Suffering from sun allergies can be a ‘bit‘ of a pain, that’s no secret. Testing different products with the hope that something will finally help us out even a little bit, is something that most people suffering from skin conditions face on a daily basis.
One of the difficulties usually is right before that dreamy holiday. When we have the task of finding the RIGHT Sun Cream for Prickly Heat & Sun Allergy (PMLE). Hoping that it will magically save us from the struggles.
It’s amazing how my; ‘How to Travel with Prickly Heat & Sun Allergy / PMLE‘ article seemed to help quite a few of you out there. I’ve been getting quite a few questions about what sun creams I use for my prickly heat and sun allergy..
I hope this article will be useful to some of you as well. I know how frustrating it is when trying to find anything out there that could possibly be the answer.
Best Sun Cream for Prickly Heat & Sun Allergy (PMLE)
Plus what to Look out for
I will not be going into details on what exactly sun allergy / PMLE (Polymorphous light eruption) & prickly heat are, as I’ve already explained it in the post mentioned above (click here). I will however, explain what sun creams I have personally found to work best for me and what to look out for when searching for one.
Please note, this is based on my own experience and every person is different – meaning, of course, that what works for me, might not necessarily work for you.
But let’s hope it does.
Also, while these sun creams help me a lot, they don’t get rid of the condition completely, especially when I go over the top with sun exposure during beach times. Saying that, they have been an absolute saviour after my infection situation in Bali (read here) and not only.
There are a few things to consider when searching for a good Sun Cream for Sun Allergy (PMLE) & Prickly Heat.. However, if you’re in a hurry – feel free to skip the next section and get straight to the products.
>> Saying that, I truly recommend you to read the following as it might help you big time (as much as it helped me).
A little info you should know about sun creams
and the sun itself…
The suncream MUST protect from both UVB & UVA rays.
This is crucial.
And it’s also something that everyone should look out for. Not only those suffering from sun allergies or prickly heat.
What is the difference I hear you ask?
It might seem confusing but technically, it’s not that bad. Keep on reading for more info.
. . .
What actually is UV…
UV stands for ‘Ultraviolet’ meaning ‘beyond violet’. Now, violet is the colour with the highest frequencies of any visible light.
This basically explains the full name of PMLE: Polymorphous light eruption (eruption is the rash). So even though we call it a sun allergy, in other words it’s actually photosensitivity.
. . .
Difference between UVA, UVB & UVC
The sun emits 3 different types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA is the longest wave out of the three, then UVB and UVC (see the table below).
We don’t really hear much about the UVC wave as it’s mostly absorbed by the ozone layer, meaning it doesn’t really reach the earth. We then have UVB, which for years was believed to be the real bad guy. However, it is now preeeetty obvious that UVA is the real danger here.
While both are responsible for eye damage, premature skin ageing, wrinkling and skin cancers, UVA penetrates our skin much more deeply and is responsible for over 95% of wavelengths reaching the earth.
UVA also unlike UVB goes through glass, fabric and most sun creams..
. . .
Look out for the highest UVA star rating (most stars on the packaging)
More and more sun creams these days have an UVA star rating, which basically shows how good of a protection it will give you. It varies between 0 to 5 stars (5 being the highest).
The craziest thing is though, that the price does not matter here. No, no, no. Even though I tend to buy the same sun creams, I always have a look around to see what else is out there.
And, oh my.
I’ve seen sun creams that were 4 times more expensive than the ones that I get, with a 2/3 star rating. My ones have 4/5. Bare in mind, that the brands we’re talking about here are very well known.
You should keep this in mind whether you are suffering from skin conditions or not.
. . .
What exactly is an SPF Factor?
SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’. This applies to the level of protection against the UVB wave, not UVA.
For best results, try to get factor 30 or higher as that will be more effective when protecting against skin damage in general.
Click the links below for articles worth checking out:
So yes, whether suffering from sun allergy (pmle) & prickly heat or not.. we should always look for sun creams with a high UVA & UVB protection.
And now onto the sun creams.
What is the Best Sun Cream for Sun Allergy (PMLE)
& Prickly Heat…
After trying a ridiculous number of sun creams out, and after travelling around Asia & hot countries in general for quite a while, I found the sun creams below to be my go to’s everytime.
My absolute favourites are:
Beiersdorf Eucerin Sun Cream Gel
and Allergy Protection
This is by far the best sun cream for my sun allergy that I found over the years. And oh how lucky I am to have found it in the end.
It contains AGR (Alpha-Glucosyl-Rutin) which is the main factor here and as far as I’m aware.. no other sun creams do (at the time of writing this). This is the same ingredient that can be found in the Shirudo lotion for those of you that recognise it.
The Eucerin suncream absorbs super fast and it doesn’t irritate my skin (unless I’ve just shaved my legs), which is extremely fussy with most products. Of course, it protects against UVB and most importantly UVA.
I tend to use it during a high sun exposure, mainly when travelling to hot climate countries.
Bare in mind that it can stain your clothes, especially when the fabric is light as it has a yellowish tint – most likely due to the AGR ingredient. But to be honest, it’s so worth it that I don’t really mind.
Honestly, though, I cannot recommend this enough.
Soltan Sensitive Hypoallergenic Suncare Lotion by Boots
(click: previous version | new version)
This is my other favourite and it’s so cheap compared to other sun creams. Plus is has a 5 star UVA rating. Winnings.
You may notice that it looks different from the one in my other article and it doesn’t mention prickly heat, but it seems to have the same ingredients, so I wouldn’t worry too much here.
Either way, I originally found it as a protection from prickly heat but it even works for my sun allergy when not being in the strong sun for too long.
I tend to use it a lot – mainly when the sun is not as crazy. For me, it’s basically a (tiny) step down from the Eucerin Allergy Protection Suncream.
It’s quite well known in the ‘prickly heat community’ as I’d say and that’s definitely for a reason.
The price as mentioned is very good compared to other sun creams, if you live in the UK and have access to Boots (or UK, Ireland, Thailand, Norway) – you can purchase it for around £6.50. They don’t do worldwide delivery however but you can get it on Amazon too (click here or image above)! 🙂
Riemann P20 Once a Day Sun Protection Spray
Another great option which is proving to be more effective the more I try it.
It’s great due to the ease of usage. Being colour and paraben-free and with an easy spray applicator means it’s super fast to apply. It’s consistency is oily so rubs in very smoothly!
Most importantly, it has long-lasting UVA & UVB filters, 5 star UVA rating and no added fragrance or preservatives.
I’m not sure whether it’s something that could work for many but it seems to be working quite well for me personally!
PS. If you live in the UK, or have access to Primark, they often stock it for about £9.99. Otherwise, it’s usually the same price everywhere, so around £15-£20 depending on size. Either way, Amazon (shock, shock) has it too so no dramas. (Click here or image above)
Now something for those who might have a sensitivity to the stronger suncreams..
Shirudo AGR+E Moisturising Lotion
A lotion which is specifically created for people who suffer from sun allergy / PMLE (polymorphic light eruption). It’s main ingredients are Alpha-glucosylrutin and Vitamin E, it is 99% natural and fragrance free.
It’s perfect for those who might get a reaction from suncreams specifically formulated for PMLE etc. You can apply Shirudo and then a natural suncream that does not irritate your skin.
Read my full review of Shirudo here:
Shirudo AGR+E Moisturising Lotion Review
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–One extra tip ..
My favourite travel containers
When flying to your holiday destination, you most likely will only be able to take 100ml containers with you (unless paying for luggage), and it’s not yet possible to find most of the sun creams above in small containers..
After researching for a while, I found (literally) the best travel containers and I don’t go anywhere without them. Honestly, they’re super good and now the options are endless – from simple looking ones to penguins or teddy bears. They’re honestly amazing, don’t leak and are super comfy to use <3
Leakproof Sillicone Travel Bottles Set
Leakproof Silicone Travel Bottles Set
My absolute favourites
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PS. If you are in a rush (or not) you can get a 30 trial with FREE unlimited next day delivery from Amazon here:
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So there you go, my top 3 best sun creams for sun allergy (PMLE) & prickly heat and my tips for what to look for when searching for one of your own! 🙂
I truly hope this article can help you or someone you know, so please please please share this with anyone who you think could use this information <3
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Please note that this article includes affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything more. Most of all, I only recommend products that I trust and use myself unless stated otherwise.
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Thank you for writing this elitravelbug!
You’re more than welcome! <3
Hello Eli! I’ve only just discovered your blog while researching for sun allergies 🙂 It looks great and I’ll be following from now on! I’m curious to ask if you’ve ever had (or heard of) a reaction (in form of a itchy rash) after trying a SPF face cream, BUT, the rash occurs in the neck/chest area only – not on the face!!, the next day AFTER putting the cream on your face… ?? Everyone is telling me that if I had a reaction to the face cream, it would appear on my face also, not just in the neck/chest… Read more »
Thank you for sharing. This means a lot <3
I'm not sure what the reaction could be but I sometimes get it in the areas that I get hot the most, maybe it could be a bit of prickly heat? Maybe try using a cooling spray? Hope this can help!
Take care!! 🙂 xx