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How to Choose a Sunscreen That Won't Sting Your Face

author image Sarah Barnes
Sarah Barnes has been a professional writer and editor since 2004. She has been published in newspapers and regional magazines in the Wichita, Kansas area. Barnes holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from a Midwestern university.
How to Choose a Sunscreen That Won't Sting Your Face
It is possible to find sting-free sunscreen formulas. Photo Credit: Marc Debnam/Digital Vision/Getty Images

That stinging feeling on your cheeks and around your eyes can make the thought of wearing sunscreen on your face unappealing. Fortunately, the science of sunscreen has advanced, developing formulas that are much gentler on your face. There are two types of sunscreen: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens stop UV rays from being absorbed, while chemical formulas destroy already absorbed rays. Avobenzone, a component of chemical sunscreens, is known to cause stinging. By choosing a gentle, physical sunscreen, you can greatly reduce the chances of a sunscreen stinging your face.

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Step 1

Buy a sunscreen that is formulated especially for the face. These sunscreens are designed not to sting your skin. You also can use your regular facial moisturizer in place of sunscreen on your face, as long as the moisturizer contains sunscreen.

Step 2

Look for organic, all-natural and/or sensitive-skin sunscreen formulas. These contain fewer harsh chemicals, which might be the cause of the stinging.

Step 3

Stay away from your eyes when applying sunscreen. If you use a sunscreen spray on your body, consider a lotion formula for the face for more precise application. Lotions also might be less irritating than gels, according to research by Texas A&M University.

Step 4

Look at your sunscreen's ingredients. You might be allergic or sensitive to a component of your sunscreen. See your doctor for an allergy test or other medical evaluation if you're still experiencing irritation and stinging.

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