ADULT CONTEMPORARY: I am Allergic to Both Sun and Sunscreen

I have very fair skin – like, VAMPIRE fair – and I cannot naturally tan. I mean, I sort of can, but you would never notice – my “tan” is everyone else’s sad winter skin. It’s fine. Okay it’s NOT fine, but I can live with the constant inconvenience of spray tans or just blowing out the exposure in every group photo taken outside in the summer. WHATEVER. We all have our crosses, amiright? As a young adult, I accepted my burden and learned to avoid the sun (because the only thing worse than pale is a brilliant, painful RED) cultivating an annoying wardrobe of giant Audrey Hepburn hats and an exhausting inner dialogue about wrinkle prevention. I can only imagine how tiresome it was for the people around me, but we all survived my pretension, for the most part.

But now, to add insult to injury, I have also developed an actual sun allergy. My body is so terrified of the sun, that when it finally starts beaming again in the spring, I break out in a painful, itchy, red rash wherever it’s brilliant rays have laid down upon me. This goes on, day-in and day-out, until I have finally acclimated, which is well into the summer – I’m talking AUGUST. Thrown into this mix is a touch of winter depression, which seems to drag on forever in gloomy Chicago. I CRAVE the sun, which makes sense now that I think of it. It’s the one thing I can’t have.

Add yet ANOTHER layer: I am allergic to any daily moisturizer with an SPF. Everyone knows you can’t use any sort of anti-aging product full of retinol and salicylic acid without ALSO using a daily SPF or your skin is going to freak the F out. This particular moisturizer/SPF allergy takes the form of seborrhea, which is basically dandruff on my face. I feel so pretty!

[This is where my brother tells me I have Celiac (like him and our other brother and father) and that’s causing all of my weird skin issues. I TOOK THE TEST! IT WAS NEGATIVE! Then he says it was a false negative, and I say “GET OFF MY BACK AND LET ME LIFE (with unexplainable skin allergies)!”] 

I can usually handle a substantial sunscreen, which helps curb the sun rash. You know, the kind that makes my already fair skin look practically green? But honestly, it just adds to my depression, because I feel like I need to then douse myself in bronzing powder. And then that feels gross and the whole thing sends me spiraling (I’m actually getting a little choked up typing this. I wish that was a joke). I just feel so out of control of this entire situation! But last night I had this idea:

Tinted Sunscreen.

Why didn’t I think of this sooner? This is so completely obvious. I’m going to try one. Do you have one that you would recommend? It can’t be a tinted moisturizer with an SPF. It has to be an SPF with a touch of color.

Please don’t let me be allergic to this. Pleeeeease.

2 thoughts

  1. Is it a thing to mix a little bit of makeup with sunscreen? I remember teen magazines encouraging me to make my own tinted moisturizer — does same work for mixing with sunscreen?


    1. That totally occurred to me too! I just don’t want to deal with the mess of adding foundation over my entire body, you know? But I’m going to start with that until I find a good standby. Thanks for caring! 🙂


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