sunscreen for sensitive skin

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“If you have sensitive skin, you are aware that many sunscreens irritate your skin, but you are not aware that the sun’s UV rays can cause irritation.”

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 aggravate sensitive skin — think burning, stinging, and red itchy bumps.

“Healthline has identified some of the best sunscreens for sensitive skin. Healthline doesn’t affiliated with any of these companies, our experts think that these formulas protect the skin with a low likelihood of irritation.”

Typically, physical sunscreens like zinc or titanium dioxide are the best options for sensitive skin. Fragrance-free formulas and those that are free of ingredients like phthalates and parabens will also reduce your exposure to formulas that might irritate your skin.

Look for sunscreens that are specifically designed for sensitive skin.

To put together our recommendations for the best sunscreens for sensitive skin, we looked for mineral-based formulas with minimal ingredients and great ratings. We also looked for broad-spectrum sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, of at least 30. Finally, we prioritized formulas that contained ingredients known for their skin-calming properties.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20-$40
  • $$$ = over $40

Best for rosacea-prone skin

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

  • Price: $$$

A favorite among people with rosacea-prone skin, this sunscreen contains octinoxate and transparent zinc oxide, which means it shouldn’t leave a white residue.

With an SPF of 46, EltaMD is a broad-spectrum formula, meaning it’s designed to protect against UVA (ultraviolet aging) and UVB (ultraviolet burning) rays.


  • It is It is fragrance-free..
  • It may help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
  • The formula for mineral.


  • The price is higher than other options.
  • may cause problems with the pores.

Best for antioxidant boost

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

  • Price: $$

Those who like the effects of EltaMD but are looking for a slightly The price point is lower. may want to check out La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen fluid.

Paraben- and It is fragrance-free., both of which can be irritating to even non-sensitive skin, the lightweight, matte formula is designed for layering under makeup. It offers broad-spectrum protection with SPF 50.

It’s good to keep in mind, however, that an SPF of 45 has been shown to filter out 98 percent of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, so an SPF higher than 45 may be unnecessary.

A higher SPF may encourage people to stay in the sun for too long, so remember that regardless of the SPF you’re using, it’s important to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.


  • The shield protects the skin from UV rays and gives it a dose of anti-oxidants.
  • It is meant to protect against the rays of the sun.
  • lightweight cream.


  • It may leave skin feeling greasy.
  • The price point is high for everyday use.

Best daily moisturizing formula

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer

  • Price: $$

Moisturizer and sunscreen don’t have to be mutually exclusive, especially when you’re short on time. This moisturizer contains broad-spectrum SPF 30 coverage and is completely mineral-based, made with sensitive skin in mind.

Additionally, this formula contains feverfew, which may help calm redness and rosacea. It also includes oat, which has been known to help soothe dry, itchy skin.


  • water-resistant
  • It is designed to keep the pores clean.
  • Oil and It is fragrance-free..
  • The price point is lower.


  • It may not be suitable for people with a soy allergy.
  • Reviewers say it makes their skin look oily.
  • Slow to absorb.

Best formula for no white cast

Thrive Natural Moisturizing Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Price: $$

The sunscreen is made with non-nano zinc oxide. It is meant to be quick to absorb and leave a smooth finish.

The SPF 30 formula includes plant-derived ingredients like kelp and was made to be safe for the ocean’s reefs, which may help lessen environmental stressors while also protecting against irritation.


  • reef-safe.
  • It is fragrance-free.


  • “It won’t even be skin tone.”
  • It may leave skin looking a little shiny.

Best for eczema-prone skin

Neutrogena SheerZinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion

  • Price: $$

Neutrogena’s SheerZinc Dry-Touch in SPF 30 or 50 has received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, which means that it’s formulated without known irritants to the skin. It’s generally considered safe for people who have eczema.

This is an option worth considering when you’re on a hike, rafting, or other times when sun protection is your top priority.

The formula works well but can be difficult to rub into the face or blend over facial hair, and it may leave a white residue. It’s best for special events and may not work well as a daily option.


  • The formula for mineral.
  • It is fragrance-free., paraben-free, dye-free
  • For up to 80 minutes, sweat and sun-resistant.
  • The price point is lower.


  • thick consistency
  • It may leave a mark on the skin.

Best water-resistant formula

Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin SPF 30

  • Price: $

This paraben- and It is fragrance-free. formula offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection.

Blue Lizard is a well-known Australian brand — and Aussies take their sun care seriously. Designed for days when you’re surfing or swimming, this formula is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and contains no coral-harming chemical ingredients.


  • It is fragrance-free., paraben-free
  • water-resistant
  • SPF 30 protects against broad spectrums.


  • Not sweat-resistant.
  • “It doesn’t contain the same ingredients as other formulas.”

Best The formula is tinted.

Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Fluid Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Price: $

This ultra-light formula is designed to blend easily. It’s It is fragrance-free. and formulated with non-nano zinc oxide and sustainably-sourced passionfruit seed oil, which may help to soften and hydrate the skin, according to the company.

It is also designed with sensitive skin in mind. This sunscreen lotion comes in tinted and non-tinted options.


  • It is fragrance-free. and suitable for all skin types
  • SPF 50 protection is broad-spectrum.


  • Not water-resistant.
  • It may leave a white cast on darker skin tones.

Best priming formula

Naked Sundays SPF50+ Collagen Glow Mineral Perfecting Priming Lotion

  • Price: $$

Naked Sundays is another Aussie brand, and the company’s SPF50+ mineral sunscreen is It was infused with vegan collagen. to smooth the appearance of fine lines and boost moisture, according to its creators. The four-in-one formula is designed to serve as a primer, moisturizer, SPF, and collagen booster.

The reef-safe., vegan formula looks tinted but goes on transparently, with no intentions of leaving a white cast. Instead, it’s meant to leave a mildly dewy finish without looking greasy. It’s made with non-nano zinc for UV protection and iron oxide to help protect the skin from blue light damage.

Naked Sundays recommends applying it with their SPF brush.


  • The formula is tinted.
  • It was infused with vegan collagen.
  • 4-in-1 formula
  • Water can be resistant for up to 80 minutes.


  • thick formula
  • The price point for daily use is higher.

Sunscreen SPF Price
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen 46 $$$
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid 50 $$
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer 30 $$
Thrive Natural Moisturizing Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 30 30 $$
Neutrogena SheerZinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion 30 or 50 $$
Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin SPF 30 30 $
Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Fluid Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 50 $
Naked Sundays SPF50+ Collagen Glow Mineral Perfecting Priming Lotion 50+ $$

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 that you fill a shot glass with at least 1 ounce. This is a good place to start.

You should apply an SPF of 30 or higher to all bare skin. The ears and the tops of the feet are important.

Wait at least 15 minutes from the initial application before going outside. Even on cloudy days, it is important to wear sunscreen.

If you have tried mineral sunscreens and formulas that are marketed for sensitive skin, it is a good idea to see a doctor.

“Finding an SPF that doesn’t irritate your sensitive skin could be a process of trial and error, and your doctor should have some recommendations.”

Does sunscreen make your skin sensitive?

You may have a reaction to an ingredient in a particular sunscreen. Chemical with fragrances and Preservatives are more likely to cause reactions like stinging, redness, or a burning sensation. Once you stop using that sunscreen, the reactions should go away.

How do I know if I’m allergic to a sunscreen?

“If you notice redness, burning, stinging, or dry skin after applying a sunscreen, you may be reacting to a specific ingredient. If that happens, stop using the sunscreen and look for a formula that doesn’t contain the same active ingredients.”

Which sunscreen is good for sensitive skin but won’t leave a white cast?

Mineral-based sunscreens are often a good choice for sensitive skin, but they can leave a white cast. Remember to blend in the sunscreen and look for tinted options or lightweight formulas to minimize this effect. Mineral sunscreen may be applied with a makeup brush.

It can be difficult for people with sensitive skin to find a non-irritating sunscreen.

If your skin is prone to redness, dryness, or burns, you may have sensitive skin.

When sensitive skin reacts to sunscreen, it usually reacts to a chemical ingredient.

It is best to test a new product on a small area of your skin before using it everywhere. What works for one person may not work for another.