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Best Sunscreens For Sensitive Skin Winners

by Soraya Alcalá

SkinSAFE™ Introduces The Shoppers’ Choice Awards: Best Sunscreens For Sensitive Skin Winners

With summer holidays just around the corner, SkinSAFE understands the need for consumers with sensitive skin to be able to find a sunscreen they can confidently slather on without the fear of triggering a reaction.

The experts at SkinSAFE assessed over 1,400 Facial, Body, and Kids/Baby sunscreens to help make it easy to find sunscreens compatible with sensitive skin needs.

“Dermatologists know how important it is for consumers who have skin sensitivities to get the guidance they need to choose the safest options for sun protection. The options are overwhelming,” said Aki Hashmi, CEO SkinSAFE. “SkinSAFE is working with experts, including dermatologist James A. Yiannias, M.D. of Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ, to take the guesswork out of the process of identifying products that are effective yet gentle enough to apply to sensitive skin.”


SkinSAFE™ SHOPPERS’ CHOICE Awards highlight the best-in-class products available for sensitive skin through a comprehensive multi-step process:

  • Winners must have achieved some of the highest safety and sensitive skin user ratings on SkinSAFEProducts.com.
  • Products must meet the SkinSAFE 100% rating, a proprietary tool to assess ingredient formulations compared to real-world dermatology and allergy test results and must be formulated to exclude 100% of the topmost considered skin allergens based on 20 years of clinical data.
  • Products must have an American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommended SPF equal to 30+.
  • Top scoring products were chosen and assessed based on consumer engagement and popularity on SkinSafeProducts.com.
  • All products were independently rated and assessed by SkinSAFE.

5 Key Findings:

  1. More Options Needed for Sensitive Skin of Color:
    Over 90% of the safest sunscreen award winners are formulated with mineral filters that may not be aesthetically pleasing for skin types 4, 5 and 6. This highlights the need for new filters that blend better yet are still good for sensitive skin.
  2. Mineral Sunscreens Dominate Face and Body:
    76% of the SkinSAFE Shoppers’ Choice body sunscreens contain zinc oxide, either alone or in combination with chemical sun filters. Over 70% of SkinSAFE Shoppers’ Choice Facial Sunscreen winners were found to contain only mineral-based sun filters and over 84% contain zinc oxide.
  3. Higher Priced Sunscreens Are Not Necessarily Safer:
    Over 50% of our top sunscreens can be found at your local drugstore. CVS Health AM Moisturizing Facial Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin SPF30 was one of the winners, highlighting that value brands can also be safe for sensitive skin users.
  4. Sunscreens for Babies/Kids Are Not Necessarily Safer Than Adult Options:
    Only 5 sunscreens labeled for babies and kids made the list. SkinSAFE experts found that some sunscreen not labeled for baby and kids were actually perfectly safe for the whole family. Knowing how critical sun protection is early on in life, the SkinSAFE team concluded that either more options are needed for babies and kids, or labeling should be inclusive of the modern family.
  5. More Body Sunscreens That Are Safe for Sensitive Skin Are Needed:
    Only 4.5% of brands reviewed make body sunscreens which meet SkinSAFE Shoppers’ Choice strict criteria. This indicates a unique opportunity for existing brands and new brands to develop products that not only appeal but are safe for the sensitive skin consumer.

“Our assessment helped identify top sunscreens for consumers with skin sensitivities to consider, and uncovered insights that present opportunities for sunscreen brands to better meet the needs of sensitive skin consumers,” says David A. Mays, PharmD, MBA, Chief Scientific Advisor, SkinSAFE.

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