prickly heat
  • Skin care
  • Sun & travel

Essential guide to prickly heat

We look at what prickly heat is, what causes it and how to choose a sunscreen for skin prone to prickly heat.

By Alexandra Julian

8 Minute read

We often get asked how to prevent prickly heat on holiday or during summertime in the UK.  

This uncomfortable condition is usually caused by sweat trapped under the skin, which is why it often occurs during hot weather.  

Did you know that simply switching to a non-waterproof, silicone-free sunscreen could reduce the irritating effects of prickly heat? At Green People we firmly believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the sun without the worry of prickly heat (also known as heat rash). 

Read on to discover a bit more about what prickly heat is, what causes it and find suitable sunscreens for skin prone to prickly heat so that you can enjoy your summer and holidays again.

Quick shop the essentials:

We’ve also got more natural skin care recommendations to look after your skin without blocking perspiration – including after sun, deodorant and shower gel.

What is prickly heat?

Also known as miliaria, prickly heat causes a bumpy skin rash to appear during hot weather.

It’s caused by sweat glands in the skin becoming blocked. This stops the sweat from escaping the body. Instead, it leaks into nearby skin, causing redness and rashes.

Prickly heat can appear anywhere, but it often affects areas of the body covered by clothing. That’s because there tends to be more sweat produced when clothing rubs against the skin.

Another common cause of blocked sweat glands is waterproof sunscreens. These sunscreens often contain ingredients such as mineral oils and silicone which can block your pores.

Applying these ingredients is a bit like wrapping your skin in cling film and can aggravate prickly heat by reducing the amount of sweat that can escape.


Skin rashes can be complex and challenging to tell apart. If the rash persists or you are worried it could be something other than heat rash, visit your pharmacist for further advice.

Discover natural sunscreens suitable for prickly heat

If you’re prone to prickly heat, you’ll know that it can make hot summer days and beach holidays almost unbearable.

At Green People, we take pride in making our organic sun creams that are suitable for those who may be prone to prickly heat.

Many of our natural and organic sun creams are dermatologically tested and clinically proven to be kind to sensitive skin. We use natural plant waxes to make them water-repellent and refuse to use pore-clogging ingredients, which can aggravate prickly heat.

Our sunscreens are also ocean-friendly and free from PABA, parabens and artificial colours and fragrances.

Shop all our prickly heat-friendly sunscreens.

Charlotte Vøhtz founded Green People in 1997. She says:

“As experts in sensitive skin for the last 25 years, we firmly believe everyone should be able to protect their skin from damage without experiencing skin irritation,”

“So that shoppers can be confident that they are getting the best sun protection, we submit our suncreams for clinical tests and always have them independently tested to guarantee they are suitable for the most sensitive skin.”

Prickly heat customer testimonials

We think that they are the best sunscreens for prickly heat and our customers do too. They come back to us summer after summer knowing that they can trust our natural and organic formulations to stop prickly heat on holiday.

Jane says our Scent Free Sun Cream SPF30 has helped her to enjoy the sun without dreading itchy skin:

customer review

Susanne F chooses Organic Children Scent Free Sun Cream SPF30 to help protect her family from the sting of sensitive skin and prickly heat.

Joanne J says that our sun cream is a “genius” sun care product for her prickly heat prone skin:

customer review

Elaine B says our Scent Free Sun Cream SPF30 is simply fabulous:

customer review

Soothe with a gentle, natural after sun

Keep the excellent work going when you’re out of the sun with our natural after-sun for prickly heat-prone skin.

Our dermatologically tested, natural after sun nourishes and soothes with organic Aloe Vera, using Peppermint to cool skin gently after sun exposure.

Michaela A rates it 10/10 for heat rash:

customer review

Gail D calls it “absolutely amazing”:

customer review

3 more ways to help prevent prickly heat

Switching you sunscreen is the just the first step to managing your prickly heat naturally. Here’s three more tips you might like to try the next time the weather warms up.

Discover a new deodorant

Blocked pores in your armpits can make prickly heat worse so, consider swapping your deodorant to a non-pore clogging natural deodorant.

Aluminium chloride and aluminium chlorohydrate are the two examples of pore-clogging ingredients that are often found in antiperspirants. These stops sweat escaping so, if you get prickly heat in your underarms, they could be the reason.

Help your pores to breathe this summer with our skin-kind scent free deodorant or find a skin-fresh favourite in one of our naturally scented roll-ons.

Whichever Green People deodorant you choose, you can trust that our natural formulas will help to keep B.O. at bay without contributing to prickly heat or stinging your sensitive skin.

Stay in the shade

Staying in the shade is another great way to keep your prickly heat prone skin cool and calm.

And, if you need a good excuse to treat your tastebuds to a refreshing summer drink, you’ll be pleased to know that keeping hydrated is a great way to reduce your chances of a prickly heat flare-up.

Take a cool shower

If it’s a warm day, you can help to avoid sweating and freshen your skin by taking a cool shower or bath.

The NHS[i] recommends avoiding perfumed shower gels when trying to calm prickly heat so we think our Scent Free Shower/Bath Gel is the best shower gel for prickly heat from our collection of natural and organic body washes.


Not sure which sunscreen to choose? Try our SPF finder tool! It takes just a minute and makes it easy for you to find the best one for you.

Want to talk to us? No problem. Our UK customer care team is happy to help with questions about prickly heat and our organic sun cream. Please call us on 01403 740350 or drop us a note at @GreenPeopleUK.

Reviewed by:

This blog post has been reviewed by Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of Green People, who has 25+ years of experience in the natural and organic beauty industry. A recognised leader in the field of organic beauty, Charlotte helped inform the UK's first organic beauty standards and was voted the People’s Choice in the 2023 list of Who’s Who in Natural Beauty. A published author, she wrote the organic beauty bible ‘Naturally Gorgeous’. Previously, she qualified as a nurse and spent over 10 years working in pharmaceuticals

If you wish to republish this content, please credit Green People as the original creator with a link to Essential guide to prickly heat. Please do not use an affiliate link.



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