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Ask Our Expert: What is the best type of sunscreen?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

 

Q: What is the best type of sunscreen?

A: Historically, it has been shown that physical sunscreens provide the best protection against both UVA & UVB radiation and are less likely to cause skin irritation.  Dr. Castillo, cosmetic surgery and anti-aging expert  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/ recommends medical-grade, physical sunscreens to all his patients.

There are two divisions of sunscreen ingredients; physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens reflect the UV radiation while chemical sunscreens absorb the UV radiation and break it down within the skin. Some sunscreens contain both a physical and a chemical component.

There are two types of physical sunscreens available; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both provide broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Today, these ingredients can be found in finely micronized, nano-sphere  form which allows for ease of daily use. Not only does zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide needed broad-spectrum coverage but they are also beneficial to those who have sensitive skin or are irritated by chemical ingredients.

You will typically find multiple active ingredients listed in chemical sunscreen.  Each chemical ingredient protects only against a specific portion of the UV spectrum. Be aware that at this time many over-the-counter sunscreens protect against UVB rays only, although there are a few chemical ingredients like Oxybenzone that do offer UVA/UVB protection. Therefore, when purchasing over the counter sunscreen, it is important to examine the label for the claim “broad-spectrum.”  Also look for a sunscreen that says “very water resistant.”  However, keep in mind that even the best water resistant sunscreens can only protect you for 80 minutes.  Then you will need to re-apply.

With inconsistent OTC product labels and the idea that active ingredients in sunscreens differ from manufacturer to manufacturer it can be difficult to decipher all of them so I have provided at chart of the more common ingredients found in sunscreens.  When in doubt whether a sunscreen will effectively protect you and your family, I recommend selecting a medical grade sunscreen from your local cosmetic surgeon, plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Our patient’s favorite sunscreens are:

Physical Defense by Castillo MD Skin Science,  is a chemical-free, pure physical broad-spectrum medical-grade sunscreen making it perfect for even oily and acne skin types! It offers superior protection due to it’s high percentage of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

Sun Defense by Castillo MD Skin Science, which offers medical grade 12% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection

Prime Defense by Castillo MD Skin Science, which offers 10% Titanium Dioxide, 4% Zinc Oxide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with an added skin primer.

Body Guard is a medical-grade, body mist sunscreen, making it perfect for those on the go or chasing after little ones.

Chemical & physical ingredients found in sunscreens.

Ingredient:                                            Ray Type:

Avobenzone UVA
Dioxybenzone UVA/ UVB
Homosalate UVB
Octocrylene UVB
Octyl methoxycinnamate UVB
Octisalate UVB
Oxybenzone UVA/ UVB
Padimate O UVB
Mexoryl UVA/UVB
Titanium dioxide UVA/UVB     broad spectrum
Trolamine salicylate UVB
Zinc oxide UVA/UVB     broad spectrum

WARNING: You must actually apply the sunscreen to your skin.  Just purchasing it will not provide sufficient protection! lol

 

Roxanne Grace Hammond
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY                                                                 https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

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