Fun In The Sun!

29 Mar


So last year I was at my cottage, getting my Vitamin D on, it was truly a hot day. I was on my lounge chair, had a frosty cold drink and my music playing (and probably stayed out longer than I should have). I never forgot to put on my sunscreen either (and so you shouldn’t either!). Well, as a result, later that night was kind of hell. My face was red (which I thought I could put up with, because I had Aloe After-Sun Care, and usually the next day it turns into a wonderful tan). But I knew something was off, it was a weird redness. It looked like my face was burning, also felt like my face was burning (and I thought, here we go again… , because frankly, what IS up with my face?). Burning, extreme itchiness and severe redness met me the next morning. GREAT.

Didn’t think much of it, am I allergic to the sun? Naw, can’t be. I’m always out in the sun! But I’m at my cottage, I very rarely put anything on my face, except…. sunscreen! How could this be? All of a sudden sunscreen takes revenge on my face? So I saw my Allergist (I seemed to see him a lot last summer). Oh yeah, beautiful reaction on my arm with sunscreen.


The reaction to sunscreens can occur anywhere the substance is applied on the body, although tends to be more common on the areas of the body with the most exposure to the sun. This is called “photo-contact dermatitis.”

Photo-contact dermatitis usually occurs in a sun-exposed pattern on the body. These areas would include the face (but not the eyelids), the “V” area of the upper chest and lower neck, the backs of the hands and the forearms. The area of the neck under the chin is usually not affected.

Contact dermatitis to sunscreens can occur as a result of allergy to the active ingredients or to the fragrances and preservatives present in the product.

Here are a list of ingredients in sunscreen that may not be a fan of your face!

Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA).People allergic to PABA may be allergic to other similar chemicals, including para-phenylenediamine (found in hair dye) and sulfonamide (sulfa) medications.

Benzophenones. Benzophenones have been used in sunscreens for 50 years, and are one of the most common causes of sunscreen-induced contact dermatitis. Other names for benzophenones include oxybenzone, Eusolex 4360, methanone, Uvinal M40, diphenylketone and any other chemical name ending with “-benzophenone”.

Cinnamates. Cinnamates are less commonly found in sunscreens but are a common ingredient used as flavorings and fragrances in everything from toothpaste to perfumes. These chemicals are related to Balsam of Peru, cinnamon oils and cinnamic acid and aldehyde, so people allergic to cinnamates may also be allergic to these other chemicals. Other names of cinnamate containing chemicals include Parsol MCX and any chemical ending with “–cinnamate.”

Salicylates. Common chemicals in this group used today include octyl salicylate, homosalate and any chemical ending with “-salicylate.” Salicylates are rare causes of contact dermatitis.

Dibenzoylmethanes.Also includes the chemicals avobenzone and Eusolex 8020.

Octocrylene. Octocrylene is a relatively new chemical used in sunscreens, but has been reported to cause contact dermatitis. It is similar to cinnamates, and may be used together with cinnamate chemicals in sunscreens.

I highly recommend the Coppertone Hypoallergenic Sunscreen – it works for me! It’s wonderful.

PRICE: $9.99 (sale)

(this post is dedicated to Heather for her lovely suggestion!)


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