If you love the outdoors as much as we do, and yet have eczema to deal with, we can totally understand how it is – the heat, the itch, and the flares. So we uncover for you our shortlist of the best sunscreen for eczema, allowing you your right to enjoy the day in the sun as much as everyone else.
Knowing how eczema warriors are sensitive people, our single most important criteria for recommending these sunscreens is: natural ingredients only, no chemicals or other toxins that can further damage your skin and health.
How too much sun exposure can hurt your skin
Long term over exposure to ultraviolet rays
Over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to a host of serious problems, many of which do not show up in the short term. Over many years, UV exposure can lead to aging of skin, as the elasticity weakens, sagging and wrinkles occur. More importantly, it can contribute to skin cancer, which results from uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. So there are dire consequences for not giving yourself enough protection from the sun.
More information on skin cancer can be found on www.webmd.com.
Sunburn is the most obvious and immediate effect from over exposure to the sun. Symptoms include redness, skin that feels hot to the touch, pain, swelling, itching, tenderness, and even blisters. You may feel thirsty too. There are remedies for sunburn, but prevention is better than cure. No one likes a sunburn, especially an eczema warrior. The heat and itch is many times worse on eczema skin. So if you know you’re spending a good amount of time in the sun, it is wise to put on some protection.
Natural protection without sunscreen
Without putting anything on your skin, these strategies will already protect you lots from the harmful UV rays, if you’re just outside for not more than an hour or so:
- Stay out of the sun around noon time. Go get yourself a slow and relaxing lunch, followed by a snooze or a lazy time reading a book indoors while on your beach vacation. The morning sun and late afternoon sun are the least harsh on our skin.
- Stay under an umbrella, or wear your big shady hat.
- Wear a long sleeve that is light-coloured, light-weight and fits loosely, so that it keeps most of the harmful rays away, while allowing you to stay cool in the breeze.
A good natural sunscreen will work hand in hand with these methods to give your sensitive skin the maximum protection.
Best sunscreen for eczema – our top 2 picks
The selection listed below are really the best of the best sunscreen for eczema. My criteria for anything that goes on my eczema warriors’ skin: if you will not put it into your mouth, then don’t put it onto your skin. Because on the weakened skin barrier as is the case for eczema sufferers, substances, good or bad, can penetrate more easily, and enter the bloodstream more directly and much faster than the foods we eat which have to go through the long digestive process.
Check out my other article on what harmful substances go into commercial personal care products.
Another important criteria for the best sunscreen is the active ingredient used. Zinc oxide is one of the best physical screens against UV rays, as it blocks and scatters them so they do not get onto the skin. So it is one of the most protective broad-spectrum ingredients that any manufacturer can use. The problem is it tends to form a thick white paste, which doesn’t go down so well with consumers. So making a natural and effective sunscreen is an art of finding and balancing the right ingredients.
So here we go…
MooGoo Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
MooGoo is a brand that we absolutely trust. We are using a range of their products, from their Irritable Skin Balm as a moisturiser on our eczema skin, to their Nappy Balm and MSM Soothing Cream for our infected eczema wounds, or just the open wounds from too much scratching. The MooGoo Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 is made from all natural ingredients:
Water, zinc oxide 24.9%, Jojoba oil, galactoarabinan, beeswax, coco caprylate, sorbitan olivate, lecithin, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, cetyl phosphate, polyglyceryl-3 polyricinoleate, oleic acid, glycerin, sodium chloride (salt).
The list is short compared to many other commercial brands of sunscreen, so that is one thing I look out for. Let’s go through the items that don’t seem so familiar: Galactoarabinan is a moisturising polysaccharide from Larch trees. Coco caprylate is a light coconut-based emollient. The bunch of underlined ingredients, looking rather complicated, are all emulsifiers, to prevent clumping of the zinc. They are all natural and derived from plant.
It is suitable for all ages, even babies.
What I like about this sunscreen is that it is not too thick, heavy or greasy. Using a good amount of zinc in sunscreen without it being too greasy is really a skillful art that takes years of research and trial and errors to achieve.
To make this work really well, after applying a layer of MooGoo sunscreen onto your skin, wait 30 seconds for it to warm up to your body temperature, and you can then rub it in clear, without the white greasy mess that is typical of so many sunscreens.
Badger Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream SPF 30
Another great company with great integrity, that goes for all natural ingredients, and simplicity in their products. They use certified organic ingredients as far as possible, and embrace a cruelty-free philosophy in their business. The Badger Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 is made from all natural ingredients, what is really amazing is this short ingredients list:
Zinc oxide 18.75%, Helianthus Annus (sunflower) seed oil, beeswax, tocopherol (sunflower vitamin E), Hippophae Rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) fruit extract.
Short is just great when it comes to ingredients list, I can’t stress this enough. You can see they are all natural, so is safe for all ages including babies.
The only down side to this Badger sunscreen is that it is slightly thicker than the MooGoo one, and leaves a bit of a whitish residue. To reduce this whitening effect, after applying it, wait for about a minute to rub it in again.
Added bonus of zinc oxide
For the eczema warriors out there, zinc oxide is a mineral that aids in wound healing, and calms eczema itch effectively. So we use it on infected skin, open wounds, and during itch fests. This is the added bonus of having zinc oxide in your sunscreen!
We hope you benefit from our top picks of the best sunscreen for eczema. Do drop us a comment below to share how it has worked for you.
16 thoughts on “Best Sunscreen For Eczema – our top choices for 2018”
Hey there! I just want to say THANK YOU for making this guide. My hubby suffers from a similar condition to eczema and a lot of the popular sunscreens are terrible for his skin and cause a lot of irritation. Sometimes he looks like a walking strawberry because his skin is so flared up and irritated. I will bookmark this page for sure!
Do you have any recommendations for bug spray?
Oh dear. I’m sorry about your husband’s bad flares. Try Epsom salt baths for flares? They work well for us in calming the skin down.
As for bug spray, I’d recommend this: Burt’s Bees All Natural Herbal Insect Repellent.
Hope these work for you.
With Summer coming soon here by us in South Africa, I know how harsh the sun can be on our skins as I have experienced pretty terrible sunburn myself in the past. Having sunburn on top of eczema is literally the worst thing under the sun! As an eczema warrior it is very important to make the best choices possible for skin care products due to the sensitivity of the skin. I will definitely check out the two products you mentioned in this article to use myself.
Yes definitely do avoid getting sunburnt. If you do try out any of the recommended sunscreens, do let me know how it works for you!
I don’t have eczema now (did as a child), but my niece does. These are excellent suggestions and I like that you mention not to put it on your skin if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth. I think that’s actually a pretty good rule in general, just because there are so many cruddy things in sunscreens these days. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll pass them on to my SIL.
Yes that’s the rule of thumb I go by strictly for my eczema kids. And I hope to spread this idea so more people will embrace it and live a cleaner life. I’m happy you like the idea.
I think I’ll get one of each for my wife. I appreciate the educational article and I think even I’ll be using these high quality products for the exact reasons you pointed out even though I don’t have eczema. I figure if these products are delicately made with fine ingredients for sensitive skin, it must be way better than the regular brands. Thanks.
Yes you’re right. If they’re made with great care and thought for sensitive skin, then they’re great for everybody. Hope you like them!
I once went on holiday for a week with a friend who had eczema but he couldn’t stay in the sun for too long (1 – 2 hours max) per day because the sun/heat made his skin really irritable and sore. So he spent most days covered up on the sunbed. Add to the fact that he had a skin infection which meant he couldn’t take a dip in the pool either which was a shame.
I really feel sorry for folks with this eczema condition because they really have to be careful when exposed to the sun, especially in hotter countries abroad.
But I think it’s great that the MooGoo and Badger suncreams help to make their time in the sun more enjoyable. 🙂
Thanks for the insights, I’ll be sure to pass this article on to my friend for the next time he takes a sunshine holiday.
Yes, do share this with your friend. Hope it helps him cope with the effects from being out in the sun, enough to thoroughly enjoy himself, which is something everyone deserves.
Awesome article! My brother has eczema and I have forwarded your article to him. This is a huge problem as we have a family reunion every year at the beach for a week and we cannot go outside a good chunk of the day because his skin gets irritated and then his eczema flares up. I also agree that the middle of the day is the worst time to go as the UV index is highest. You mentioned that Zinc Oxide is the best sun protectant and I certainly agree. My brother personally doesn’t care about the look as long as he is comfortable so is plain Zinc Oxide safe for people with eczema?
Yes, definitely, plain zinc oxide is great for eczema. I believe you should be able to find some at the pharmacist.
I’m sorry that your brother is suffering through this. Hopefully he finds some relief from zinc oxide.
It seems like when I was a kid, sunscreen didn’t really matter that much. You just picked up a bottle and you were good. So much more to consider these days. I appreciate this article because I have just recently started dealing with eczema, and I was wondering if there were options out there like this. You really put me on the right track. Thanks.
Yeah these days it’s slightly easier to find natural products, because of the push by consumers towards more natural remedies. But do scrutinise the ingredients, not every product touted as natural is so.
Thank you for detailed information about MooGoo. I have been suffering from eczema and i tried many Sunscreen for Eczema found in my local pharmacies but nothing change to my skin.I am going to try MooGoo i hope my skin got the real sunscreen.
Where can i find it? can you provide me the link where i can buy it?I bookmarked this site for further information
You can get MooGoo sunscreen on Amazon.
Hope it helps you. Do let me know how it goes.