Eczema is a tough condition to have, because it pretty much means you're susceptible to dry, chapped skin 365 days a year. "In eczema, the skin barrier is not working as well as it should be," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. "There are microscopic cracks, leading to loss of hydration." Because of this, you need to protect your skin — and a good sunscreen the most important part of that equation. But what exactly should you look our for when choosing the best face sunscreen for eczema?
"Generally speaking, I recommend mineral blocker sunscreens for patients with eczema," Dr. Zeichner says. "These include UV blockers like zinc oxide by itself, or zinc oxide in combination with titanium dioxide. While patients with eczema can use traditional sunscreens, some of the chemical UV blocking ingredients may be more likely to cause skin irritation." It's also important to look for sunscreens that offer some kind of hydration, as that's an important part of the skin care regimen of someone with eczema since dryness can exacerbate flare-ups. Look for natural ingredients that protect and moisturize the skin barrier, and steer clear of formulas with drying ingredients like alcohol.
Regardless of the sunscreen you use, it's important to have one as part of your regimen. "Because the skin is more sensitive, it needs to be properly protected from the environment, including the use of sunscreen," Dr. Zeichner advises. So listen to the good doctor, and peruse our list of the best sunblocks for eczema. Your skin will thank you.
1The All-Around Best Sunscreen For Eczema
When it comes to the all-around, best-of-the-best, can't-live-without it sunscreen for eczema, Naturopathica Daily UV Defense Cream SPF 50 holds the top title. It checks all of the boxes for what makes a sunscreen perfect for eczema sufferers: Firstly, it contains zinc oxide, which is less likely to inflame your sensitive skin. It's also incredibly lightweight, while still being hydrating, thanks to deep sea enzymes in the formula that keep your skin moisturized. But Naturopathica also uses green tea extract, a powerful antioxidant that keeps your sunscreen more stable — and that means better protection overall. And with an SPF of 50, it's on the high-end of sun protection, making this an ultimate winner.
2The Best Stick Sunscreen
Let's face it — sunscreens aren't the easiest things to reapply in the middle of the day. But skin types with eczema need that constant re-upping of their sun protection, which is what makes Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick SPF 30 Sunscreen worth keeping in your bag. Packaged in a travel-friendly stick, this sunscreen all but ensures easy reapplication — no matter where you are. But that's not the only thing that makes this formula so great. It uses zinc to protect your face, which is fantastic for deeper skin tones as it doesn't leave a white cast behind. It's also fragrance-free, so it shouldn't provoke any eczema flare-ups. Jojoba, coconut, and avocado oil help soothe and nourish the face, while shea butter and beeswax help protect the leaky lipid layer of eczema-suffering skin.
3The Best Sunscreen For Dry Skin
Like Dr. Zeichner says, eczema can cause already-dry skin to feel even scratchier and flakier than normal. These skin types need a huge dose of hydration, which makes Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream a perfect bottle for those with the condition. It's completely non-greasy, melting into your skin like a perfect splash of water. Thanks to aloe leaf juice and bamboo water, Thank You Farmer's sun cream hydrates like no other. In fact, it feels more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen — but it still offers incredible protection, thanks to an SPF of 50+. If dry skin is your main eczema concern, then this is the bottle for you.
4The Best Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin
A lot of the issues that inflame eczema also seem to inflame sensitive skin, making them unlikely bosom buddies in the world of sunscreen. And Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Sensitive, SPF 30+ handles each and every one of those issues, regardless of what type of skin you have. It's free of parabens, fragrance, and chemical sun protectants — all potential irritants and common culprits of flare-ups. Instead, it uses a heady combination of zinc and titanium dioxide to protect your skin from the sun. The coolest thing about this product is that the bottle changes color when it's exposed to UV light to alert you that you should be applying sunscreen.
5And If You Need An Eczema-Safe Sunscreen For Your Body... This Is Our Top Pick
Of course, eczema flare-ups don't just happen on your face. If you're looking for a safe formula for your entire body and hate the feeling of reapplying lotion once you're already on the beach (sandy hands make for a less-than-comfortable application process), then reach for Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Spray. It's perfect for eczema sufferers because of the good-for-you ingredients it's made with, like vitamin E, an antioxidant that makes it more stable and helps moisturize your skin. It's also hypoallergenic, so your flaky skin won't get angry thanks to the ingredients. Sun Bum is also non-comedogenic and paraben-free, which means it's skin-friendly overall. And that spray nozzle just makes things a heck of a lot easier.
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