Finding the perfect sunscreen for your skin can be a challenging task in-and-of itself. When you have a skin condition like psoriasis, which makes your skin extra vulnerable, the search can become even more difficult!
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It is a condition in which you experience flare-ups on the skin, usually scalp, elbows, and knees. It can also show up in areas such as the soles of the feet, palms, and the torso.
Outbreaks of psoriasis usually consist of plaques of skin that are raw and red. Your skin is often dry and itchy, and sometimes it can crack, causing bleeding.
It may feel daunting to find skin products that don’t irritate your psoriasis-prone skin. This may make you feel like finding a suitable sunscreen is near impossible. But it is necessary!
When you want to expose your skin to the sun, you should follow some standard guidelines as asserted by the Skin Cancer Foundation. You want to be sure to wear UV protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, and seek shade in high sun hours.
Apart from these helpful tips, it is vital that you wear a broad spectrum sunscreen!
Let SimplySunSafe help you in your search for a broad spectrum sunscreen that works well for psoriasis-prone skin.
After thorough research into what measures must be taken properly protect psoriasis-affected skin against UV rays, SimplySunSafe recommends BADGER Sport Sunscreen SPF 35 as the best sunscreen for psoriasis. Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 sunscreens for psoriasis.
To be sure that your sensitive, psoriasis-affected skin is sufficiently protected against the sun’s UV rays, there are a few must-have features you should search for in a sunscreen:
Broad Spectrum Protection
Anytime you are searching for a sunscreen, you should keep in mind that you want it to provide you with broad spectrum protection.
This means that you receive balanced protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This is vital because each type of ray works differently.
- UVB rays damage your outer layer of skin and cause burning or tanning
- UVA rays penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and cause premature aging
You want to be properly protected, as exposure to both types of rays increases your risk of skin cancer!
Luckily, you will find broad spectrum sunscreens easily! They are plentiful and easy to spot.
Take a look at a sunscreen’s label for words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B,’ clearly indicating sufficient protection.
You can also search the ingredients list for zinc oxide. Sunscreens with zinc oxide protect against the full range of UVA/B rays and are always a safe choice for psoriasis!
Best SPF for psoriasis
If you’re not completely clear on the meaning of the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), now is as good a time as any to learn!
Put simply, SPF tells you what fraction of the sun’s rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied the sunscreen.
So 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. That sounds too good to be true, right? Just be sure not to get carried away!
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. Don’t test this, or your sensitive skin might end up with a painful burn!
Take a look at the table below to better understand the protection you get with different SPF ratings.
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
Surprised at all by what you see?
The truth is that there is a very small difference between an SPF rating of 30 and one of 100. How can you be sure which to choose?
SimplySunSafe agrees with the FDA’s suggestion, and recommends that you choose sunscreens with SPF ratings no lower than 30 and no greater than 50.
No matter what SPF rating you choose, be sure to reapply at least every two hours, especially when sunbathing for your psoriasis.
Physical is better than chemical
It is helpful to know that sunscreens can be broken into main groups – chemical and physical. The differences between these two groups lie in the active ingredients and in the way 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 really are many reasons to choose physical sunscreens over chemical ones. The most important is that physicals stop more light across a broader spectrum. This means that they’re simply better sunscreens. They also:
- work immediately upon application
- last longer
- are less likely to cause irritation (bonus for psoriasis)
- and have a longer shelf life
If you’re still not convinced, listen to this:
Chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones, which is not something you want! The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone, and is still legal despite concerns expressed by the FDA.
SimplySunSafe advises you to avoid this ingredient in any sunscreen you choose.
Protect your skin and your psoriasis by choosing a physical sunscreen!
Using the sun to your benefit
When you have psoriasis, it is essential that you use sunscreen everyday to properly protect your skin.
Does sun exposure make psoriasis worse?
No, actually it seems to be the contrary. Gradual exposure to the sun can actually help to lessen the effects and appearance of psoriasis.
However, if you have psoriasis and you spend too much time in the sun, or rather unprotected time in the sun, then you will burn your skin, which will likely inflame your psoriasis further.
In order to reap the sun’s benefits in helping with psoriasis, you need to be using a sufficient broad spectrum sunscreen at all times. That way your skin is safe from the increased risk of inflammation, skin cancer, and from early aging caused by the UV rays.
Sun therapy is a viable option for psoriasis, but only with proper sunscreen to protect your skin!
Suitable for daily use
Since you will want to expose your skin to the sun in order to help your psoriasis, you need to be sure that you are properly protecting yourself against harmful UV rays at all times.
This means that you want to find a sunscreen that can easily fit into your daily routine. Ask yourself these questions before beginning your search:
- Do you want a sunscreen that you can use on your face and body?
- Will you wear makeup on top of the sunscreen?
- Are there any specifications you need to accommodate your psoriasis?
Having these questions answered will streamline your search and help you find the perfect product for your skin.
In a sunscreen to be used daily on skin with psoriasis, you want a formula that is effective in protection, yet extremely gentle.
SimplySunSafe has recommended five products that will fit seamlessly into your daily routine and protect your psoriasis-affected skin without agitating it!
So since you know that the sun eases the discomfort of your psoriasis, it’s likely that you want to expose your skin to the sun as much as you can.
In order to do this safely, you must be sure that your protection will not falter. This means that you want your sunscreen to protect you even when you start sweating during your sun therapy.
That is why you want to find a water resistant sunscreen.
Sunscreens are available with 40 or 80 minutes of water resistance. For exposing your psoriasis to the sun safely, I suggest that you choose sunscreens with 80 minutes of water resistance.
Soothe your psoriasis while confident that your skin is properly protected!
Best Sunscreen for Psoriasis Comparison
|BADGER Sport Sunscreen||California Baby Super Sensitive||Vanicream Sunscreen||Thinksport Sunscreen||CeraVe Baby Sunscreen|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (22.5%)||Titanium Dioxide (12%)||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (3.4%)||Zinc Oxide (20%)||Zinc Oxide (11.4%) & Titanium Dioxide (7.4%)|
|Water resistance||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes|
5 Best Sunscreens for Psoriasis
After extensive research into what is needed in sun protection for psoriasis which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has compiled a list of the 5 best sunscreens for psoriasis.
Each one provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or greater. All products are suitable for daily use and will help you use the sun to calm your psoriasis.
SimplySunSafe’s number 1 pick for sunscreen to use when you have psoriasis is BADGER Sport Sunscreen SPF 35.
This reliable formula provides broad spectrum protection with a high concentration of its active ingredient zinc oxide (22.5%).
Don’t be intimidated by the name of this sunscreen. Although it is marketed towards sports, it is an extremely gentle formula. It contains a total of only 5 natural and mild ingredients!
BADGER Sport will not irritate your psoriasis or your skin at all. Keep in mind that the formula is thick and will leave a slight white cast. So if you want to use it on your face, you may want to cover the white cast with makeup.
BADGER Sport is a perfect option for daily use throughout the year. Not only is it gentle, but it also provides 80 minutes of water resistance.
This is essential, especially in the summer months when you’ll want to take advantage of the sun to help your psoriasis. You’ll definitely be sweating as you invite the sun to your skin, but with BADGER your protection against UV rays won’t falter!
- Simple formula
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Available for kids and babies
- Thick formula
The next choice for sunscreens to be used with psoriasis is California Baby Super Sensitive. This customer favorite provides broad spectrum protection with its active ingredient titanium dioxide (12%).
As the name explains, California Baby Super Sensitive will not cause any irritation even to skin prone to or with an outbreak of psoriasis. The formula is vegan and fragrance-free, and overall extremely gentle.
It is a thick, cream-like formula that needs to be rubbed in well. But its texture provides cooling relief to skin which has broken out in psoriasis.
California Baby Super Sensitive is also another excellent option for daily use throughout the year. It will fit into your daily skincare routine easily. If you decide that you want to use it on your face, makeup goes smoothly on top.
You are given 80 minutes of water resistance to help you through your sweaty periods of sun therapy for your psoriasis!
- Designed for daily use on sensitive skin
- Soothing creamy texture
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Thick formula
- May leave white cast
Vanicream Sunscreen Lotion is SimplySunSafe’s next selection for sunscreens to be used with psoriasis. This sunscreen will feel like a body cream while providing you with broad spectrum protection with its active ingredients zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (3.4%).
Vanicream is formulated especially for various types of sensitive skin. Even with psoriasis outbreaks, you will not experience irritation.
The formula is very thick, which makes your face feel heavy if you add makeup on top of it.
However, the thickness creates a soothing pasty feeling for dry or irritated skin, as you might have with psoriasis.
Vanicream is a viable option for daily use throughout the year as it provides 80 minutes of water resistance.
And if you’re paler or simply have really sensitive skin, you can get Vanicream in a formula with an SPF of 50.
- Designed for sensitive skin
- Soothes dry and irritated skin
- SPF 50 option
- Thick formula does not work well under makeup
Thinksport is another sunscreen with a sports focus and a surprisingly mild formula!
Thinksport was the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods premium care requirements and provides broad spectrum protection with its active ingredient zinc oxide (20%).
Thinksport’s formula is effective in protecting your skin against the sun, but is very gentle and will not cause you any irritation.
It is rather thick, needs time to rub in properly, and will leave a white cast. But this a good tradeoff for soothing and effective protection that you can use on your face and body.
Thinksport will suit you well throughout the year. If you choose to use the summer sun to ease the discomfort of your psoriasis, rest assured that thinksport’s 80 minutes of water resistance will persist in protecting you even while you’re sweating!
- High SPF
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Available in kids and baby formulas
- Thick formula
- White cast
SimplySunSafe’s final choice for sunscreens for psoriasis is CeraVe Baby Sunscreen.
With this formula, you receive broad spectrum protection with its active ingredients zinc oxide (11.4%) and titanium dioxide (7.4%).
CeraVe Baby Sunscreen is formulated for use on the most sensitive skin, that of a baby, and you can be sure that your psoriasis-prone skin will not be irritated by this product.
It was developed with dermatologists to ensure effective sun protection while remaining as gentle as possible.
The formula is thick and will leave a white cast if you don’t rub it in well. It can be worn under makeup, if you choose to use this on your face, as well.
You will find it suitable in your pursuit of sun therapy for your psoriasis, as it provides 80 minutes of water resistance.
This is another option that can be used daily, throughout the year!
- Formulated for sensitive skin
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Higher SPF
- Thick formula
- Slight white cast
This guide was written for anyone interested in finding the best sunscreen for psoriasis. I hope that by reading this guide, you gained deeper knowledge about how to properly protect psoriasis-affected skin against the sun, and found a product that fits your specific needs.
SimplySunSafe recommends BADGER Sport Sunscreen SPF 35 but all 5 of the listed products will provide you with desirable and effective sun protection.
After reading this guide, it will be wise for you to test out a few different sunscreens. Each person’s skin reacts differently to products, so you want to know how your skin reacts. Once you have tested out a few sunscreens, you will be able to make a more informed decision about which sunscreen you want to use for your psoriasis.
I love learning new things and hearing about new products from other people. So if you use or know of any other sunscreen that works well with psoriasis, share it in the comments. I’ll take a look and maybe it will even end up on this list!
If you’d like sunscreen recommendations for other skin conditions, SimplySunSafe has a range of guides including sunscreen for dry skin, sensitive skin sunscreen, and sunscreen for eczema-affected skin. Just go to the top of this page and search for a condition to find the recommendations you’re looking for.