Last month was Rosacea Awareness Month and the folks at Buzzfeed asked me to write an article about living with rosacea which you can read HERE. It went viral and has currently had over 550,000 views and so many people got in touch with me to share their stories of rosacea and many of them had questions. A recurring question was asking for recommendations for sunscreens for rosacea sensitive skin. I try to wear factor 50 any time that I’m in the sun but it is hard to find sunscreens that don’t smother or aggravate rosacea or reactive skin. So here are my top 7 favourite sunscreens for rosacea sensitive skin!
Some things you need to think about when considering sunscreen:
- People with rosacea need to be worried about ultraviolet light, which means that you need to be wearing it throughout the year (even when it’s cloudy and grey). Ultraviolet light also passes through glass so if you sit next to a window at work or do a lot of driving then you still need to wear sunscreen.
- You should apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before make up or going out into the sun. You should use 1/4 of a tsp for your face and another 1/4 of a tsp for your need and chest – a lot of people forget that your chest and neck are exposed nearly as much as your face.
- You need to reapply for every 2 hours that you are exposed to the sun. A common misconception is that you have to reapply every 2 hours total – nope. Add up the length of time you are in the sun: e.g. 20 minute walk to work, 10 minutes to get lunch, 2o minute walk home – you’re fine with your morning application (unless you get super sweaty/exercise etc. obviously!)
- It’s also worth bearing in mind that you will need to double cleanse your skin (if you don’t already) when wearing sunscreen, as it is more tricky to remove so you need to make sure it’s completely cleansed from your face to avoid clogged pores.
Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Tinted BB Cream* is a wonderful high factor sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection. It also has no fragrance, is non-comedogenic and is paraben-free. As with many of these tinted creams, it’s a one size fits all situation so if you’re at either extreme of the colour spectrum then this may not work for you. If you want something that gives great sun protection but adds a little bit of coverage for blemishes or uneven skin tone then this may be your new best friend.
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturiser SPF 47 – This is a combined SPF and moisturiser which I don’t tend to go for very often as I think they don’t give enough to be the best of either. But this mini is really lovely. I bought it as part of a Josie Maran set in Sephora. It’s quite a thick consistency but sinks in really quickly and doesn’t feel like it’s clogging my skin or aggravating my rosacea. Personally I would always recommend a separate SPF but if you are strapped for time, have no room in your overnight case, or just really can’t be faffed with too many stages in your routine then this one is a great halfway point.
Bioré UV Aqua Rich – I bought this in Japan as they are famous for their high-protection sunscreens that are lightweight and great to use under make up. This one is described as a ‘watery essence’ which gives you an indication how lightweight it is. You barely notice it’s there but it’s not very long wearing under make up if you’re oily like me, so I tend to only wear this if I’m not going to be out for long (popping to the shop, going out for lunch etc.) But if you have dry skin this may be a winner for you!
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Fluid* – The whole Anthelios range is flipping great and it’s just about finding the right one for your skin type. Typically fluid (also called emulsions sometimes) formulas are ideal for people with oily/combination skin types so I was excited to try this one out but – word of warning – it is VERY fluid! This means it’s very easy to apply and feels great on the skin, but it can be messy and can waste some products if you’re not careful.
Neutragena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen – I got this in New York as I’d read a LOT of reviews before I went and this kept coming up. It’s a more traditional textured sunscreen in that it’s quite a thick consistency (but doesn’t feel heavy on the skin) and it does leave a little bit of a white cast on the skin if you don’t work it into the skin, but it’s a great high-street option if you can find it. It is water-resistant but is also non-comedogenic so those with blemish-prone skin shouldn’t have a problem. I have seen it on Amazon but I’m not going to link anything here as I can’t be sure which sellers are legit and which aren’t, so proceed with caution please!
Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen – Another sunscreen I picked up in Japan and the one I’ve used the most in the past year. This is the most lightweight formula I’ve ever tried, never leaves a white tint on the skin, feels really soothing and doesn’t make my skin react at all. It’s dreamy, I only wish I’d stocked up more as it’s not a range that’s widely available here. This is another product that’s probably available on Amazon but just use your judgement!
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Cream* – As I mentioned earlier, because I have oily skin I was more interested in the Anthelios XL Fluid. But actually I think I prefer the Cream version – it’s still light and easily absorbed into the skin so don’t be put off by the name. I’d say this was perfectly suited to oily and dry skin and it may well have become my new favourite sunscreen, bumping out the Shiseido one – which is good news as the La Roche-Posay one is available pretty much everywhere!
What are your favourite sunscreens for rosacea sensitive skin? Let me know in the comments!
*Products with a ‘*’ next to them were provided as PR samples, some of these links are affiliate. For more information on this please see my disclaimer tab.