When you have perioral dermatitis, you need to be especially careful with the products you choose to apply to the affected skin on your face. Perioral dermatitis is the specific strain of periorificial dermatitis that erupts on the skin on the lower half of your face, especially around the mouth.
When an eruption of perioral dermatitis occurs, you will have red papules on your skin, which are often itchy and tender. The affected area may feel as if it is burning and your skin will likely be dry and flaky.
Skin affected by perioral dermatitis is especially sensitive and therefore more vulnerable to sun damage, so it is essential that you are properly protected.
It is a good idea to follow the Skin Cancer Foundation’s sun protection guidelines and wear UV protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, and seek shade when possible, but when you have perioral dermatitis, you need to be sure that your face is also protected with broad spectrum sunscreen.
It can be difficult to find products to use on your face when you have perioral dermatitis, as many of them cause irritation. So it is important to spend time learning how your skin and perioral dermatitis reacts to different sunscreens. Let me help you being your perioral dermatitis-friendly sunscreen search!
After thorough research into how to provide your skin with sufficient sun protection with perioral dermatitis, SimplySunSafe chooses Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30 as the best sunscreen for perioral dermatitis. Keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 sunscreens for perioral dermatitis.
To be sure that you protect your face sufficiently with perioral dermatitis, there are a few must-have features that you should be searching for in your sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
The single most important thing that you should always keep in mind when searching for sunscreen for any purpose, is that you want it to provide broad spectrum protection.
This means that you will receive balanced protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
This is important because each type of ray works differently:
- UVB rays damage the outer layer of your skin and cause you to tan or burn
- UVA rays are stronger, and penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and cause premature aging
Balanced protection against both is something you definitely want because exposure to both types of rays increases your risk of skin cancer. You want to make sure that you’re extra careful with perioral dermatitis because your skin is so sensitive and more vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays.
You won’t need to worry about finding a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection, they are available everywhere, and are easy to spot!
Just take a look at the sunscreen’s label and make sure it has words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B,’ making it obvious that the protection you want is provided.
You can also search the ingredients list for zinc oxide. Sunscreens with zinc oxide are always an excellent choice because they protect against the full range of UVA/B rays.
Best SPF for perioral dermatitis
I’m guessing like many people, you tend to base part of your decision to buy a sunscreen on its Sun Protection Factor (SPF).
But do you really understand what it means? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! It’s an elusive concept. Let me explain it to help you better understand!
SPF indicates the fraction of the sun’s UV rays that will reach your skin if you have properly applied the product.
That means if you’re wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30, then only 1/30th of the sun’s rays will reach your skin. This is why you’re able to stay in the sun longer when you wear sunscreen. But don’t overdo it!
Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 does not mean that you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. This is not something you want to test out, especially with the sensitive skin on your face with perioral dermatitis.
There are many factors which influence the effectiveness of SPF, including time of day, amount of properly applied sunscreen, and reflections from surfaces like water and sand.
Check out this table below to see how much protection you get with different SPF ratings:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
Are you as surprised as I was?
The truth is that there is very little difference between an SPF rating of 30 and one of 100! So how do you know which SPF rating to choose?
SimplySunSafe, in line with FDA guidelines, suggests that you always choose sunscreens with SPF ratings no lower than 30 and no higher than 50.
And remember, perioral dermatitis makes your skin extra vulnerable, so be sure to reapply at least every two hours no matter what SPF rating you choose!
Physical is better than chemical
It’s helpful to know that sunscreens can be grouped into two main categories – chemical and physical. The differences between these two types come from their active ingredients and in the ways they work to protect your skin.
- Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays as they reach your skin
- Physical sunscreens reflect UV rays before they reach your skin
There are many reasons to choose physical sunscreens over chemicals ones. Studies show they stop more light across a broader spectrum. Put simply, they’re better sunscreens.
If you need further convincing, they also:
- work immediately upon application
- last longer
- are less likely to cause irritation (perfect for perioral dermatitis)
- have a longer shelf life
If those reasons aren’t enough to convince you, listen to this:
Chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones. That is something you don’t want! The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone, and it is still legal despite concerns from the FDA.
The best choice for sun protection with perioral dermatitis will be a physical sunscreen! This will ensure that extra chemicals from your sun protection don’t cause more irritation on your face.
Suitable for daily use
When you have perioral dermatitis, the skin on your face and around your mouth is extra sensitive. This means that it is even more vulnerable to damage from the sun.
This makes it imperative that you use sun protection on a daily basis!
This means are a few things you want to consider when beginning your sunscreen search:
- Do you want a sunscreen that you can use on your face and body every day?
- Will you wear makeup on top of your sunscreen?
- What kind of formula do you need to cater to your perioral dermatitis?
Having answered these questions for yourself will streamline your search process and help you to find the right sunscreen for you.
With perioral dermatitis, you want to find a sunscreen that you will be able to wear every day without experiencing irritation. The products recommended by SimplySunSafe are effective, yet gentle enough for daily use on your face!
Formulated for sensitive skin
Having perioral dermatitis means that your skin is often irritated and sensitive.
It can be difficult to find facial products that don’t cause further irritation to your skin, and that includes sunscreens. That is why you should focus on searching for sunscreens that are specially designed for sensitive skin when you have perioral dermatitis.
Sunscreens that are designed for use on sensitive skin are usually formulas that contain light, natural ingredients that will not irritate your skin.
There are many sensitive sunscreens that also address other skin issues such as dry or oily skin. You can usually find sensitive sunscreens that contain specific ingredients that help to calm your skin, in addition to being gentle.
With perioral dermatitis, it is essential that you protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, but you do not want to cause irritation while doing that.
To guarantee this, choose sunscreens designed for sensitive skin, and protect your skin without causing further irritation!
Best Sunscreen for Perioral Dermatitis Comparison
|Vanicream Sunscreen||EltaMD UV Pure||Kiss My Face Face & Body||California Baby Super Sensitive||BADGER Baby Sunscreen|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (3.4%)||Zinc Oxide (10%) & Titanium Dioxide (5.5%)||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (6%)||Titanium Dioxide (12%)||Zinc Oxide (18.75%)|
|Water resistance||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes||40 minutes|
5 Best Sunscreens for Perioral Dermatitis
After extensive research into what your skin needs in sun protection with perioral dermatitis which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has determined the 5 best sunscreens for perioral dermatitis.
Each sunscreen provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or greater. All of the recommended products are designed for use on sensitive skin and are suitable for daily use!
SimplySunSafe’s first choice for sunscreen for protecting skin with perioral dermatitis is Vanicream Sunscreen.
This product provides effective, yet gentle broad spectrum protection through its active ingredients zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (3.4%).
Vanicream’s formula is specifically designed for sensitive skin, and for that reason, you will not need to worry about irritation even with perioral dermatitis.
A great plus about Vanicream for skin with perioral dermatitis is that its thick formula is soothing and helpful for dry skin. The papules created with perioral dermatitis are often itchy and dry your skin out, and Vanicream will help ease the resulting discomfort.
Just keep in mind that because the formula is nice and thick, while you won’t be left with a white cast, your skin may feel a bit heavy if you wear makeup on top. But this trade off may be worth it to have some perioral dermatitis discomfort eased, and to have sufficient sun protection!
Vanicream also provides you with 80 minutes of water resistance. This means that this is a sunscreen you can use daily, throughout the year, even in the hot weather, when you will be sweating and swimming!
If you have paler skin, you can also find Vanicream in a formula with an SPF of 50.
Vanicream is an excellent sunscreen for perioral dermatitis that you can use daily on your face and body!
- Designed for sensitive skin
- Helpful for dry skin
- 80-minute water resistance
- Thick formula may feel heavy under makeup
Another reliable choice for sunscreen to use with perioral dermatitis is EltaMD UV Pure.
As the sunscreen’s name asserts, broad spectrum protection is provided to you with its active ingredients zinc oxide (10%) and titanium dioxide (5.5%).
EltaMD is a very lightweight formula that has been specifically designed for safe and non-irritating use on your face.
It is very gentle and will soothe your perioral dermatitis while protecting your face from the sun.
It does leave a slight white cast on the skin, but works very well under makeup so you can cover it up if you’d like.
EltaMD is another option that is great throughout the seasons. It provides a high SPF rating for the hotter weather, and for those with paler skin.
It is also a suitable sunscreen for the summer when you’ll be sweating and engaging in water activities because it provides you with 80 minutes of water resistance!
Take it for a test run!
- Gentle enough for daily use
- Compatible with makeup
- High SPF rating
- Leaves slight white cast on skin
Kiss My Face Mineral Face & Body Sunscreen is a highly recommended choice for sunscreen with perioral dermatitis. This product provides broad spectrum protection with its active ingredients zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (6%).
Mineral Face & Body is made with natural and gentle ingredients that will not only leave your skin and perioral dermatitis irritation-free, but will also help to soothe the discomfort you experience around your mouth.
The formula does leave a slight white cast, but makeup works well on top of the sunscreen to cover it up. Just be sure to allow it some time to dry and absorb before applying your makeup!
Kiss My Face can be used daily throughout the year and all seasons. It provides 80 minutes of water resistance for use in hot temperatures or humid climates, to protect even while sweating or swimming!
- Designed for daily use
- Skin soothing ingredients
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Heavy formula
California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen is another great option for perioral dermatitis. Broad spectrum protection is provided through its only active ingredient titanium dioxide (12%).
As its name suggests, California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen is designed to be used on even the most sensitive skin of the face and body. This formula is one that can be relied upon to not cause irritation.
It is completely vegan and is fragrance-free. If your perioral dermatitis is severe, or your skin is extra sensitive generally, then this sunscreen may be a good option for you.
The formula is rather thick, needs to be rubbed in well, and will leave a white cast.
That being said, it can be used throughout all seasons, as it provides 80 minutes of water resistance!
- Designed for daily use on super sensitive skin
- Vegan and fragrance-free
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Very thick formula
- White cast
SimplySunSafe’s final recommendation for sunscreens for perioral dermatitis is another thoroughly recommended product, designed especially for sensitive baby’s skin.
BADGER Baby Sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection with a high concentration of its active ingredient zinc oxide (18.75%).
BADGER’s Baby formula is very simple and will not cause irritation even when used daily on your face and body. It is gentle enough that it will soothe your perioral dermatitis.
The formula is very thick and, due to its high concentration of zinc oxide, it will leave an obvious white cast, which is why it has landed last on this list.
However, you can use makeup to lessen the appearance of the white cast, if you’d like!
BADGER Baby Sunscreen is a viable option throughout all seasons. It will provide you with 40 minutes of water resistance for when you find yourself sweating, or hopefully, swimming.
This may be the sunscreen for your skin!
- High concentration of zinc oxide
- Sensitive enough for daily use
- 40 minutes of water resistance
- Thick formula
- Noticeable white cast
This guide was written for those searching for the best sunscreen for perioral dermatitis. I hope that by reading this guide, you learned more about what you need for proper sun protection with perioral dermatitis, and found a product that fits your specific needs.
SimplySunSafe recommends Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30, but all 5 products listed will be sufficient and suitable for daily use for sun protection with perioral dermatitis.
Now that you’ve read this guide, it is a good idea for you to test different products on your face. Everyone’s skin is unique so you’ll want to see which product will be the best for your skin. Once you have tested different sunscreens, you’ll be able to make the most informed decision about which one works for you!
I love learning new things and hearing about new products from other people. So if you use or know of another sunscreen that is great for perioral dermatitis, please share it in the comments! I’ll be sure to take a look and maybe it will even be added to this list!
If you’d like sunscreen recommendations for other skin conditions, SimplySunSafe has a range of guides including sunscreen for heat rash, sunblock for melasma, and eczema sunscreen. Just go to the top of this page and search for a condition to find the recommendations you’re looking for.