Applying sunscreen is an important step in the skincare routine. But are all sunscreens safe? The side effects of sunscreen have been a matter of concern for us for some time now. Chemical sunscreens with tetracycline, phenothiazines, and sulfa drugs may do more harm than good. Therefore, it is important to know what is in your sunscreen and how it affects you.
How to Use Sunscreen:
- Apply sunscreen all over the exposed skin.
- You must do this 30 minutes before going out in the sun.
- It is advised to re-apply sunscreen after swimming, sweating, etc.
- If you are indoors, keep re-applying sunscreen after every 4 hours.
- Side Effects of Sunscreen
1. Allergic Reactions
Sunscreen contains certain chemicals that can cause skin irritation such as redness, swelling, burning and itching. Some people develop a severe allergic reaction with rashes and intense itching. This allergic reaction can be the result of chemicals found in sunscreens such as fragrances and preservatives. PABA is ideally used in many commercial sunscreens which can cause high rates of allergic reactions. Hence, it is being removed from many popular sunscreens from reputed brands.
You can also buy a sunscreen labelled hypoallergenic. Sunscreens that do not contain PABA are also often labelled. But some other chemicals can cause allergy problems. If you are not sure about the allergy caused by the sunscreen product, do a patch test with a dermatologist. You can use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide as they are allergenic.
2. Sunscreen Can Make Acne Worse
If you have acne-prone skin, certain chemicals in a sunscreen product can make your problem worse. To get rid of this side effect of sunscreen, you can use non-comedogenic and non-oily sunscreen. It is suggested to use the most suitable sunscreen for your skin type. Avoid using body sunscreens on the face, as they are very heavy.
3. Eye irritation
Applying sunscreen to the eyes can cause pain and irritation. It can also cause irritation and temporary sensitivity to light. If sunscreen gets into the eyes, rinse them thoroughly with cool water or see your doctor.
4. The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Sunscreen includes ingredients that can have estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells. Some sunscreens can have effects on blood estrogens levels. Avoid using chemical sunscreens on your children, as their skin tends to absorb the chemicals instantly.
5. Pain in the hairy area
There are so many varieties of sunscreen that choosing one can be confusing. They are also available in many forms such as gels, lotions, sprays, ointments, creams and wax sticks. Choosing the type of sunscreen is your personal choice. Gels are best for hairy areas such as the scalp or male chest. Some sunscreens can cause the skin to tighten or dry out and cause pain in the hairy area
Points to avoid side effects caused by sunscreen:
- If sunscreen causes redness or irritation, wash off and stop using sunscreen.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about using a new sunscreen.
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you are outside for long periods.
- If you are using the lip balm form of sunscreen, apply it on the lips only.
- Choose sunscreen for your kids very wisely.
- If you have oily skin, choose an oil-free and non-comedogenic sunscreen.
Sunscreen is an integral part of your skincare routine. But, not all sunscreens can be good for your skin. Some can have serious side effects due to the ingredients used to make them. Sunscreen can cause allergic reactions, aggravate acne, affect blood-estrogen levels, tighten your skin and cause pus-filled blisters. To get rid of the side effects of sunscreen, you should follow the points mentioned above. It is always best to use chemical-free sunscreens to avoid allergies.
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