How to Choose a Sunscreen When You Have Sensitive Skin, According to a Skin Cancer Doctor

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Sensitive skin makes finding skincare products a bit tough at times. It can be difficult to tell which product will agree with your skin and which will make it irritated and red. Sunscreen is arguably the most important skincare product you can use, so it’s important to find one that suits your skin.

It is possible to find a sunscreen that is sensitive skin-friendly and that won’t lead to itchiness, breakouts or irritation. We turned to Dr Scott McGregor, the co-founder of sunscreen brand We Are Feel Good Inc. and a skin cancer and cosmetic physician, for advice on what to look for in a sunscreen. Here’s what he had to say.

Test Your Sunscreen

Before slathering a new SPF all over your body, Dr McGregor recommends patch testing to see how your skin reacts to it. It’s better to deal with a small section of irritated skin rather than the entirety of your arms or legs.

“Always test a new skin product on a small patch of skin (like the inner upper arm) and leave for a few hours or overnight,” said Dr McGregor. “Any redness means that you may be reacting to something in that product and should discontinue use.”

Ingredients to Watch Out For

If you know that certain ingredients don’t play well with your skin, like fragrances, it’s best to avoid products with these. Make sure to check the label of the product to double-check it isn’t filled with a potential irritant.

“Almost anything in sunscreen products can potentially cause skin reactions, including the UV filters, emollients, and fragrances,” said Dr McGregor. “As always, testing new products on a small patch of skin is recommended.”

The Best Sunscreens For Sensitive Skin

When looking for a sensitive skin-friendly SPF, there are a few boxes it should tick before you try it. The team at We Are Feel Good Inc. has created a product specifically for those with delicate skin so you can protect yourself from the sun’s rays without experiencing a reaction.

“Fragrance-free products for a start, and then look for ones that are suitable for sensitive skin,” said Dr McGregor. “In Australia, to say that a product is suitable for sensitive skin means that the product has been tested on a large sample of people with sensitive skin without causing reactions.

“Both the We Are Feel Good Inc. Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($29.95) and Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($29.95) have passed these tests and are therefore suitable for sensitive skin, clinically tested and clinically proven.”

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