Sunblock for Rosacea sufferers?

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If you are one of the nearly 16 million people in the United States with Rosacea, one of the most important products in your skincare arsenal is an effective sunscreen. We know that the sun is one of the main Rosacea triggers, but choosing the right sun protection is critical, otherwise the ingredients may actually provoke the condition. A prickly feeling, flushing and redness are all common signs of sun-induced Rosacea flare ups.

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The sun and aging

Sunscreen is one of the best anti-aging products for the skin. Ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) rays are skin-aging rays, that cause damage at the cellular level resulting in wrinkles, lines and age spots. That’s why everyone should be wearing one. With a skin condition such as Rosacea, though, label reading is essential. It  might take a bit more effort to find the right sunscreen for your skin. Hopefully our Rosacea sunscreen tips will take some of the guesswork out of it for you.

Mineral vs. chemical sunscreens for Rosacea

There are two types of active ingredients used in sunscreens — mineral and chemical. Mineral sunscreens use  zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide to act as a physical barrier. The sun’s rays bounce off of this barrier. Chemical sunscreens are a bit different. They act to absorb and filter out the rays. One isn’t necessarily better than the other and both work well at combating sun damage. If you have Rosacea, though, mineral sunscreen is your best option.

The active ingredients in chemical sunscreen may aggravate your sensitive skin and cause redness and flushing. This is because chemical sunscreens have been shown to penetrate the skin. Mineral sunscreen provides an effective buffer between the sun and your the skin without it actually absorbing into the skin, making it less likely to cause redness or irritation.

Daily application is a must

The sun may exaggerate the side effects of Rosacea. Troubled skin is photosensitive skin, meaning that the skin is more prone to have a reaction brought on by the sun’s rays. Whether you live in cloudy Seattle or sunny Miami, you need to apply a broad spectrum sunblock daily. I happen to live in upstate New York. It snows well into March and April most years and we have more than our share of gray skies. Even cold, gloomy climates can pose a threat of sun damage. This is even more true if your skin is troubled. If you have Rosacea, applying sunscreen should be an integral part of your routine, much like washing your face or brushing your teeth are.

Enjoy the sun — in moderation

Just because you have Rosacea doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying the great outdoors. Limiting the number of hours you spend in the sun — especially during the peak hours of 10am to 3pm — and being sure to apply an effective sunblock will go a long way to help protect your skin from sun-induced flare ups.


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