The Best Sunscreens To Use If You Have Psoriasis

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If you have psoriasis, you might be confused about sunblock use. As an inflammatory condition that involves scaly patches on the skin (per the Mayo Clinic), psoriasis causes flare-ups that can be further irritated by just about anything. While you're probably best off not wearing tons of foundation or concealer when dealing with a psoriasis outbreak, applying the right sunscreen is crucial, too. Even if you're scared to antagonize the flare-up and cause even more redness and dry patches, sunblock is important for safeguarding your delicate epidermis.

As dermatologist Dr. Laura Ferris shared with Psoriasis, "while many who suffer from psoriasis find that the sun helps to improve their skin's appearance, there are dangers from too much exposure." Just like for anyone else, spending time in the sun might trigger a sunburn and increase your chance of skin cancer down the line. Dr. Ferris added that "patients with psoriasis may also be at higher risk of skin cancer due to the medications they take," and severe sunburns might trigger a psoriasis flare-up. 

While you shouldn't apply any product to broken skin, you should go for SPF 30 and over. And as per WebMD, you should also think about wearing a hat while outdoors. As Dr. Mehmet Oz told Share Care, UVB light "may help to improve your skin condition" through that all-important vitamin D, but you should still always use sunscreen when basking in the rays. Still, your chosen SPF should be tailor-made for sensitive skin.

Straight-to-the-point, no-frills sunblocks

Let's get started with the absolute best sunscreens to use if you deal with psoriasis on a daily basis. As per WebMD, going for a "fragrance-free" option is always a good idea to avoid irritating your skin. If you're not interested in bells and whistles and simply want a product that blocks out the sun rays and will never vex your complexion, we've found the best options on the market.

If you're looking for a simple, no-fuss, and majorly effective sunscreen, may we present you to Vanicream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 ($17.99)? This sunblock is dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin. And it's non-comedogenic, so there's no need to be scared of breaking out. Plus, it's free of dyes, fragrances, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, and tons of other irritating preservatives found in other run-of-the-mill products. It's also made without "sensitizing chemicals" that can cause flare-ups and is water-resistant for pool or beach days. As per Simply Sun Safe, this is one of the top five sunscreens for psoriasis in existence, with a "soothing," creamy mix of 6% zinc oxide and 3.4% titanium dioxide. That being said, the outlet says this might be too thick for wearing under makeup.

Beautycounter's Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($39) is pricey, but ah-mazing. As recommended by SheKnows, this UVA and UVB-resistant, zinc oxide formula is natural, smooth, and lightweight for a non-cakey feel. It also includes hydrating glycerin and orange peel, lemon, and tangerine fruit extract for a refreshing citrus scent.

All-natural sunscreens for psoriasis

If you want sunscreen with natural components that won't harm your skin or the planet, look no further. While many of us are now interested in organic formulas, anyone dealing with an inflammatory condition like psoriasis can benefit from super-clean products with a pronounceable ingredient list, too. As Dr. Jacqueline Schaffer told Healthline, if you have psoriasis, "make sure there are no parabens, no formaldehyde, and no other really strong preservatives that can be damaging to the skin." 

Looking for a sunscreen that's environmentally friendly while also being kind to your skin? All Good Zinc Sunscreen Butter — SPF 50+ ($10.99) is the perfect pick for you. As explained by SheKnows, this formula's "minimal" ingredient list is "reef-friendly," so you can feel great about not harming the planet as you swipe it on. It's soothing, too, combining coconut oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E to lock in moisture. And it's water-resistant for 80 minutes, so feel free to take a long dip in the ocean with it — the physical 25% non-nano particle zinc oxide is supremely effective.

Or, try Coola Mineral Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 ($28) if you're looking for a clean, spray-on sunblock that won't budge after a long day. This is mineral-based, chemical-active-free, non-harmful, and fragrance-free for zero risk of flare-ups. Their "Plant Protection Complex" imbues skin with algae and aloe, and as Dr. Orit Markowitz told Everyday Health, it's "easy to apply."

Vitamin and antioxidant-rich sunscreens

Maybe you want something that's minimal and classic but still has that certain je ne sais quoi. While you probably don't want anything with too much fragrance or other potential skin foes, something that's antioxidant-rich will offer an upgrade to your day-to-day sunscreen routine. These vitamin and antioxidant-tinged sunblocks will make your skin glow while protecting it.

We love Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense ($36), a gorgeous tinted moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF 30 for safety and some gentle radiance for your complexion. A "universally flattering tint" will make your skin look alive even after pulling an all-nighter, while the formula is free of essential oils, alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance, dyes, and sulfates. As per Healthline, this is an über-clean blend, containing tons of antioxidants to fight free radicals through its algae and sunflower sprout contents. Plus, 20% zinc oxide will steer you clear from sunburns.

Another sunscreen that kills two (or three) birds with one stone, DERMA E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Face Sunscreen ($12) combines mineral zinc oxide SPF 30 with a vitamin-rich ingredient list. You'll love blending on the smooth formula, combining antioxidant vitamin C and green tea that help soothe the skin after sun exposure. This is chemical free, non-comedogenic, and free of parabens, sulfates, oil and GMO's. As per Simply Sun Safe, this is a sheer sunscreen with a light feel you'll love. SheKnows agrees, saying it's perfect for when you're layering several products together.

Kid-friendly sunscreens for psoriasis

If you have kids, you probably want to have sunscreen on hand that you can swipe on them if need be. Even if they don't have psoriasis, a sunblock you can both share should have a minimal ingredient list, and be made especially for sensitive skin. Fragrance-free with zero irritants, our favorite child-friendly sunscreens are just as effective on your psoriasis — a two-in-one, so to speak. Keep these in your bag for unexpected outings or long, sunny car rides.

Sun Bum is an end-all sunscreen brand we adore, combining quirky packaging with a beachy feel. The products are high-quality, finding the line between creamy and lightweight. Their Baby Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion ($13.99) is an incredible option for anyone dealing with psoriasis, whether or not you have kids. While the rest of the brand's products have a coconut-tinged scent, this is completely fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Apart from non-nano zinc, this contains coconut oil, shea, and cocoa butter for super-smooth skin. Free of sulfates, dyes, and silicones, this is a great option for patients dealing with psoriasis, dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman tells Everyday Health.

CeraVe Mineral Baby Sunscreen SPF 45 ($17.86) is another fantastic, baby-friendly buy, completely unscented with a paraben, sulfate, and fragrance-free formula. This protects your skin with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and brings in hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides to protect the skin's natural moisture. It's even proven to be suitable for eczema and is non-irritating.

Summer-ready, water-resistant, psoriasis-safe sunblocks

If you spend most of your time at the pool or beach and are dealing with psoriasis, you'll want a sunscreen that's water-resistant but gentle. Although it sounds like an impossible task, we've found sunblocks that will stay put for an hour-plus, resist water like no other, and never cause a flare-up. 

Pick up a tube of Thinksport SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen ($12.99) if you want a psoriasis-safe sunblock that's ready for under-the-sun sports or long beach days. This is safe for children and adults alike, perfect for supremely sensitive skin, and protects skin against UVA and UVB rays. The vegan formula is all-natural, with a simple ingredient list that includes little other than non-nano zinc oxide. This smooth sunblock is easy to apply, is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and has zero parabens or toxic components. As per Simply Sun Safe, this is a fantastic option if planning to exercise or have some fun in the sun, and it's biodegradable and reef-safe.

Badger SPF 35 Zinc Oxide Sport Sunscreen Cream in Unscented ($27.95), another Simply Sun Safe recommendation, is a no-frills, to-the-point sunblock that will give you protection for up to 80 minutes in the water. Made of non-nano zinc oxide for a physical, mineral shield, it's also composed of hydrating sunflower seed oil, beeswax, jojoba, and vitamin E for a supple texture. This is great for all skin types and is proudly hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free — perfect for psoriasis.

Psoriasis-friendly sunscreens for extra-sensitive skin

Most people who have psoriasis have sensitive skin that's prone to redness, dryness, or that unwanted, sudden patchiness. Still, some of us have extra sensitive skin, so we need formulas that are tailor-made to be supremely gentle and soothing. While all the sunscreens on this list are great for skin sensitivities, these take it to the next level.

Try Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 ($34) for something that's gentle on your complexion without compromising skin-glowy benefits. An Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner, this sunscreen contains 20% zinc oxide for non-chemical solar protection. Other winning ingredients? Sunflower shoot extract and astaxanthin-rich algae both work as functional antioxidants, fighting off free radicals that harm the skin. Plus, the raspberry seed oil is another antioxidant that offers serious hydration, too. As per SheKnows, your sensitive skin will love this, especially with the brand's famous "no suspicious ingredients" pledge. You'll reach for this daily!

We're obsessed with Alba Botanica Fragrance-Free Sunscreen Lotion — SPF 30 ($8.99), a cost-effective product that doesn't sacrifice quality. This is fragrance-free and made especially for sensitive skin types, blending zinc oxide with soothing aloe vera, green tea, and chamomile. It will combat redness and irritation while offering great sun protection to boot. SheKnows also recommends this sunblock, citing its lightweight approach, and moisturizing shea butter component. You can breathe easy when applying this product— it's free of parabens and sulfates, and is also environmentally friendly.

Tinted sunblocks for psoriasis

Let's say you want a bit of tint in your life — something that gives your skin extra radiance and uniformity every morning. While tinted sunscreens are life-saving, they're not all created equal, especially when you're dealing with psoriasis. You need something extremely gentle, so we've rounded up our favorite psoriasis-friendly sunblocks with just a hint of color. 

Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($35) is on the pricier side, but it's worth it. Dermatologist Blair Murphy-Rose, MD told Everyday Health that this sunscreen is her personal pick for anyone dealing with psoriasis. This is made of 100% mineral filters, using advanced scientific technology to fight the sun's harmful rays and provide your complexion with a serious glow over time. Skincare, makeup, and SPF in one small bottle, this formula "boosts radiance" with ingredients like plankton extract, features a sheer tint for blurring imperfections, and has a hefty dose of zinc oxide SPF 50 to ward off UVB and UVA rays. Non-comedogenic, your skin will thank you for this — prepare for tons of compliments!

We're also loving La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Ultra-Light Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($33.50), another 100% mineral sunscreen that offers a light tint, matte blur, titanium dioxide-based sun protection, and Cell-Ox Shield Technology that boosts your complexion with antioxidants. It's perfect for sensitive skin, is water-resistant for 40 minutes, and is oil-free. As Dr. Jacqueline Schaffer told Healthline, this is a top contender for the best psoriasis-safe SPF on the market.

Cult-fave beauty-minded sunscreens for psoriasis

Lastly, you might prefer a psoriasis-friendly sunblock with über-cute packaging — the kind of product that's on every beauty editor's wishlist. Sure, you still need something that's suitable for super-sensitive skin and won't give you flare-ups. But there are a couple of options we found that give you skin-saving benefits and have beauty lovers' seal of approval around the world.

Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50 ($38) is an oil that glides onto your skin and won't clog your pores. Dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose explained to Everyday Health that she loves this product, considering it a "fan-favorite" in the psoriasis community because of its "smoother application." This won't irritate delicate skin and is made with soothing cucumber, grapeseed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and shea butter. This oil boosts your skin's natural radiance and is activated by simply rubbing it on your complexion. It will never feel greasy and works great under makeup. Plus, it's water-resistant for 80 minutes so this will be our go-to come summertime.

We're obsessed with cult-classic EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($37), also recommended by Dr. Murphy-Rose in her conversation with Everyday Health. Elta MD's sunscreen is used by tons of celebrities, with Kourtney Kardashian and Drew Barrymore both admitting to using it daily (per People). Suitable for all skin types, this provides oil-free moisture with hydrating niacinamide. 9% zinc oxide and 7.5% octinoxate work to fight the sun's rays, while the entire formula is tailor-made for acne-prone or easily irritated skin.