Sunscreen comes in two forms: a physical blocker which is likely to contain zinc oxide or a chemical-based sunscreen which has active ingredients acting as blocking agents is absorbed in the skin.
Dermatologists will invariably recommend that you switch from a chemical sunscreen to a mineral-based sunscreen if you are having an adverse reaction as a first step.
Whether you use a mineral or chemical-based sunscreen there are a number of ingredients which may cause an adverse reaction on your skin. It is important to be aware of the chemicals contained within your sunscreen to be able to determine which elements are causing an adverse reaction. You may be able to determine through a testing process of elimination specifically which chemicals are the ones causing you a problem.
Oxybenzon is the most common chemical agent in sunscreens known to be a potential cause of contact dermatitis or irritation. Other chemical agents used in sunscreen which may cause an allergic reaction include: cinnamates and dibenzoyl methane (Source: American College of Allergy).
Sunscreen is an effective tool to protect yourself from UV exposure but it is possible to go outside and lead a normal life without sunscreen if you take the right precautions. Limiting your sun exposure between the hours of 11am and 4pm when the UV radiation is at its highest is the initial practical step that you can take. Understanding that it might not be possible to avoid going outside during the middle of the day, the answer would be to make sure that your skin is not exposed directly to the sun and it is possible to cover up in style these days.
As an alternative to sunscreen dermatologists would recommend a broad-brim sun hat and UPF 50+ sun protective clothing as the most effective way to protect yourself from UV exposure. So, make sure your skin is not exposed to direct sunlight by wearing clothing which is sun protective and comfortable to wear in warm, sunny conditions.
Solbari is the leading sun protective clothing company in Australia with customers in over 70 countries.
The Solbari Team
This blog is for information purposes only, always consult a medical professional.