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The Beauty Beat

I Have Dry Skin In The Summer. Is It From My Sunscreen?

With so many brands, formulas, and levels of sunscreen on the market, your next question might be if any sunblocks actively moisturize skin and can be used in the summer.

If you struggle with dry skin in the summer, the culprit could be your sunscreen.

Sunscreen is deemed a skincare savior during the summer months, protecting delicate skin from the sun’s damaging rays. We don’t even think of going out without our SPF 50! Not many of us consider that sunscreen could be a cause of dry skin issues.

Making the Connection Between Sunscreen and Dry Skin

So, is your dry skin in the summer caused by your sunscreen? The short answer? Maybe. If you head into summertime already suffering from any level of dry skin, it's more likely that your sunblock is perpetuating a worsening condition.

On the other hand, if you regularly deal with oily or combination skin and have just decided to add sunscreen to your skincare line-up consistently, and THEN you notice increased dry patches, the new addition to your routine may be to blame.

How is this possible from a skincare product that is so universally recommended? The ingredients that allow you to reap the benefits of sunscreen are the same ingredients that can dry out your skin.

For example, sunscreen consistently contains astringents in its formulas. This is the ingredient that actively fights and protects the skin from UVA and UVB burns. However, it also blocks bodily secretions like sweat and sebum. That can lead to dry skin in the summer.

What About Mineral Sunscreen?

With so many brands, formulas, and levels of sunscreen on the market, your next question might be if any sunblocks actively moisturize skin and can be used in the summer. Unfortunately, mineral sunscreen is not the answer; it’s more likely to cause dry skin. One of the critical ingredients in mineral sunscreen is zinc oxide, a known astringent and a significant cause of dry skin in the summer.

How to Avoid Sunscreen-Induced Dry Skin

Even though sunscreen might be the hidden cause of your dry skin in the summer, that does not mean you should stop using it every day. Its benefits certainly outweigh the potential negative symptoms of dry skin, like itchiness, flakiness, redness, and more.

The solution? Take extra care in your skincare routine during the summer months to actively prevent drying skin and look for sunscreens with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid to boost and retain your skin’s moisture. .

Decreasing Causes of Summer Dry Skin

The first step in decreasing your summertime dry skin is selecting the right sunblock for your unique needs. For dry skin, the best choice of sunscreen is one with a creamy base or some of the aforementioned ingredients. If you still experience sunburn or dryness, use a hydrating moisturizer before your SPF application and aloe after sun exposure consistently to remedy the burn until it is gone and re-energize your skin.

Another tip for minimizing summer dryness is to take note of other activities that could cause a lack of moisture in the skin. During the summer, many of us spend time in and around swimming pools. That chlorine exposure is notorious for drying out your skin. To remedy that additional dryness, be diligent and shower promptly after getting out of any water that’s been treated with chemicals.

Ultimately, sunscreen is a necessary tool to save our skin from harsh UV rays and burns; we will always need it. Although the dryness is not an ideal consequence of being responsible with skincare, being educated on how to combat it and taking action to do so is a sure formula to maintaining sun protection while minimizing moisture loss.

Meet the author

Katie Werbowski
Director of Brand Strategy & Development at Skin Spa New York

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