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On the Heels of the Summer Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Leading Dermatologist Weighs in on Sun Protection Myths and Facts

NEW YORK, Aug.4 /PRNewswire/ --Dermatologists from around the world gathered last week in Boston, MA to attend the Amercan Academy of Dermatology's summer meeting, where Melanoma was a hot topic of discussion. While there were various symposia discussions on the subject, the underlying message was consistent -- Melanoma is potentially one of the most preventable forms of cancer when sunscreen is applied daily and correctly.

In the hopes of sharing pertinent facts about sunscreen in order to further educate consumers on the importance of using proper broad screen protection , La Roche-Posay, a worldwide expert in UV protection, invites board certified dermatologist and expert in the field of photobiology, Dr. Vincent Deleo, to weigh in on the topic separating fact from fiction.

Q1: Is it more important to wear sunscreen during the summer months?

Dr. Vincent Deleo: It is extremely important to wear sunscreen all year round, but of course the sun is more intense in the summer and clothing routinely covers less of the skin in that season. UVA rays constitute 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth's surface year round and are known to penetrate deep within the skin. These rays can also pass through both clouds and windows and play a role in both carcinogenesis and photo-ageing. Having said that, I usually encourage my patients to wear sun protection on a daily basis as sunscreen remains the best defense against this damaging UV radiation. I typically recommend an SPF 15 for daily use and an SPF of 30 or higher for recreational use.

Q2: Consumers have long been told that two tablespoons or one shot glass full of sunscreen should be applied to the body every two hours for optimal protection but how much product is needed to safely and effectively protect the face alone?

Dr. Vincent Deleo: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one to two tablespoons of sunscreen (or a shot glass size amount) should be applied liberally to the body every two hours. As more and more brands continue to introduce sunscreens specifically formulated to protect the face (i.e. lighter formulas that are less greasy and dry to a matte finish), I've calculated that 2/3 to 3/4 of a teaspoon full of product is the ideal amount of sunscreen needed to protect the face.

Q3: If you apply a sunscreen with a higher SPF does that mean that you don't have to reapply as often?

Dr. Vincent Deleo: That is a common misconception. SPF stands for "Sun Protection Factor" and the higher the number, the higher the UVB protection (protection against burning rays). Many of my patients think that if they wear an SPF of 30 as opposed to an SPF 15 they can stay in the sun twice as long, which is correct if you are only trying to prevent sunburn. But UVA protection does not always increase with increased SPF. Additionally, sunscreens degrade over time so when choosing a sunscreen it is important to opt for one that is highly photostable, delivering longer-lasting protection and one that has superior UVA protection.

Q4: What should consumers look for when reading sunscreen labels?

Dr. Vincent Deleo: With so many different types of sunscreens currently on the market, choosing the most effective one can be confusing. Remember -- SPF only measures UVB protection, not UVA. The FDA is currently reviewing labeling guidelines that would indicate levels of UVA protection; but a final decision has not yet been made. In the meantime, consumers should look for products formulated with ingredients like ecamsule (Mexoryl SX), avobenzone, octocrylene, oxybenzone, titanium and/or zinc oxide for added UVA protection. I always advise patients to use an SPF 15 for daily protection, such as a moisturizer with SPF 15 and a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher for recreational use. Additionally, sunscreen efficacy is largely dependant upon consumer compliance so it is important to choose a product that is esthetically pleasing to the individual to be sure they use it. Nowadays, there are a number of new formulas that feature outstanding UVA protection, broad-spectrum coverage and increased compliance( )through elegant textures. Additionally, sunscreen creams are recommended for those with dry skin types, while matte formulas are perferred by those who have more oily skin. Regularly using proper broad spectrum sun protection is the first step in fighting both the aging process and skin cancer!

Q5: What are some of the latest innovations to help combat skin damage due to UV exposure? Are there any sunscreen products that have additional ingredients that enhance overall skin protection and treatment?

Dr. Vincent Deleo: In addition to the FDA approved sun filters for proper broad spectrum UV protection, many sunscreens now contain antioxidants that offer an extra layer of protection to combat potentially harmful free radicals. Additionally, you should try and avoid being in the sun between peak sun hours -- 10:00am-4:00pm and always wear protective clothing including a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.


La Roche-Posay is recommended by 25,000 dermatologists worldwide offering adjunctive therapy, daily skincare and in-office chemical peel products formulated with highly concentrated ingredients targeting every skin's needs.

La Roche-Posay is the company that brought the highly anticipated Anthelios sunscreen franchise to the U.S. including Anthelios SX (with Mexoryol SX) for daily use, the first FDA approveded sunscreen in over 19 years with demonstrated safety and efficacy for protection against short UVA rays supported by 115 clinical and non-clinical toxicology studies and tested on over 2,500 patients ranging in age from 6 montht to 65+ years of age. Additionally, La Roche-Posay now offers a range of Anthelios 60 sunscreen(1) products with Cell-OX Shield(TM) for dual protection against harmful UV exposure including antioxidants to further protect the skin.

About Dr. Vincent Deleo

Dr. Deleo is presently a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia. He is the Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at both St. Luke's Roosevelt and Beth Israel Medical Centers in New York City. Dr. Deleo has always had a great interest in education and served as the Director of Residency Training and the Medical School Teaching Program in Dermatology at Columbia-Presbyterian. He is presently Director of Residency Training at St. Luke's Roosevelt and a specialist in the area of photoprotection.

Dr. Deleo has repeatedly been cited as a "Best Doctor" in New York Magazine, as well as multiple national publications. He is quoted frequently in the lay press in areas of his expertise. Dr. Deleo presently has dermatological practices in New York City and Beverly Hills.

ANTHELIOS sunscreen products from La Roche-Posay retail between $26.00 and $32.00 and can be purchased at select physicians' offices, CVS/pharmacy, Duane Reade, Longs and Brooks locations with Dermo-Skincare Centers, and online at

(1) Anthelios 60 does not contain Mexoryl SX

SOURCE La Roche-Posay
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