6 Side Effects Of Using Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is a crucial step in the skin care routine. But are all sunscreens safe? Sunscreen side effects have been a cause for concern for a while now. Chemical sunscreens with tetracyclines, phenothiazines, and sulfa drugs may do more harm than good. Therefore, it is important to know what goes into your sunscreen and how it affects you. Read this article to know more. Scroll down.

1. Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions

Sunscreens include some chemicals that can cause skin irritation such as redness, swelling, dryness, irritation, peeling of the skin, and itching. Some people develop severe allergic reactions with rashes and intense itching. This allergic reaction can be the result of chemicals found in sunscreens like fragrances and preservatives. PABAi is ideally used in many commercial sunscreens that can cause a high rate of allergic reactions. Hence, this is getting removed from many popular sunscreens of reputed brands.

You can even buy sunscreens with the label ‘hypoallergenic’. Sunscreens that don’t contain PABA are often labeled, but some other chemicals can lead to an allergic problem. If you are not sure about the allergic reaction that may be caused by a sunscreen product, get a patch test done by a dermatologist. You can use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, as they are less allergic.

02. Sunscreens Can Make Acne Worse

Sunscreens Can Make Acne Worse

If you have acne-prone skin, some chemicals in the sunscreen product can worsen your problem. To get rid of this side effect of sunscreen, you can choose non-comedogenici and non-oily sunscreens. It is suggested to use a sunscreen best suited for your skin type. Avoid using body sunscreens on the face, as these are too heavy.

Quick Tip

If you have acne-prone skin, you may also choose a day cream with SPF instead of layering with two different products.

03. Eye Irritation

Eye Irritation

Getting sunscreen into the eye can cause pain and irritation. This can also lead to burning and temporary sensitivity to light. Some claim that chemical sunscreens can also cause blindness. If the sunscreen gets into the eyes, rinse them thoroughly with cool water or see your doctor.

Quick Tip

You may also use artificial tears to flush out the sunscreen. If you feel uncomfortable, place a wet or cool cloth on your eyes for some relief.

04. Increases The Risk Of Breast Cancer

Sunscreen includes ingredients that can have estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells. Some sunscreens can have effects on blood estrogens levels. Avoid using chemical sunscreens on your children, as their skin tends to absorb the chemicals instantly.

Benzophenone-3 is a common ingredient found in chemical sunscreens. It increases tumor cell proliferation and promotes breast cancer. A study conducted on mice showed that the use of BP-3 increased the proportion of epithelial tumors in mice that were fed an adult-restricted diet high in saturated animal fat (HFD).

05. Pain in Hairy Areas

There are varieties of sunscreen that can be confusing to choose from. They are also available in many forms like gels, lotions, sprays, ointments, creams, and wax sticks. It is your personal choice to choose the type of sunscreen. Gels are best for hairy areas like the scalp or the male chest. Some sunscreens can lead to tightening or drying of the skin and can cause pain in hairy areas.

06. Pus in the Hair Follicles

This is a rare side effect that occurs. However, it is not usually due to sunscreen. You need to consult a dermatologist immediately if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort.

Tips To Avoid The Side Effects Caused By Sunscreen:

  • Wash off and stop using the sunscreen if it causes redness or irritation.
  • Talk to your doctor or seek the pharmacist’s advice about using a new sunscreen.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you are outside for long periods.
  • If you are using the lip balm form of sunscreen, apply it on the lip area only.
  • Choose Sunscreen for your children very wisely.
  • Avoid using sunscreen on kids younger than 6 months.
  • Choose oil-free and non-comedogenic sunscreen if you have oily skin.

Since we have discussed tips to prevent sunscreen side effects, let’s address a hot question: Is Oxybenzone in sunscreens harmful or safe? Scroll down to read.