Todd Minars, M.D.
DermatologyAs a dermatologist, I am often asked to recommend a sunscreen. And, I have quite a few “favorite” sunscreens, BUT different people will have different sunscreen needs.
As a general rule, an SPF of 30 is sufficient. Beyond 30 the numbers start to become meaningless. An SPF of 60 does not double the protection, it is only marginally better. Do not search for the highest SPF, instead make sure that you REAPPLY. The best way to prevent a sunburn is to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before any sun exposure, and then REAPPLY as soon as you get out there! Another interesting fact is that the SPF only measures the protection against ultraviolet B (UVB). The role of ultraviolet A (UVA) in causing skin cancer and aging of the skin is becoming more apparent.
Three ingredients are currently available in the United States to protect against both UVB and UVA: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and Parsol 1789 (avobenzone). However, in the U.S. there is no number on the bottle to tell you the level of UVA protection. And the best UVA sunscreen ingredient is not even available yet in the U.S.: mexoryl. A sunscreen based on this ingredient will probably be available in the U.S. as a prescription in the near future. But you can buy it now on the internet from a French company (LaRoche-Posay) without a prescription (see below).
• best daily wear: Anthelios W Gel SPF 40 (with mexoryl) www.feelbest.com
• best for sensitive skin: Vanicream SPF 35 www.coolibar.com
• best for athletes (waterproof): Elta Block SPF 30 www.buyelta.com
For more information, call Dr. Todd Minars at 954-987-7512.