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What Redheads Can Do If Sunblock Is Stuck In The Eyes

Redheads typically have more sensitive eyes and this can be a common experience

redhead sunscreen

Picture this, redheads. You’re applying facial sunscreen and boom. Your eyes start burning, watering, and stinging. You can probably relate. Unfortunately, this is a common experience many people have, especially redheads who typically have more sensitive eyes. It’s not fun and you might wonder why it happens, what to do about it, and if there’s any way to avoid it. 

Why does sunscreen burn? 

Sunscreen burns your eyes because it has irritating ingredients in it. This may include fragrance, chemical filters, and preservatives. While these ingredients may not be bad for your skin, they can irritate your sensitive eyes. The ingredient Avobenzone is one of the most irritating that is often found in sunscreen. Sunscreens also contain various chemicals and compounds designed to protect the skin from UV rays, which can be very irritating to the sensitive tissues of the eye, causing pain, redness, and a burning sensation. Additionally, the physical particles in sunscreen, especially in mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, can create a gritty feeling and significant discomfort. While most cases result in temporary irritation, severe or prolonged exposure can potentially cause more significant damage to the eye’s surface. Furthermore, sunscreen can temporarily blur vision, posing risks if you’re driving or performing other tasks that require clear vision. Therefore, it’s crucial to act quickly to rinse out the sunscreen to prevent prolonged discomfort and potential damage.

What should you do? 

Most of the time, the irritation will go away rather quickly. If the irritation is intense and/or does not subside quickly, you will need to flush it out. According to Project Sunscreen, the best steps to take are:

  • Remove contact lenses (if you’re wearing them)
  • Wipe around the eye to remove any excess sunscreen
  • Flush eyes thoroughly with lubricating eye drops, saline solution, or water for at least 15 minutes
  • Use non-preserved eye drops every hour to ease pain

For the most part, there should be no lasting damage if you get sunscreen in your eye. But consult a doctor if you experience loss or change in vision or pain. 

Can it be avoided? 

The best way to avoid getting sunscreen in your eye is to apply it gently around the eyes using the pad of your finger. You can also use a stick sunscreen for more precise application. Another option to reduce the risk of burning is to use a non-avobenzone sunscreen. Opt for a mineral sunscreen, or look for a sunscreen produced outside the U.S., as many countries like Korea, Japan, and France have alternatives that won’t cause nearly as much irritation. 

To avoid getting sunscreen in your eyes, you can follow these steps:

1. Choose the Right Sunscreen: Opt for sunscreen sticks or mineral-based sunscreens, which are less likely to run into your eyes.

2. Apply Carefully: Apply sunscreen slowly and carefully around your face, avoiding the eye area. Use a mirror to ensure precise application.

3. Use a Hat or Sunglasses: What Redheads Can Do If Sunblock Is Stuck In The EyesWearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can provide additional protection for your eyes, reducing the amount of sunscreen needed near the eye area.

4. Sweat Management: If you’re engaging in activities that cause sweating, use a sweatband or headband to prevent sweat mixed with sunscreen from dripping into your eyes.

5. Wash Hands Thoroughly: After applying sunscreen to your face, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent accidentally transferring any residue to your eyes.

6. Reapply with Care: When reapplying sunscreen, be especially careful around the eye area and use gentle dabbing motions rather than rubbing.

By following these precautions, you can help minimize the risk of getting sunscreen in your eyes.

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: 5 Places To Store Sunscreen So You Never Forget It

READ: 5 Ways To Protect Your Skin From the Sun Without Sunscreen