Have your arms ever vied for the “plucked chicken” award, courtesy of keratosis pilaris?
We all dread that combo of rough, dry skin and persistent bumps.
Wielding a wand, whether it’s core is phoenix feathers or unicorn blood, won’t banish KP (keratosis pilaris), but the right sunscreen just might your perfect potion.
For those with keratosis pilaris and acne-prone skin, finding a body sunscreen that’s kind without causing a scene is a must. And we’re here to help!
Hats on and shades ready – let’s set off and explore the cream of the crop, blending shield and solace so your skin can take a well-earned break from the dreaded ‘chicken skin’.
Picking the Right Sunscreen for Your Keratosis Pilaris Needs
What exactly should you look for in a sunscreen when you’re dealing with keratosis pilaris? Let’s summarize:
- Sturdy SPF Factor. A sunscreen’s SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is your ticket to gauging UV protection. Aim to arm yourself with an SPF of 30 or higher for the upper hand in the UV duel – and remember to reapply consistently for an all-day epic defense!
- Broad Spectrum Sun Protection. For the best in skin barrier, broad spectrum sunscreen is a must, no exceptions Broad spectrum protection means that a sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the crafty culprits behind aging and potential melanoma, while UVB rays play the villain in causing sunburns and skin cancer scenarios. Most sunscreens promise a broad spectrum label, but it pays to peek at the label for proof.
- Mineral vs. Chemical Cast. Sunscreens are separated into two genres: chemical, with ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone which absorb into the skin, and mineral, featuring zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that sit on top of the skin and reflect the UV rays away. While chemical sunscreens might blend in with your skin more easily, mineral sunscreens, though sometimes leaving a white cast on your skin, tend to less irritating and better for sensitive skin.
- Ease of Reapplication Routine. Choosing a sunscreen that’s as easy to reapply as slipping into a beach cover-up means you won’t be pressing pause on your ocean-side activities for too long. Sprays and sticks steal the show when it comes to ease, offering a best-in-show performance for speed and convenience. But, lotions tend to provide the most reliable coverage, as it’s all too common to under-apply with sprays and sticks.
- Moisturizing Capabilities. Keratosis Pilaris causes the skin to become dry and rough, so using a moisturizing sunscreen can provide much-needed hydration, which can help soften bumps and alleviate some of the dryness. Look for moisturizing sunscreens with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, ceramides, and vitamin E.
But it’s not all about sunscreen — patients should also be following their prescribed treatment plan, including gentle exfoliation to remove excess dead skin cells and daily moisturization.
Discovering The Best Sunscreen for Keratosis Pilaris
1. CeraVe Tinted Mineral Sunscreen
CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
- 100% Mineral-based sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB coverage
- Can often leave a white cast - apply evenly in thin layers and thoroughly massage into skin
- Suitable for use under foundation and face makeup
- Oxybenzone free, avobenzone free, and benzene free, making it Hawaii-compliant
- Includes three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to help restore the skin’s natural barrier
- Oil free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic, and suitable for sensitive skin
About: The CeraVe Tinted SPF 50 Sunscreen is a skincare classic for those looking for a reliable, daily facial sunscreen that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Belonging to a family of skincare products revered by dermatologists, CeraVe offers a unique tinted, mineral-based formula that’s more than just a pretty face.
- Broad Spectrum SPF 50: The sun’s rays don’t stand a chance against this broad spectrum superstar, offering a shield against both UVA (Aging’s Accomplices) and UVB (Burning Bandits) rays. A must for the spotlight-stealing knees and elbows affected by keratosis pilaris!
- Moisturizing Wonder: CeraVe’s sunscreen boasts three types of ceramides to help keep skin soft and moisturized.
- Tinted for Top-Notch Tone: Wave goodbye to the ghostly white cast often left by mineral sunscreens. This sunscreen features a universally flattering tint — many people even choose to use this instead of a foundation.
- Mineral Based For the Win: With its mineral-based melody of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this sunscreen offers all the protection you need, sans irritation.
- The gentle, mineral-based formula plays nice with keratosis pilaris and shouldn’t irritate most skin types.
- A tinted touch means saying adios to pasty faces and hello to an even, naturally radiant skin tone.
- Moisturizing ceramides can be a huge boon to those with KP
- The tint might not work for all skin tones
- The bottle is fairly small, and is really primarily for face-use only — it’s not great for full body coverage
2. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
A super popular lightweight sunscreen that's invisible on skin
- SPF 40 broad spectrum chemical sunscreen
- Weightless, scentless, oil-free formula
- Controls shine with velvety finish that plays nice with makeup
- Oxybenzone and octinoxate-free formula
- Water-resistant up to 40 minutes
- Antioxidant-rich ingredients like frankincense and hydrating meadowfoam seed
About: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen is the Houdini of the SPF world with an SPF of 40 that promises protection without the pomp and pageantry of traditional sunscreens.
This chemical sunscreen is the modern magician’s cloak for your skin, slipping seamlessly into your skincare act without a trace — hence, it’s title as “unseen” invisible sunscreen!
Crafted for the connoisseurs of comfort and invisibility, Supergoop! brings a grease-free formula that leaves behind zero residue – the Unseen Sunscreen ensures your keratosis pilaris won’t be upstaged by a pesky white cast.
- Oil-Free Elegance: Designed to dance on your skin without the greasy after-party, this oil-free concoction is perfect for acne-prone and oily skin types alike.
- Lightweight Illusionist: This sunscreen performs a vanishing act the moment it touches your skin, whisper-light and comfortable, making it a crowd-pleaser for those who don’t want a heavy concoction on their skin.
- Reef-Friendly Formula: Conscious of our friends under water, this product is free from oxybenzone and octinoxate, crafting a sunscreen that’s as kind to our oceans as it is to your skin.
- Scent-Free: With no added fragrances, this sunscreen delivers a sensory-neutral application, letting your skin – and not an overpowering scent – take center stage.
- Primed for Perfection: This sunscreen doubles as a makeup primer that smoothens the canvas for your day’s palette.
- Beard-Friendly: Beard aficionados, rejoice! This sunscreen sidesteps the sticky residue, so your facial fuzz stays comfy too.
- A virtually weightless presence makes “invisible” the new trendsetter in sunscreen fashion – your keratosis pilaris won’t know it’s there!
- The sunscreen packs in a slew of antioxidants and hydration heroes for smooth sailing under the sun
- A velvety finish adds a touch of luxe, smoothing over KP’s rough skin.
- The price tag might just have you think twice – it’s pretty pricey stuff
- While lacking more irritating ingredients like oxybenzone, this chemical sunscreen may not be the best pick for the ultra-sensitive folks, as it does still contain avobenzone, which can irritate some individuals.
3. Sun Bum Original Face
Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Face Lotion
A reliable face lotion designed for surfers & ocean lovers
- SPF 70 + broad spectrum chemical sunscreen lotion
- Waterproof and sweatproof for 80 minutes
- Oil-free, as well as oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten, and paraben-free
- Cosmogenic composition with vitamin E for added moisturization
- Compliant with Hawaii 104 Reef Act (aka safe for the sea)
About: Sun Bum Original SPF 70 is the big kahuna of sunscreens, offering a gnarly SPF of 70 for those who prefer to ride the waves with ultra-high protection. Like a loyal beach buddy, it’s here to keep your face from frying while you’re volleying on the sandy court.
Riding the wave of conscientious skincare, Sun Bum has managed to bottle up a concoction that’s kind to your skin, ocean life, and even the sensitive souls dealing with keratosis pilaris. So slap on some of this good stuff and strut your beach bod with confidence, knowing you’re sheltered from the sun’s harsh narrative.
- Non-Comedogenic Cast: Crafted with the beachgoer’s pores in mind, this sunscreen won’t clog your act. It’s as non-comedogenic as they get, barring the door to unwanted breakout guests.
- UVA/UVB Protection Ensemble: No room for sun’s rays here—bask in the protective glow of both UVA and UVB fortifications. Go ahead, give those arms a confident flex!
- Vitamin E Hydration Hook: Dry skin and keratosis pilaris won’t know what hit ’em, thanks to the extra hydration punch from Vitamin E. It’s a moisture monologue that ends in applause!
- Oil-Free Ovation: An oil-free formulation that ensures your skin’s surface is as slick-free as a well-rehearsed skit – just what the dermatologist ordered.
- Hypoallergenic Harmony: Designed with sensitive skin in mind, this hypoallergenic hopeful plays nice with even the most reactive audience members.
- Conscious of Creatures and Coral: Stay eco-chic with an oxybenzone, octinoxate, and paraben-free formula that’s as friendly to the reefs as it is to bunnies—100% cruelty-free!
- Water-Resistant Wonders: Whether splishing or splashing, the SPF sticks around longer than an encore, water-resistant for all your aquatic acts.
- No dreaded white cast to plague your beach selfies—this sunscreen keeps your look natural, as invisible as a clear summer sky.
- It’s a hypoallergenic hit, ensuring your keratosis pilaris stays out of the discomfort zone and firmly in the spotlight of smooth skin.
- While it’s hypoallergenic heaven for most, the avobenzone chemical filter may still cause a stir for the extra sensitive skin types in the crowd.
4. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen
- Broad spectrum SPF 50 protection
- Ultra lightweight 100% mineral tinted face sunscreen (with titanium dioxide)
- Developed specifically for sensitive skin
- Non-greasy, fast-absorbing texture leaves a tinted matte finish
- Fragrance free, paraben free and water resistant (40 minutes)
About: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50 offers sophistication, sun-savvy protection. As a physical mineral sunscreen with a solid SPF 50 rating, it promises a twilight zone where broad spectrum protection coexists with impeccable style.
This French pharmacy darling doesn’t just protect; it elevates your natural beauty, hydrates with hyaluronic acid, and sets the scene for a matte finish that’s sure to offer a great base for a more full-faced look.
- Lightweight Luminary: This sunscreen knows no heaviness, gliding on with the grace of a feather for a lightweight, virtually undetectable presence.
- UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Protection: Not just a one-ray wonder, this protection goes broad, shielding your skin from the full array of UV rays.
- Subtle Tint for a Smooth Show: Forget about ghostly residues; this tinted formula merges seamlessly with your skin tone for a naturally flawless coverage.
- Fast-Absorbing with a Matte Finale: With rapid absorption and a matte finish, this sunscreen is a winner for all-day comfort without any oily interruptions.
- Sensitive Skin’s Knight in Shining Armor: Made with titanium dioxide and devoid of common irritants, it’s a sunscreen that takes guards your sensitive skin from any villainous intent.
- Oil-Free, Fragrance-Free, Allergy-Tested Trio: A triple-threat for a worry-free experience, this formula promises not to upset sensitive skin.
- Cell-Ox Shield with Antioxidants: An exclusive blend packed with antioxidants, it provides your skin with an extra layer of protection and a host of skin benefits.
- This lightweight and tinted sunscreen is ideal for covering up redness and bumps associated with KP
- With a matte, smooth finish, this sunscreen plays nicely with makeup too.
- Like many higher-end, more complex formula sunscreens, this one is a bit on the pricier side.
5. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk
La Roche-Posay Melt-In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen
A smooth, velvety sunscreen that absorbs quickly for face and body use
- Broad spectrum SPF 60 protection
- Fast-absorbing, velvety texture
- Formulated with Cell-OX technology for antioxidants
- Designed to be gentle on even sensitive skin
- Octinoxate and oxybenzone-free
About: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen SPF 60 is like butter on warm toast — it’s that creamy and effortless. This chemical sunscreen is designed for both face and body use for an all-in-one compositon.
Infused with La Roche Posay’s unique “cell-ox shield technology” it offers a nice collection of antioxidants, while melting into your skin in seconds.
- Designed for Face & Body: Versatility is the name of the game with this sunscreen’s ability to perform flawlessly on any part of the skin’s stage, from face to feet.
- Cell-Ox Shield Technology + Antioxidants: The formula comes equipped with a unique blend of antioxidants, guarding against the sneaky skin-aging villains.
- Say No to Oxybenzone: Keeping the eco-friendly and health-conscious public in mind, this sunscreen is oxybenzone and octinoxate free to minimize risk of irritation.
- Lightweight, Fast-Absorbing Star: The days of waiting for sunscreen to sink in are over. This quick-absorbing formula ensures you’re set for the spotlight in no time flat.
- Creamy, Not Ghostly: The creamy texture leaves no white cast, meaning you can blend into the beach crowd without looking like you’re auditioning for a mime role.
- Oil-Free, Fragrance-Free Duo: A dynamic duo indeed, this fragrance-free and oil-free formula proves that simplicity often steals the show when it comes to skincare (and minimizes risks of irritation too).
- A high SPF of 60 means your skin gets the VIP treatment when it comes to sun protection.
- Its lightweight, milky texture is a win for many.
- Contains avobenzone, a chemical filter that, while less notorious than its outcast cousin oxybenzone, may still irritate certan skin types.
6. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
About: Neutrogena Hydro Boost with SPF 30 emerges as the daily dose of hydration meets sun protection. It’s akin to sipping a cool lemonade while lounging under a canopy—it’s that refreshing.
This chemical sunscreen is a departure from the conventional design, bringing a water gel formula that feels like a quenching gulp for your thirsty dry skin. Glide into your day with a sunscreen that doesn’t just defend against photodramas but also doubles as a daily moisturizer.
For the minimalist who loves a multifunctional all-star, Neutrogena Hydro Boost is the skincare sidekick that swears to keep things light and hydrating.
- Oil-Free Ensemble: This body lotion sunscreen plays its role without the grease, ensuring your beauty routine stays oil-free and carefree.
- Non-Comedogenic Design: Fret not, for clogged pores will not be part of this story. It’s non-comedogenic, promising to keep your pores clear and clean without risk of acne breakouts.
- Alcohol-Free Antics: An alcohol-free formula means that irritation and drying are a thing of the past.
- Hydrating Water Gel: This sunscreen’s lightweight water gel formula is hella hydrating (your skin will thank you — this one’s a great sunscreen for dry skin).
- Its featherlight touch goes unnoticed under makeup, letting your foundation set in easily.
- With hydration as a core benefit, it promises not just protection, but supple skin too.
- We generally like to see sunscreens with an SPF a bit higher than 30, but it should be just fine for most.
Selecting the right sunscreen for keratosis pilaris can feel like navigating through a maze, considering the overwhelming options available.
However, the end goal remains the same: to find a product that not only shields your skin from the sun’s harmful rays but also reduces the signs of keratosis pilaris.
Remember that having a skin condition like keratosis pilaris means your skin needs a little extra TLC. The sunscreens listed above are a great starting point for ensuring your skin is protected and nourished, regardless of the season.
Despite this, we do still feel that it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist for personalized advice.
What has your keratosis pilaris journey been like? Did anything make a big difference for you? Share your story in the comments!