You should protect your eyes from sun damage. Most sunscreen is safe to use on and around the eyelid region (without putting it in your eye, of course). However, you’ll want to be careful about what type of sunscreen you use, as this area tends to be more delicate and sensitive. Mineral formulas, made with zinc or titanium dioxide, are a good choice, as they are made for sensitive skin and won’t sting your eyes as you sweat. Stick sunscreens work well with the eyes as the product won’t melt and it makes application less messy. There are also products made especially for the eye area, such as tinted mineral powders and tinted cream concealers that have SPF ratings. And they can serve double duty.
If you get sunscreen in your eye, it’s not dangerous, but you should flush the eye with water as soon as you can. Although it’s important to apply (and reapply) sunscreen around the eyes daily, sunscreen should not be your only line of defense – broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses help shade the face and keep sun out of your eyes.
About the Expert:
Susan Boiko, MD, is a board-certified pediatric dermatologist at Rady and a Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at UC San Diego.