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28th May 2019

A guide to sun protection for dry skin conditions.

Dry skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and ichthyosis can make wearing sunscreen uncomfortable. In this blog we try to give the best advice on how to pick a suitable sunscreen that won’t adversely affect your skin.

Just like everyone else, those who have dry skin need to protect themselves with sunscreen every day. Wearing a broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen every day helps to protect people of all skin types from the sun’s potentially harmful rays. Sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer are just a few of the possible side effects of exposure to the harmful UVA and UVB rays that can be protected against with daily sunscreen use.1

If you have dry or sensitive skin, you may find you can’t use skincare products with fragrance or colour. Many sunscreens contain fragrance and colour that could irritate dry skin conditions, so you should choose a product that has been formulated to be fragrance and colour free if you struggle with this problem.2

Some sunscreens work because they contain chemical absorbers which absorb harmful ultraviolet radiation before it can cause damage.2 Some of these cause allergic reactions in some people with known sensitivities.

If you are worried that you have an allergy to one of the chemicals in sunscreen, then choosing a specially developed sensitive sunscreen without chemical absorbers will help you stay protected without irritating your skin.

To find the sunscreen that suits you, you may need to get some samples to patch test. This will allow you to see which sunscreen suits you best. If you apply sunscreen and get a rash where the product has been applied, you may have a contact allergy to one of the ingredients. If you develop a rash after going out in the sun wearing the product, you may have a photo allergy. If the rash worsens or gives you cause for concern always consult your doctor.

We would also always recommend following these four easy tips when out and about in the sun;

  • cover up where possible, wearing loose clothes, sunglasses and a hat
  • stay in the shade
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • always wear plenty of sunscreen, reapplying every 2 hours


  1. Hiom S (2006) Public awareness regarding UV risks and vitamin D – the challenges for UK skin cancer prevention campaigns. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 92: 161-6
  2. Grosick TL and Hollis V. Making sensitive skin less sensitive. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 50(3): P34

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