The sunscreen industry nets around $1 billion per year, but health statistics indicate that people aren't using nearly enough of the stuff. In the past 10 years, the rate of skin cancer diagnoses among Americans has jumped by nearly a third and the melanoma incidence rate is up 159 percent [source: Butler]. A variety of factors has likely contributed to that spike, including tanning fads, poor-quality sunscreens and general skin care laziness.
For people with sensitive skin, adequately protecting themselves from harmful UVA and UVB rays is even more complicated. Thick, greasy lotions may trigger an acne breakout. Fragrances, dyes and alcohol might cause allergic reactions as well. Chemical sun blockers, such as oxybenzone, may also aggravate the skin. The growing sunscreen sector has taken these sensitivity factors into account, and there are now gentler options on the market. Some lotions now use natural physical sun blockers, including zinc oxide and titanium oxide, instead of irritating chemicals. Or, if breakouts are a problem, noncomedogenic sunscreens won't clog pores.
For a sampling of the best sensitive skin sunscreens and certain ingredients to look out for when shopping, these ten options cover a range of price points and applications.