6th May 2021
We all know how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays, but what do you do if common sunscreen ingredients irritate your skin?
Around 50% of women and 38% of men in the UK have self-described sensitive skin, which can involve symptoms including tingling, itching, tightness in the skin, stinging and burning. For some people, this can be brought on by certain skincare ingredients, including UV filters found in sunscreens.
The difference between physical and chemical sunscreens
When it comes to sunscreen active ingredients, there are two main classes—chemical absorbers and physical blockers—and each help to protect you from UV radiation differently.
Physical blockers are chemically inactive and work by scattering and reflecting UV radiation before it reaches the skin. Chemical absorbers, as the name suggests, absorb the radiation, which excites the molecules to a ‘high energy’ state. The radiation is then transformed and released as a non-harmful form or energy, like heat. Unfortunately, this high energy state can cause skin reactions in some people, so physical blockers, which don’t react to UV light, are better tolerated by people with skin sensitivities. SunSense Sensitive SPF 50+ contains only the physical blockers zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
The added benefits of Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, is an essential nutrient in the body where it is involved in a number of biochemical reactions. When used on the skin, niacinamide helps improve several skin characteristics, including the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin texture, making it an ideal inclusion for sunscreens. It also helps maintain moisture levels in the outer layer of the skin, supporting barrier function, and may help counteract some of the harmful effects of UV radiation through its antioxidant properties. Of course, it’s also great for sensitive skin, being extremely well-tolerated and non-irritating to facial skin. To learn more about Vitamin B3, check out this article.
Free from common irritants
While it’s important to know the ingredients a sunscreen contains, it’s arguably more important to know the ingredients it doesn’t contain, especially if you have sensitive skin. SunSense Sensitive SPF 50+ is free from common irritants, like fragrance, colour, propylene glycol, lanolin and chemical absorbers, reducing the likelihood of skin irritation.
Know your skin
Just because a product is designed for sensitive skin doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed not to cause any irritation on your skin. We’re all different, so it’s important to always test new products on a small patch of skin before applying them to your whole body. If you frequently experience sensitivity reactions, talk to a dermatologist who can organise patch testing, allowing you to pinpoint exactly which ingredient, or group of ingredients, is causing you issues.
SunSense Sensitive not only provides very high broad-spectrum UV protection, with SPF 50+ and 4 hours water resistance, it is dermatologically tested on sensitive skin and paediatrician tested, making it an ideal choice for delicate or sensitive skin.
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