A Review of The Best Sunscreens for Rosacea in 2019

best sunscreen review rosacea

The National Rosacea Society reports that sun exposure is among the major causes of severe Rosacea flare-ups characterized by extreme redness of the skin and visible blood vessels.

Rosacea makes the skin ten times more sensitive to the sun than healthy skin and it is common for people affected by this condition to simply skip applying sunscreen before stepping outside. The truth is, a good sunscreen will not worsen your Rosacea; it should in fact be an important part of your daily facial routine.

Skipping this step only exposes you to dangerously high levels of UVA and UVB rays, which as you may have guessed do not do your Rosacea any good.

Choosing the Best Sunscreen for Rosacea

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When looking for the best sunscreen for Rosacea, there are a couple of things you want to consider. For example, sunscreens with oils may be unsuitable but those that double up as a moisturizer may be a good choice.

You also want to be extra careful about ingredients in the sunscreen that could potentially trigger an allergic reaction. Here is a quick guide on what to look for when weighing your options for the best Rosacea sunscreen:

UVA and UVB Broad-Spectrum Protection

The sun emits two types of radiation that could potentially damage the skin. These are UVA and UVB.

Damage done to the skin by UVA rays may not be visible immediately. However, this type of radiation affects your skin cells causing DNA mutations that can led to rapid aging and expose you to an increased risk of cancer.

UVB rays cause instantaneous damage including painful sunburns. When buying sunscreen check that it offers protection against both UVA and UVB. If the type of protection is not clearly indicated on the product, it is likely that the sunscreen only offers UVB protection and will leave you exposed to the worst effects of UVA rays.

SPF Rating

Everyone knows that Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating is something you need to look at when buying sunscreen.What many of us may not understand is the most appropriate rating that provides adequate protection against harmful sunrays.

So what does the SPF number really mean? Is the higher the number, the more the protection?

Basically, SPF measures the fraction of the sun a particular sunscreen can block out. So, you will find that SPF 20 means that just 1/20 of the radiation from the sun will reach your skin. This does not however mean that sunscreen with an SPF rating of 40 is twice as helpful as SPF 20. Also, just because you apply sunscreen with SPF 40 does not mean you can stay under the sun for an extra 20 minutes with just a single application.

Sunscreen SPF ratings typically range from 0 to100. The lower the SPF rating the lower the UVB protection offered.

However, once the rating gets to SPF 30 and upwards there isn’t much of a difference in terms the protection the product offers.

As such, the FDA recommends that SPF 30 is enough for most people unless you have extremely photosensitive skin in which case increasing your SPF should not cost you so much either.

Mineral V. Chemical Formulation

Different sunscreens have different ingredients for protecting the skin against harmful sunrays. Depending on the active ingredients, sunscreens can be categorized as either physical or chemical.

Physical sunscreens are also known as mineral sunscreens. They contain then natural ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which forms a protective layer on the skin to reflect away the sun’s radiation.

Chemical sunscreens on the other hand contain chemical ingredients, which are absorbed into the skin and soak the sun’s rays before they can permeate into the inner layers of the skin.

For most people, and especially if you have Rosacea, mineral sunscreens are the best choice. Some of the chemicals contained in chemical sunscreens can affect your skin and make your condition worse.

According to FDA recommendations, it is best to avoid products containing the compound oxybenzone.

Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide

Sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide or high levels of zinc oxide usually leave streaks of white product on the skin. In particular, products containing titanium dioxide leave a stronger white streak than those containing zinc oxide. Titanium dioxide is also less effective at protecting you against UVA rays.

This does not mean that titanium dioxide is unnecessary; it does work best when combined with zinc but it is probably best not to use products containing titanium dioxide on your face.

Appropriate For Daily UseThere is a reason why people spend so much on creams and moisturizers for the face: the skin on the face is incredibly sensitive and it is important to use products that will not clog or irritate the skin.

Rosacea prone skin is particularly sensitive to sunshine and chemicals. So, you need to look at a sunscreen that also doubles as a moisturizer to avoid clogging your pores while giving your skin gentle treatment every day without worrying about any adverse effects.

The best way to go is to identify ingredients that you may be allergic to and to stay away from products containing these formulas.

We have researched a ton of products to be able to recommend the best sunscreen for Rosacea for you. Here are our top five recommendations:​

Best Sunscreen for Rosacea

block island sunscreen rosacea

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The Natural Face Moisturizer by Block Island Organic contains 22% zinc oxide, which is the highest concentration of minerals compared to other products on this list, and comes with an SPF 30.

This sunscreen does however contain glyceryl isostearate and phenoxyethanol, which could potentially irritate some people especially if you have very sensitive skin. However, most people will not have adverse reactions to these ingredients or to the sunscreen itself.

The manufacturer takes pride in using ethical practices and vegan ingredients to create its products.

Another plus for this sunscreen is that you can apply for everyday use and it will not leave white streaks on your skin.

Just a small amount is enough to protect you against harmful sunrays. Too much product will leave your skin feeling clogged and heavy.

Kids and adults alike can use this sunscreen. The best part is that the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends this product for its ability to provide adequate protection against sun radiation.

PROS

  • High concentration of active ingredients
  • Recommended by Skin Cancer Foundation
  • Ideal for everyday use
  • Made using ethical practices and vegan ingredients

CONS

  • ​Contains two potential allergens

eltamd sunscreen Rosacea

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EltaMD’s UV Clear SPF 46 is one of our top picks specifically because it is oil free, paraben free, sensitivity free and noncomedogenic, making it a safe sunscreen for those with sensitive skin and especially those suffering from Rosacea.

Another great benefit of this sunscreen is its light feel, which makes it perfect for daily use. A small amount, even when applied under makeup certainly goes a long way.

With an SPF rating of 46, Elta offers sufficient protection and is recommended by dermatologists especially for use on sensitive skin.

PROS

  • Broad spectrum protection
  • Oil free, paraben free, sensitivity free and noncomedogenic
  • Perfect for daily use
  • Safe for kids

CONS

  • ​Minimal active ingredients

facial sunscreen rosacea

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Although this facial sunscreen by Beauty by Earth has a much lower SPF than is recommend by the FDA and experts such as the National Rosacea Society, it offers numerous other benefits that make up for the low SPF 20.

This sunscreen contains just 11% zinc oxide but it offers broad-spectrum protection without feeling heavy on the skin.Another plus for this product is that it is silky smooth, eliminating the need to rub it into the skin, which can actually worsen Rosacea.

Perhaps the best feature of Beauty by Earth’s facial sunscreen is its all-natural list of ingredients, which include jojoba oil, argan oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, aloe and cucumber.

These natural ingredients speak for themselves when it comes to the benefits they confer to the skin. You can be assured that this sunscreen will be gentle on your skin while protecting you from harmful sunrays.

You can safely wear this sunscreen under your makeup as it has a nice transparent finish.These combined with the fact that it does not contain allergens is the reason why this facial sunscreen is among our best pick. It could have easily been our number one choice were it not for the low SPF rating.

PROS

  • Easy to apply
  • All natural ingredients
  • Does not contain allergens
  • transparent finish great for makeup

CONS

  • ​Low SPF

coppertone sunscreen

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Coppertone’s Sensitive Skin with an SPF of 50 offers broad spectrum protection and is excellent for sensitive skin with its hypoallergenic and fragrance free the formulation.

In addition to protecting the skin against UVB radiation that causes sunburns, this sunscreen also works to protect the skin against the aging effects of UVA rays.

This product is water resistant and according to the manufacturer, it can protect you for up to eighty minutes.

If you are looking for an affordable sunscreen that offers great protection, this one is definitely for you.

What we don’t really like about this sunscreen is that it tends to leave the dreaded white streaks which look unpleasant for people with darker skin.

PROS

  • Hypoallergenic and fragrance free
  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • Affordable

CONS

  • ​Leaves white streaks

Rosacea sunscreen

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Let’s face it: it can be difficult finding a great sunscreen to wear under makeup especially as someone with Rosacea who is looking for something gentle too.

Well, from our research, we firmly recommend Suntegrity’s natural face sunscreen, which also doubles up as a moisturizer and as a foundation.

You no longer need to wear separate makeup from your sunscreen especially if you are simply after a low-key everyday look.

One of the best features of this product is that it is free of potential allergens. According to the manufacturer, the inactive formulations in the sunscreen may be beneficial for people with Rosacea due to the anti-inflammatory properties of these ingredients.

This 5-in-1 sunscreen contains 20 % zinc oxide and offers broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 30.The sunscreen is available in four shades to blend in with your natural skin tone. The available shades include medium, golden light, light and fair.

Suntegrity’s facial sunscreen is arguably one of the best cosmetic products for someone who is looking to minimize facial redness and adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

We love this sunscreen for all its benefits and for the fact that it is easy to add into your daily beauty routine.

PROS

  • Excellent for use with other makeup products
  • 4 shades to match different skin tones
  • Highly concentrated active ingredients

CONS

  • ​Quite costly

Conclusion

Our top pick for the best sunscreen for Rosacea is Block Island Suncare Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30 for its effective broad-spectrum protection, light feel and its lower allergen formulation, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin.

However, all the other four products reviewed above are excellent and will offer you maximum protection against sunburns, and accelerated aging.

We’d recommend that you try any of these sunscreens to see which one works for you. If one does not work for you, feel free to try another product on the list.When deciding which sunscreen to buy, remember to consider factors such as:

  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • SPF rating
  • Level of Zinc oxide v. titanium dioxide
  • Ingredients/formulation
  • Suitability for daily use

For best results, apply an ounce of sunscreen all over the body if you plan to spend plenty of time outdoors. Apply the lotion about 30 minutes before leaving the house and reapply at least every two hours.

For more Rosacea-related content, please take a look at our recommendations for makeup for Rosacea, the best lotion for Rosacea or our review of the best supplements for Rosacea.

Product Recommendation:

Best Moisturizer For Rosacea For Dry Skin

Miravage Facial Redness and Rosacea Relief Cream


Miravage Facial Redness and Rosacea Relief Cream & Anti-Aging Moisturizer Serum

A good moisturizer can ease the drying effects of rosacea. One of the best moisturizer for rosacea for dry skin is the Miravage Facial Redness and Rosacea Relief Cream & Anti-Aging Moisturizer Serum.


This clinically tested cream and serum is especially suitable for sensitive skin as it is free of artificial colors, sulfates, fragrances, or parabens.


Miravage moisturizer not only dehydrates the skin; it also slows down aging. It is ultra-light and is easily absorbed into the skin, keeping your sensitive skin moist all day long.

  • Clinically-proven ingredients
  • Smells lovely
  • For all skin types
  • Free of common toxins