Sensitive Skin Vs the Sun


Sensitive skin can be one of life’s real bugbears, from oily and spotty to dry and patchy it’s a saga that never seems to end. But if sensitive skin is a tiresome enough affliction to live with on a daily basis, it’s a complete and utter nightmare when it comes to being in the sun.

Looking after our skin is important, especially when on holiday and exposed to the sun’s scorching temperatures, but when our skin is so hyper sensitive to products it can be tempting to leave the suncream in our suitcase and grin and bare it but I think we all know how that ends! So when it comes to picking the perfect cream for our face it’s worth spending a little more time doing our research, rather than grabbing the nearest half decent brand from our local drug store.


As a general rule, almost all sunscreens will contain chemicals, unless stated otherwise. However, if Jamie Oliver has taught us anything labelling is never as it seems and that is no different when it comes to skin care. So next time your pondering the shelves feeling more than a little confused look out for the following nasty chemicals…Amino Benzoic Acid, Glyceryl Amino Benzoate, Ethyl-4-bis Amino Benzoate, Amyl Dimethyl PABA, Glceryl PABA, Ethyl Dihydroxypropyl PABA and Octyl Dimethyl PABA (2-Ethylhexyl Dimethyl PABA), Octyl Salicylate (2-Ethylhexyl Salicylate), Homosalate (HMS or Homomenthyl Salicylate) and Triethanolamine Salicylate.

Got it? It may seem like a huge information overload but by avoiding these chemicals you could avoid a holiday breakout you’d rather not deal with.


So what should our suncreams contain? Well, sensitive skin experts recommend natural broad spectrum physical sun screens such as Zinc Oxide, which reflects both UVA and UVB rays. However, it’s not water resistant so if you like a frequent dip in the ocean or lounging in the pool mix it with Shea Butter, which is a natural sun screen itself. Other natural sun screens to keep an eye out for are Retinyl Palmitate, which is a form of vitamin A and besides its brilliant anti-ageing properties it also has a natural SPF of 20 – bonus! Vitamin E and Mulberry leaf extract are also ingredients you will want to have on your side when worshiping the sun.

So there you have it, sun screen for sensitive skin in a nutshell. Happy holidays!