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Although you kick things up a notch in the summer, sunscreen is a year-round staple. But choosing sunscreen can get tricky for those of us with easily irritated skin. If you’re on the hunt for sunscreen for sensitive skin, stick around!

In this article, we’ll explain why sunscreen for sensitive skin is a must-have and what to look for when choosing one that will agree with your delicate skin.

Let’s start with why you need it. This part is simple but important.

Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin: Why You Need It

 Woman smiling while looking at her face in the mirror

Hopefully, you’re no stranger to sunscreen and lather it on for every occasion from beach days to ski retreats and everything in-between.

Sunscreen is a must because it helps to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. And those strong rays do more than leave you with a painful burn that goes away in a couple of days.

They can also damage your skin (think: premature wrinkles, sun spots, and skin cancer) which is precisely why you need a sunscreen that effectively protects your skin from the UVA and UVB rays that the sun emits.

(Don’t worry about the UVC rays; they don’t make it to ozone layer.)

But sunscreen that leaves your skin red, irritated, or stinging is only sort of helpful. It may ward off the sun’s rays, but it’s certainly not doing your skin any other favors. If that’s the predicament you often find yourself in, say hello to your new best friend: sunscreen for sensitive skin!

To stay protected from the sun while being kind to your sensitive, reactive skin, you’ll need just the right sunscreen.

Plus, the truth is, it’s not only folks whose skin flares up in an instant that benefit from sunscreen for sensitive skin. Because the ingredients in these sunscreens are gentler not only on your skin but also on your whole body, sunscreen for sensitive skin is a great choice for everyone.

That said, let’s talk about what you should look for when searching for that perfect, easy-on-the-skin, moisturizing, and overall kick-butt sunscreen.

Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin: What To Look For

 Mom applying sunscreen for sensitive skin on child

Mineral Active Ingredients

There are two types of sunscreen — well, three really. Chemical sunscreen, mineral sunscreen, and sunscreens that contain both chemical and mineral ingredients.

Some of the top skin-irritating ingredients in sunscreens are the active ingredients used in chemical sunscreens. (The “active ingredients” are the ones that actually do the work of warding off the sun’s rays.)

When it comes to chemical sunscreens, these ingredients include oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, avobenzone, homosalate, and octocrylene. They may protect your skin from the sun but, otherwise, they are questionable at best.

Oxybenzone, for example, has the potential not only to irritate your skin but also to disrupt your hormones as it soaks into your skin. 

So, what’s a sensitive-skinned person to do? Turn to mineral active ingredients! By that, we’re referring to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals are easy on your skin and won’t irritate it as chemical active ingredients might.

For all of the reasons we mentioned above, here at Babo Botanicals, we’ve crafted all of our sunscreens with only mineral ingredients.

This is what we recommend for our friends with sensitive skin: Opt for mineral ingredients, and skip the chemical sunscreen and the mineral-chemical combos.

Non-Irritating Ingredients

 sunscreen for sensitive skin being poured into child's hand

Active ingredients in sunscreen aren’t the only ones that can cause your skin to flare up. You’ll also want to choose non-irritating inactive ingredients and stay away from ones that are known to be trouble-makers, like parabens and phthalates, just to name two.

Parabens, a preservative, can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes and are an endocrine-disruptor, mimicking your natural hormones and throwing off the groove.

Phthalates help fragrances (synthetic fragrances can be irritating themselves) bind to the product. They can irritate your skin and may even damage sperm, increase premature delivery, and negatively impact your hormones. No good!

In general, opt for sunscreen created without these types of synthetic chemicals and ingredients that could harm your body or irritate your skin. To read more about this, check out our article on clean beauty.

Instead of irritating ingredients, opt for natural, skin-soothing ingredients like calendula, shea butter, and organic cocoa butter, which are found in Babo Botanicals Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion.

With these soothing and moisturizing ingredients, zinc oxide, and an SPF of 50, this sunscreen is a real treat for your skin!

Just keep in mind that you know your sensitive skin best and there may even be some natural ingredients that you’ll need to stay away from. Know your skin’s triggers.

To make sure that a skincare product jives with your skin, always do a patch test before applying it all over.

Hydrating And Moisturizing Ingredients

 Mom applying sunscreen for sensitive skin on child

Speaking of luscious ingredients, also opt for hydrating and moisturizing ingredients in your sunscreen. Keeping your sensitive skin moisturized (especially during days in the sun) is key.

Yes, it’s possible for sunscreen to protect you from the sun while also loading your skin up with natural, moisturizing ingredients!

For a great facial sunscreen for sensitive skin, try Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Tinted Sunscreen. It is ultra-sheer, lightweight, and non-greasy, offering the perfect protection for everyday wear.

Plus, this tinted moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid as well as our Nutri-Firm™ Complex of kahai, sea buckthorn, and argan oil, which is packed with powerful antioxidants, omegas, and vitamin C.

Similarly, Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen offers the same benefits without the tint. This formula is perfect for extra-sensitive faces and contains organic aloe vera, avocado oil, and jojoba oil to soothe and moisturize skin.

Both of these facial sunscreens are also fragrance-free, another important aspect of sunscreen for sensitive skin.

Gentle And Fragrance-Free Formula

 Swimmer in pool holding a bottle of spray sunscreen

Looking for the “fragrance-free” label is key for sensitive skin.

But, as we mentioned earlier, every person’s skin is different, and only you can know what specific ingredients agree or disagree with your skin.

You’ll also want to check your bottle of sunscreen to make sure it’s fragrance-free. Synthetic fragrances can be a skin-irritation culprit for sensitive skin folks.

Here at Babo Botanicals, we completely avoid the use of synthetic fragrances and instead create either fragrance-free skincare products or products with natural fragrances and flavors.

Natural fragrances are complex fragrance compounds made exclusively from natural aromatics. These ingredients can be essential oils, oleoresins, distillates, fractions, concretes, absolutes, and more. All are physically obtained from plants without altering their chemical structures.

Broad-Spectrum And SPF Protection

Last but certainly not least, your sunscreen will, of course, have to be effective at warding off the sun’s rays. Just because you’re opting for sunscreen for sensitive skin does not mean that you have to sacrifice great sun protection!

As with any sunscreen — mineral and chemical alike — look for a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection (which means it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays) as well as a sufficient SPF (sun protection factor).

All Babo Botanicals sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection with SPFs between 30 and 50, so you can take your pick.

And we didn’t forget about your lips, which also need some TLC when you’re out in the sun! Our Lip Tint Conditioner is broad-spectrum and protects your lips with an SPF of 15. Choose from three different shades to add a pop of color to your lips!

Sunscreen For The Whole Family

 Sheer mineral sunscreen for sensitive skin

Whether it’s for your easily irritated skin or your little one’s delicate skin, sunscreen for sensitive skin is the ticket!

To treat your skin to gentle protection, choose sunscreen made with mineral active ingredients and without irritating chemical ingredients. In addition, opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is also gentle, fragrance-free, and full of moisturizing and hydrating ingredients.

Babo Botanicals has you and your family covered! From our Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion to Daily Sheer Tinted Sunscreen and everything in-between, you’re sure to find one that works for your sensitive skin. Check out our whole line here!