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Importance of Sun Protection for Rosacea Sufferers

Days at the beach and tan lines are fun, but did you know the sun is a major contributor to rosacea redness and progression? 

If you’ve been dealing with rosacea for a while, you probably have a good regime going. You manage your stress and eat the right foods. But are you doing enough to protect your skin from sun damage? If you have rosacea, you’ll need to take a few extra precautions when catching some vitamin D. 

What is Rosacea? 

Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels on the face. Other symptoms include small. red, puss-filled bumps. Other symptoms include: 
  • Larger pores 
  • Stinging and burning of your skin
  • Patches of rough, dry skin 
  • A swollen, bulb-shaped nose
  • Broken blood vessels on your eyelids
  • Bumps on your eyelids 
  • Vision problems 

Rosacea can come and go from various factors, such as sun damage. If you take measures to care for your skin and avoid possible triggers, the redness and swelling will improve. 

Relationship Between Sun & Rosacea-Prone Skin

According to the National Rosacea Society (NRS), sun exposure is the second most common trigger for rosacea flare ups. Even short exposure to dangerous sun rays can: 
  • Cause serious damage to the outer layer of the skin 
  • Cause broken blood vessels 
  • Destroys collagen and elastin in connective tissue 
  • Stimulate the growth of new blood vessels 
  • Cause the release of potent dilators from rosacea-affected skin cells 
Dermatologists agree all rosacea sufferers should wear sunscreen daily. People suffering from rosacea have an extremely thin outer layer of skin which is unable to act as a protective barrier from environmental factors. Therefore, it’s important to apply protective barrier cream on rosacea-prone skin. A substance that has been shown in clinical studies to exert excellent skin protective actions is micro-fine zinc oxide. 
Some of the benefits of zinc oxide as a skin protectant include: 
  • It’s non-irritating on the skin and suitable for sensitive skin 
  • Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen which means it sits on top of the skin and reflects sunlight, rather than absorbing it into the skin. This reduces the build-up of heat on the facial skin from UV sun rays. 
  • Zinc oxide protects the skin from UV-induced free radicals that can cause physical damage to the skin 
  • Adds an extra protective barrier to increase the skin’s overall protective ability 
  • Helps reduce redness as zinc oxide is soothing and anti-inflammatory 
  • Helps the skin heal and thickens the abnormally thin skin 

The Right Sunscreen

Quality skincare companies are now making sunscreens ideal for rosacea-prone skin that act as a sunblock and a skin protectant. These sunscreens use microfine zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide have a bit of a bad rep for being greasy, chalky and leaving a ghostly white cast on the face. However, advancements in technology have now made topical zinc oxide that is non-greasy and dries clear. Hallelujah! 

Image of natural australian sunscreen spf40

Grahams Natural’s SunClear SPF40 Natural Sunscreen is one of the best sunscreen/skin protectants on the market for rosacea sufferers. The primary active ingredient is microfine zinc oxide with no chemical UVA/UVB filters. 
We get asked all the time about the whitening effect of Zinc on the skin, well we are excited to say that SunClear goes on the skin clear! We also have one of the best formulas on the market as we do not use water in our formulation, we are preservative free and we only use ingredients that help to protect you from the sun's harsh rays. SunClear is 2 hours water resistant so you can be in the water for up to 2 hours and still be protected. This formula is especially developed for those with sensitive, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and is suitable for all ages. It is one of the only Vegan Sunscreens on the market.

How Much Sunscreen Is Enough?

SunClear Sunscreen should be applied generously to all exposed skin 20 minutes before sun exposure. It should be applied liberally and evenly to clean and dry skin.  For adults, the recommended amount is 5ml (approximately one teaspoon) for each arm, leg, body front, body back and face (including neck and ears). 

Sunscreens should always be reapplied regularly and especially after swimming, heavy sweating or toweling. 

Sunscreen Isn't Enough

Sunscreen should never be your only form of protection against sun damage. Be sure to: 
  • Wear sun protective clothing - this will supply excellent protection against sun damage. Layers are your best friend if you have rosacea as it means you can remove outer layers if you start to feel too hot. The best fabrics for rosacea-prone skin are soft fibers such as cotton, silk, or synthetic fabrics that are less likely to cause itching, irritation, or allergic reactions. 
  • Slap on a hat -  shading the face from harmful rays is also very helpful for sensitive rosacea-prone skin. We recommend a wide-brimmed hat as it provides maximum coverage of the face and ears. 
  • Seek shade when possible! 
  • Slide on some sunglasses