Sure, it can happen--but not with every form of sunscreen.
Wax on! A waxy stick has polymers that latch onto the skin so that your sun protection stays put, even through major sweat sessions. Sweep the stick over your skin, applying a thin coat onto your entire face. Then rub it in to make sure you're completely covered. Or smooth on your regular facial sunscreen lotion, then use the stick block just around your eyes (including eyelids, brow bones, and under-eye areas): The waxiness will form a barrier so the lotion doesn't drip below your brows and get into your eyes. Bonus: A waxy stick is also great for covering small spots like lips, ears, and even your hair part.
Try Burt's Bees Baby Bee SPF 30 Sunscreen Stick, $10, available at drugstores.
"It Makes My Acne or Rosacea Worse"
Rich oil-based creams can trap dirt and sweat on the skin--and cause pimples. And while chemicals like avobenzone don't actually cause breakouts, they can aggravate existing acne, rosacea, and redness by "creating a heat reaction on the skin, which causes blood vessels to dilate and makes skin red and inflamed," says Kathy Fields, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco.
For you, less truly is more. The shorter the ingredient list, the fewer potentially irritating fillers the product likely contains. On the definitely-avoid list? Oil, fragrance, and chemical sunscreens. Mineral blocks such as zinc and titanium, on the other hand, can actually help: By reflecting heat energy off the skin, they minimize redness. Find them in a gel formula and your skin will feel even cooler. Finally, be sure the product is labeled noncomedogenic, which means the company tested it to make sure the ingredients don't clog pores, according to Fields.
Try MD Solar Sciences SPF 30+ Mineral Screen Gel, $25, available at mdsolarsciences.com.
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