Caring for Your Skin
If you need relief from irritated skin and minor sunburns, Ren suggests taking cool showers, using plain petroleum jelly or moisturizer containing aloe vera, and drinking plenty of water.
“There are many ingredients in over-the-counter skin care products that might further irritate the skin and cause sensitization that leads to an allergic reaction,” Ren says. “Try to avoid products containing fragrance additives, formaldehyde, lanolin, oxybenzone, or methylisothiazolinone. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are less likely to cause skin irritation.”
Can you still use a retinol product or get facials?
That might not be a great idea.
“Retinols, retinoids, and facials may all cause skin irritation, which can lead to further photosensitivity,” Ren says.
Her advice: “It is best to consult with your board-certified dermatologist or licensed aesthetician regarding the pros and cons of using retinols or undergoing facials based on your skin type, medications, and underlying medical conditions.”
If you opt for such cosmetic treatments, it’s even more important to be strict about sun protection.
“Put on sunscreen to leave home every morning and make it part of your routine,” Messenger says. Everyone needs to do this, regardless of any medications they take. It’s just like brushing your teeth: a habit to keep.
“You don’t realize how much sunscreen does for you until you have a problem when you don’t use it,” Messenger says. “Build daily habits of safe sun practice and you’ll benefit in the long run.”