Sunscreen Side Effects – Simple Tips to Avoid Them

It is essential that you get protection from the sun when you go out in the sun. So, we are always advised that we wear sunscreen whenever we go out in the sun. Protecting our skin from the sun is essential as it helps in preventing skin cancer, sunburns and premature aging of the skin. But these sunscreens may contain chemicals in them, which can cause side effects. Some of the medications used in them like tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, phenothiazines etc can pose risks.

Sunscreen Side Effects

How to Apply Sunscreen Correctly?

  1. You have to apply the sunscreen all over the exposed skin.
  2. Try to apply it at least 30 minutes before you go out in the sun.
  3. After swimming, sweating etc. it is advised that you apply it again.
  4. Even if you are indoors, keep applying sunscreen after every 4 hours.

Disadvantages or Dangers of Sunscreen:

Allergic reactions:

Sunscreens contain some chemical in them. These chemicals can cause irritation of the skin such as skin redness, swelling, itching and so on. Some people develop severe allergic reactions including rashes and intense itching. The allergic reactions can be because of the chemicals found in sunscreens like fragrances and preservatives. PABA used in many of the commercial sunscreens can cause a high rate of allergic reactions in some people. So, it is getting removed from many of the popular and reputed brands of sunscreen.

You can choose sunscreens with the label ‘hypoallergenic’. Sunscreens that do not contain PABA are often labelled. But these can contain some other chemicals that can lead to allergic reactions. If you are not sure whether you may suffer from allergic reactions by using a product, then it is better that you get a patch teat done by a dermatologist. This way you can save yourself from allergic reactions. You can use sunscreens containing zinc oxide as they are less allergic.

Eye irritation:

If the sunscreen happens to get into your eyes, it can cause pain and irritation. This may even lead to burning and temporary sensitivity to light. Some even claim that chemical sunscreens can cause blindness. If the sunscreen gets into your eyes, rinse your eyes thoroughly with cold water as soon as possible. You may also go and see your doctor.

Increases the risk of breast cancer:

Sunscreens are said to contain ingredients that have estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells. Some sunscreens have side effects on blood estrogens levels. Do not use chemical sunscreens on your children because their skin is tender and can absorb the chemicals instantly.

Pain in hairy areas:

When you go to a store, you can see varieties of sunscreen. This can be very confusing and you will be at loss as to which one to choose. They are also available in many forms like gels, sprays, lotions, creams, ointments, wax sticks and so on. You can choose one that you prefer. For hairy areas like the scalp and male chest, gels are the best option. Some sunscreens can cause tightening or drying of the skin. This can cause pain in the hairy areas.

Pus in the hair follicles:

Sunscreens can cause itchy spots on the skin. This may develop into bumpy red rashes. Sometimes these may become filled with pus and form blisters around the hair follicles.

Sunscreens can make acne worse:

If your skin is prone to acne, you should be careful when you use sunscreen. Some chemicals in them can make your problem even worse. One way to get rid of this side effect of sunscreen is to use non-comedogenic and non-oily sunscreens. When you choose the sunscreen, try to pick one that best suits your skin type. Do not use body sunscreens on your face as they are too heavy.

How to protect yourself from Sunscreen side effects?

  • If the sunscreen is causing redness or reactions on your skin, wash it off and avoid using sunscreen.
  • When you use a new sunscreen, talk to your doctor or take the advice of a pharmacist and make sure whether it is suitable to your skin type.
  • Reapply the sunscreen every two hours if you are spending time outside in the sun for long periods.
  • If your lip balm also contains sunscreen in it, apply it on your lip area only.
  • When you choose sunscreen for your children, be sure about it and choose very carefully and wisely.
  • Do apply sunscreen on kids less than 6 months old.
  • Choose sunscreens that are oil-free and non-comedogenic if you have an oily skin.

So, you can see that there are many side effects of sunscreen. The best way to save yourself from these side effects is to use sunscreens that are natural and free from chemicals. Titanium oxide or zinc oxide based sunscreens can prevent allergic reactions or estrogenic effects. So, try to use them.

How to Make Natural Homemade Sunscreen that Works?

You can make homemade sunscreen and thereby prevents side effects of commercial sunscreen. Here is how you can make sunscreen at home using natural ingredients.

Ingredients required:

  • ½ cup almond or olive oil;
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons of zinc oxide
  • Up to 1 teaspoon red raspberry seed oil – optional
  • Up to 1 teaspoon carrot seed oil – optional
  • 2 tablespoons Shea butter – optional
  • Optional: Essential oils, vanilla extract or other natural extracts as you prefer. Do not use citrus essential oil and it can increase sun sensitivity.

Preparation Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a glass jar and then put it in a medium sized saucepan with a couple of inches water in it. Put a lid loosely over the glass jar.
  2. Place the saucepan with the jar over medium heat.
  3. As the water gets heated, the ingredients in the jar will start melting. Stir occasionally. When all the ingredients get melted, add zinc oxide and stir well.
  4. Now pour it into a tin or jar that you use for storage.
  5. Small mason jars are good.
  6. Stir a few times as it gets cooled.
  7. Sore at room temperature.

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