Sun Protection and Natural Sunburn Treatments That I like Using for My Eczema
When it comes to finding the perfect sunscreens for my sensitive skin, it can sometimes be a bit hard to find a good formula that both contain ingredients protective enough to block UV rays while not irritating my rashes.
Often the safer sunscreens contain physical blockers like the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and while they are generally hypoallergenic on their own, I find that the minerals can be quite irritating on active flare-ups and the particles can make my skin itch if it’s feeling sensitive. I always avoid chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone because I find them to make my skin more photosensitive and I still get sunburned using them. I also think that because my skin feels more sensitive to the sun using them, that they increase my chances of getting heat rash as well.
Some natural sunscreens will contain lavender essential oil as a soothing ingredient but mixed with a sunscreen formula, I find it to also make my skin feel more sensitized in general, not necessarily from the sun. This is true for most essential oils in sunscreens unless it is tea tree oil which I find to be mild, cooling and soothing. Also, because I am Filipina-American and have tan skin, I do prefer a gel formula based in aloe vera gel or juice. Not only is it protective, but it is also soothing and preventative against sunburn and heat rash and it is clear, so I don’t end up looking ashy. Another good option that I’ve heard of for sun protection if sunscreen formulas are too irritating is to use plant-based oils with natural SPF like coconut oil and sunflower oil.
Sun damage aftercare
As for aftercare from sun damage, I do like to use essential oils, about 20 drops mixed with about 2-4oz of distilled water or a water-based like rosewater or aloe juice in a spray bottle and will spritz the areas of concern as often as needed. I really enjoy rosewater because it is immediately soothing upon application, makes my skin feel soft, and smells soothing which helps when I’m feeling stressed out about getting sunburned and a potential rash. Aloe juice I also really love for the reasons mentioned above about gel-based sunscreens. My favorite soothing essential oils for this are tea tree oil, spearmint, eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, and calendula.
Another soothing thing I like to do for sunburns is to do cold compresses with ice packs from the freezer. Or, I sometimes add 5 drops of an essential oil to a wet cloth and wrap it around the sunburns. I find peppermint to be particularly pleasant for this type of application. And finally, I like to put a thin layer of a healing salve like the Hydrating Rescue Balm from Province Apothecary which contains a lot of skin-soothing ingredients like flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, and hempseed oil which helps the recovery process go faster for me.
Hope you find these tips helpful for your eczema the next time you travel to a warm climate or go out in hot weather!
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?