Top 11 Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin In 2020

Having sensitive skin is almost like being in double trouble. The harmful UV rays from the sun will damage your skin, and the sunscreen that you apply to protect yourself may also end up causing irritation or some allergic reaction.

For this reason, always ensure that you go for the right sunscreen. The first step to choosing a gentle sunscreen involves knowing your skin. This includes being aware of chemicals that are potential reaction agents to your skin.

Going about this is very easy because the skin is one organ that is very good at communicating your current state of health. Always be on the lookout for signs such as excessive dryness, itching, redness, and patches just to mention a few. If you experience any of these after applying a particular brand of sunscreen, then it’s not meant for you.

This should, however, not stop you from using sunscreen, there are brands that are solely designed to pamper and care for sensitive skin like yours. The only problem you may experience will come when it’s time to make your pick.

This is due to the fact that sunscreen products are made up of different ingredients. As such, a sunscreen cream that is friendly to someone else’s skin may fail to work on you. Carrying out research may also consume too much of your time because you can’t dig through all the ingredients that make up each sunscreen cream to know if it suits your skin or not.

Don’t worry, all hope is not yet lost. This article will give you highlights and possibly point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best sunscreen for sensitive skin. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, we hope you will find one that perfectly meets all your beauty requirements.

11 Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

#1 MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen

MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen

This sunscreen is fragrance-free and will not cause any itching or irritation on your skin. It is made up of active ingredients such as Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide, which both work together against the sun’s UV rays. The cream is a broad-spectrum and is enhanced with humectants and ceramides.

The ceramides in the formula will help in forming a layer on your skin to prevent moisture loss while the humectants act as moisture-attracting magnets. This combination will bring about a hydrating reaction making your skin moisturized.

This cream efficacious can be applied to all skin types, even those that are hypersensitive. The gentle formula makes it suitable for dealing with other common skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. But most importantly, it reduces the chances of getting skin cancer and prevents premature signs of aging that are caused by the Sun. Additionally, applying this sunscreen will protect you from getting sunburn, so you can spend a few hours in the sun without your asking getting damaged.

It comes in a tube that is very easy to handle, allowing you to squeeze out the right amount of cream needed to protect the skin. To get a good outcome, the manufacturers recommend that you apply the cream on your body 15 minutes before exposure. This gives it time to properly blend with your skin resulting in its reinforcement.

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic

  • Can even be applied to kids who are 6 months and older

  • Oil-free

Cons
  • Leaves residue on the surface of the skin

  • May stain clothes if worn immediately after application

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#2 Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen

With a Sun Protection Factor of 70, this sunscreen will protect your skin from sunburns and other UV rays related issues. It is made using Helioplex technology, which allows it to be effective against both UVA and UVB rays. The UVA rays usually penetrate very deep into the dermal layer of the skin, and this is what causes the skin to exhibit signs of aging.

On the other hand, UVB rays burn the superficial layer of your skin, causing skin conditions such as sunburn. As you can see, this sunscreen has the ability to give you inside-out skin protection. It comes in a liquid state, giving you an easy time when applying.

Aside from that, it is instantly absorbing, so your skin will take it in almost immediately after application delivering quick results. It has a shine-free finish, allowing you to use it even when you have makeup on your face.

This sunscreen is non-comedogenic, and will therefore not cause blockage of pores. The antioxidants in the formula will ensure that your skin is healthy and protected at all times. You can apply this sunscreen on a daily basis depending on how often your skin is exposed to the sun.

Pros
  • Water-resistant and sweat proof

  • PABA-free

  • Weightless feel on the skin

  • Leaves no residue

Cons
  • None

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#3 Hawaiian Tropic AntiOxidant+ Sunscreen Lotion

Hawaiian Tropic AntiOxidant+ Sunscreen Lotion

This Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen will give your sensitive skin a delicate touch that will prevent long term skin damage and aging from the sun. The lightweight formula will pamper your skin as it spreads smoothly forming a protective layer on your skin.

The green tea extract in the formula contains antioxidants that eliminate free radicals that may come about as a result of too much exposure to the sun. As a result, your skin cells will be kept healthy, and blood supply to the skin will increase sufficiently.

The blend between jasmine and coconut extracts gives this sunscreen an island-inspired fragrance that will blow your mind right into an island feel. This makes it ideal for beach environments, allowing you to feel every bit of the breeze and sun while keeping your skin safe.

With this sunscreen, you will reap all the positive benefits of the sun and avoid all that may not be good for the skin. The best part is that it does not irritate your skin in any way, you can reapply it as instructed to get even better results.

Pros
  • Does not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate

  • Non-greasy

  • Exotic fragrance

Cons
  • Not everyone may like the scent

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#4 La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 50

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Fluid Broad Spectrum

The exclusive cell-ox shield technology in this sunscreen filters out the harmful particles in the sun’s rays. This increases the level of resistance that your skin has against the sun, resulting in healthy-looking skin even after extended stays in the sun.

It is made up of mineral UV filters, which form a protective coating layer that deflects and scatters UV rays immediately they hit the skin surface. This sunscreen has cassia alata leaf extract, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.

The extract also allows the sunscreen to have a curative and preventive effect on skin that is showing signs of aging due to the sun. With this, you can reverse the damage that the sun has caused your skin and prevent others from occurring.

This sunscreen is dermatologist tested and is therefore very safe for use on sensitive skin. The fact that it is mineral-based also means that it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. The other ingredients have also been properly tested, giving you optimal skin tolerance.

Pros
  • Has no paraben

  • Water-resistant for the first 40 minutes

  • Fragrance-free

Cons
  • May leave a ghostly appearance due to mineral residue

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#5 Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion

Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion

Slathering this sunscreen on your skin will not only protect you from harmful rays but will also enrich your skin with Vitamin E. If you know a thing or two about Vitamin E then you must be aware of the endless list of benefits it has on the skin.

For starters, Vitamin E has a moisturizing effect on the skin and can also prevent premature signs of aging caused by the sun. In addition, this sunscreen will keep your skin safe with its army of antioxidants which will prevent damage to skin cells.

This sunscreen lotion delivers long-lasting effects and can come in handy when visiting the beach or surviving the hot summers. The sweatproof and waterproof allows the cream to stick to your skin even when it is wet. You can take advantage of this property by applying the lotion all over your body to get optimal protection from the sun.

The sunscreen contains no paraben and is therefore safe for even the most delicate skin types.

Pros
  • Non-comedogenic

  • Protects you from both UVA and UVB rays

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Gluten-free

  • Sweet fragrance

  • Contains zero traces of Oxybenzone and Octinoxate

Cons
  • May irritate the eyes if accidentally applied

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#6 Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

If you want a sunscreen that has a blend of natural ingredients, the lotion from Aveeno will be a good option. Its main natural ingredient is oatmeal, which is known to have nourishing properties that can benefit your skin.

You can apply this sunscreen on your body on a daily basis, to provide your skin with continuous care. It nourishes and keeps the skin healthy before and after being exposed to the sun. This prevents cases of getting sunburns and other UV related skin damage.

The lotion dries in a clean and neat manner so it can be used even when you have makeup on your face. It gives the skin a smooth appearance and makes you glow when in the sun. Every ingredient in this formula is very safe for sensitive skin and assures that your skin will look better afterward.

This sunscreen should be applied generously to enjoy the full benefits of the SPF which is at 50. Its inability to clog pores will allow your skin to go about its normal physiological processes without interference.

Pros
  • Moisturizes your skin

  • Quick to absorb

  • Oil-free

  • 24-hour lightweight hydration

Cons
  • May not play nicely with some makeup

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#7 EltaMD UV Clear

EltaMD UV Clear

This sunscreen is very effective on skin that is prone to hyperpigmentation and rosacea. Aside from this, it has the ability to calm and soothe skin that is affected by acne. This makes it one of the alternatives that you can consider going for especially if you have hyperreactive skin.

The sunscreen contains niacinamide, which improves your skin quality by minimizing enlarged pores. It also works on your skin tone by ensuring that there is a balance in your appearance. The hyaluronic acid in the formula will alleviate skin dryness thereby allowing the skin to moisturize.

This sunscreen also contains lactic acid, which promotes the renewal of collagen in the skin bringing about a reversal effect on premature signs of aging. This will cause a healing effect on skin that has been affected by UVA rays.

Moreover, this sunscreen can also keep your skin safe from sunburn, which is mainly caused by UVB rays. If used on a daily basis, this broad-spectrum sunscreen will lower your chances of getting skin cancer that may result from too much sun time.

Pros
  • Has no fragrance

  • Leaves no residue on the skin

  • Has no paraben

  • Oil-free

Cons
  • None

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#8 Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion

Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion

Dealing with skin that likes to freak out is very hard, but it can be harder if you spend a good amount of your time outdoors. For this reason, Banana Boat has come up with a sunscreen that is ideal for people who are physically active and spend most of their time in the sun.

Come rain or sunshine, this sunscreen will stay on your skin throughout, delivering maximum protection from the sun. If you reapply this lotion consistently, you can spend as much time in the sun as you want. But still, ensure that you have additional protective measures in place such as putting on UV-blocking sunglasses.

Basically, this sunscreen is designed for high performance, so you can play netball and other games while at the beach without having to worry about your skin. It is also clinically tested and has been found to be effective against UVA and UVB rays, making it one of the broad-spectrum sunscreens for your sensitive skin.

Pros
  • Non-greasy feel

  • Smooth texture

  • Leaves no residue on the skin

  • Long-lasting protection

  • Convenient bottle design which can be held with wet hands

Cons
  • Can stain some fabrics

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#9 Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Daily Defense Sunscreen with Marula Oil

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Daily Defense Sunscreen with Marula Oil

This is free of any irritants that may cause harm to sensitive skin. You can use it on your skin daily to enjoy its moisture inducing property. It also contains potent antioxidants that play a critical role in the elimination of free radicals.

This sunscreen can make fine lines and wrinkles to be less visible due to its ability to repair UV-damaged skin. The Zinc oxide in the formula will equally form a protective shield on the skin, preventing further skin damage when in the sun.

The cream has sunflower sprout which is a powerful anti-aging agent, therefore, allowing it to heal the skin from the effects of the sun. In addition to this, it has algae that inhibit other enzymes from breaking down the collagen in the skin. This will result in a more youthful look and an improvement in skin condition.

This product is not formulated with any chemical sunscreens, making it suitable for a variety of skin types, even those that are very sensitive.

Pros
  • Clinically effective

  • Non-sensitizing

  • No fragrance

  • Non-irritant

Cons
  • A bit greasy

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#10 COOLA Organic Body Lotion, Broad Spectrum SPF 50

COOLA Organic Body Lotion

Derived from advanced plant technology, this sunscreen formula is fully optimized and can deliver outstanding protection to your skin. It is made of skin-friendly actives such as Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene which work in unison to reduce the effects of UV rays on your skin.

As such, this sunscreen is known to perform exceptionally well when one is outdoors. It has all the right ingredients needed to boost the skin’s defensive system when it comes to dealing with deadly UV rays.

The Plant-derived encapsulation technology has made this formula to be more efficient, through the addition of naturally occurring compounds such as safflower oleosomes which are good skincare products. Additional plant extracts such as Buriti Oil, Prickly Pear, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, and Red Raspberry Seed Oil have also been included in the formula to provide your skin with antioxidant-rich nutrients.

Despite having a tone of healthy ingredients, this sunscreen is lightweight and you won’t even feel it on your skin. It will provide you with long-lasting protection from the sun as long as you apply it repeatedly.

Pros
  • Gluten-free

  • Reef-friendly

  • It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes

  • Antioxidant enriched

  • Vegan certified

Cons
  • The natural guava and mango scent may irritate some users

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#11 Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

This mineral sunscreen from Blue Lizard will provide you with head-to-toe protection from UV rays. It has no chemical actives and is therefore very suitable for sensitive skin. It uses Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide whose particles act like tiny mirrors that reflect away all harmful rays.

It has no skin-irritating parabens and is also fragrance-free, making it skin-friendly. The smart bottle design is another amazing feature that makes this sunscreen to be a good option. When you are exposed to harmful UV rays, the bottle will indicate a warning signal by turning blue.

This will remind you that it’s time to move out of the sun or reapply more sunscreen. The sunscreen is dermatologist tested and can keep your skin safe from both UVA and UVB rays. Apart from being safe for sensitive skin, this sunscreen causes no harm to coral reefs, making it a good choice when it comes to conserving the environment.

It also comes in a 148ml bottle, which provides you with all the sunscreen you need to stay safe throughout the day.

Pros
  • Water-resistant for up to 40 minutes

  • Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Cons
  • Does not have any antioxidants

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I apply sunscreen?

As a protective measure, always ensure that you have a layer of sunscreen on your skin before stepping out.

How does sunscreen work?

Depending on the type of sunscreen you are using, there are two main ways sunscreens can protect you from the sun. The first one is through mineral filters, in which mineral particles reflect UV rays away from your skin. The second one is through the use of chemical filters, whereby the chemicals absorb UV rays and release it in the form of heat.

How do you apply sunscreen?

The best way to apply sunscreen is by slathering it on your skin, or in other words, spread it generously to form a slightly thick layer. Always get someone to help you when applying sunscreen in the hard to reach parts, such as the back.

What is a broad-spectrum sunscreen?

These are sunscreens that have the ability to filter both UVA and UVB rays. These rays have different effects on the skin so if a broad-spectrum sunscreen is used all can be controlled or reversed.

Can a sunscreen cause skin irritation?

Yes. But this mainly depends on your skin type. Each sunscreen is made up of different compounds so if your skin is reactive to any of them you will definitely get an irritation. The best way to go about this is to visit your dermatologist so that you can get to know more about your skin type.

Why should I apply sunscreen prior and not before?

A good number of manufacturers recommend that you put on your sunscreen a few minutes before heading out. The reason for doing this is to give all the ingredients time to properly sink and take effect on the skin. This will give your skin a better chance of resisting harmful UV rays.

Final Verdict

Avoid spending too much time in the sun but if you must, always ensure that you have your sunscreen with you. UV rays are known to cause severe damage to the skin and can as well increase one’s chances of developing skin cancer.

With the right sunscreen, you will be able to dodge some of the effects that UV rays have on the skin. But most importantly, ensure the sunscreen suits your skin type.

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