“I can’t wear sunscreen because it irritates my skin!”
Sunscreen is one of the most important aspects of keeping skin healthy and undamaged. However, many people often mention to us that they find sunscreens being irritating to their skin and this is supported by the corresponding increase in the number of ‘sensitive skin’ sunscreens on the market. So what should you be looking for in a sunscreen if you’ve got sensitive skin? A natural sunblock like zinc? A chemical filter?
The answer is, it doesn’t really matter. Unfortunately, a lot of the time the blame gets put on the sunscreen agents inside the products, whereas in actual fact it is the cream base it is formulated in that is the offending party. Manufactured creams require preservation and stability in the timespan of years. Most creams will be designed to be stable and not go off at room temperature for 2 years. Compare this to a pot of dairy cream. Sunscreens are formulated to be stable in extremes of temperatures – like the inside of a beach bag in the sun, or a golf buggy or the glovebox of a car through summer. Now picture a pot of dairy cream in this kind of scenario. What would you have to do to this to keep it from going off if it were to be stored like this?
The issue is, that ingredients that stabilise the cream emulsion and preservatives, need to be at higher than normal concentrations than that found in standard moisturisers. These ingredients (along with fragrances) are known to be irritating to the skin.
Finding a good 50 plus sunscreen is imperative if you are planning activities in the sun, especially during summer. If you have any problems finding a sunscreen that you can wear, come in and talk to your local skincare pharmacists. We may be able to find a product that suits, or in certain cases we can make an ultra basic sunscreen, completely preservative and stabiliser free from scratch for you.