Sensitive skin and UV: the dangers of daily sun exposure
For most people, the sun is a universal symbol of positivity, the most natural of mood-boosters. And yet, 365 days a year, in summer and winter alike, sun exposure is sensitive skin’s enemy.
On your morning commute or during a quick lunch-break - even through cloud cover - UV rays will reach your skin. This triggers a series of events:
- Instantly, the sun’s rays heat the skin, which can trigger irritation, redness and discomfort.
- UVA and UVB rays then set off oxidative stress, leading to micro-inflammation. This can cause blood vessels to dilate and nerve endings to fire off pain signals.
- The sun dries out your skin’s superficial layers, damaging its protective film and leaving it exposed to external aggressors.
- UV also act as a pro-oxidant tag team with pollution particles, further worsening the oxidative stress and irritation within your skin.
- Long term, long-UVA, which are particularly present whatever the weather, exacerbate skin’s sensitivity as well as promoting complexion graying.
The bottom line? Sun protection is not just for the beach.
Daily exposure is sensitive skin’s top stressor and will detract from your complexion’s comfort, as well as its uniformity.
Picking your filter: what are the best sun creams for sensitive skin?
First of all, ensure your sunscreen comes in a light, spreadable texture to avoid excessive rubbing. Next, check it contains a high protection, broad spectrum UVA-UVB filter with SPF 30-50 plus long-UVA protection. Many sunscreen ingredients are known irritants, such as PABA and oxybenzone, so make sure your product has been tested on sensitive and sun-allergic skin. The most innovative formulas on the market also integrate anti-oxidants such as baicalin and pollution-proof textures.
Don’t feel like using sunscreen every day? Foundations designed for sensitive skin also offer a great alternative. Many integrate a respectable SPF and their pigments form a natural protective veil against the sun.