What causes sunscreen reactions?
Reactions to sunscreen are rare and can be a result of a sensitivity or allergy to any of the many ingredients used in these products. Some people may have a reaction to the following:
- Added fragrance - Everyday's sunscreen range are all unscented
- Preservatives - Everyday does not use synthetic preservatives like parabens
- Some UV absorbers - Everyday steers clear of toxic sunscreen actives like oxybenzone, octinoxate and PABA
Some reactions occur soon after applying the sunscreen, while others (e.g. allergic reactions) can develop after a couple of days or even years of using the same product.
Reactions occur in a very low proportion of the population – fewer than 1% of all users – but while uncommon, can be upsetting for those affected.
As with all products, use of sunscreen should cease if an unusual reaction occurs. Individuals or families experiencing reactions should seek a referral to a dermatologist to understand what may have caused the reaction and gain advice on ingredients that should be avoided in the future.
How can I avoid a sunscreen reaction or allergy?
As sunscreens contain multiple active ingredients, it can be difficult to determine whether you will have a reaction – and, if you do, what component of the sunscreen caused it. For this reason, we recommends performing a patch test before applying any sunscreen. If you have a known sunscreen allergy, the best way to avoid a problem is to not use any product containing the substances you are sensitive to.
How do I perform a patch test?
- Apply - Squeeze out a small amount of sunscreen into your hand and rub onto an inconspicuous area of skin. The underside of your arm is a good place for it.
- Wait - Wait and see if any reaction occurs.
- OK To Go - If nothing happens over 2 days, then you can apply the sunscreen to the rest of your body.
Excerpt derived from Cancer Council Australia