When trying to ease the discomfort associated with keratosis pilaris, it’s important to find the right skincare products – including the right sunscreen. This means looking for products that combat the specific features of this skin condition.
So what are its features?
Keratosis pilaris is characterised by small, red, itchy bumps that dry out the skin and make it more sensitive. To prevent further irritation, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using sunscreen that is especially gentle, with a high moisturizing agent.
GREAT, but there are so many! Which ones work BEST?
Well, after thoroughly examining the specific needs of skin affected by keratosis pilaris, SimplySunSafe recommends Glycolix Elite Sunscreen SPF 30 as the best sunscreen for keratosis pilaris.
For all of our top recommendations, you can check out the detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table and in-depth reviews below.
What about a moisturizer?
In addition to sunscreen, if you’re looking for a specific body lotion to use with keratosis pilaris, we highly recommend Glytone Daily Body Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 15 with Glycolic Acid & Shea Butter. This rich moisturizer reduces the appearance of dark spots, provides antioxidant benefits to soothe dryness, and offers UVA/UVB protection!
For more information on how you can stay protected when experiencing keratosis pilaris, check out the guide below.
Make the decision to get organized before your begin your search and focus on the must-have features for your keratosis pilaris sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
It goes without saying that any sunscreen you search for should provide broad spectrum protection. It is a type of protection that should be applied daily.
What it means is that you are receiving balanced protection against both UVA and UVB rays, which is important to specify because each type of ray damages your skin in a different way.
- UVB rays are the rays we notice most frequently, as they damage the outer layer of your skin causing you to burn or tan.
- UVA rays will creep into your conscious later, but with more of a vengeance because they penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and cause premature aging.
Exposure to both types of rays increases your risk of skin cancer. So the specification of balanced protection is not something to scoff at! Don’t risk further irritation of your keratosis pilaris – get a broad spectrum sunscreen now!
Luckily, you will find sunscreens providing broad spectrum protection very easily. They are very widely available and super easy to spot! Zoom in on the sunscreen’s label and ingredients list.
The label tends to highlight words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ and make it clear that you’re fully protected. Scan the ingredients list for zinc oxide, and if you find it, go for it. Sunscreens with zinc oxide protect against the full range of UVA/B rays and are always excellent choices.
Best SPF for Keratosis Pilaris
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a complex term that many people assume they understand and decide on it without really considering how does it work.
The amount of sun’s rays that get to your skin is determined by the SPF rating. If you’ve applied sunscreen with a 50-SPF, then 1/50th of the incoming UV rays will reach your body which sounds really low, but don’t get carried away! You still need to be cautious because you can end up aggravating keratosis pilaris if it’s not properly treated and managed.
There are some things that may influence the effectiveness of SPF. For example, think about peak hours and different angles of the rays because they affect how much sun falls on us. Even if we’re properly applying sunscreen, it can’t be rubbed too hastily, or else our protection will wear off quickly!
Clearly, SPF is the most important thing you can do to protect your skin from UV damage and keratosis pilaris from aggravating. Moreover, doctors say the best way to treat KP is a regular exfoliating skincare routine, but it’s important not to overdo it. For mechanical exfoliation, try using your loofah once or twice a week. And for chemical exfoliation, use lactic acid or glycolic acid no more than two times in one week because they can be irritating sometimes.
Patients with Keratosis Pilaris should follow up their prescribed treatment regimen by gently scrubbing away any excess dead skin cells on the surface while also moisturizing dry patches every day. Give your skin a gentle exfoliating treatment using brown sugar or urea and microdermabrasion to penetrate deeply into the pores and soften the rough skin.
Also, try lactic acid-based lotions on your body and glycolic acid products if you’re dealing with bumps in certain areas, such as on your face.
The table is helpful in understanding how much protection specific SPF rating offer:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
For sun protection, AAD suggests that you always consider sunscreens with SPF ratings no lower than 30 and no higher than 50, but we here at SimplySunSafe like to go the extra mile in terms of research. We list products within those boundaries, so it’s easy for our readers to find what they need quickly to manage Keratosis Pilaris!
Physical is better than chemical
Did you know that sunscreens can be broken down into two categories- chemical and physical? It was new information to me!
The differences between the categories lie in their active ingredients and in how they work to protect your skin.
Chemical sunscreens soak into your skin and absorb UV rays as they reach your skin, whereas physical sunscreens reflect UV rays before they reach your skin. Take a guess which is safer?
Physical sunscreens give us many reasons to choose them over chemical ones. Physical sunscreens:
- Work immediately upon application
- Last longer
- Are less likely to cause irritation
- Have a longer shelf life
Still not convinced?
What if I told you that chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones? Seriously. Who knows what effect that could have on your keratosis pilaris?
The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone and is still legal despite concerns from the EWG. Avoid these dangerous chemicals and protect yourself with a physical sunscreen!
The itchiness that can sometimes come along with your keratosis pilaris can be treated and soothed using a variety of creams, but what if you decided to focus more on prevention?
Often times, the itchiness is cause, or exacerbated, by dryness.
Using a sunscreen that is designed to provide moisture to your skin will not only protect you from UV rays, but also nourish your skin and prevent further discomfort or inflammation of your keratosis pilaris.
Baby or sensitive formula
Besides the dryness that your skin experiences, it is overall more sensitive when you have a skin condition such as keratosis pilaris.
Products and sunscreens that are designed for ‘normal’ skin types will not be the best fit for you, and that’s okay!
There are plenty of good quality sunscreens that work well on sensitive skin. The best places to search are in the baby section and through products that are designed especially for sensitive skin.
Your keratosis pilaris will thank you later!
Best Sunscreen for Keratosis Pilaris Comparison
|Glycolix Elite Sunscreen SPF 30||EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Lotion||Blue Lizard Sensitive|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (17%)||Zinc oxide (9%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%)||Zinc Oxide (10%) & Titanium Dioxide (5%)|
|Water resistance||None||80 minutes||None|
|Price||See at Amazon||See at Amazon||See at Amazon|
3 Best Sunscreens for Keratosis Pilaris
Following extensive research into how to properly protect keratosis pilaris which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has compiled a list of the 3 best sunscreens for keratosis pilaris.
Each sunscreen provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. They all provide moisturizing protection and keep skin sensitivity in mind!
- Protects against sunburn and allows no tanning to occur
- Suitable for adults and children 6 months of age and over
- Oil-free formulation provides up to 30 times your skin's natural defense
- Formulated with Micronized Zinc Oxide to provide broad spectrum protection
Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Glycolix Elite Sunscreen SPF 30 is SimplySunSafe’s star pick for keratosis pilaris. It is specially formulated with Micronized Zinc Oxide to provide the highest level of broad-spectrum protection.
This formulation has the purest 17% Micronized Zinc Oxide to provide you with top-notch broad-spectrum protection.
This sunscreen has a rich blend of free radical quenching antioxidants consisting of Liposomal Vitamins A, C, and E, Green Tea Extract, and Co-Q10. The oil-free formulation provides up to 30 times your skin’s natural protection from sunburn and suppresses tanning. It also features ultra-pure crystalline Glycolic Acid that helps gently exfoliate dead cells for maximum efficacy without irritation like other products on the market today!
The sunscreen has a very light and pleasant scent, which dissipates quickly after the skin is dry. The formulation of this product makes it easy to rub in evenly without having any sticky residue left behind on your hands or clothes afterward.
This sunscreen is perfect for dry, normal, oily, and sensitive skin types too!
- Anti-aging properties
- Ideal for oily skin
- No white cast on the skin
- Drying formulation
- EltaMD UV Sport Face and Body Sunscreen is formulated for active lifestyles and is the perfect sport sunscreen lotion for enjoying all your favorite outdoor activities while protecting your skin from the sun
- This SPF 50 body sunscreen lotion is water resistant and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes, so it won't rinse off in the water or when you sweat
- EltaMD sport sunscreen lotion can be applied on wet or dry skin and is built for all types of physical activity, whether you enjoy swimming, hiking, golfing, running, walking or any other type of outdoor physical activity
- This sports sunscreen lotion is the perfect size for packing in your bag and bringing along for days trips and other fun outdoor activities
- Block damaging UVA and UVB rays from the sun while providing powerful protection for your skin using this sport sunscreen with Zinc Oxide
Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Zinc oxide in this sunscreen protects against the UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
It also has broad-spectrum coverage, which means you can take it with you to any event without worrying about exposure!
With Zinc oxide sunscreen, you can protect your skin while still living an active lifestyle! You’ll be able to enjoy more time outside with this UV-protecting sunblock.
Elta MD UV Sport full-body sunscreen is mineral-based and water-resistant, so it won’t rinse off in the pool or run into your eyes when you sweat during a workout.
This sunscreen is up to eighty minutes water-resistant; therefore, it is ideal for water sports.
You can use this sunscreen for your face as well as your body. This sport sunscreen lotion will provide you with protection against dangerous UVA and UVB rays while still being gentle on your skin. With a fragrance-free formula that is both oil-free and paraben-free, it’s the perfect choice for those of us who are sensitive to most other sunscreens or have acne-prone skin. It rubs into your skin easily without any white cast left behind!
- Non-greasy texture
- Mineral formulation
- Water-resistant up to 80 minutes
- Oil-free texture
- May cause reactions
- AUSTRALIAN-STRENGTH SUNSCREEN – Our classic Regular sunscreen: Born in Australia, made in the USA
- ALWAYS MINERAL-BASED – Combining mineral and chemical UV protectors for water-resistant performance you can trust
- DERMATOLOGIST-RECOMMENDED BROAD SPECTRUM UVA/UVB SPF 30+ – Mineral active Zinc Oxide provides true broad spectrum protection
- WATER RESISTANT AND SWEAT RESISTANT – Up to 80 minutes water resistance, so you stay protected longer
- ANTIOXIDANT-RICH – Vitamin E conditions skin and helps restore supple texture
Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen is a great protector for keratosis pilaris. With broad spectrum protection through active ingredients zinc oxide (10%) and titanium dioxide (5%), you can rest assured that your skin is shielded.
Blue Lizard Sensitive is a dermatologist recommended product designed for sensitive skin that won’t cause any irritation, and will provide you with subtle but effective moisturization, as well.
You can safely use it on your face and body with any issues. No water resistance with Blue Lizard Sensitive so it’s not the best option if you’ll be outside enjoying the water or working up a sweat.
However, for everyday use – this could be the perfect sunscreen for you!
- Sensitive skin formula
- Dermatologist recommended
- No water resistance
Best Body Lotion for Keratosis Pilaris
- Leaves skin feeling moisturized and soft
- Helps prevent sunburn
- Exfoliating moisturizer
Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
A rich body lotion that moisturizes and smooths your skin. It reduces the appearance of dark spots, provides antioxidant benefits to soothe dryness, and offers UVA/UVB protection.
Your skin will be so soft, vibrant, and youthful-looking with this body lotion.
The shea butter in the lotion moisturizes your skin while also working on the dry patches and unevenness in the skin. Shea butter hydrates dry patches, so they are smoother while shielding against harmful sun rays at SPF 15.
Besides, vitamin E provides antioxidant benefits to help fight against aging signs like wrinkles or sagging that appear on your face from spending too much time in the sun without protection!
This skin-refining and protective body lotion has the Novasome Skin Care with time-release glycolic acid to help exfoliate and eliminate dead cells on the surface of your skin.
To get started, apply generously to cleanse before you go outside in order to protect yourself from damaging UV light.
This will also help improve over time because it’s designed around our natural processes that break down old cell layers naturally but more efficiently than without treatment, like after peeling off a scab. Therefore, it is also ideal for keratosis pilaris.
- Fragrance-free formula
- Mild exfoliation with glycolic acid
- Not for sensitive skin
I wrote this guide for people searching for the best sunscreen for keratosis pilaris. Hopefully by reading this guide, you learned more about the condition, and found a product that suits your needs.
SimplySunSafe recommends Glycolix Elite Sunscreen SPF 30 as the best sunscreen for keratosis pilaris and Glytone Daily Body Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 15 with Glycolic Acid & Shea Butter as recommended body lotion that moisturizes and helps with keratosis pilaris .
Now spend some time doing trial runs. Test small patches of different sunscreens on the affected areas of your skin to see how different formulas react with your skin. Then you can make a well-informed decision based on effectiveness and comfort.
I truly love learning new things and hearing about different products from other people. I want to learn from you too! If you use or know of another product that’s great for keratosis pilaris, share it in the comments below. I’ll check it out and maybe even add it to the list!
If you’d like sunscreen recommendations for other skin conditions, SimplySunSafe has a range of guides including heat rash sunscreen and sunscreen for perioral dermatitis. Just go to the top of this page and search for a condition to find the recommendations you’re looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can sunscreen make keratosis pilaris worse?
A: Sunscreens do not exaggerate your keratosis pilaris until you use one with an optimal SPF. So ensure you’re using sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher but not more than 50 for the face.
Also, check for individual ingredients in the sunscreen. Although any ingredients may exacerbate KP symptoms in some people, many patients find that by wearing sunscreen their KP improves significantly.
Q: What is the fastest way to get rid of keratosis pilaris?
A: There is no “fast” way to get rid of keratosis pilaris.
If your condition is mild enough you can just use some exfoliating gloves and scrubbing under the arms with a loofah.
For more severe cases, dermatologists recommend a salicylic acid lotion or scrubs containing lactic acid.
Apply a moisturizer with sunscreen every single day on top of healing the skin because UV rays can cause premature aging in people who are 20 or fewer years old by breaking down elastin and collagen more quickly than usual.
Q: Can you pop keratosis pilaris?
A: No, you can’t. You can only treat the condition using a moisturizer three times a day and keep away from any harsh skin products and sun.
The bumps usually go away on their own in adults as cells naturally shed off the surface of your skin, but it might take months to years for that to happen. In kids, they tend to form faster and may disappear within weeks or even days when the process slows down again at puberty as hormone levels change.
Q: How long does it take for your skin to react when you apply a new sunscreen?
A: Your skin needs at least about a week to process the new sunscreen, which is why you should reapply often.
The effects will generally appear sooner if you have fair skin or if you are over 40 and started earlier. The best way to know how well a sunscreen is working for you is by its visible signs on your skin!