Is daily sunscreen harmful?

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I have been using sunscreen daily for the past few years now to prevent sun damage and premature ageing. I have noticed that within half an hour of application I develop dark circles around the eyes, slight puffiness and sometimes some stinging. I have tried several different sunscreens but currently I use a natural sunscreen that does not contain oxybenzone or parabens. It contains zinc oxide. I also have rosacea and the sunscreen often aggravates this.

The sunscreen feels sticky and uncomfortable, and sometimes it aggravates my skin so much with the dark circles and redness that one time someone told me 'something looks like it is going into your body that shouldn't be'. I sometimes resort to washing it off early as it is uncomfortable.

I have a dilemma because while I don't want my skin to age prematurely and I wish to protect it from the sun, I can't live life looking rough. I know I am not imagining this because when I was on holiday earlier this year one day I forgot to apply sunscreen and accidentally got my face very burnt walking around a lake; my bags completely disappeared a few days later! 

I did read somewhere that lack of vitamin D can cause dark circles, so I have started taking supplements. But it still doesn't explain why my dark circles develop within half an hour of applying sunscreen. Is this normal? 

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Where do you live?

    Are you outside all day for work?

    If not - you don't need to apply sunscreen every day.

    I only apply sunscreen if I'm going to the beech on a 30 Degrees day.

    A bit of sunlight is good for you.

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    • Posted

      I live in the UK, but my commute by car is an hour and a half in total. I get a significant amount of sun coming through the window on my face, neck and hands. I tend to wash the sunscreen off at work if it gets too much. 

      I used to be in to tanning when I was younger (before I learned the dangers of UV radiation), and have definitely damaged my skin in the process. I would rather mitigate any further damage to my skin for the future by protecting myself from the sun. 

      I know the sun can be beneficial to health but I've read just a few hours' exposure is enough to cause permanent damage. 

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  • Posted

    I would suggest stop using the shop bought stuff, its bad for you.  Use coconut oil, its a natural sunscreen, the stuff you are buying is putting toxins into your skin.  That's why your body is reacting.  You will find stuff on the internet saying this isnt the case... its a big money spinner, of course there will be lots of misinformation on it.  You know your own skin, try an organic coconut oil,

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    • Posted

      I agree with you, even though it is marketed as 'natural' there are still a lot of strange ingredients on the bottle, and my skin just does not agree with it. Thank you for the suggestion, I did not know this about organic coconut oil. I might give it a try. Do you know if it offers similar protection as the manufactured sunscreens? 

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    • Posted

      yeah without any chemicals.. Why dont you try it and post your results.  Its natural so nothing to lose and will save you some money as well.
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    • Posted

      I saw a thing on morning TV a while ago now, apparently how good a sunscreen protector is isnt about the SPF, its another thing that is a factor of sunscreen that isnt listed on most bottles as a lot dont have it.  Including some of the expensive ones.  I cant remember what it is though, its done on a  star rating.. I think.  If that helps.. sorry its a bit fague.
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  • Posted

    So guys I have replaced the sunscreen with coconut oil for just over a week or so and I thought I would update you on my results. OMG what a difference, not only do I not get dark circles with the coconut oil, but I am having face flare-ups a lot less often too.

    I am using 100% organic, extra virgin coconut oil by VitaCoco. It comes in a jar from the supermarket for about £3.99. It's solid at room temperature so I massage a pea-sized amount in my fingertips and it turns to liquid, I then apply it to my face. No irritation or stickiness, and it is gradually absorbed by the skin. It has a pleasant coconut smell.

    It could be a placebo effect but my skin completely agrees with it, my rosacea is a lot less severe and the coconut oil seems to sooth it. My face is actually the same colour as my arms today!

    I am hoping it offers some sun protection, I have read online it has an SPF of 4 which apparently blocks 75% of the sun's UV rays but I don't know how true this is. I have also read that if you mix it with another natural ingredient, raspberry seed oil, it offers more protection. Makes sense guys to be using a natural product on the skin every day, applying chemical nasties (even 'natural' sunscreens with a synthetic smell) just doesn't feel right.

    If it is the case that the oil does offer protection then I will only use the other sunscreens on hot days in the summer or when I'm out all day. But for now I will continue to use the coconut oil, so glad I discovered this product!

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