There are many reasons why we should all wear sunscreen every day. Some of the most important reasons to avoid too much sun exposure are to prevent sunburns, to protect against skin cancer, and to reduce signs of aging due to sun exposure.
Most of us just choose a sunscreen based on what’s available at our local drugstore, or which has the highest SPF rating.
However, if you happen to have psoriasis or another skin condition that causes your skin to be more sensitive or more prone to irritation, then there are some other considerations as well.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best sunscreens for psoriasis patients, and discuss what psoriasis sufferers should look for in an adequate sunscreen that will provide protection against the sun without further irritating their skin.
What Is The Best Sunscreen To Use For Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease which usually appears on the scalp, knees, elbows and back but also can affect any part of the body including fingers and toes. It’s characterized by a skin condition featuring patches of red scaly skin that often itch severely.
Psoriasis is an inflammation issue, and sunscreen itself won’t alleviate or help with this problem. However, when your skin is already itchy and irritated due to psoriasis, the last thing you want is to irritate the skin even more by exposing the skin to the sun’s harmful rays.
That’s why we suggest that those with psoriasis use mineral sunscreens with gentle, non-irritating ingredients.
The best sunscreen for psoriasis (and most other sensitive skin conditions, like eczema) is specially formulated, hypoallergenic sunblock that uses mineral ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Some chemical sunscreen might be suitable as well, but most users will want to avoid oxybenzone or octinoxate, which are two chemical ingredients that are known to cause irritation in those with sensitive skin (although it should be noted that many individuals have no issue at all with these ingredients, so it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker).
Best Sunscreens for Psoriasis: Our Top Picks
1. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is a SPF 60 broad spectrum mineral sunscreen with naturally-sourced active ingredients including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
This ultra sensitive mineral sunscreen is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and oil-free so as not to irritate sensitive skin. This sunscreen works great for both face and body lotion, and is water resistant too, making it an excellent choice for outdoor activities or sports in the sun.
2. EltaMD UV Tinted Face Sunscreen
EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Face Sunscreen offers those who suffer from psoriasis a soothing, tinted alternative to chemical sunscreens. This zinc oxide formula sunscreen provides SPF 46 broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
This facial sunscreen is designed to calm sensitive skin and reduce acne breakouts while also correcting pigmentation spots with its light-diffusing, weightless tint.
It includes hyaluronic acid for antiaging purposes and leaves a natural looking complexion that can serve as a foundation for your makeup regime or a bit of coverage when you need to get out the door.
3. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is a fan-favorite popular everyday sunscreen because it feels weightless, invisible and provides powerful UVA/UVB protection.
The word “hydration-fighting” doesn’t even do Supergoop! justice. With bonus ingredients like frankincense, red algae, and medowfoam seed, it keeps skin moisturized and healthy with a host of antioxidants.
Supergoop! is a great sunscreen choice for psoriasis affected skin because it doesn’t contribute to dryness and flaking. Instead, it provides a velvety matte veil for sun protection while also serving as a great base for makeup. It even works great for sunscreen users with oily skin!
This gentle, scent-less formula is oil-free and boasts a great SPF 40 rating. While it is a chemical sunscreen, it doesn’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate – two of the most guilty ingredients for causing outbreaks and skin irritation.
4. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk
The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk is a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 60 protection that’s also lightweight, water resistant up to 80 minutes, and fast absorbing for reliable sun protection.
This sunscreen is a top pick for sensitive skin types, as it’s both fragrance-free and is oil-free. It also doesn’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, which is great for psoriasis patients concerned about additional skin irritation
We love this milky sunscreen’s matte finish and inclusion of silica, which reduces shine and allows it to work great under makeup or other skin care products.
This sunscreen’s “Cell-Ox Shield technology” includes antioxidants to to protect skin cells from UV damage and help keep skin healthy. The formula is dermatologist-tested and allergy-tested too!
5. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face BB Cream
Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face BB Cream is another great sunscreen for psoriasis to protect you from sun damage.
With a mineral formula with a sun protection factor of 50, alongside the ability to blocks UVA and UVB rays, it’s a solid broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against all kinds of damaging UV rays.
This formula uses mineral ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, ensuring it’s extremely gentle on the skin. It also contains no oxybenzone, alcohol, dye, oil, or PABAs, so there is minimal risk of any kind of irritation.
On top of that, this susncreen is also designed to protect your skin against free radicals through the use of antioxidant-rich eucalyptus and red algae.
Best of all, this tinted sunscreen is super lightweight with a matte finish, leaving your complexion flawless as it doubles as a BB Cream or foundation base for a more natural make-up look. It even can reduce uneven color, blemishes, fine lines!
The gentle tinting effects may be a major advantage for psoriasis-prone skin if you’re looking to cover up rashes or irritation on the face while also protecting yourself from the sun.
This sunscreen is hypoallergenic, vegan, and cruelty-free too, which is always a major plus.
FAQs About Sunscreen for Psoriasis
Is sunscreen safe for psoriasis?
Yes, wearing sunscreen can be beneficial for psoriasis sufferers as it will block UV rays from further damaging and irritating psoriasis patches, helping you skin recover safely without exposure to ultraviolet rays, which can exacerbate the healing process.
But be careful! Many sunscreen chemicals can be sensitizing and irritating for psoriasis-prone skin so we recommend ideally using a chemical-free mineral sunscreens with gentle, non-irritating ingredients.
What type of sunscreen is best for psoriasis?
For psoriasis sufferers, we suggest choosing broad spectrum mineral physical sunscreens with natural active ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to protect skin without irritation.
Chemical sunscreen (as opposed to mineral sunscreens) can be irritating for psoriasis sufferers, so we recommend gentle formulas. Ideally, you may want to choice a sunscreen that is chemical-free. At the very least, try to avoid known irritants like oxybenzone.
Is zinc oxide good for psoriasis?
Good old-fashioned zinc oxide is a gentle, non-irritating natural mineral ingredient common in mineral sunscreens. With excellent broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, it goes a long way to preventing sin cancer and reducing risks of too much exposure to the sun. Zinc oxide isn’t absorbed into the skin (unlike chemical ingredients) so it’s unlikely to cause negative side effects like many chemical sunscreens.
We hope this guide has helped you choose a good sunscreen to use with psoriasis.
Don’t forget that you’ll still need your doctor’s help to reduce psoriasis plaques and other psoriasis symptoms through the use of specialized treatments and topical medications, but at the very least some of the sunscreens listed here should be good, sensitive skin options that won’t exacerbate irritation!