Daily protection for sensitive skin involves both moisturizing and protecting your skin from the sun's rays. Sun damage can lead to skin aging, irritation and even skin cancer, so it's important to keep it in mind as part of your daily sensitive skin regimen.
Two types of ultraviolet, or UV, light from the sun can damage your skin. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, while UVB rays cause sunburn. While UVA rays can pass through glass and are largely responsible for skin cancer, both types are damaging. Unfortunately, most sunscreens only protect against UVB rays. To find a sunscreen that protects against both types of rays, check the ingredient list. Ingredients that help protect against UVA rays include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and Parsol 1789 (avobenzone). You can check sunscreen bottles to see if they have those ingredients [source: Environmental Protection Agency].
The sun protection factor, or SPF, also should be taken into consideration when choosing sunscreen. The SPF will help you figure out if you have enough protection against UVB rays. Generally, anything under SPF 15 is not enough to protect you from potent ultraviolet light. As with cleansers and moisturizers, stay away from sunscreen with fragrances, acidic ingredients and heavy oils. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every day, applying one ounce (29.5 mL) every two hours. If you sweat or go in the water, you need to reapply the sunscreen more often [source: University of New Hampshire].
Your best option is to find a moisturizer that contains sunscreen for maximum healing and protection. After you've made your selection, apply it daily. Check with a dermatologist for help or recommendations if you have any questions or concerns.
It's possible to cleanse, manage and protect sensitive skin on a daily basis if you follow the tips described in this article. If you want to find out more about skin care, use the links below for more helpful tips.
Related HowStuffworks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Cutting Through the Clutter: Making the Most of Your Facial Cleansing Routine." PR Newswire. February 21, 2005. (July 27, 2009) http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/02-21-2005/0003065165&EDATE
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Sensitive Skin." 2009. (July 27, 2009) http://www.aad.org/media/press/_doc/SensitiveSkinFactSheet.html
- Bernstein, Eugene Traugott. "Cleansing of Sensitive Skin." Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Vol. 9, 1947. (July 27, 2009) http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v9/n1/abs/jid19473a.html
- Dermatology Care. "Gentle Skin Cleansing." June 13, 2009. (July 27, 2009) http://www.dermatologycare.ca/1/june-13.php
- Dermatology Care. "Use the Right Face Cleanser." Nov. 27, 2008. (July 27, 2009) http://www.dermatologycare.ca/1/nov-27.php
- Draelos, Zoe Diana and Lauren A. Thaman. Eds. Cosmetic Formulation of Skin Care Products. 2006. (July 27, 2009) http://books.google.com/books?id=MAshluUGiikC&pg=PP1&dq=cosmetic+formulation+of+skin+care+products
- Environmental Protection Agency. "Sunscreen: The Burning Facts." Sept. 2006. (July 27, 2009) http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/doc/sunscreen.pdf
- Mayo Clinic. "Moisturizers: Options for Softer Skin." December 16, 2008. (July 27, 2009) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/moisturizers/sn00042
- National Eczema Association. "Guide to Bathing & Moisturizing for Eczema and Sensitive Skin." 2009. (July 27, 2009) http://www.easeeczema.org/erc/bathing_and_mosturizing.htm
- Skin Care Guide. "An Overview of Skin Moisturizers." 2005. (July 27, 2009) http://www.skincareguide.com/basics/skincare_moisturizers/overview_skin_moisturizers.html
- Skin Care Guide. "Sensitive Skin." 2005. (July 27, 2009) http://www.skincareguide.com/sc/sensitive_skin.html
- Skin Care Guide. "Skin Moisturizers for Different Skin Types." 2005. (July 27, 2009) http://www.skincareguide.com/basics/skincare_moisturizers/moisturizers_different_skin_types.html
- University of New Hampshire Health Services. "What you should know about protecting your skin." 2009. (July 27, 2009) http://www.unh.edu/health-services/self-care_skin.html