Sunscreen Disaster

by Michelle
(Harrisburg, PA)

I just had the worst reaction to sunscreen yesterday that I have never experienced before. I've been using sunscreen all my life and have never experienced this before this year.

I usually use Banana Boat sunscreen, well I decided to pick up a Generic kind called Care One and immediately upon spraying it on my body I started getting spots all over. Very lightly at first and by the evening they were a dark red, almost purple. I eventually went to the hospital because it had gotten extremely bad. I apparently am allergic to the sunscreen. It's kind of odd though because I had used my cream sunscreen, which is a little older, on my face and nothing happened to my face. I compared the ingredients on the bottles of the new and old and have noticed they put something in them now that is called Homosalate which is not in the cream form I used. I went to the pharmacy and now see it in all the newer sunscreens. This is seen in most of the waterproof/sweat proof kind of sunscreens. I'm wondering if they are now putting this in all sunscreens and if so what are people with allergies to this supposed to use to protect their skin.

Our reply

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear about your severe reaction to your new suncreen. It's really terrible that those of us with allergies and sensitive skin need to be so careful with our skin care products. The mainstream cosmetics industry has not yet found a way to make effective products that are also gentle and safe. I'm so sorry for what you went through.

Yes, Homosalate is considered
a moderately toxic ingredient according to the Cosmetics Database. You can learn more about the research that has been done, and you'll see that some countries like Japan already have concerns about it at their listing on Homosalate

There are no easy answers right now that I have found in relation to sunscreens for sensitive skin. I check out sunscreens on a pretty regular basis (every summer!) and the good news is, there are more options than a few years ago. I haven't tried them all, but I'm glad to know they are more widely available.

Some of the safest sunscreens for sensitive skin unfortunately give a somewhat whitish cast to your skin, some more than others. Some people get around this by applying a safe mineral makeup over the sunscreen to provide a more natural look.

The safest brand that doesn't totally white out your skin that I've found so far is the ***z-cleure-sunscreen.shtml*** which doesn't have a very high SPF but has worked well for my skin, and absorbs into the skin enough to not be very noticeable. It is very affordable and they ship to most countries.

There are some other brands of safe sunscreens that have become available in recently. I haven't tried them all yet, since I mostly use hats and long sleeves for sun protection now :) but they have good ingredients and so far are well reviewed.

I hope you are able to find a gentler and safer sunscreen for your sensitive skin. I do recommend that you only try products that have a money back guarantee, and that you first test the product on your skin to make sure you will not have a bad reaction.

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