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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
Date:8/4/2009

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 wi
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SOURCE La Roche-Posay
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