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Recent Advances Make Sunscreen More Effective and Easier to Use
Date:5/5/2008

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- With spring in the air, most of us will be arming ourselves with all the essentials that warm weather brings -- flip flops, shorts, sunglasses, sun hats and, of course, sunscreen. The available options in sunscreen protection have become more plentiful than ever, including formulations offering a smoother application or enhanced protection from ultraviolet (UV) light. Fortunately, dermatologists can help you sort through the sunscreen clutter -- separating marketing hype from proven science.

Dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, MD, FAAD, from High Point, N.C., recently discussed the advances that are making sunscreens more effective and more cosmetically acceptable, including higher Sun Protection Factors (SPFs), UVA protection, smaller particles of active ingredients, and enhanced stability during sun exposure. In addition, she addressed new sunscreen ingredients not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that she hopes will provide consumers with broader UV protection in the future. Yet, Dr. Draelos also indicated the need for caution in the use of combination insect repellent and sunscreen products as the warm weather approaches.

"Sunscreens have really evolved over the years, as we now have a variety of formulations -- from creams and gels to lotions and sprays -- that more effectively protect the skin from the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays," said Dr. Draelos. "In the past, a common complaint was that sunscreens felt too sticky or gritty when applied and therefore people avoided applying or reapplying them. But now, more refined formulations have been developed that make sunscreens smoother to the touch and less greasy -- making them easier to wear by themselves or under makeup."

Higher SPFs and UVA Protection

The SPF number on sunscreens largely reflects the product's ability to screen out UVB rays, the sun's shorter wavelength UV rays that are primarily linked to sunburn
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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