Skin cancer isn’t just a risk for those with fair skin – it’s a major danger for anyone who spends time outdoors or for those with skin conditions that make their skin more vulnerable to the sun.
In fact, vitiligo patients in particular are more at risk because they have certain skin areas with no pigment to protect them from ultraviolet radiation.
The good news? Sunscreen can go a long way towards protecting those suffering from vitiligo.
In this article, there are seven sunscreen products and lotions that can aid in the protection of your screen from vitiligo.
How Sunscreen Helps with Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes white patches to form on the skin. These patches can be anywhere on the body’s surface and may even enlarge over time.
People with vitiligo are at an increased risk for sunburn because sections of their skin lack the ability to produce melanin (hence, why certain patches of skin are white).
Sunscreen may not cure vitiligo, but its essential for protecting those non-melatonin-producing sections of skin which have no natural protection against the sun’s UV rays.
What Factors to Consider when Choosing a Sunscreen for Vitiligo
There are many things to know about when selecting the finest sunscreen for skin with vitiligo, which you may not be aware of. We’ll go through them in detail now:
We always recommend that all sun warriors choose a sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 or higher. Anything lower just won’t provide adequate protection.
And remember, even if it’s cloudy out and you feel like you’re not getting any sun on you at all, you’re still being exposed to UV rays and still need protection!
Broad Spectrum Protection
Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen to provide the best protection. Most sunscreens offer some level of both UVB and UVA protection, but you should check sunscreen product labels, as there are still occasionally a few sunscreens that don’t provide protection against both types of UV rays. All the sunscreens in our list are broad spectrum sunscreens!
Mineral vs. Chemical Ingredients
Some folks don’t realize that there are actually two types of sunscreen: mineral and chemical sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens use ingredients like oxybenzone or avobenzone to absorb UV light.
On the other side, mineral-based physical sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have natural minerals that sit on top and reflect UV rays away, rather than absorb them
Physical mineral-based sunscreens offer more natural ingredients that are generally easier on the skin than chemical sunscreens. Some also consider them safer – since they don’t absorb into the skin like chemical sunscreens do, they are not associated with hormone imbalances or some of the other somewhat sinister side effects connected with chemicals like oxybenzone.
Chemical sunscreens can still be a good option for those who want a sunscreen that can reliable absorb quickly intotheir skin,and for those who have tough skin that doesn’t have any problems with stinging or burning from chemical sunscreens.
Mineral sunscreens can sometimes be more challenging to rub evenly onto the skin and are susceptible to giving a white cast. However, many newer types of mineral sunscreen are formulated with oils and butters that help you easily apply a thin, smooth layer, which leaves no white cast or residue behind!
Ease of Application
Sunscreen should be applied as soon as possible, ideally before even coming into contact with the UV rays. To ensure reliable application, look for a sunscreen that’s easy to apply. Sunscreens that are easiest to apply tend to be in spray or stick form (although many lotions apply great as well).
Having an easy to apply sunscreen will also ensure that you can easy reapply sunscreen, which is essential for truly keeping your skin safe when you spend all day out in the sun.
For those with sensitive skin usually prefer to opt for hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic sunscreens. These sunscreens are gentle and use non-irritating ingredients to decrease your risk of breakouts or skin irritation. If your skin is prone to acne, redness, or rashes, definitely consider a non-comedogenic sunscreen. Those with sensitive skin should also look for mineral sunscreens, as they are less likely to irritate those with delicate skin (as opposed to a chemical sunscreen) – especially when it comes to applying sunscreen to your face.
Those who have particularly delicate or reactive types of skins might need a more gentle product, so it’s essential not only that you find out which sunscreens for sensitive skin are available, but also consider your own skin and how your body reacts to various elements and ingredients.
Matte Finish (for face-specific sunscreens)
Facial sunscreens with a matte finish won’t leave behind greasy or sticky residues, which is essential for those who want to look their best while keeping safe.
With a matte sunscreen, you can apply your makeup after applying sunscreen and will not have any greasy residue to interfere with your look. Matte sunscreens absorb excess oil on the skin and may even help reduce the visibility in more delicate lines!
Compatibility with Makeup
It is essential that people who wear makeup regularily be mindful of the sunscreen they use.
Makeup wearers should look for a sunscreen product that specifically highlights interacting well with sunscreen. Some users may even opt for a sunscreen spray for face use that can double as a makeup setting spray!
Tinted sunscreen can help cover up uneven skin discoloration or smooth out uneven skin tones.
This is great if you’re going somewhere where full-face makeup isn’t worth the effort! Tinted sunscreen may be able to be used at a substitute for your standard foundation, giving the perfect light coverage.
People with darker pigments may also prefer tinted sunscreen since it’s usually less likely to leave a white cast, since the tint combats any risk of generating an unwanted shade from zinc oxide or other mineral ingredients.
And of course, tinted sunscreen tends to be a favorite of those with vitiligo, since the tint can help add natural color to the non-pigmented skin areas. Or, at the very least, make the contrast between the pigmented and non-pigmented skin less extreme.
For those who have sensitive skin, fragranced products may be too much and can irritate your skin and cause breakouts. You should consider a fragrance-free option if you’re worried about irritation or rashes.
Best Sunscreens for Vitiligo: Our Reviews
1. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face BB Cream
Looking for a sunscreen that’s gentle on your vitiligo skin and provides broad-spectrum protection? Look no further than Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face BB Cream!
The non-chemical SPF 50 formula features titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to block harmful UVA & UVB rays, leaving you feeling refreshed and luxurious.
It blends seamlessly into fair to light skin tones, minimizing uneven color, fine lines, and wrinkles. Plus, it’s perfect for everyday use – even on sensitive skin! The tinted element also works great for easing noticeable evidence of vitiligo, and fans especially appreciate the thick, creamy-like texture that provides such fantastic smoothing coverage. That’s why the Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen BB Cream makes our list of the best sunscreens for hyperpigmentation too!
This sunscreen’s oil-free matte finish provides light coverage and a natural look while protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Plus, it has kakadu plum and other antioxidants, helping to nourish and protect your skin while providing a healthy glow.
This BB cream is formulated with nutrient-rich botanicals with vitamin C content – and that helps soothe and nourish your skin, all while providing broad-spectrum protection from the sun.
Plus, it comes in other shades to match any complexion. It’s unscented, and you can rest easy knowing it’s safe even for sensitive skin, as it’s free of oxybenzone, alcohol, dye, oil, phthalate, PABAs, petrolatum & sulfates. It’s hypoallergenic, dermatologist and pediatrician tested, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free too!
2. CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen
The CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen is another solid choice for daily use by those with vitiligo. This sunscreen is perfect for a variety of skin tones and leaves your skin with a sheer tint that offsets the white-cast typically associated with mineral sunscreens. That same tint is also a huge bonus for those with vitiligo, as it helps offset the extreme contrast between pigmented and non-pigmented skin sections.
CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen is a broad spectrum, mineral filter-based sunscreen that helps protect the skin from UVA/UVB rays. This unique formula is packed with three essential ceramides, which help restore the skin’s natural barrier and lock in moisture.
This gentle, oxybenzone-free and chemical-filter-free formula is perfect for those with sensitive skin. This moisturizing sunscreen can be worn alone or under makeup, providing versatile SPF 30 protection.
3. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen is your new go-to sunscreen for adding a natural-looking glow. This mineral sunscreen is fast-absorbing and offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with an SPF 50.
La Roche-Posay is ideal for sensitive skin, free from whitening effects and greasy ingredients – that’s why we recommend this sunscreen for accuate users too!
This sunscreen has been allergy tested and is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog pores. The unscented sunscreen is also oil-free, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted shine.
The tinted sunscreen blends in well with skin and feels light so that you can wear it under your makeup. Like the other tinted sunscreen options detailed here, La Roche-Posay’s tint is also beneficial for limiting noticeable effects of vitiligo (although the tint is a bit more subtle than with some of the other formulas listed here).
4. EltaMD UV Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Looking for a sunscreen that’s gentle enough for your face but tough enough to handle whatever the outdoors throws your way? EltaMD UV Physical tinted facial sunscreen is a perfect choice!
With its mineral-based sun protection, this oil-free and water-resistant formula is ideal for anyone who wants to stay safe in the sun. Plus, it’s paraben-free, so you can trust it to be gentle on your skin.
This EltaMD formula includes a nice tint to help cover up vitiligo while also keeping your skin safe.
This mineral sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage protects against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. It’s a great way to protect your skin while also ensuring that you can enjoy yourself on those sunny days!
It will protect your soft skin from the sun’s harmful rays and decrease the risk of developing various cancers. EltaMD is often a top pick for those with sensitive skin, as it’s recommended by dermatologists when other sunscreens cause breakouts or irritation. This EltaMD formula is a top sunscreen for psoriasis sufferers as well, due to its ultra-gentle and soothing formula.
5. MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Crème
Our next pick is MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Crème. This sunscreenhas a sheer matte finish and a light tint, making it another excellent choice for those with vitiligo
This sunscreen cream offers a gentle tint that will help reduce the contrast of vitiligo-affected skin! Plus, the rich antioxidants will help keep your skin healthy, while the unscented vegan formula ensures minimal risk of irritation. Many fans utilize this sunscreen as a primer too, since it plays nice with makeup.
This sunscreen is free of oxybenzone or octinoxate, using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide a protective barrier from the sun, which means it’s safe for all-day use, even on sensitive skin types.
6. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Body Sunscreen Lotion
You deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re well-protected from the sun, and Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Body Sunscreen Lotion is designed to help you rest easy in the sunshine
This sunscreen lotion boasts broad-spectrum SPF 60 protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays, and the non-greasy formula leaves the skin feeling refreshed and not weighed down.
This sunscreen is packed with hydration and nouring prebiotic oat to help leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized all day long.
It is a hypoallergenic sunscreen free of parabens, phthalates, oils, oxybenzone, and dyes, makign it another favorite pick for those with sensitive skin
7. Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
Sun Bum’s Mineral Sunscreen Lotion uses a skin-friendly formula made with zinc oxide to block the sun. With broad spectrum SPF 50 protection, it’s best for those who want to stay safe in the sun while preserving their natural look.
This lightweight and silky lotion is perfect for lounging by the pool or beach and will leave your soft skin feeling clean, natural, and protected.
We hope this guide has given you some great sunscreen options to explore when choosing a sunscreen for vitiligo. For many users, a tinted sunscreen that provides discoloration smoothing while also protecting the skin will be the best option!
FAQs for Vitiligo Sunscreen
Does sunscreen help with vitiligo?
Sunscreen helps with vitiligo because it can protect those ultra-sensitive, non-pigmented areas of skin. While sunscreen doesn’t itself help resolve or treat vitiligo, in can protect your non-pigmented skin while also preventing burns, which can potentially exacerbate vitiligo.
Does sunlight worsen vitiligo?
Yes. Sunlight worsens vitiligo because exposure to sunlight will worsen vitiligo only in that the patches of skin without pigment are more likely to burn, putting your skin more at risk.
What can make vitiligo worse?
Additionally, people with tanned or darker skin may notice that their vitiligo is more noticeable—the contrast between their darker skin sections and the lighter patches on their body can make the vitiligo look more dramatic.