Is It Safe To Apply Sunscreen Around My Eye Area?

The active ingre­di­ents in sun­screens are among the few ingre­di­ents in skin care prod­ucts reg­u­lat­ed by the FDA, but sun­screens are not required to be test­ed for use around the eyes.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the eye area is extreme­ly sus­cep­ti­ble to sun dam­age. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the face, so UV-induced signs of aging often appear in this area soon­er than the rest of the face. Wear­ing sun­glass­es shouldn’t be your only line of defense in this area. The eye­lid region is one of the most com­mon sites for non- melanoma skin can­cers. In fact, skin can­cers of the eye­lid, includ­ing basal cell car­ci­no­ma (BCC), squa­mous cell car­ci­no­ma (SCC), and melanoma, account for five to 10 per­cent of all skin can­cers. Nine­ty five per­cent of these tumors are basal cell car­ci­no­mas or squa­mous cell carcinomas.

The rapid rise in skin can­cer is of great con­cern to der­ma­tol­o­gists. Non-melanoma skin can­cers, includ­ing basal cell car­ci­no­ma and squa­mous cell car­ci­no­ma, have the high­est inci­dence rates of any can­cers in the US. Melanoma is cur­rent­ly the sixth most com­mon can­cer for men, the sev­enth most com­mon for women, and one of only three can­cers with an increas­ing mor­tal­i­ty rate in men. With eye­lid skin can­cers there is a sig­nif­i­cant risk for tis­sue dam­age to near­by vital ocu­lar struc­tures and even blindness.

When choos­ing a sun­screen to use around your eyes, the most impor­tant thin is find­ing a for­mu­la that will not cause skin prob­lems or irri­ta­tion. Since the eye area tends to be thin­ner and more sen­si­tive than the rest of the face.

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