Q&A: Should you apply sunscreen to your eyelids?

Consumer Reports News: July 03, 2009 08:48 AM

After spending a day out in the sun, my eyelids get red and sore as if they were sunburned. Should I put sunscreen on them? —A.G., Port Chester, N.Y.

That depends. It’s safe to apply sunscreen to eyelids, but swimming or sweating may cause it to run into your eyes and irritate them. You may have better luck using a moisturizer or eye cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, which is absorbed more easily into the lid and less prone to run into your eyes. The best strategy might be to wear wraparound sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) light and a wide-brimmed hat to protect both the delicate skin around your eyes and the clear membrane covering the front of the eyeball. (In severe cases that membrane can get burned, a condition called snow blindness because it often happens in winter when the snow reflects sunlight.)

Check out our sunscreen poll for more on who's more likely to use sunscreenmen or women. And take a look at our latest Ratings (subscribers only) to find out which 3 sunscreens performed better than the rest.

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