Apply the Best Sunscreen for Rosacea and Enjoy the Sunshine

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Rosacea is a widespread condition affecting around sixteen million Americans (1), around one in every twenty people.

Since it affects the facial skin, Rosacea tends to have a negative impact on the self-esteem and self-confidence of sufferers, and many withdraw from society (2).

This article examines the condition and the management of the disease. It ends with a review of the best sunscreen for rosacea.

Rosacea is a thickening and reddening of the facial skin. It is a chronic condition that is not curable, but it is treatable.

The condition often starts as occasional reddening of the skin and eventually, the redness becomes more permanent and is often accompanied by dry skin and small lumps.


Top 3 Best Sunscreen for Rosacea: Comparison Chart 

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Reviews of the Best Sunscreen for Rosacea

Sunbum Sunscreen Face Stick - Best Sunscreen Moisturizer for Rosacea Skin

The Sunbum face stick is specially formulated for sensitive skins. It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30. It is water resistant for up to eighty minutes. It is reef friendly and hypoallergenic. It is also vegan-friendly.

This sunscreen contains moisturizers and vitamin E to keep your skin hydrated even on the warmest days. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to prevent aging. The product is PABA free, oil free and Paraben free. It contains no gluten. It is noncomedogenic and will not clog the pores.

It rubs on clear, leaving no streaks. The stick makes the product very easy to apply. The product has been tested and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. SunBum is well-loved US brand.

  • Water resistant for up to eighty minutes
  • Endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation
  • Stick is convenient application method.
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Less than half an ounce

Eltamd Broad Spectrum - Best Sunscreen for Dry Rosacea Skin

EltaMD is a rehydrating sunscreen formulation that helps to nourish the skin as it protects it. It is formulated for dry and sensitive skins and is explicitly designed for the face. It is paraben and fragrance-free.

Apply to the skin thirty minutes before going into the sunlight. It is lightweight and is not greasy. Containing zinc oxide, this product is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30. It will not leave white streaks on your face since it absorbs quickly into the skin.

It is noncomedogenic, so it won't clog your pores or cause a breakout. Your foundation will glide onto the sunscreen. You can purchase this product in either tinted or untinted formulations. It has the recommendation of dermatologists.

  • A bit pricey
  • Designed specifically for the face, so it contains moisturizers to keep the facial skin well hydrated
  • Come in both tinted and untinted formulations
  • Recommended by dermatologists
  • Not designed for use on the body

Coppertone Sensitive Skin Spf 50 - Best Over the Counter Sunscreen Brand for Rosacea

Coppertone for sensitive skin has been clinically tested for use on Rosacea.

It is free of alcohol, oils, and dyes. It is also fragrance-free. It doesn't burn the eyes, cause skin irritation or clog the pores. This is a mineral based sunscreen, broad-spectrum with an SPF of 50.

It is water resistant for up to eighty minutes. Dermatologists recommend it. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours. This product is quite heavy, and it does turn white in the water. It can also leave a residue on fabrics.

  • High SPF
  • Waterproof for up to 80 minutes
  • Recommended by dermatologists
  • Doesn’t burn the eyes
  • Can stain fabrics
  • Goes white in the water
  • Quite thick and can be quite hard to apply

Cotz Sensitive - Best Daily Sunscreen for Rosacea

This product handles sensitive skin beautifully and is gentle enough to be used on skin that has had surgical treatment. This is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 40. Recommended by dermatologists, this product is free of oils, PABA, gluten, fragrance and chemical sunscreens.

It will provide protection in the water for up to forty minutes. It contains zinc oxide and moisturizer for perfect skin hydration. It leaves no residue on the skin but will sink in to a smooth, bright finish. It forms an excellent base for your cosmetic foundation, but some people find that the thick consistency makes it a little difficult to smooth on.

Cotz is photostable. This means that the sun does not break it down. The product has not been tested on animals

  • High SPF
  • It has a beautiful smooth finish
  • Makes an excellent base for make-up
  • Will not burn your eyes
  • Not tested on animals.
  • The thick cream is difficult to smooth on
  • Has a slightly shiny finish

Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen - Best Drugstore Sunscreen for Rosacea

Blue Lizard has an SPF of 30. It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen containing both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It has no chemicals, Parabens or fragrance. Dermatologists recommend it for sensitive skins, so this is an ideal choice if you have Rosacea.

The product is water resistant for up to forty minutes. Even the bottle is interesting boasting smart technology as the lid turns blue in UV light, the darker the blue, the more UV is present. Blue Lizard a well-known Australian brand and has a lovely moisturizing feel that will keep your skin hydrated even on the hottest day.

It also does not leave white streaks on your skin. It has 8% zinc oxide, so it is lightweight and easy to apply. It is not tested on animals.

  • The lid turns blue in the presence of UV rays as a reminder to re-apply the product
  • Contains a moisturizer to hydrate the skin
  • Waterproof and suitable for sports lovers
  • Not tested on animals.
  • Contains both Zinc Oxide and Titanium dioxide
  • Can feel slightly greasy on the skin

Rosacea: Causes

Little is known about what causes Rosacea. It has an unfortunate and unwarranted reputation as being caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.

  • It is believed to be hereditary.
  • It is related to the underlying blood vessels
  • It occurs more often in fair-skinned people who trace their lineage to Northern or Eastern Europe.
  • It usually becomes evident between the ages of thirty and sixty.
  • It is more common in women, but in men, it is often more severe.
  • The skin mite Demodex Folliculorum, which lives on all human skin is nonetheless a lot more abundant on Rosacea affected skin, but the connection between the two is ill-understood.

Symptoms of Rosacea

best sunscreen brands for rosacea

There are many symptoms, and the severity will differ at various stages

  • Redness on the forehead, cheeks, nose and or chin is caused by the dilation of the blood vessels near the surface of the skin
  • Flushed skin that can last for several minutes and spread to the neck and chest
  • The skin is swollen. Excess fluids collect in the skin, and the lymphatic system is unable to clear it
  • Bumpy skin which may have pimples. This is sometimes misdiagnosed as acne, but with Rosacea there are no blackheads present on the face.
  • The skin may burn or sting
  • Visibility of blood vessels beneath the skin is known as vascular Rosacea. The facial skin can become patchy as the blood vessels beneath the surface swell
  • Thicker facial skin
  • The affected skin may appear to be dry and rough
  • Swellings on the nose. This is more common in men and is known as Rhinophyma (3). In severe cases, breathing may be affected. The nose can become extremely large and lumpy.

Rosacea also affects the eyes in up to fifty percent of patients. This is known as Ocular Rosacea. The symptoms are as follows:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Swollen eyelids. Styes may be present
  • Watery and scratchy eyes
  • Blurry vision

The symptoms of Rosacea may wax and, and a combination of treatment and lifestyles changes will be required to manage it.

Rosacea: Treatment

Rosacea is incurable, but the symptoms can be managed. Treatment will be tailored to each because each person is affected differently. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics in either oral or topical form. Skin color and texture improvements are likely to be slow.

best sunscreen for rosacea skin

Patients must identify the lifestyle and ambient conditions that trigger increased inflammation. To do this, you should keep a diary of what you eat and what you put on your skin, noting when the skin flares up so that you can understand cause and effect.

Laser treatment can be used to reduce the appearance of visible blood vessels. Usually, laser treatment is performed by a dermatologist. Microdermabrasion can help to reduce thickened skin.

Avoid the Triggers That Cause Flare-ups

Lifestyle changes can help you to reduce the flare-ups

  • Do not use any facial products that may contain irritants or alcohol, menthol, witch-hazel or exfoliating agents
  • Use a gentle moisturizer only after any topical medication has dried up
  • You should use only noncomedogenic product that won’t clog the pores
  • A cosmetic foundation that has a green tinge could help to mask the redness. Avoid foundations that have an orange or pink tone.
  • Avoid spicy foods and alcohol
  • Avoid hot beverages
  • Try to avoid stressful situations
  • Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Exposure to the wind and the suns UV rays should be avoided

Protection From the Sun - What to Look for

Sun exposure can cause Rosacea symptoms to worsen. In fact, 81% of Rosacea sufferers identified sun exposure as a significant trigger (4).  

If you have Rosacea, you should wear a sunscreen on your face every day. It should be a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB, and it should have a Sun Protection Factor SPF of at least thirty.

best sunscreen for rosacea sensitive skin

UVB rays cause sunburn that makes your skin go red and can create blistering. The UVA rays don't cause apparent damage, but they damage DNA and cause aging and skin cancer.

People with Rosacea should only use mineral sunscreens, containing zinc or titanium oxide. Mineral formulas are less likely to cause skin irritation.

Look for products with natural ingredients like chamomile, aloe or cucumber. These ingredients can help to calm the skin and reduce inflammation. 

Avoid sunscreen with salicylic acid.  If any cosmetic burns or stings stop using it.

The Sun Protection Factor or SPF in sunscreen is an indication of the level of protection that the sunscreen will give you against the sun's UVB rays.

The higher the SPF, the longer you can stay in the sun without getting burnt. If you use an SPF of 15, you can stay in the sun fifteen times longer than if you did not use sunscreen at all.

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Regain your Confidence

All of the sunscreens that we reviewed ticked the boxes for use on sensitive Rosacea skin.

However for ease of use, water resistance, price, moisturizing ability, the presence of the antioxidant vitamin E and its recommendation by the Skin Cancer Foundation SunBum is our choice for best zinc sunscreen for Rosacea.

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Rosacea is a lifetime condition, but it is possible to send it into remission. Don’t let red, burning skin damage your self-esteem. 

Understand what causes your flare ups and make some lifestyle changes and cover up.

Know that you are not alone. You’re in good company. One in twenty Americans has this condition.

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