Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Tips for Savvy Sunscreen Use

Since sun exposure is a common trigger factor for rosacea, proper sun protection may be a key to staying free of flare-ups this summer. Here are tips for using sunscreen this season and all year round.

  • Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. SPF is a standard measure of protection against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which are responsible for sunburns, DNA damage and elastic tissue damage.
  • Select a sunscreen that can help protect against ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which can accelerate the aging process and contribute to skin cancer.
  • To protect against heat, use a sunscreen that reflects rather than absorbs radiation, such as those containing non-chemical physical barriers like zinc oxide or micronized titanium oxide. These ingredients also protect against both UVA and UVB rays.1
  • Rosacea patients with sensitive skin might try a pediatric sunscreen or a moisturizer combined with a sunscreen, which may be gentler and less likely to cause skin irritation.
  • Use enough sunscreen to attain maximum benefit. A 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup is appropriate to cover the average adult body.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes in advance of going out. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and after swimming or activities causing heavy perspiration.

Remember, the best protection against the sun is to minimize exposure. Sunscreen should be used for greater protection, not in order to stay in the sun longer than necessary.

Associated Reference

  1. Draelos ZD. Cosmetic conundrums. Dermatology Times. 2003;April 2.