive sunscreen contains no Oxybenzone or Octinoxate
- MINERAL SUNSCREEN, NO CHEMICAL ACTIVE INGREDIENTS – Protects your skin by acting like thousands of tiny mirrors that reflect UV rays away before they enter your body
- DERMATOLOGIST-RECOMMENDED BROAD SPECTRUM UVA/UVB SPF 30+ – Mineral active Zinc Oxide provides broad spectrum protection
Looking for a sunscreen that's gentle on sensitive skin and also good for the environment? BLUE LIZARD Australian Sunscreen Sensitive SPF 30+ is perfect for you! This mineral sunscreen contains no Oxybenzone or Octinoxate, which can be harmful to delicate coral reefs. Instead, it uses Zinc Oxide to reflect UV rays away from your body.
It's also water resistant for up to 40 minutes, so you can stay protected longer. Plus, it's free of fragrances and parabens, making it ideal for sensitive skin. So why not try BLUE LIZARD Australian Sunscreen Sensitive SPF 30+ the next time you're in the market for a new sunscreen? You'll love the way it feels on your skin – and you'll love knowing that you're doing your part to help protect our coral reefs!
- Contains no Oxybenzone or Octinoxate
- Uses Zinc Oxide to reflect UV rays
- Water-resistant for up to 40 minutes
- Free of fragrances and parabens
- Some users find the sunscreen to be too runny
3. Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen
- EWG TOP-RATED SUNSCREEN – Performance-driven face and body sun protection lasts up to 80 minutes and does not run or sting your eyes
- DAILY USE FOR ALL AGES – Gentle, moisturizing formula can be used as part of your daily skin care routine and is gentle enough for kids
- NATURAL AND ORGANIC MINERAL SUNSCREEN – Soy, gluten and nut free, contains no synthetic chemicals and packed with nourishing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, so your skin stays protected long...
Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen is a top-rated sunscreen that provides long-lasting protection against the sun's harmful rays. The gentle, moisturizing formula can be used daily and is safe for all ages.
Made with organic and certified natural ingredients, this sunscreen is soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free. It also contains no synthetic chemicals. Packed with nourishing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen helps to keep your skin protected long after exposure to the sun.
The sun is the source of all life, but its harmful UV rays can also be damaging to our oily skin. That's why it's important to wear sunscreen when we're going to be spending time outdoors. But not all mineral sunscreens are created equal. Many contain harmful chemicals that can be damaging to the environment.
Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen is different. Made with natural chemical sunscreen ingredients, it's safe for both you and the planet. With an SPF of 30+, it provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. And it's reef-safe, so you can enjoy the ocean without harming marine life.
- Long-lasting protection
- Gentle, moisturizing formula
- Safe for all ages
- Made with organic and certified natural ingredients
- Soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free
- Contains no synthetic chemicals
- Packed with nourishing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Greasy, hard to spread, strong odor
4. Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen
- 6.7-ounce bottle of Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 70 that helps prevent sunburn and decrease the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun when...
- With Helioplex technology, this sunscreen provides superior protection against skin-aging UVA and skin-burning UVB rays. This sunscreen lotion helps prevent sunburn and when used as directed, may help...
- Fast-absorbing, broad spectrum SPF 70 sunscreen lotion is designed for your active family's outdoors activities. The body sunscreen features a lightweight, oil-free, PABA-free and oxybenzone-free...
The sun can be one of the best things about summertime. Warmth, blue skies, and long days make it a perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer. However, the sun can also be dangerous, causing skin damage and even cancer. That's why it's important to always wear sunscreen when you're going to be outside, especially if you're going to be sweating or in the water.
Neutrogena's Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion is a great choice for an active family. It has a fast-absorbing formula that is designed for outdoor activities and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, it has SPF 70 to provide superior broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Neutrogena's Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen is a great choice for anyone looking for superior sun protection. The 100% naturally sourced sunscreen ingredients provide reliable protection from the sun, while the sweat and water-resistant formula keeps your acne prone skin protected even when you're sweating or swimming.
The lightweight, fast-absorbing lotion is easy to apply and won't leave your skin feeling greasy or heavy. Plus, it's dermatologist recommended, so you can be sure you're getting the best possible protection for your skin tone.
- Water resistant for up to 80 minutes
- 100% naturally sourced sunscreen ingredients
- Sweat and water-resistant
- Lightweight, fast-absorbing lotion
- Dermatologist recommended
- Some users find the weird smell
5. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen
- POWERFUL NATURAL SUNSCREEN FOR SKIN SUN PROTECTION - The gentle Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Mineral Lotion with zinc & titanium offers broad-spectrum protection that blocks harmful UV...
- SEAMLESSLY BLENDS INTO MEDIUM TO TAN SKIN TONES - This weightless tinted sunblock lotion blends perfectly and improves complexion appearance by minimizing uneven color, fine lines & wrinkles. Perfect...
- NON-GREASY OIL-FREE MATTE FINISH - This Mattifying daily sunscreen doubles as a BB Cream foundation with a fragrance-free touch. It won't clog pores and provides light coverage that acts as a base for...
At first glance, Australian Gold's Botanical Sunscreen might just look like your average sunscreen. But upon closer inspection, it's clear that this is a sunscreen with a difference. First of all, it uses a mineral-based formula with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide broad-spectrum sun protection.
This means that it not only blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays but also deflects them off your face. And secondly, it has a weightless tinted formula that smoothly merges into average to tan skin tones. This provides an improved tint appearance to minimize the fine lines, uneven color, and wrinkles. Plus, it has an oil-free matte finish for a natural look.
Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen is manufactured with calming ingredients like Kakadu Plum, using the highest Vitamin C content, and Red Algae & Eucalyptus, which form a unique blend of antioxidant-rich botanicals that fight free radicals and nourish the skin. It is also ECO-CONSCIOUS, designed to be Non-Nano and free of Oxybenzone, Alcohol, Dye, Oil, Phthalate, PABA, Petrolatum & Sulfate with no added parabens.
The sunscreen is Hypoallergenic, Gluten-free, Dermatologist/Pediatrician Tested, Cruelty-Free and Vegan. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen is a great choice for those who are looking for an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic sunscreen.
- Mineral-based formula with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
- Broad-spectrum sun protection
- Weightless tinted formula
- Oil-free matte finish
- Formulated with soothing ingredients like Kakadu Plum, Eucalyptus & Red Algae
- Not for sensitive skin types
6. EltaMD UV Pure SPF 47
- EltaMD UV Pure Kids Sunscreen Lotion is a SPF 47 mineral sunscreen and body sunscreen made with chemical-free active ingredients for kids and adults who want effective, long lasting sun protection
- This full body mineral sunscreen is made with physical active ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide that reflect and scatter harsh UVA and UVB rays to help prevent sunburns and offer better...
- Gentle kids sunscreen and body sunscreen formula glides over wet or dry skin, rubs in quickly, and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, making this a great water resistant sunscreen for kids and...
ElataMD UV Pure SPF 47 sunscreen is the ideal daily sunscreen for people looking for a chemical-free, mineral-based formula. This sunscreen is also fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free, dye-free, non-comedogenic & water-resistant (up to 80 minutes), making it a great option for those with sensitive skin or who are looking for a natural sunscreen.
ElataMD UV Pure provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection due to the active ingredient of transparent zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens like ElataMD UV Pure are generally considered to be more effective than chemical sunscreens at blocking both UVA and UVB rays.
ElataMD UV Pure is also easy to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin, making it ideal for on-the-go use. So if you're looking for a safe, effective, and convenient sunscreen, ElataMD UV Pure is a great option.
- Chemical-free, mineral-based formula
- Broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection
- Easy to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin
- Water resistant (up to 80 minutes)
- Not ideal for those with sensitive skin
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
When choosing the best sunscreen for sensitive skin, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
The broad-spectrum SPF (sun protection factor) is a measure of how better a sunscreen performs in protecting against UVB rays. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection. However, it's important to note that no sunscreen can block 100% of UVB rays.
2. UVA vs UVB
You might have noticed that some sunscreens claim to provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the main cause of skin aging and can also contribute to skin cancer. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn.
When it comes to sunscreen, less is more. Look for a sunscreen that contains only active ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These ingredients provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
4. Water resistant
If you're going to be sweating or swimming, look for a sunscreen that is labeled “water resistant.” This means that the sunscreen will stay on even when you're wet.
5. Face vs Body
There are some sunscreens that are specifically designed for use on the face, and others that can be used on both the face and body. If you have sensitive skin, it's best to choose a sunscreen that is specifically designed for use on the face.
Many sunscreens contain fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, it's best to choose a sunscreen that is fragrance-free.
Some sunscreens can clog pores and cause breakouts. If you have sensitive skin, it's best to choose a sunscreen that is non-comedogenic.
Consider these factors when choosing the best sunscreen for your sensitive skin and you'll be sure to find a product that works well for you.
What ingredient in sunscreen causes a rash?
There are a few ingredients in sunscreen that can cause a rash. These include PABA, benzophenone, and cinnamates. If you have sensitive skin, it's best to avoid sunscreens that contain these ingredients.
Which is better UV or SPF?
The answer to this question largely depends on your individual skin type and needs. If you have sensitive skin, then you may want to choose a sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) over one with UV (ultraviolet) protection. This is because sunscreens with SPF can provide better coverage against the sun’s harmful rays.
Do we actually need sunscreen?
The short answer is yes—sunscreen is a necessity, not an option, especially if you want to keep your skin looking its best. “Broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays are key in preventing damage that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Robin Evans.
And while there are plenty of sunscreens on the market that claim to be “sensitive” or “for sensitive skin,” not all of them are created equal. In fact, some sunscreens can actually irritate sensitive skin, which is why it's so important to choose one that's specifically designed for your skin type.
When it comes to sunscreen, less is more. Look for a sunscreen that contains only active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. And be sure to choose a sunscreen that is specifically designed for use on sensitive skin.
With so many sunscreens on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. But if you keep these factors in mind, you'll be sure to find the best sunscreen for your sensitive skin.
From our list of the best sunscreens for sensitive skin, we recommend the Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50.
This sunscreen is specifically designed for use on sensitive skin and provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. It's also water resistant, so it will stay on even when you're sweating or swimming. And it's non-comedogenic, so it won't clog pores or cause breakouts.
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