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I really want to be a good girl and use sunblock consistently this year. I do spend a lot of time outdoors, you see, and I am aware of the consequences this can have for my skin in the long run. My problem, though? Every sunblock I have tried stings my face, some make it break out, and worse of all, no matter how much I try to avoid getting it in my eyes, whenever I use a sunblock, I seem to end up with "burning" eyes. It is really quite severe. 

So I'm scared. Is there any good sunblock that won't terrorize my face and eyes? 

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Never heard of that, but that sounds horrible. I hope someone has tips for you.

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Hey,

Though I have fortunately never had to deal with this issue myself, I have a friend who is incredibly sensitive to sunscreens. Even though she did not even use the sunscreen in the intraorbital area around the eyes, she experienced terrible stinging and burning sensations whenever she used sunscreen. She eventually found Biore Watery Essence and said that this does not irritate her eyes at all. You could look into that and see if it helps you too? 

I also have no idea what causes this, but it is clearly a sign that the products you have been using are not right for you. I hope there is a chance the Biore one will work for you as well.

Rosie

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Hello! You are not the only person who has encountered this problem. I think, if you were to look back and take a look at all the ingredients listed in your sunscreens that you have used in the past, they would all contain avobenzone. This is the ingredient that is known to irritate some people's skin to the point where you experience stinging and burning. Thankfully, though avobenzone is very common in sunscreens, it is possible to find sunscreen without that. I think if you try that, you will not experience the same reaction again.
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Thank you for mentioning that.

I just spent some time reading about avobenzone and I found out that, although it does a great job blocking the sun's harmful rays, in the process it also actually produces free radicals and increases the risk of cancer. That makes me question the common wisdom that you need sun cream. The sun scream is there to help you prevent skin cancer after all, but studies show avobenzone to be carcinogenic?

What do other people think about this? Should we still apply sunscreen or skip it? Are there any other ingredients in sunscreen that are known to be dangerous?
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Hi, after having read about the avobenzone issue here, I thought you would be interested in the list of sunscreens without avobenzone that I put together? I am going to stick to these myself this year, as I have fair skin and need sunscreen before, but have had issues with sunscreen staining my clothes in the past:

  • Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sensitive (and recommended by dermatologists)
  • Sunology Natural Sunscreen for the body, SPF 50
  • Goddess Garden organics, which is in a spray
  • Biore UV Aqua Rich, SPF 50
  • Del Mar Beach Supply Co Shade, SPF 32

Along with that, a whole range of sunscreens designed for babies exists that do not contain avobenzone. That is quite telling in itself, in actual fact. 

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A pear of good sun glass
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What? Well yes, of course wearing sunglasses (the Polaroid type ones) will protect your eyes from the sun, wearing wide-rimmed hats will help, wearing long and loose clothes will help... but you still need a sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's UVA and UVB rays, even if you do all that.

We're talking here about sunscreen that irritates people's eyes severely even if they do not put it anywhere close to their eyes. I repeat, even if they don't put it anywhere close to their eyes! Sounds ridiculous to those who have never experienced it, but it really does happen. The trick is to avoid the offending ingredient, avobenzone.
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I just wanted to add that zinc oxide is really the safest and best option for sunscreen. This offers protection against both UVA and UVB, which not all sunscreens do by any means. It is also antibacterial and can help you with other skin problems you may have, such as acne for instance, or large pores, or even warts on the face, not to mention psoriasis or rosacea. It will also help you with wrinkles and sun damage like pigment. So if I were you, this is what I would be looking for. This most likely will not burn your eyes either.

Rosie

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The avobenzone mentioned here has received quite a lot of negative press lately, but that is not because it is necessarily bad for the skin at all, and claims that it messes with your hormone production are not proven. In fact, avobenzone sits on your skin, where UVA is absorbed by it before it even gets to your skin cells. That means that your skin is protected from these rays and it keeps you looking younger and reduces your risk of skin cancer. Sounds like a good deal to me! However, if you have a bad reaction to it then of course you should look for something else. But avobenzone is not bad for most people.
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Besides Avobenzone, Homosolate, Octisilate and other absorbers can also be very irritating to some skins. They are all chemicals and that is why they make some people's faces burn and sting when they use sunscreens. The answer is in looking for natural sunscreens. Because I had this problem with many sunscreens as well, I now only use those that are based on Zinc and Titanium. Do avoid natural sunscreens with lots of oil, which is many of them, if you have oily skin and don't want to clog your pores.
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I feel your pain, sunblock always gets in my eyes. I have had good luck with Ombrelle, especially the stick. Good luck.
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I also experience burning and stinging around my eye area and invariably no matter how hard I try it gets into my eyes and burns. My sunscreen gets on my eye lashes and then gets into my eyes. I have had basal cell skin cancer before and it is mandatory that I wear sunscreen. So I am very consistent about wearing it. Thank you for the list you posted. I will try them and see if that helps. This has been a continual problem for me and it is so painful when it gets into my eyes.
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 try using vegan sunscream

 

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are those safe for babies as well? or could you post ones you suggest for babies? we used coppertone baby on our daughter and her eyes immediately were watering and she was rubbing them, we had to put her in the bath right away to wash it off.
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