Skin Care Tips: Guide To Choosing The Right Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 25, 2023
Updated 2023/07/25 at 9:58 AM
Guide To Choosing The Right Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin

Using sunscreen is essential for maintaining healthy skin during the day. Whether you’re spending a few hours outdoors or enjoying a vacation by the beach or pool, it’s important to apply the appropriate sunscreen to shield your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

But how can you select the right sunscreen? We’re here to assist you in discovering the answers.

Continuous exposure to UV radiation makes your skin susceptible to various problems. These include skin damage, the formation of wrinkles, sunburn, and the risk of developing skin cancer (1). As it is impossible to completely avoid going outside, the best course of action is to protect your skin using sunscreen.

If you are unsure about how to select the appropriate sunscreen, this article is specifically crafted for you. It presents the ultimate manual for choosing the right sunscreen. Keep reading to find out more!

How Does Sunscreen Function?

Sunscreen mainly functions by obstructing and soaking up ultraviolet (UV) rays using a combination of physical and chemical components.

The physical particles found in sunscreen, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, contribute to reflecting UV radiation away from the skin. On the other hand, the chemical ingredients in sunscreen interact with the radiation, preventing it from permeating the skin.

Additionally, these chemicals absorb sunlight and release the absorbed energy as heat.

As mentioned, the selection of an appropriate sunscreen can significantly impact your skincare routine. In the subsequent section, we have outlined the factors that you should take into account when selecting suitable sunscreen for your needs.

Skin Care Tips: Guide To Choosing The Right Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin

When selecting a sunscreen, it’s crucial to take into account any allergies you might have to certain ingredients, the product’s safety, and its potentially harmful effects. Additionally, it’s important to verify that the sunscreen’s components do not interfere with your hormone levels.

Think About The SPF (Sun Protection Factor):

SPF is mainly a way to gauge the sunscreen’s ability to shield against UVB rays. Applying sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can provide effective protection against daily exposure to harmful UV rays.

Nonetheless, dermatologists generally advise using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, as it offers a greater level of defence by blocking around 97 per cent of UVB rays (compared to around 93 per cent with SPF

Make sure to put an adequate amount of sunscreen on different parts of your skin every day. This is particularly crucial when you anticipate spending long periods of time outside.

Regardless of whether you choose to stay indoors or venture outside, it is essential to apply sunscreen on a daily basis. The reason is that even when you’re indoors, you can still be exposed to UV radiation that passes through the glass windows.

Investigate The Active Ingredients:

Examine the active components present in the sunscreen. Ensure that you steer clear of sunscreens containing vitamin A, often known as retinyl palmitate. It is believed that vitamin A can accelerate the occurrence of skin tumours.

Decide On Broad Spectrum SPF:

Choose a sunscreen that provides wide-ranging protection and has an SPF level ranging from 30 to 50. This will enhance your skin’s defence against sunburn and sun-related harm while effectively preventing UVA radiation.

It is advisable to steer clear of sunscreens with extremely high SPF values (above 50). These products are often considered unnecessary and costly as they do not offer additional protection beyond a certain point.

Formulation Of Sunscreen:

Sunscreen formulation generally pertains to the way a sunscreen product is designed and influences its texture and appearance when applied to the skin.

There are three prevalent types of sunscreen formulations currently found in the market. While each of these variations has its own advantages, all of them can provide effective protection against the sun’s harmful rays when used correctly.

These products are ideal for easily reaching difficult areas of the body when applying sunscreen. While sprays work well for the body, they may not be suitable for facial sunscreen. Spray sunscreen is particularly beneficial for individuals with abundant body hair. However, it’s important to avoid inhaling the spray during application.

Take Into Account Your Sun Exposure Level:

When selecting a sunscreen, it is important to consider your level of sun exposure as another crucial aspect. This includes taking into account the duration of sun exposure, the intensity of sunlight, and the specific activities you will engage in during sun exposure.

Generally, the intensity of sunlight is assessed using the Ultraviolet (UV) Index, a scale that spans from 1 (low) to 11+ (extreme). If the UV Index reaches 8 or higher, our skin can easily get sunburned within 15 minutes or less if left unprotected. Considering your level of sun exposure, here are the recommended sunscreen options for you to consider.

Outdoor Activities: If you plan to engage in outdoor pursuits for a prolonged duration (two hours or longer), opt for sunscreen rated SPF 30 or above, taking into account your skin tone.

Sports/Swimming: When participating in outdoor sports or activities in water, it is advisable to select a sunscreen that is resistant to sweat or water. Choose SPF 30 or higher, considering your skin colour, and remember to reapply every 40 to 60 minutes.

Daily Routine: During typical days when you will be exposed to both sunlight and shade, it is essential to apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. Additionally, besides selecting the appropriate sunscreen, there are several other measures you can adopt to safeguard your skin against the harmful effects of the sun. The following are a few examples of such precautions.

How To Apply

Ensure that you correctly apply sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes prior to venturing outdoors. This allows sufficient time for the sunscreen to take effect before your skin comes into contact with sunlight. It is advisable to be liberal in the quantity of sunscreen you apply, as it is preferable to use slightly more rather than inadequate amounts.

Failure to apply enough sunscreen or infrequent application can lead to sun damage.

To ensure proper application, adults should use a minimum of 5ml (equivalent to one teaspoon) of sunscreen for each body area, such as the legs, face, neck, and arms. As a general reference for the entire body, approximately 35ml (or seven teaspoons) of sunscreen may be needed.

It’s important to note that the amount can vary depending on individual factors such as size and height. Apply sunscreen to exposed areas of the body not protected by clothing.


Deciding on sunscreen may initially appear straightforward until you encounter an extensive range of choices. Have you ever taken note of the SPF (sun protection factor) of your sunscreen? It’s crucial because it serves as the foundation for shielding your skin from the sun’s harmful effects.

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