Best Sunscreens for Rosacea – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

As much as 61% of people identify the sun as their main rosacea trigger.

Don’t believe it?

Well, it’s actually pretty obvious if you think about it.

Sun exposure can make your skin tighter and drier. It can also cause clogged pores which can make your rosacea a lot worse.

Needless to say, you’ll need the best sunscreen for rosacea to make sure those things don’t happen to you.

Unfortunately, picking a sunscreen that won’t irritate your skin or trigger flare-ups is easier said than done. You’ll have to keep testing out products until you find the right one that matches your skin’s needs.

This means compromising your skin and burning holes in your wallet.

But, guess what?

You don’t really have to do that anymore as we present to you this handy guide to picking the right sunscreens for your skin condition. We spent 35 long hours reviewing related studies in PubMed and consulting top dermatologists and skin experts just to make sure we find products that are both safe and effective.

Brand

Key Features

#1 - EltaMD​​​​

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    SPF: 46
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    Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9.0%, Octinoxate 7.5%
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    Packaging: Bottle with pump
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    SPF: 40
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    Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20%
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    Packaging: Squeeze tube

#3 - Block Island Organics

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    SPF: 30
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    Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (22%
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    Packaging: Bottle with flip-open cap
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    SPF: 30
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    Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide
    (16%)
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    Packaging: Squeeze tube
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    SPF: 50
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    Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Zinc Oxide (14.5%)
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    Packaging: Bottle with flip-open cap

Now, if you are wondering what we discovered, here’s everything you need to know about the best sunscreen for rosacea.

#1 UV Clear SPF 46 by EltaMD

 Best Sunscreens for Rosacea - UV Clear SPF 46 by EltaMD

What we love the most about this product is that it is suitable for adults and kids alike. It is also recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation because of its effectiveness —and that, in itself, is a huge plus point.

This product is noncomedogenic, sensitivity-free, paraben-free, oil-free, and fragrance-free. All these properties make it perfect for those with sensitive skin and even those who suffer from Rosacea.

It leaves a silky and “barely there” feeling which makes it suitable for everyday use (even under makeup.)

This product is all about good things. It’s super effective yet gentle on the skin that even dermatologists use and recommend it.

One particular customer actually said he wished that this product existed while he was growing up. His skin was all patches before Elta, but after using the product, the burning sensation had gone completely.

What We Liked

  • High SPF
  • Comes in tinted and untinted formulas
  • Leaves no white traces behind
  • Works well under makeup

What We Didn't Like

  • Expensive
  • Pump can make dispensing a bit difficult

#2 SPF 40 UVB/UVA Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin by Cotz

Top rated Sunscreens for Rosacea - SPF 40 UVB/UVA Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin by Cotz

One thing about this product that will get your attention is its indication. It’s not really just for people with sensitive skin but it also works well in taming sensitivity caused by medical medications and procedures.

This product claims to be water-resistant. It can last on your skin for as long as 40 minutes.

It is also photostable, which means that it won’t break down once you get exposed to the sun.

Unlike chemical sunscreens, this product forms an invisible layer on top of the skin and acts like a mirror to deflect all the harmful UVA/UVB rays.

It contains the top 2 of the most effective sunscreen ingredients- Zinc and Titanium Dioxide. It also takes pride in its high SPF level which is higher than the recommended level of Skin Cancer specialists.

Things We Liked

  • High SPF
  • Eye-friendly formula
  • Not animal tested

Things We Didn't Like

  • Can get greasy over time
  • A bit tacky to apply

#3 Block Island Organics - Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30

Block Island Organics - Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30

This Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer comes as a surprise in this roundup. It’s non-toxic and cruelty-free.

Despite these features, you shouldn’t underestimate this one. In fact, it contains 22% zinc oxide and offers broad spectrum protection for your skin.

Apart from these properties, this moisturizer also contains antioxidants, like vitamin E. It also has shea butter and aloe to keep your skin hydrated.

A little goes a long way for this product. And since it’s on the thicker side, it’s recommended that you start applying it in a small amount first.

Or else, your skin will be left with a slightly heavy feeling.

It comes in this squeeze tube with a flip-open cap. This is actually nice for travelling since there’s less chance of spilling or breaking it.

It doesn’t leave any white cast, too.

Things We Liked

  • Contains a high amount of zinc oxide
  • Has hydrating ingredient
  • A little goes a long way
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Chemical-free
  • Has a transparent finish

Things We Didn't Like

  • A bit expensive
  • Can leave a heavy feeling when applied in thick layers

#4 Derma E Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

Derma E Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

Derma E Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 is another chemical-free and vegan option which also happens to be oil-free. It contains nano-particle free zinc oxide to ensure that it won’t irritate or clog your pores.

It glides easily on the skin and gets easily absorbed. It’s non-greasy and leaves a lightweight finish your skin will surely love.

And if you are wondering how effective this sunscreen is- don’t.

The product has 16% zinc oxide to deliver a broad spectrum protection. It also has green tea and vitamin C to provide antioxidant benefits to your skin.

This sunscreen, however, can leave a white cast, especially if you’re not rubbing it well. And even if you do, it can still be visible, especially since the product is a bit thick.

With that, make sure that you don’t use it on your special occasions or when you know you’ll be taking pictures. On other occasions or for daily use, this is the best and most budget-friendly sunscreen you can get for rosacea.

Things We Liked

  • Contains vitamin C and green tea
  • Fragrance-free
  • Inexpensive

Things We Didn't Like

  • Can leave a white cast
  • A bit thick

#5 Sensitive Skin SPF 50 Lotion by Coppertone

Sensitive Skin SPF 50 Lotion by Coppertone

What’s extra nice about this product is that it is water resistant and can last you for up to 80 minutes. If you love the sun and spending lazy afternoons at the beach, this one’s definitely for you.

Its formula is also fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, making this sunscreen highly recommended by most dermatologists. Combined with other measures for sun protection, this product can also help slow down the early signs of skin aging.

It’s affordable, too. You get 177mL of product when you buy this sunscreen.

Despite the great features, this product isn’t all about positive remarks. For one, it tends to leave white marks on the skin which can be a no-no for most people with darker skin color.

What We Liked

  • Affordable
  • Highly recommended
  • Doesn’t clog pores
  • Keeps skin soothed and calm

What We Didn't Like

  • Leaves white marks
  • Can stain fabrics
  • A little bit hard to apply

Reviews and Comparisons of the Best Sunscreens for Rosacea

Our Ranking

1st choice

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

Top-Rated Best Sunscreens for Rosacea

Best Sunscreens for Rosacea comparisions - UV Clear SPF 46 by EltaMD
Best Sunscreens for Rosacea comparisions - SPF 40 UVB/UVA Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin by Cotz
Block Island Organics - Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30
Derma E Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
Best Sunscreens for Rosacea comparisions - Sensitive Skin SPF 50 Lotion by Coppertone

Brand

EltaMD

CoTZ

Block Island

Derma E

Coppertone

SPF level

SPF 46

SPF 40

SPF 30

SPF 30

SPF 50

Quantity

1.7 ounces

3.5 ounces

3.4 fluid ounces

2 ounce

6 ounces

Active Ingredients

Zinc Oxide 9.0%, Octinoxate 7.5%

Zinc Oxide 20%

Zinc Oxide (22%)

Zinc Oxide(16%)

Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Zinc Oxide (14.5%)

White Residue

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Packaging

Bottle with pump

Squeeze tube

Bottle with flip-open cap

Squeeze tube

Bottle with flip-open cap

Get Started

Why Do You Need To Use Sunscreens?

Your skin is one of the most sensitive organs in your body. It’s also the organ most susceptible to the sun’s damaging rays.

This is exactly one of the reasons why you need to wear a sunscreen. Now, you’re probably wondering: Is it safe for Rosacea sufferers?

The short answer is yes.

People with Rosacea have skin that is so sensitive that it easily turns red the moment it gets triggered. Sun exposure proves to be the number one trigger for the condition, so sunscreen is more of a need than a necessity.

How To Pick The Best Sunscreen for Rosacea

The main ingredients you’ll commonly find in sunscreens are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. For your skin type, it’s best that you find a product that doesn’t contain either of the two.

Here’s why:

These two ingredients tend to stain clothes which can affect your compliance with the product. Aside from that stain removal can take a lot of work, they can also permanently damage your clothes.

Another reason is their form.

Most physical sunblocks today come in clear and ultra-fine forms. This limits their capability to provide full and long lasting protection.

Instead of the said ingredients, try to select a sunscreen that contains a combination of microfine zinc and chemical sunscreen, such as octinoxate.

As a guide, look for a sunscreen that has 8 to 12% zinc and 5 to 10% octinoxate. You can also pick a product that contains more than 4 types of chemical sunscreen to meet your skin’s need for a long-lasting SPF protection.

For people with normal skin, sunscreen should be applied every day, no matter what. The same idea applies to Rosacea-affected skin.

Conclusion

Living with Rosacea need not be a depressing thing. There are a lot of sunscreens in the market specifically designed for this condition so there’s no reason for you to stay inside your house and hide away from the sun.

For this roundup, we choose UV Clear SPF 46 by EltaMD as the best sunscreen for Rosacea sufferers. It’s extremely lightweight that you won’t even realize you have it on.

Yes, this product is the priciest among the sunscreens for Rosacea we have reviewed, but it’s all for the good reasons. It contains the right ingredients that can give your skin the protection it needs while you’re outdoors.

Hannah Do

Hannah is the founder of ThankYourSkin. Having personally battled acne during her younger years, she aspires to provide an invaluable guide to anyone suffering from it.

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1 Comment

  1. I like your reviews a lot. I have not personally tried most of these but reviews from Amazon customers don’t lie. I have had rosacea for nearly 10 years and my aunt and also a co-worker both suffer as well. It can be difficult and highly discouraging when you finally find a treatment that works for you but as your body adapts and builds a tolerance, your results fade back to square one. I’ve personally found that cycling my cream-usage (1 week on, 2 weeks off / 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off) has largely preventing tolerance building. Thank you for this review and I will definitely check these sunscreens out.

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