Morsani College of Medicine

Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery

What to Look for in Your Sunscreen

There are so many sunscreens and it can be overwhelming in choosing the best one for you and your family. Most important is that you use a broad spectrum sunblock effective against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply often. Sunblock with Mexoryl or Avobenzone give ultimate protection from UVA rays and free radical damage and has anti-aging protection for your skin. Physical Sunblocks contain 4% or higher of Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide as their primary active ingredient acts as a physical sun barrier against UVA and UVB. Therefore, you should look for sunblock with both Mexoryl and/or Avobenzone and Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide. However, the best way to protect your self from the sun is sun avoidance and physical barriers such as sun protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses in addition to your sunblock. Remember SPF rating only refers to UVB protection only and indicates the percentage of sun rays being blocked, for example SPF 15 filters out about 93 percent of the UVB rays and SPF 30 filters about 97 percent of UVB rays. Therefore, SPF is not an indication of how much time you can spend in the sun prior to getting burned. Also, creams and specifically water resistant creams are better than sprays and powders. Keep these hints in mind when you are selecting your next sunblock and check the expiration date prior to purchasing or using your sunblock and don’t forget to have fun this summer.


See Article on Proper Use of Sunscreen


Written by: Robin McClain MSN, ARNP-C

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