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Many rosacea patients are averse to the suggestion that they apply sunscreen to their face, let alone daily.
These patients usually have general use, outdoor sunscreens in mind when they object.
With careful selection (see suggestions or the guide) modern sunscreens for daily cosmetic use as a treatment against rosacea symptoms (and to prevent signs of skin aging) can lack characteristic sunscreen scent, apply quickly and easily, are not whitening, and don't irritate eyes (especially important if you have ocular rosacea).
Specialty products for rosacea, or damaged, sensitive skin, can impart additional benefits, reducing inflammation and redness, improving skin barrier function (reducing prickling, tingling and burning) and helping protect against capillary damage.
Apart from product selection these 5 key points for sunscreen application help perfect rosacea skin care by getting the most out of sunscreen which, If done correctly, is the most effective means of reducing symptoms in the majority of patients.
1. If your skin is extremely sensitive, sunscreen can cause stinging. Wait 5-10 minutes after cleansing your skin before you apply sunscreen. As your skin dries, it becomes less permeable and reactive. Choosing a sunscreen with niacin and/or ceramides such as Rosacea Treatment Clinic De-Sensitising Barrier Fluid SPF 50, Attend SPF 50+ or Kinerase Pro+ SPF 30 Lotion or Cream will help resolve this problem, and may be necessary if you live in a very humid environment.
2. Apply generously. If you're applying sunscreen as a once-daily intervention, make sure you apply enough for prolonged benefit. Half a teaspoon is suggested for the entire face and neck (Attend SPF 50+ is an exception, requiring only 0.01-0.02 OZ per application). If you are going to be directly exposed to sun for a prolonged period, you should protect your skin with repeated applications every 2-3 hours and by other measures such as hats and shade.
3. Because sunscreens can contain ingredients that do much more than just protect against UV and should be applied generously, consider the possibility of replacing any other leave-on skin care products you use during the day with sunscreen alone. A high quality sunscreen can often replace serums, moisturizers and even makeup primers, with no loss (or even gains) in your skin's overall appearance. Applying moisturizing products underneath sunscreen can also hamper their absorption, or lead to shiny skin.
4. Take the time to apply sunscreen section-by-section. Massaging a modern facial sunscreen in thoroughly ensures you don't end up looking white and enhances the protection of the product. Apply to the forehead, neck, cheeks, chin and nose separately with the fingertips in small circular motions until complete penetration occurs, rather than to the entire face with the palms of the hand. This method also prevents excess sunscreen on the eyelids and around the eyes, which may lead to eye irritation, which is a concern if you have ocular rosacea.
5. To help prevent the overall appearance of aging skin, remember to apply to all exposed areas for a uniform effect. The back of the neck, ears, chest and hands often miss application.
Author: Jeremy Cleckley