According To Dermatologists The Safest And Best Spf Product
You’ve heard countless times – and you’ll hear countless more – that sunscreen is a must-have all year round. Sunscreen filters are divided into two categories: physical – also called mineral – and chemical. More and more dermatologists are urging patients to use physical blocks, namely zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.” “This is due to a recent FDA study showing that chemical sunscreens are being absorbed into the bloodstream at an alarming rate – well above what the FDA considers safe,” says dermatologist and founder of Dennis Gross Skincare, PhD.” One ingredient – hydroxybenzone – is absorbed at 188 times the safe level after a single use.”
Physical sunscreens, on the other hand, are not absorbed into the bloodstream and are therefore generally considered to be the better choice. Dr. Gross also noted that sunscreen is irreplaceable when it comes to preventing skin cancer, and that daily sunscreen use should not be stopped year-round.” If you have a sunscreen that you like, it’s no problem to use the same sunscreen year-round. I recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day – even in the winter, even indoors, as UVA/UVB rays can penetrate windows and hurt the skin.”
Dr. Gross’ first choice is his brand’s dark spot sunscreen, SPF 50. “It’s elegant without the white paste look, with only physical barrier ingredients – a breakthrough for physical sunscreens; most people complain that physical SPF sunscreens leave a white paste, and this one does not. It also contains anti-aging ingredients and antioxidants to help prevent damage from UVA/UVB rays, prevent photoaging, and even out the texture and tone of the skin.”
Aveeno Protective Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, $8.97.
“This sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection on top of a colloidal oatmeal-rich base. Oat extract has been shown to soothe, hydrate and protect the skin, which is especially useful if you are dry or sensitive. In addition, we know that UV rays break down the skin barrier, so oat extract is an effective ingredient in sunscreen.” – Joshua Zeichner, MD, PhD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research, Dermatology, Mount Sinai Hospital
Solara Sunara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen, $42
“This all-natural sunscreen uses only zinc oxide as a UV blocker. Unlike most mineral sunscreens that leave a white film on the skin, this one applies well and doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy or heavy.” – Dr. Zeichner
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF50, $9.89.
“This mineral sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality sunscreen, and this one is available at your local drugstore.” – Dr. Zeichner
Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Cream, $10.19.
“This fragrance-free, all-natural sunscreen protects the skin from the sun. It’s non-greasy, light-textured and comes in a stick formula that’s easy to apply. It can be used for both the baby and the parents. For best protection, the stick sunscreen should be applied four times back and forth on the skin and then applied in.” – Dr. Zeichner
Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 36, $55
“This is definitely one of my favorite sunscreens. It is a physical blocker and contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two ingredients that are usually safer for people with sensitive skin. This sunscreen is also fragrance-free and paraben-free, more of a plus for those who have used sunscreen with allergies. Tone is everything and gives your skin a healthy glow when applied. This last sunscreen contains thermophilic bacteria, an ingredient that helps protect the skin from infrared rays. This is a particularly important benefit for people with melasma.” – Dr. Shasha Hu, a dermatologist on the Dr. Brandt Skincare Skin Advisory Board, and Dr.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen Milk SPF30, $48.75.
“This sunscreen brush is great for all-day application, especially for those who wear makeup at work, and reapplying SPF sunscreen on top of foundation/color makeup is perfect. The active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are physical blockers that provide broad spectrum UV protection. The brush comes with a palette that easily matches natural skin tones from light to brown. In addition, this mineral powder brush contains iron oxide, which is the main ingredient that provides visible light protection for skin that is prone to hyperpigmentation.” – Dr. Hu.
Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30+, $13.49
“This sunscreen company has a great reputation for making effective, safe sunscreens for all lifestyles. I especially like this one from Blue Lizard – it’s my sunscreen for the kids. Not only does it provide the waterproof coverage of a physical sunscreen with SPF 30+, but it also comes with an interesting bottle cap that turns blue when exposed to UV rays. This color change is just a good visual reminder to reapply sunscreen when you’re out and about.” – Dr. Hu.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum Sun Protection Index SPF 46, $33
“I really like this sunscreen, gently hydrating but not overpowering, for people prone to acne and rosacea. Many times, people with acne and rosacea skip sunscreen because they either break out or get red and inflamed when they use certain SPFs. And this SPF sunscreen from EltaMD is formulated with acne-free hyaluronic acid to hydrate, niacinamide to reduce redness and improve skin texture, and zinc to ward off UV damage. It’s also worth noting that while it has a chemical filtration component, it’s not on the list published in the study.” – Dr. Hu said.
Neova DNA Sunscreen 2.0 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF40, $51
“I think the zinc oxide formula is beautiful. It is comfortable to apply, well tolerated and soothing to the skin. Effectively, it blocks all UV rays and has DNA repair enzymes that help prevent skin cancer.” – Kenneth Mark, M.D., Ph.D. and a cosmetic dermatologist.
Isdin Eryfotona Eryfotona Actinica Daily Mineral Sun Protection, $55
“This one is my favorite because it’s also ‘an ultra-lightweight lotion-like’ in appearance, has a nice consistency, and is very comfortable to rub on. In addition, it has the highest zinc oxide content of any sunscreen containing DNA repair enzymes, and it also contains antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin E. “In addition, they’ve done studies that show that daily use of this product can actually reduce precancerous lesions (actinic keratosis).” – Dr. Mark.
MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme SPF 50, $29.98
“This formula is very light and silky and great for everyday use because it doesn’t feel like your average sunscreen. It contains 17% zinc oxide and 2% titanium dioxide, plus it has good antioxidants, including, vitamin C, green tea, cranberry fruit and pomegranate extract.” – Mary Hayager, M.D., Ph.D. and founder of Fifth Avenue Cosmetology.
Supergoop Zincscreen 100% Mineral Body Lotion, $42.
“This product is great for oily and acne-prone skin. The coconut fruit extract in this product has a hydrating effect. In addition, it contains iron oxide, a component that blocks out visible light.” – Dr. Hayag.
Sunbetter Sheer SPF 56 sunscreen bar, $45.
“This product contains 5% titanium dioxide and 10% zinc oxide in a convenient bar form. It can cover UVA, UVB, blue light and infrared radiation. It is especially popular with men and children.” – Dr. Hayag.