Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Truth About Sunblock!!!

Until recently, sunblock protected against UVB rays but NOT UVA rays. UVB rays cause burns while UVA rays cause wrinkles and a greater risk of skin cancer. So, you have to wonder, why would American sunscreens opt out of UVA protection?

In America, the amount of UVA protection is not quantified, however, in Europe it is. Thus, we end up with SPF protection of up to 70 yet little to no protection against the harsh and potentially deadly rays of UVA.

Mexoryl, a breakthrough ingredient creating buzz through it's ability to protect against UVA filters, is commonly used in European sunscreens but rarely used in American ones. This is due to the FDA not approving the ingredient.

However, in 2006, L'oreal, which also owns the patent to Mexoryl, was given the go ahead to use the drug in their sunscreens. From my understanding, it is only legal in SPF 20, nothing higher. If you want a higher SPF, you have to get it in Europe or Canada.

Sunscreens to buy on line with Mexoryl (La Roche has a massive arsenal of products to choose from):

La Roche Posay Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics SPF 40 Sunscreen Spray
with Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL

La Roche Anthelios XL 60spf

La Roche-Posay Anthelios TINTED SPF 50+ Creme

L'oreal UV Perfect Ultimate Protection Fluid with Mexoryl XL SPF 50
(although, for some reason, I can't find this anywhere on line!)

L'oreal RevitaLift UV with Mexoryl SPF 15 (this one is the only Mexoryl sunscreen sold on the L'oreal website in the United States... I guess that 15 is better then no protection.)

I recently discovered a fabulous sunscreen for sensitive skin that not only protects against UVA and UVB rays, but it's also ultra-sheer, with dry touch technology, PERFECT for oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin types. AND you can purchase it in the states!!!

Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Sunblock with Helioplex with SPF 55 or SPF 70

What is helioplex?

Neutrogena says, "Helioplex™ technology contains two FDA approved sunscreens, Avobenzone and Oxybenzone. Avobenzone does an excellent job of blocking UV rays—especially UVA rays—but its protection against UVA rays can weaken after prolonged sun exposure. Helioplex™ technology combines Avobenzone with Oxybenzone so that Neutrogena Sun Protection products can effectively screen out UVB burning rays—and help stop UVA rays from penetrating skin's surface layers."

It's not Mexoryl, but it's a start... and definitely better then the other sun protection products on the market!

So next time you feel like baking in the sun, PLEASE remember to protect your skin from both UVB AND UVA rays!!! Sunscreen isn't effective if it's just guarding you from UVB... in fact, that's only 1/3 of the protection needed (fine for sun burns, but not for skin cancer)!

And why won't the FDA approve Mexoryl in higher SPF's??? We need to demand more (or fly to Europe to buy our sunscreens...)!


CDS said...

The only thing to buy is the European sunblocks, the American ones do not have the same level of protection even now that they are claiming to use the same dermatologist confirmed this.

Beauty Banter said...

European suncare is definitely more effective but a close alternative is the helioplex by neutrogena. I'm using the spf 55... and i really like it. it just needs to be applied more frequently.


Beauty Banter

Barb said...

I love the Netrogena Ultra sheer. My derm recommended it as well. For my body I use Lancome UV Expert 20. It has Mexoryl SX. I highly recommend those two. Living in AZ and due to being a past "sun worshiper" I know first hand about UVA damage.

Anonymous said...

Besides European sunblocks, sunblocks from japan usually has both UVA/UVB protection. Perhaps you can check them out as well.

I'm currently using the ZA power block UV SPF40-PA++ UVA/UVB

jeni said...

I have only tried one Mexoryl sunscreen so far, but zinc oxide sunscreens are good too, because they protect against UVA and UVB rays, and they are good if you have sensitive skin. Before the summer, I'm going to test more Mexoryl sunscreens. I hope to stay as white as a ghost all summer long!

Beauty Banter said...

I haven't tried sunblock with zinc oxide... have a suggestion as to which product is the best???

Beauty Banter

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a site that sells L'oreal UV Perfect Ultimate Protection Fluid with Mexoryl XL SPF 50:

Hope this helps.

Mikiye Creations said...

I have extremely sensitive fair skin and "ColoureScience SPF" IS THE BEST!!!

I have turned on family as well as a lot of my clients to this.
"Sunforgettable SPF 30"
Check it out for yourself I don't use anything else!

Plus, you can order it on line or get it at a dermatologist office.

Anonymous said...

I think you did a pretty good job of mentioning everything. I did some research that might help you out a bit.

Sunlight comes in wavelengths and depending on the active ingredients it will only protect a certain wavelength thats why most sunscreen/blocks are a mixture of active ingredients.

UVB (burning) has a wavelength range (in nanometers) of:

UVA (aging) has a wavelength range (in nanometers) of:

Here are the most commonly used ingredients and the numbers next to them are the wavelengths they protect you from.

Zinc Oxide 290-380
Mexoryl 290-400
Avobenzene 340-375 -need helioplex to be photostable
Titanium Dioxide 290-340
Octinoxate and Octisalate 320-240
Oxybenzone 320-240
Octocrylene 250-360
Ensulizole 290-340
Homosalate 295-315

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are the only physical blockers and they won't degrade after time like chemical blockers will. Because some chemical ingredients start to degrade after a while and its recommended to reapply every 2 hrs I believe?

But if you notice most sunscreens out there only use chemical blockers because its probably cheaper to manufacture, since physical blockers need to be extremely micro refined so they don't create an opaqueness when applied and to refine it that much costs more money.

In Japan they indicate the amount of UVA protection with +++ signs on the packaging.

Most people choose
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55 PA+++ - 13.9% Zinc Ox

Some other options
UV Natural Sunscreen Baby SPF 30+. - 24.8% zinc Ox
Blue Lizard Australian Suncream, SPF 30+ - 8% Zinc Ox
Mustela Sun Lotion, Bebe High Protection SPF 50 - 11% Titanium Dioxide, 5% zinc ox

Also most people don't find it necessary to go above SPF30 since

SPF 15- covers 95%
SPF30 - covers 98%
SPF 50+ - covers 100%

Beauty Banter said...

hoan 86!
thanks for that great comment... very thorough info on sunscreen!!!!

Beauty Banter

Kiki said...

thanks for the great tips, i need to try a few out but i have been using Bikini Kitchen's Booty Butter and it works great every time. I get a nice golden color and it smells great.

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