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My Experience with Psoriasis and Sunscreen

Florida, aka “the sunshine state,” is where I call home. I live about 5-miles from the region’s bay. It’s an area that rarely becomes cloudy unless it’s about to rain.

Using products with sunscreen was once a major part of my daily skin routine. But after experiencing my new normal with psoriasis, I became timid with doing anything extra to my skin. Like many of you, the topic of psoriasis and sunscreen once left me with a giant question mark floating over my head.

I’ve lived with various forms of psoriasis throughout the majority of my life. I just didn’t know it until about 8 years ago.

As I’ve grown more educated about the issues impacting my skin, it’s also changed how I use products and what products I feel safe using.

Finding the right sunscreen with psoriasis

Sunscreen, especially where I live, is a truly important product that should be incorporated into all of our routines. Whether you’re getting ready for errands or taking a trip to the lake or beach – there’s a sunscreen for that.

Things I look for in a facial sunscreen are if it is tinted, waterproof or resistant, and its SPF rating.

There was one time at a waterpark, I found out my new facial sunscreen wasn’t waterproof or resistant. A blast of water along the lazy river created a river of tears down my face.

The sunscreen ran into my eyes which stung for hours afterward. So, I definitely recommend testing out all new waterproof or resistant sunscreens in the shower before heading to the great outdoors. The same goes for all-over body protection if you plan on using it on your face.

Brands and types of sunscreen that I like

Neutrogena sunscreen products created specifically for the face have never done me wrong. I’ve used them for as long as I can remember. I really prefer the glide-on stick that resembles deodorant. It makes for easy application and re-application later, especially if you have arthritic hands.

For all-over-use sunscreen products, I prefer to use sprays. I have psoriatic arthritis and spraying allows for relatively easy application and decent coverage. Following directions for reapplication is critical to help avoid burns.

Sun Bum has quite a few sunscreen sprays for adults and babies to choose from with safe ingredients. Recently they posted about reformulating to remove ingredients known to kill coral reefs. That is something I can totally get behind.

Also, I’m not above using a sunscreen made for babies. Aveeno and Babyganics are two brands that I’ve had a lot of success with across the spectrum of their products.

Keeping raw skin protected from the sun

Due to psoriasis, I will sometimes have open or raw skin, so keeping it protected is important. I try to cover active plaques or raw inverse psoriasis patches, since I may not be able to use a sunscreen product on it.

UV-protective rash guards and garments in general are great for creating some coverage of an affected area. Ideally, you will still wear an SPF-30 or higher sunscreen underneath.

Preventing irritation after wearing sunscreen

I’ve been lucky so far to not have a product create a psoriatic reaction. Upon conclusion of fun in the sun, I head to wash the sunscreen off as soon as possible and then moisturize. After being in the sun, moisturizing plays a big role in preventing the skin from drying out and cracking.

These days, there are so many sunscreens to choose from that it can be a bit daunting. Thankfully, I have a friend who receives monthly boxes. The boxes are full of samples and sometimes full-size products, so when she gets a duplicate she will share one with me to try out.

This has helped me avoid spending money on expensive products I would not be able to use. Not everyone has a friend who can hand out samples, and that’s okay!

You can find samples or travel sizes at your local beauty or makeup store. Even some of their websites are offering additional sample sign-ups. Don't see a sample signup form? Go ahead, email, or DM the brand. It never hurts to ask.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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