If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably already aware of this catch-22: Your skin is irritated by the sun’s UV rays but many sunscreens also irritate your skin.
Some people with highly sensitive skin may find that they’re allergic to sunscreen, though this is usually a reaction to ingredients found in chemical sunscreens.
Chemical UV blockers found in many common sunscreens can wreak havoc on sensitive skin — think burning, stinging, and red itchy bumps.
Typically, physical sunscreens like zinc or titanium dioxide are the best options for sensitive skin, but it can still be hard to know which formulas are the best for your skin when there are so many options to choose from.
That’s why Healthline’s dermatology experts have identified the best ones. Healthline isn’t affiliated with any of these companies; our experts simply think that these formulas protect the skin with a low likelihood of irritation.
Our favorite sunscreens for sensitive skin
How to put on sunscreen correctly
We know that wearing sunscreen is essential, especially when it comes to preventing skin cancer. You may still have questions about sunscreen, and it turns out that many people are using sunscreen incorrectly.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using at least 1 ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass, to cover a full body. This amount will vary slightly but is a good place to start.
Typically, an SPF of 30 or higher is considered safe and you’ll want to apply it to all bare skin. Don’t forget the ears and the tops of the feet!
Wait at least 15 minutes from the initial application before going outside, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours. It’s important to wear sunscreen all year, even on cloudy days.
Everyone needs to wear sunscreen — ideally every day — but finding a non-irritating sunscreen can be a challenge for those with sensitive skin.
You may have sensitive skin if your skin is prone to redness, dryness, or burns, itches, or stings when using products.
When sensitive skin reacts to sunscreen, it’s typically reacting to a chemical ingredient in the formula.
While these sunscreens are considered safe for all skin types, it’s always best to test a new product on a small area of your skin before using it everywhere. As with most products, what may work for one person may not work well for someone else.