The 8 Best Sunscreens for Eczema Sufferers
Of course you know that safeguarding your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is a must, but for eczema sufferers, it’s not as easy as grabbing the cheapest bottle at the drugstore. To keep itchy and inflamed skin protected, the National Eczema Association recommends using mineral-based sunscreens that are broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher to ensure that you’re adequately protected against both UVA and UVB rays. You’ll also want to avoid formulas with alcohol in them, as it causes stinging and burning.
As Dr. JiaDe Jeff Yu, a board-certified dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital explains to the NEA, “The amount of alcohol in a sunscreen is difficult to suss out just by reading the ingredients alone," which is why he recommends using “thicker sunscreen balms such as sticks,” and looking for sunscreens labeled “sensitive skin.” You could also cross-reference The NEA Seal of AcceptanceTM Product Directory, which doesn't allow any sunscreens with alcohol in them.
Ahead, eight sunscreens that tick all the boxes. (Just remember to do a patch test first, OK?)
The Best Sunscreens for Eczema At A Glance:
- Best Overall: Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60+
- Best for Body: CeraVe SPF 50 Sunscreen Body Lotion
- Best for Face: The Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Mineral Lotion
- Best for Kids: Mustela Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
- Best for Acne: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
- The Derm Favorite: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50
- Best Stick: Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30
- The Editor Pick: Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 50
Unlike chemical sunscreens (whose active ingredients are absorbed into the skin), mineral formulas sit on the skin and act as a barrier, which means they’re less likely to irritate. This mineral sunscreen is also hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, oil-free and water-resistant. Beach vacation, anyone?
Developed with dermatologists, the ceramides in this lightweight formula are designed to maintain a protective barrier against moisture loss (a problem for eczema sufferers). And while zinc oxide can often give you that Casper-the-Friendly-Ghost look, this high-tech formula rubs on clear.
A powder-like matte finish means you won’t be left with any greasy residue, while a non-chemical and hypoallergenic formula (that’s dermatologist and pediatrician tested) is designed with eczema sufferers in mind. And because sunscreen isn’t just for the beach (you’re putting yours on every day, right?), a subtle tint makes this formula great for heading to work, meeting up with friends or running errands.
From the family-friendly brand comes this fragrance-free and hypoallergenic lotion that also includes coconut and macadamia oils, which are known to soothe and nourish irritated skin. It’s also lightweight, so it's easier to apply on wriggling limbs at the pool or beach.
5. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46Best for Acne
Suffer from eczema-prone skin and acne? This non-comedogenic sunscreen won’t clog pores and helps prevent moisture loss. Available in tinted or untinted, it’s also good for those with rosacea or any hyperpigmentation.
A popular pick among many of the derms we've spoken to throughout the years is this matte, mineral sunscreen that features a non-chalky tint. The featherweight formula is not in the least bit greasy and sinks into your skin pretty much the minute you apply it.
For our next vacation, we’ll be tucking this solid mineral sunscreen stick from Beautycounter in our carry on. It’s TSA-friendly, reef-friendly, ultra-hydrating (thanks to cocoa butter) and super sheer, so it won’t leave behind a chalky residue.
Aveeno is known for being the sensitive skin experts, so it comes as no surprise that this lightweight lotion makes the cut. Featuring their signature oat extract, the formula is as protective as it is nourishing to irritated skin. It’s also oil-free and fragrance-free, meaning you can slather it on without worrying about breakouts or smelling like fake coconuts.