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.