My dear Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock… when you came into my life, you were like a breath of fresh air. I had read rave reviews of how you’ve successfully protected zillions of people everywhere with your ultra sheer formula and awesome protection with Helioplex and broad spectrum UVA and UVB, so I was excited when I finally got hold of you. When I took you home, I eagerly held you in my hands as I turned your cover open. There was a silver seal to protect you, which showed that you value hygiene, just like me. I loved the way you fit into my palms – it was almost as if we were meant to be.
As you caressed my skin with your formulation that was just the right thickness, I felt my skin cool down immediately. You were scent-free, which was just the way I liked it, and you didn’t leave a white cast on my skin, nor a sticky icky feeling. All I got was a a perfect sunblock that made me confident to walk around in the hot tropical sun, feeling protected as long as you were close by my side.
Alas, after a few days, the skin on my neck and arms started to itch. It was a terrible itch, I tell you, and one that eventually developed into a rash. I didn’t think it could be you, because love makes some people ignore the obvious. So I continued slathering you on my skin every day, religiously, blaming my itchy rash on the weather, insufficient water intake…everything but my sunblock.
And the rash worsened.
The itch did not start right after application though, which would explain why I initially crossed you out as the prime suspect. It only itches in the evenings, and would only go away after a shower.
After 3-4 days, my neck was a wreck. I tried every lotion I could find to calm and soothe the skin, and worst, the rash had also spread to my arms.
This was how my neck looked at its worst…
…and see how leathery the skin on my arms were? There were small tiny lumps of rashes too!
It was then that I decided enough was enough. I eliminated you from my skincare routine. That would mean a few days of sunblock-free skin, but I needed that time to allow my skin to heal to its original state.
And it did.
It took about 4-5 days, but the itch disappeared and so did the rash. I put on extra moisturizer and body lotion to speed up the healing process. I still refused to believe that it could be you that caused me so much pain. And just as my neck was about 90% healed, I decided to give you another chance.
This time, I put you on the right side of my neck and on my left, I applied a new sunblock I had purchase.
The love I felt for you was obviously not mutual and my fears were realized that very evening itself, when only my right side of the neck was itchy. It even started spreading to the whole neck, so much so that I had to wash my neck immediately.
I did some research and through a process of elimination of sunblock ingredients (based on previous sunblocks I had used that my skin was okay with), I am pretty certain that I am allergic to homosalate, which is one of the active ingredients in you. Homosalate is a kind of salicylate which is present in some sunscreens/sunblocks.
Some of the other ingredients which people COULD be allergic to, in sunscreens and sunblocks, are Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Benzophenones, Cinnamates, Salicylates, Dibenzoylmethanes and Octocrylene (Source).
So my dear Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, I love you with all my heart and I know you do a fantastic job, but I’m afraid I have to let you go. I wish you could be with me, but because of my allergic reaction, I need to use a sunblock that does not contain homosalate. Right now, I’m going with Sunplay’s Skin Aqua UV mild Milk.
It doesn’t offer as much protection as you did, but you know, at least it doesn’t give me a rash.