As summer is in full swing and vacation season is upon us, it’s time to celebrate sun-kissed skin and carefree moments under the warm sun!
We’re here to help make sure your skin stays healthy and glowing throughout your adventures. So, we’re starting a 3-part series focusing on how to best prepare yourself for peak summer, beginning with a big topic: sun.
… Or more specifically, getting the right amount of sun. We know that certain amounts of UV-B are actually good for psoriasis, but there is unfortunately the possibility of having too much of a good thing. Sunburns can be exceptionally painful for those with psoriasis, which is why sunscreen is an essential packing item for days under our big sun.
That said, using sunscreen with psoriasis can be a little nerve-wracking. You never know how your skin will react, and you don't want to risk flaring up for the next two weeks.
I know exactly how that feels, so here’s my approach to sunscreen including what to look for, how to apply it, and my personal favorite brands.
What to look for
The first thing to consider when choosing a sunscreen is the obvious question - "What's it going to do to my skin?"
If you have psoriasis, you should generally opt for a natural or mineral-based sunscreen over a chemical one.
The main difference between the two types of sunscreen (aside from the chemical/non-chemical aspect) is how they combat the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Chemical sunscreens absorb and dissipate UV rays before they reach your skin. But the issue is your skin has to absorb the chemicals for them to work - hence the "wait 20 minutes after applying" instructions. For people with psoriasis like us, this can lead to irritation, discomfort, and angry skin flares.
Natural sunscreens sit atop your skin like a shield, deflecting damaging rays away using minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. This makes them less irritating than chemical sunscreens, which is why I recommend them.
When choosing a natural psoriasis-friendly sunscreen, look for the words “natural” or “mineral.”
How to apply sunscreen effectively
Now that we’ve covered the natural vs. chemical sunscreen debate, let’s chat about how to apply your sunscreen best.
You can simply apply it like normal sunscreen. But I like to multitask and do some Dead Sea Salt therapy while I’m out catching some rays. Sun time is precious in the PNW after all! (Click here to learn more about the wonders of Dead Sea Salt therapy).
The best application method is:
- Apply a generous layer of Dead Sea Salt cream first, letting it absorb
- Add a thin, even layer of a natural sunscreen
- Top with another thin layer of Dead Sea Salt Cream
That's it! This shields you from UV rays while preventing redness and flakes.
Bonus points if you smother your skin with either the Dead Sea Salt or Sensitive Cream after significant exposure - your skin will thank you!
Brands I like
I'll let you in on a secret - if we could produce a natural, psoriasis-friendly sunscreen here at SkinCalm, we absolutely would.
But at our current size, it’s just not feasible yet.
So here are a couple of products I love pairing with our magical Dead Sea Salt cream (we receive no compensation for these recommendations).
For lightweight application with minimal white sheen:
For oily skin with a matte finish:
We genuinely recommend these based on years of testing and research - not compensation.
I hope these tips help you soak up the summer sun safely and comfortably! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Wishing you clear skies ahead,