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Top 12 Best Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

UpdatedJanuary 25, 2024

Sunscreen is an essential product for protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun's rays. However, for those with sensitive skin, finding the right sunscreen can be a challenge. Sensitive skin can react badly to certain ingredients in sunscreen, causing irritation, redness, and even breakouts. That's why it's important to choose a sunscreen that is specifically designed for sensitive skin.

When looking for the best sunscreen for sensitive skin, there are a few key things to consider. First and foremost, you'll want to look for a sunscreen that is labeled "hypoallergenic" or "non-comedogenic." These labels indicate that the sunscreen is less likely to cause an allergic reaction or clog your pores, which can lead to breakouts.

Another important factor to consider is the SPF rating. The higher the SPF, the more protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the primary cause of sunburn. For sensitive skin, it's generally recommended to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

We spent hours researching and testing various sunscreens to identify the best options for those with sensitive skin. Our first pick is Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, which provides effective protection against UVA/UVB rays without causing any skin irritation. It is followed by EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen which is good for those who need a non-irritating, oil-free sunscreen that provides great protection. Our third best pick is the BLUE LIZARD Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 50+. It protects coral reefs by containing no oxybenzone or Octinoxate.

Best Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

As summer approaches, we know that finding the perfect sunscreen can be a challenge, especially if you have sensitive skin. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to choose. That's why we've compiled a list of the best sunscreens for sensitive skin. Our team has researched and tested several products to make sure we recommend only the best. Whether you're looking for a mineral-based sunscreen or a chemical-based one, we've got you covered. Check out our top picks below.

Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

The Editor's Choice

This is your ideal choice for sensitive skin protection. Tested on our little ones, it effortlessly shields against UV rays with a non-greasy formula. Delight in its natural ingredients and kid-friendly design. Just beware of reapplication during long swims. Your go-to sun solution!

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We highly recommend purchasing the Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion for sensitive skin as it provides effective protection against UVA/UVB rays without causing any skin irritation.

We have used this sunscreen on our little ones during outdoor activities and found that it applies and absorbs easily without leaving any oily residue. The natural ingredients, including zinc oxide and coconut oil, provide gentle and effective protection against harmful UV rays. Additionally, the product is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, and phthalates.

The sunscreen is easy to apply and does not leave a greasy feel, making it perfect for use on both the face and body. Additionally, the formula is gentle and moisturizing, making it suitable for all skin types. We love that it is specifically formulated for kids, toddlers, and babies, ensuring that their delicate skin is protected.

However, we did find that multiple applications may be necessary after 80 minutes of swimming, and the sunscreen may leave a slight white residue on the skin. Additionally, the travel size may not be sufficient for extended outdoor activities.

In summary, if you are looking for a gentle and effective sunscreen for sensitive skin, we highly recommend the Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion.

Pros

  • Applies and absorbs easily with a non-oily feel for UVA/UVB protection
  • Contains natural zinc oxide, coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter to nourish and hydrate all skin types
  • Specifically formulated for kids, toddlers, and babies with naturally moisturizing ingredients

Cons

  • May require multiple applications after 80 minutes of swimming
  • May leave a slight white residue on the skin
  • The travel size may not be sufficient for extended outdoor activities
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We highly recommend EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen for those with sensitive skin who need a non-irritating, oil-free sunscreen that provides great protection.

EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen is an essential product for anyone with sensitive skin. It has a lightweight, silky texture that blends in easily and doesn't leave a white cast. This sunscreen is perfect for those with acne-prone skin, as it helps protect against breakouts. It can be worn alone or under makeup, making it a great choice for everyday use.

One of the best things about EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen is that it contains zinc oxide, which is a natural mineral that provides excellent sun protection. It is also oil-free, making it perfect for those with oily or combination skin. This sunscreen is dermatologist recommended and has a high SPF of 46, which means that it provides excellent protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

One of the downsides of this sunscreen is that it is quite expensive compared to other sunscreens on the market. Additionally, it is not waterproof, so you will need to reapply it after swimming or sweating. Some users may also experience slight itching after applying this sunscreen.

Overall, we believe that EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen is an excellent choice for anyone with sensitive skin who needs a non-irritating, oil-free sunscreen that provides great protection. While it may be a bit pricey, we believe that the benefits of this sunscreen are well worth the cost.

Pros

  • Blends in effortlessly and leaves no white cast
  • Helps protect against breakouts
  • Can be worn alone or under makeup

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not waterproof
  • May cause slight itching for some users
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If you're looking for a sunscreen that's gentle on sensitive skin, Blue Lizard's Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is a great option.

We appreciate that Blue Lizard is committed to protecting coral reefs and avoiding potentially irritating chemical active ingredients in their sunscreen. The mineral formula uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect UV rays away from the skin. We found that it held up well during water activities, staying effective for the full 80 minutes of sweat and water resistance.

However, the formula can be thick and difficult to spread, which can result in a white cast on the skin. Additionally, while the smart bottle technology is a neat feature, it may not be necessary for all users.

Overall, if you're looking for a mineral sunscreen that's gentle on sensitive skin and effective during water activities, Blue Lizard's Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is a solid choice.

Pros

  • Protects coral reefs by containing no oxybenzone or Octinoxate
  • Mineral sunscreen with no chemical active ingredients
  • Sweat and water resistant for 80 minutes

Cons

  • Can leave a white cast on skin
  • Thick formula can be difficult to spread
  • Smart bottle technology may not be necessary for all users
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We highly recommend EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Face Sunscreen for those with sensitive skin. This sunscreen is perfect for daily use, leaving a matte finish and protecting against UVA and UVB rays.

EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Face Sunscreen is a game changer for those with sensitive skin. Its tinted formula provides a natural-looking coverage while protecting against harmful sun rays. This sunscreen is easy to apply and feels lightweight on the skin.

We love that this sunscreen is water resistant and can withstand humidity and sweat. It's perfect for outdoor activities and daily use. However, we did notice that it may pill with layering other topical products and the tint could be slightly lighter.

Overall, EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Face Sunscreen is a great investment for those looking to protect their sensitive skin from the sun's harmful rays.

Pros

  • Provides physical sun protection with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide
  • Water resistant up to 40 minutes
  • Calms and protects sensitive skin with a tinted, non-greasy formula

Cons

  • May pill with layering other topical products
  • Tint could be slightly lighter
  • Expensive
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If you're looking for a sunscreen that won't cause breakouts or aggravate your sensitive skin, Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is a great option.

We've tried this sunscreen and found that it applies smoothly and evenly, leaving a weightless, matte finish that doesn't feel greasy or heavy. It's also fragrance-free, so you won't have to worry about any overpowering scents.

One thing to note is that the formula is oxybenzone-free, which is great for those who prefer to avoid this ingredient. However, it does contain other chemical sunscreens, so if you prefer physical sunscreens, this may not be the best option for you.

Overall, if you're looking for a sunscreen that provides excellent sun protection without causing breakouts, Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is definitely worth trying.

Pros

  • Provides superior UVA/UVB protection without causing breakouts
  • Lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic formula
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes

Cons

  • May leave a slight white cast on darker skin tones
  • Some users reported a strong chemical smell
  • Can feel slightly sticky upon application
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We highly recommend the Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+ for anyone looking for reliable sun protection during physical activities.

This facial sunscreen lotion is both water-resistant and sweat-resistant, making it perfect for vigorous outdoor activity. The electrolyte complex helps to nourish and restore skin balance, while the Helioplex technology provides superior broad-spectrum protection from skin-aging UVA rays and skin burning UVB rays.

The Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+ is PABA-free and oil-free, and won't clog pores or cause breakouts. The new formula contains no oxybenzone and uses avobenzone for optimal protection from UVA & UVB rays.

Overall, we are very pleased with the performance of this sunscreen and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a reliable and effective sunscreen for their outdoor activities.

Pros

  • Provides superior sun protection against aging UVA and burning UVB rays to prevent sunburn.
  • Resists wear off from water, rubbing, sweating, or wiping.
  • Features an electrolyte complex to help nourish and restore skin balance.

Cons

  • May leave a slight white cast on the skin.
  • Some users may find the scent too strong.
  • May feel slightly greasy on the skin.
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If you're looking for a sunscreen that provides superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection while also hydrating your skin, then the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sunscreen Lotion is the perfect choice for you.

Our experience with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sunscreen Lotion has been nothing short of amazing. The sunscreen lotion is incredibly lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving no greasy residue or white marks. We love how it hydrates our skin for up to 8 hours, making it perfect for daily use as part of our regular skincare routine.

One of the things we love most about this sunscreen lotion is that it layers invisibly under makeup, making it perfect for use during the day. It also provides superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, which gives us peace of mind knowing that our skin is protected from the harmful effects of the sun.

While the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sunscreen Lotion is suitable for most skin types, it may not be the best choice for those with extremely oily skin. It may also leave a slight white cast on darker skin tones, so it's important to blend it in well. Additionally, if you're swimming or sweating, you may need to reapply more frequently to ensure that your skin stays protected.

Overall, we highly recommend the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sunscreen Lotion to anyone looking for a high-quality sunscreen that provides superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection while also hydrating your skin.

Pros

  • Provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Hydrates your skin for up to 8 hours
  • Non-greasy and layers invisibly under makeup

Cons

  • May not be suitable for those with extremely oily skin
  • May leave a slight white cast on darker skin tones
  • May need to reapply more frequently if swimming or sweating
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Protect your skin from the sun while keeping it radiant with Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Face Sunscreen + Hydrating Serum with SPF 60+.

We highly recommend this sunscreen for sensitive skin as it is specifically designed for the face and provides long-lasting hydration while protecting your skin from the sun and environmental aggressors.

The lightweight and non-greasy formula is invisible on all skin tones and helps even out skin tone. Infused with an antioxidant complex, it helps fight environmental factors like cold, ozone, and pollution.

The sunscreen is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it ideal for outdoor activities. However, it may cause stinging in the eyes and can be powdery to touch when applied on skin. It is not suitable for people with oily skin.

Overall, Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Face Sunscreen + Hydrating Serum with SPF 60+ is a great choice for those looking for a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and helps improve skin radiance.

Pros

  • Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Infused with ginger extract to improve skin radiance
  • Water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes

Cons

  • May cause stinging in the eyes
  • Can be powdery to touch when applied on skin
  • Not suitable for people with oily skin
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If you are looking for a sunscreen that is gentle on your sensitive skin, CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion is a great choice.

We have tried this sunscreen and found it to be gentle on our skin. It is also fragrance-free, paraben-free, and oil-free, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skin. We love that it contains three essential ceramides that help restore and maintain the skin's natural barrier. The sunscreen is also allergy tested, which is great for people with allergies.

However, we found that the sunscreen may leave a white cast when applied in thick layers, so we recommend applying it evenly in thin layers and thoroughly massaging it into the skin. It also takes a bit longer to blend than other sunscreens we have tried. We also noticed that a small white residue may be left on objects we touched after applying the sunscreen.

Overall, if you are looking for a gentle sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection and contains essential ceramides, CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion is a great choice.

Pros

  • Provides broad-spectrum protection with 100% mineral sunscreen
  • Contains three essential ceramides that help restore the skin's natural barrier and lock in moisture
  • Suitable for sensitive skin and allergy tested

Cons

  • May leave a white cast when applied in thick layers
  • Takes a bit longer to blend
  • Small white residue may be left on objects you touch
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If you're looking for a sunscreen that is gentle on sensitive skin, CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Sunscreen SPF 30 for Face and Body is the perfect choice.

We recently tried CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Sunscreen SPF 30 for Face and Body and were impressed with its performance. The sunscreen goes on white to guide an even application and is absorbed within seconds for a non-greasy finish without any white residue. The formula is lightweight and feels weightless on the skin.

We also love that this sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it perfect for outdoor activities. The formula is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic, making it perfect for sensitive skin. It's also developed with dermatologists and contains essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to help restore and maintain the skin's natural barrier.

While the formula may leave a slight white cast on darker skin tones, we found that blending it well eventually made the white cast go away. The sunscreen may also leave a slight sheen on the face, but it's not too noticeable. The formula may feel slightly sticky on the skin, but it's not uncomfortable.

Overall, we highly recommend CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Sunscreen SPF 30 for Face and Body for those with sensitive skin who are looking for a gentle and effective sunscreen.

Pros

  • This sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
  • The formula is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic, making it perfect for sensitive skin.
  • The sunscreen is developed with dermatologists and contains essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to help restore and maintain the skin's natural barrier.

Cons

  • The formula may leave a slight white cast on darker skin tones.
  • The sunscreen may leave a slight sheen on the face.
  • The formula may feel slightly sticky on the skin.
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If you are looking for a sunscreen that is gentle on sensitive skin, then La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 100 is a great option.

We recently tried La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 100 and were impressed with the results. The sunscreen provides a high level of SPF protection and is gentle on sensitive skin. We also appreciated that it did not leave a white residue, which can be a common issue with some sunscreens.

One thing to note is that the sunscreen may be a bit greasy for those with oily skin, especially after a few hours of wear. Additionally, the cap can be a bit difficult to open, which can be frustrating if you are in a hurry. However, overall we found this to be a great sunscreen for those with sensitive skin who are looking for a high level of protection.

Pros

  • Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants.
  • Oxybenzone-free.
  • Does not leave a white residue.

Cons

  • May be greasy for oily skin.
  • The cap can be difficult to open.
  • Some users may not like the creamy texture.
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We highly recommend the Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for anyone with sensitive skin looking for a gentle, yet effective sunscreen.

We found that the Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion was very gentle on our skin and did not cause any irritation or breakouts. The lightweight formula absorbed quickly and did not leave any greasy residue. We also appreciated that it was water-resistant, making it great for outdoor activities.

One thing to note is that the sunscreen can be a bit thick and difficult to spread, so it's important to apply in thin layers and thoroughly massage into the skin. It may also leave a slight white cast on the skin if not fully absorbed.

Overall, we highly recommend the Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for anyone with sensitive skin looking for a gentle, yet effective sunscreen. Its mineral-based formula provides broad-spectrum protection while soothing and hydrating the skin.

Pros

  • This sunscreen is 100% mineral-based and free of harsh chemicals, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin.
  • The micronized technology helps to disperse minerals evenly for easy application, and the non-greasy formula won't clog pores or leave behind a white cast.
  • The sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it great for outdoor activities.

Cons

  • The sunscreen can be a bit thick and difficult to spread, so it's important to apply in thin layers.
  • It may leave a slight white cast on the skin if not fully absorbed.
  • The bottle is a bit small, so it may not last as long as other sunscreens.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best sunscreen for sensitive skin, there are a few key features to look for. Here are some important factors to consider:

1. SPF Level

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures a sunscreen's ability to block UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. For sensitive skin, we recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. This will provide adequate protection without causing irritation.

2. Broad-Spectrum Protection

In addition to blocking UVB rays, it's important to choose a sunscreen that also provides protection against UVA rays. Look for products that offer broad-spectrum protection to ensure that you're getting complete coverage.

3. Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreens

There are two main types of sunscreens: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a barrier on the skin to reflect and scatter UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, use active ingredients like avobenzone or oxybenzone to absorb UV rays.

For sensitive skin, we recommend using a physical sunscreen. These products are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions, and they provide immediate protection without needing to be absorbed into the skin.

4. Water Resistance

If you plan to be in the water or sweat heavily, it's important to choose a sunscreen that is water-resistant. Look for products that are labeled "water-resistant" or "very water-resistant," and be sure to reapply as directed.

5. Fragrance-Free

Fragrances can be a common irritant for sensitive skin, so we recommend choosing a sunscreen that is fragrance-free. This will reduce the risk of irritation or allergic reactions.

6. Other Considerations

In addition to the factors listed above, there are a few other things to keep in mind when choosing a sunscreen for sensitive skin:

  • Look for products that are non-comedogenic, which means they won't clog pores or cause acne.
  • Consider using a tinted sunscreen to avoid the white cast that is common with physical sunscreens.
  • If you have extremely sensitive skin, consider doing a patch test before using a new product to check for any adverse reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best sunscreen options for those with sensitive skin conditions like eczema?

For those with sensitive skin conditions like eczema, it is best to use a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients act as a barrier to the sun's rays and are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions.

2. What are some chemical-free options for sunscreen that are safe for sensitive skin?

If you prefer a chemical-free option, look for sunscreens that use natural ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or iron oxide. These ingredients are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions and are safe for sensitive skin.

3. What are some waterproof options for sunscreen that are safe for sensitive skin?

There are many waterproof sunscreens that are safe for sensitive skin. Look for sunscreens that are labeled "water-resistant" or "very water-resistant." These sunscreens are designed to stay on even when you are swimming or sweating.

3. What are some recommended brands for sunscreen that is safe for sensitive skin?

Some recommended brands for sunscreen that is safe for sensitive skin include La Roche-Posay, Neutrogena, and Aveeno. These brands offer a range of sunscreens that are specifically designed for sensitive skin.

4. How can I find a sunscreen that won't give me an allergic reaction?

To find a sunscreen that won't give you an allergic reaction, look for sunscreens that are labeled "hypoallergenic" or "non-comedogenic." These sunscreens are less likely to cause allergic reactions or clog your pores.

5. What spray sunscreen options are recommended by dermatologists for those with sensitive skin?

Dermatologists recommend spray sunscreens that use natural ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Look for spray sunscreens that are labeled "hypoallergenic" or "non-comedogenic" to avoid allergic reactions or clogged pores.

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