If you have hypersensitive skin, a rule of thumb for protecting it: the fewer chemical irritants, the better. Dr. Patricia Wexler of Wexler Dermatology suggests physical sunscreens—AKA those that use mineral formulations with zinc oxide or titanium—for sensitive skin because there's a statistical difference in the lack of irritation and sensitivity.
Chemical filters are more irritating to sensitive skin because they penetrate the dermis, "causing a cellular release of histamine, and subsequent inflammation and irritation."
Finding SPF options without potential skin irritants like oxybenzone, fragrances, oils, benzophenones, salicylates, and Helioplex can help prevent painful flare-ups and breakouts, she says. "The more complex the formulation, the more reactive it is likely to be."
Below, some of her recommendations for natural sunblocks to shop this year along with some of our favorites.