Not all sunscreens are created equal. Many sunscreens on the market offer only UVB protection without any UVA protection. Some sunscreens that claim broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB may not offer adequate UVA protection. This is because there is no universally accepted UVA rating scale in place as there is for UVB, i.e. the SPF rating scale. UVA is just as important as UVB, both cause skin cancers, and UVA is primarily what leads to accelerated photo- or sun-induced aging of the skin.
Here is what to look for when evaluating sunscreens:
A High SPF rating of at least 30 for UVB protection when planning outdoor activities. An SPF of 15 is adequate for daily routines involving minor incidental UV exposure.
A broad spectrum UVA/UVB water resistant sunblock which containsMexoryl is superior to a non stabilized chemical sunscreen which degrades readily with UVA exposure. Another sunscreen agent that is highly photo stable is zinc oxide. When this is micronized, it is invisible or cosmetically acceptable.
Because evaluating sunscreens can be confusing, here are some specific brand recommendations available in this office:
Elta sunblocks: these contain Z-cote and are cosmetically elegant formulations that are non comedogenic, hypoallergenic and effective lightweight highly absorbent moisturizers. Coupled with UVB screeners and Z-cote, Elta brand products offer complete broad spectrum UV protection.
Anthelios: This FDA approved sunscreen is an effective daily sunscreen and moisturizer. It contains Mexoryl, a unique highly photostable UVA protectant which is combined with stabilized avobenzone for complete UVA protection. It also contains multiple UVB sunscreens and offers an SPF of 60. Anthelios is available as a fluid for the face with a matte finish and cream for the face or body.
Melashade E:is a combination of micronized Titanium andZincoxides, fortified with the powerful anti-oxidant Melanin, Vitamins C,E and ferulic acid ester in anemollient silicone elastomer vehicle. It contains Petrolatum and Barrier Repair Lipids making this ideal daily facial photoprotection for patients with drier skin types.