Contents

Best Of/ Holy Grail Products: SUNSCREEN

Product Name: Canmake Mermaid Skin UV Gel SPF50+ PA++++
Face and/or Body: Face
Skin Type and Concerns: Combination to a bit oily especially in summer. Acne prone: hormonal, general congestion
Additional Information & Ingredients: Combination of Physical and Chemical Filters. Ingredients and UV filters laid out neatly HERE

Review: This is an absolute Holy Grail for me and I have done a review previously here. It’s an incredibly light, gel formula that doesn’t feel sticky or greasy but still feels hydrating enough for me as a combo lass. It doesn’t make me overly shiny throughout the day, either and makes an absolutely wonderful ‘primer’/base for makeup due. This is definitely an SPF for intermittent exposure – day to day going to work sort of stuff where you are indoors for most of the day. Anything heavier than that and you want something more durable.

Product Name: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Clear Face SPF30+
Face and/or Body: Face
Skin Type and Concerns: Combination to a bit oily especially in summer. Acne prone: hormonal, general congestion
Additional Information & Ingredients: Chemical Filters only. Filters can be found in the ingredients drop down HERE

Review: Another SPF I actually reviewed previously. This one came with me to my trip through SE Asia and actually, impressed the shit out of me. Not only did it actually keep me fairly “matte” (more like a satin) it also definitely delivered on the protection. I would mostly apply once to my face and while I did wear a hat occasionally, I noticed very little tanning and no extra pigmentation pop up (any existing sun spots did not get darker). I was very impressed but also a tad disappointed when it started to sting when I came home. I would definitely still recommend though!

Product Name: Rohto Mentholatum Skin Aqua Tone Up UVEssence SPF50+ PA++++ Face and/or Body: Face
Skin Type and Concerns: Combination to a bit oily especially in summer. Acne prone: hormonal, general congestion
Additional Information & Ingredients: Combination of Physical and Chemical Filters. Ingredients and UV filters laid out neatly HERE

Review: Yeah, not going to lie the packaging got me on this. The product is a very light, very light, lavender tint that aims to brighten the skin and I think for those light to just shy of medium skin tones it works a treat. It feels very emollient and creamy but doesn’t feel heavy at all on my skin. It gives a very nice and subtle brightening effect while not being overly ashy or leaving an unflattering sheen to the skin. Another win for a good base for makeup as well

Product Name: Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF50+
Face and/or Body: Face and Body
Skin Type and Concerns: Combination to a bit oily especially in summer. Acne prone: hormonal, general congestion
Additional Information & Ingredients: Chemical Filters only. Filters only listed HERE
Review: I received this as a mini way back when and had always heard very good things about the mecca homebrand SPF’s. This didn’t disappoint. It’s a very creamy product which, again, doesn’t feel heavy or gross on my skin. It leaves a pleasant finish and is nicely hydrating if not a tad too moisturising sometimes! Because of this, though, it lends itself to also being a very good primer for makeup and feels like it has good ‘grip’ onto the skin. While I didn’t repurchase, I can see why it is popular.

Product Name: Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (Blue top) and Shiseido Anessa Perfect Mild Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (White top)
Face and/or Body: Face and Body
Skin Type and Concerns: Combination to a bit oily especially in summer. Acne prone: hormonal, general congestion
Additional Information & Ingredients: Combination of Physical and Chemical Filters. Perfect Milk ingredients and filters are HERE, Mild Milk ingredients and filters are HERE

Review: I am going to review these both at the same time because there is only a small difference between them. These are the gold standard of sun protection in Japan and I can completely and utterly agree and see why. I used the Perfect Milk everyday on my recently trip to Singapore, applied only once, and did not tan at all. My face was comically light compared to my body and I noticed a good progression on some PIH on my face too.
The difference between the two is quite simple – Perfect Milk is slightly more matte and has alcohol. Mild Milk does not have alcohol and the finish, for me, is a lot more hydrating if not a bit oily feeling. I use the Milkd Milk for body and the Perfect for Face and Body when needed. Both of these have excellent filters, excellent water resistance and just bloody work. Found my summer days SPF.

Product Name: Allie Extra UV Gel SPF50+ PA++++
Face and/or Body: Face and Body
Skin Type and Concerns: Combination to a bit oily especially in summer. Acne prone: hormonal, general congestion
Additional Information & Ingredients: Combination of Physical and Chemical Filters. Ingredients and UV filters can be found HERE

Review: This is a recent purchase and I am already very happy with it. A light but still creamy product, this goes on the face and body like a dream and dries down to a nice satin finish. It’s performance detailed in this post sealed the deal on me using this and if it hadn’t worked for my face, you bet I’d be using it for my body too.

Product Name: Neutrogena Beach Defence Sunscreen Lotion SPF50
Face and/or Body: Body
Skin Type and Concerns: Combination to a bit oily especially in summer. Acne prone: hormonal, general congestion
Additional Information & Ingredients: Chemical Filters only. Filters can be found in the ingredient drop down HERE

Review: This has been a holy grail for a long, long time for my body (and my partners body and face). It smells amazing, dries down so quickly and does an absolutely epic job at protecting from the sun. Seriously, I have never burned with this and neither have my palest friends who always seem to go a bit red after a day at the beach. I can’t recommend this enough and it seems to be a pretty popular favourite too! I only recommend the lotion, though, as sprays are too easy to inhale as well as not get a proper application.

PHEW! Hope this was helpful to some. Also I think I am a Fitzpatrick Type III!

I will say that a lot of my choices are Japanese and I had to special order them in as stores aren’t actually allowed to stock them here due to Australia regulations. I linked YesStyle as it’s the only place that currently stocks them permanently that I trust.
I would have also linked the eBay seller RyushindoJapan but the store is closed due to health issues of the seller (wishing a speedy recovery). For some people in Melbourne, you might be lucky to find them in the CBD as you have a lot of Asian beauty stores which stock so many. In Brisbane I haven’t had a lot of success but occasionally spot one or two in stores.
I’m hoping this thread can open me to even more local possibilities! I’m very interested in the La Roche Posay options, especially.

If you’ve ever gone deep down a Reddit hole, you know that it can be an overwhelming and sometimes dark place, but also hugely useful and affirming if you find the right community. One of the biggest communities is #SkincareAddicition, which currently has more than one million subscribers. Most of its content is made up of helpful advice, product reviews, and empowering photo exchanges, but the scariest (and arguably most interesting) information found there? Skincare confessions.

Considering the anonymity that Reddit provides, it’s not a huge surprise that people go there to spill their deepest skin secrets, like washing their face with dish soap or using a razor blade to get at an ingrown hair. But just how bad are these clandestine habits? We’ve compiled a smattering of the juiciest confessions and tapped two celebrity dermatologists, Dr. Shari Marchbein and Dr. Joshua Zeichner, to determine if these anonymous commenters are onto something or if their skin sins should be avoided by others at all costs.

“Washed my face with Dawn dish detergent to degrease it.”
—beelzeybob

Marchbein: “Dawn detergent is far too harsh on the delicate facial skin to use. Remember: Squeaky clean means that you are overly clean, and the important oils found naturally on our skin to maintain a healthy skin barrier have been stripped. However, dish soap can work well on the scalp (a much thicker skin area) for those complaining of oiliness.”

Zeichner: “Dishwashing detergents are extremely effective at removing oil, explaining why they can take grease off your plates. However, they have a more alkaline pH than traditional facial cleansers which may lead to disruption of the skin barrier.”

“I use a sewing needle to extract my milia. I don’t disinfect the area before or after (just the needle itself) either. It hurts a little, but the red spot that’s left behind is barely noticeable and disappears after a day or two and I don’t have to deal with milia in that spot for weeks or even months. I just found out you can buy the ultra-thin diabetic needles over the counter though so I’ll be switching over soon.”
—jt_rei

Marchbein: “This is a potentially dangerous at-home practice for a number of reasons. A sewing needle that’s neither clean nor sterile can be a source of infection when it punctures the skin. I have also seen hyperpigmentation and scars caused from those trying to extract at home because they don’t realize how much or little pressure needs to be applied during extractions. Leave this to the professionals.”

Zeichner: “I do not recommend extracting your own milia at home. Picking the wrong way can lead to infections or even permanent scarring. If you do decide to pick at home, then at least make sure that you thoroughly wash your hands and skin, and use a clean needle. And get a sharp container because it is not safe to throw away surgical needles in the regular garbage.”

“99% of my skincare is trial-sized from either Sephora beauty offers online or skincare mini sets. To add to this confession, because of the sheer amount of trial size/mini skincare that I have, I don’t have a set routine. I go day by day deciding what I want to put on based on what I think my skin needs at that moment 🤷🏼‍♀️”
—666-take-the-piss

Marchbein: “This is where a board-certified dermatologist can help you. There are so many skincare options these days and most people don’t actually know which ones to choose, as it can be overwhelming (I think social media also makes this worse). Key daily skincare products are a gentle cleanser for face and a different one for body, facial moisturizer with SPF in the morning, and either a moisturizing lotion or cream (depending how dry your face is) at night. Lastly, a high-quality vitamin C serum in the morning is important to prevent oxidative damage, and a retinoid at night for anti-aging. I recommend narrowing down your favorites or consulting with your dermatologist who can help formulate a skincare routine based on your individual needs.”

Zeichner: “To be effective, your skincare routine needs to be consistent. It typically takes several weeks for active ingredients to start to exert their effects. It is important to put together the right routine for your skincare needs. Just because a product is free, expensive, or new does not mean it is right for you.”

“I don’t wash my face in the morning!”
—Remy_Vindaloo

Marchbein: “This is actually not such a terrible sin. Most dermatologists recommend washing your face twice daily, both morning and evening. But this may vary based on your skin type. For those with dry or sensitive skin, washing once a day at night is likely enough, whereas for oily skin, washing twice daily is better. It could also vary based on what products you apply to your skin those times of day (for example, if you are using a nighttime acne routine, you would want to make sure to rinse those products off in the morning with a gentle cleanser). If you are going to skip one, it is better to forgo the morning rather than the evening wash. It is extremely important to wash your face at night to remove makeup, dirt, and pollutants that have accumulated on your skin during the day.”

Zeichner: “If you have to commit a skin sin, this is not a bad one so long as you have washed your face the night before. Most people can get away with skipping washing their faces in the morning.”

“I don’t use a true cream moisturizer, only hydrate with water followed by various oil concoctions.”
—ericaeveryday

Marchbein: “Moisturizers (a.k.a. emollients) are important because they help us maintain a healthy skin barrier and prevent cracked, dry skin. Humectants on the other hand attract and bind to water molecules and increase water content of the skin. In general, you want whatever you’re using to have a combination of emollients and humectants. Some of the most important ingredients to look for are deeply hydrating ingredients such as ceramides, glycerin, shea butter, dimethicone, and hyaluronic acid.”

Zeichner: “The latest advances in cosmetic chemistry have brought many new textures and delivery systems to the market. Oils have become extremely popular and can give the same types of emollient benefits that traditional cream moisturizers provide.”

“I never patch test and I’ll try multiple new products at the same time. Fight me.”
—LavenderSnuggles

Marchbein: “I don’t think patch testing is necessary unless you have very sensitive skin or allergic contact dermatitis (in which case you should be avoiding certain ingredients altogether). Although trying multiple new products may not be harmful for most of us, there is a higher risk of skin irritation. For that reason, I typically recommend trying one new product every 2 weeks to ensure both tolerability and efficacy.”

Zeichner: “Big mistake. If you develop a rash and you have started multiple products at the same time, then you won’t know which product is the culprit. This is especially important if you are using products that contain fragrances or products that are potentially irritating like hydroxy acids, retinoids, or vitamin C.”

“I never reapply sunscreen on my face. Once in the a.m., and I’m done. Finito.”
—Sylthar

Marchbein: “Sunscreen should be worn every day of the year—rain or shine, warm or cold. No sunscreen, regardless of strength or number, protects for longer than two hours without reapplication, especially in the summer months. You should be reapplying a shot glass–amount to the body and a teaspoon amount to the face every two hours.”

Zeichner: “UV light has been shown to lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, as exposure to UV light deactivates the skin-protecting ingredients. Not reapplying sunscreen means that your skin is at risk for sunburn and UV damage later in the day.”

“I fall asleep with my makeup on at least half the nights of the week.”
—mongooseoflove

Marchbein: “This is an absolute no-no! Falling asleep with makeup on traps in the oil, dirt, pollution, and makeup from the day and can lead to acne breakouts and the appearance of larger pores. Please make sure to rinse with a gentle cleanser every night before bed.”

Zeichner: “Just because makeup is labeled longwear doesn’t mean you should use it that way. Sleeping in makeup can lead to irritation, inflammation, and acne breakouts. If you are too lazy to go to the bathroom to wash your face, at least keep makeup removing towelettes in your bedside table.”

“My husband washes his face with body wash or shampoo. No moisturizer, no nothing else. Gorgeous skin.”
—aenflex

Marchbein: “I wouldn’t recommend this for most people (although I think it is very common for men to use one product for everything) as the skin on the face is more delicate and prone to irritation than other areas of the body. Therefore, it requires specific skincare products geared to the face.”

Zeichner: “If you do not have sensitive skin, then your face may be able to tolerate the cleansing ingredients found in body washes or shampoos. They all contain similar types of surfactants that grab onto dirt and oil and remove it from the skin and the hair. In fact, the latest generation of body washes are mild enough to use on the face even in sensitive skin individuals.”

“I rarely ever cleanse my face with water. I have facial wipes, Pond’s cold cream, and micellar water. I almost never leave the house and I only occasionally wear foundation so I don’t really feel like I need to do a super thorough cleanse most of the time, but this opinion has a lot to do with pure laziness.”
—chaospearl

Marchbein: “Actually, micellar water is an excellent way of removing dirt and makeup from the skin and Pond’s cold cream is an extremely gentle way to remove makeup. Just remember that water alone is not sufficient to remove dirt, sweat, and pollution. Instead, use cleansers that are gentle, moisturizing, and won’t disrupt the skin’s barrier.”

Zeichner: “Micellar water was first popularized in France, and women there barely use tap water to clean their faces. Depending on where you live, the water may be considered hard, meaning it contains high levels of minerals like calcium. Hard water can be damaging to the outer skin layer, so micellar water is a good substitute for tap water and can effectively remove dirt, oil, and makeup from the skin. Facial wipes can also be extremely effective. If you do not have sensitive skin, they can be used regularly to wash your face.”

“Sometimes when my moisturizer is in the other room, I use body lotion on my face 🙃”
—rch-ie

Marchbein: “Although I typically recommend separate moisturizers for face and body given that they typically contain different ingredients that cater to one body part or another, but using your body moisturizer on your face is actually okay for certain products, like Cerave moisturizing cream and Vanicream. While neither have SPF (so you would need a separate sunscreen on top when applying to the face), both are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and deeply moisturizing. This doesn’t hold true for all products, however, so be cautious.”

Zeichner: “The main difference between face moisturizers and body moisturizers are the added anti-aging and cosmetic benefits. While body moisturizers typically do not offer these, they can provide the same level of hydration to your face as traditional facial moisturizers.”

“I shave every day and use an exfoliating acid but sometimes I get ingrown hairs under my jawline. This past Friday I got so frustrated with one that I took a razor blade and cut a slit in my skin so I could pull it out.”

Marchbein: “I would strongly advise against cutting the skin or plucking out hairs as this can cause infection, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. It also leads to a vicious cycle of more ingrowns, as that hair grows back and gets further trapped under the skin. For those who get ingrown hairs from shaving, laser hair removal is a great option for permanent hair removal. For those who get inflamed ingrown hairs, called folliculitis, your dermatologist can prescribe medication to help with the redness and pain. And for a large cystic breakout, your dermatologist can inject a low dose steroid into the cyst to improve the inflammation and discomfort quickly.”

Zeichner: “If you develop a painful ingrown hair, visit your dermatologist for help. Cutting your skin with a razor blade may cause a deep gash with uncontrollable bleeding, increase your risk of developing an infection, and even leave you with a noticeable scar.”

“Every once in a while I’ll still use St. Ives Apricot Scrub on my face. I’ve mostly switched to only using it on my body these days, since I have heard so many negative comments about micro tears, etc. But it just makes my face so smooooooth that I break the rules every once in a while. Never had any noticeable negative effects.”
—FinkFace

Marchbein: “Physical exfoliants are not intrinsically bad (I use and love them myself), but you do want to make sure the particles are fine so as to not irritate the skin. Over-exfoliation with chemical or physical exfoliants can lead to red, flaky, irritated skin.”

Zeichner: “If you do not have sensitive skin, then most people can tolerate walnut shell facial scrubs. Just make sure to apply a moisturizer to your skin after exfoliating.”

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Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, is formulated with ingredients like avobenzone and oxybenzone that absorb UV rays to keep them from penetrating your skin. These ingredients can sometimes cause irritation if you’re prone to sensitivity, but they tend to be easier to apply. “Chemical sunscreens sometimes rub into the skin more easily, leaving less white residue,” notes David Fieleke, MD, Missouri dermatologist. (Keep in mind that Hawaii has passed a bill banning sunscreens with certain chemicals thought to damage coral reefs.)

What’s the best kind of sunscreen: Spray, lotion, stick or gel?

As for the vehicle your sunscreen comes in (lotion, spray or otherwise), that’s all about your personal preference. “Sunscreens come in creams, lotions, gels, sprays, sticks and many other unique formulas,” says Zeichner. “The best sunscreen is ultimately the one that you actually use.”

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Of course, a sunscreen is only effective if you use it right. Zeichner says you should apply an ounce of sunscreen to the entirety of your exposed skin. (This is about the volume of a shot glass or the size of a golf ball, he explains.) Reserve about a nickel-sized dollop for your entire face, and remember to reapply every two hours or immediately after heavy sweating or swimming, Zeichner advises.

If you only have a spray sunscreen and need to reapply on your face, Mudgil advises that you spray it directly on your hands and apply to the face with your fingers for a more even application.

Below, top dermatologists share their favorite sunscreens to keep you protected this summer — and beyond.

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 for Sensitive or Acne-Prone Skin

EltaMD earns raves from dermatologists, thanks to their cosmetically elegant formulas. This sunscreen is Virginia-based dermatologist Nikoleta Brankov’s favorite for the face. “It’s great for acne-prone skin, and contains a physical blocker: zinc oxide,” she says. Niacinamide in the formula calms sensitive skin and prevents redness.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 100+

“This specific sunscreen was studied in the real world and shown to be more effective in preventing sunburn as compared to sunscreens with lower SPF levels,” says Zeichner, who’s a fan of this sunscreen. He explains that because most of us don’t apply as much sunscreen as we should (remember: you need a shot glass worth!) and don’t reapply during the day, we’re not getting as much protection as labeled on the bottle. So choosing the highest level of SPF possible gets you closer to adequate protection.

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Sunscreen with SPF 70

Those with sensitive skin, listen up. “This sunscreen is a great option for people who have dry, sensitive or eczema prone skin,” Zeichner says. “It is enriched with colloidal oatmeal, which soothes and protects the skin.”

Bare Republic Mineral SPF 50 Neon Sunscreen Stick

Getting kids to put on sunscreen is not always the easiest of tasks. That’s why Fieleke likes this sunscreen. “With kids, we’ve found that using a sunscreen stick, especially one that has some novelty, really helps increase the family’s buy-in when it comes to sunscreen application,” he says. “These sunscreen sticks with 25 percentzinc oxide come in bright colors kids are sure to love helping apply.”

Cool Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops SPF 30

Gone are the days where you had to rock a white cast at the beach. Newer, lighter-weight sunscreen formulations, like this one, blend into skin seamlessly. Anthony M. Rossi, MD, dermatologic, Mohs, cosmetic and laser surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, calls out the drops’ nice chemical formulation, which features skin-softening hyaluronic acid.

Badger Unscented Sunscreen, SPF 30

Debra Jaliman, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and author of “Skin Rules,” likes this sunscreen because it’s eco-friendly and safe for coral reefs and other ocean life. She notes that it’s unscented (a plus for sensitive skin types!) and almost completely organic. It’s also safe for children.

UnSun Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

Peggy Fuller, MD, with the Esthetics Center for Dermatology in Charlotte, North Carolina, says that she’s always had trouble finding a sunscreen that didn’t leave her chocolate complexion looking ashy. That is, until she found this product. “UnSun is a mineral tinted broad-spectrum face sunscreen that doesn’t leave an ashen residue,” she says. “That’s particularly important for skin in darker hues.”

MDSolarSciences Mineral Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 50

“I like tinted, mineral sunscreens that blend with pigmented skin rather than look white or ashy,” says Sonia Batra, Santa Monica dermatologist and co-host of “The Doctors.” She’s a fan of this tinted sunscreen, which has a light/medium tint, oil- and fragrance-free formula, and can be worn alone or as a base for foundation.

Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Brush

Available in four shades, this powder sunscreen is great for on-the-go sunscreen touch-ups. It layers over makeup without messing up your face. “If I have makeup on, this goes over it really nicely,” says Lily Talakoub, MD, of McLean Skin Dermatology.

Olay SPF 35 Face Lotion + Shine Control

Say goodbye to greasy skin post-sunscreen application. Susan Bard, MD, dermatologist in Brooklyn, favors this formula for those with oily skin. The matte formulation absorbs oil so you never have to worry about looking shiny.

Three simple hacks for a better day at the beach

Aug. 30, 201801:24

MORE TIPS FROM DERMATOLOGISTS

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  • How to choose the best anti-aging products
  • Best dandruff shampoos
  • A better way to take a shower

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Which brand of sunscreen you use matters less than whether it provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Photo by iStock/skynesher

July 9, 2019 Twitter Facebook

With summer beach season here, avoiding skin cancer—the most common form of the disease, afflicting three million Americans annually—just got more complicated. Everyone knows that sunscreen helps reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. But a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study has found that active ingredients in sunscreen can ooze into your bloodstream.

The FDA says 2 of 14 ingredients are safe when absorbed into the blood, but copped to a we-don’t-know about the other dozen, requesting more safety data from manufacturers. So should you slather on the ’screen, and if so, which are the safest brands to use?

We asked Debjani Sahni, the School of Medicine G. Robert Baler Endowed Professor of Dermatology and director of the Boston Medical Center Cutaneous Oncology Program. She answered—while reminding people “that sun protection is a multipronged approach” and sunscreen is just one aspect. Protective steps include “seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, including sunglasses, and generously applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is water-resistant and SPF 30 or more on exposed skin.”

Q&A

BU Today: In light of the FDA study, should people still use sunscreen?

Sahni: In short, yes. We should take into account the available scientific data so far. We know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. We also know that damage to the skin from UV radiation is the number one cause of skin cancer. The use of sunscreen has been scientifically proven in humans to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer and precancerous lesions.

The recent study addresses an important issue. However, the results of the study do not confirm that this absorption actually leads to any significant effect on a person’s health. To answer this question, more studies are needed, which the FDA plans to undertake. Sunscreens have been around for decades, and there are no reports to date of any negative internal effects on humans. For now, taking all the information into account, the advice is to continue using sunscreen. In fact, this is also the recommendation by the authors of the FDA study.

What are the ingredients of concern in sunscreen, and what are the possible harms they can do?

The four ingredients tested in the study were oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. Oxybenzone can penetrate the skin and potentially interfere with hormone levels. Some of this concern comes from earlier animal studies, although a study in 2004 did not show significant hormone disruption in humans. Initial research on oxybenzone also points to a potential environmental issue, in that it may be partially responsible for damaging coral reefs. Regarding the other three ingredients, more research is needed to know the true impact, if any, on the health of humans.

Can people purchase sunscreens that don’t contain the potentially risky ingredients?

There are two types of sunscreens: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens work by reflecting or blocking the sun’s rays. They contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These ingredients have been determined as GRASE—Generally Regarded As Safe and Effective—by the FDA and do not require further testing.

The other ingredients available in sunscreens are present in chemical sunscreens. These work by absorbing the sun’s rays and converting them into heat. Presently there is insufficient data to be able to make a positive GRASE determination on these ingredients in chemical sunscreens. Hence the ongoing tests. You can know the type of sunscreen you are buying by looking at the list of ingredients on the back of the sunscreen bottle.


Debjani Sahni, a School of Medicine professor, says it’s important to read the regulatory label on a sunscreen bottle and always make sure it’s labeled as “broad spectrum.” Photo by istock/1MoreCreative

What brands would you recommend?

As they are regulated by the FDA, what is more important than the actual brand is the regulatory label on the bottle. Make sure the sunscreen is labeled as “broad spectrum.” This implies the sunscreen provides proportional protection against both UVA and UVB rays, as they are both important in causing skin cancer. Also, ensure that the sunscreen has adequate SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Studies show that an SPF 15 can reduce the risk of skin cancer developing. However, the American Academy of Dermatology encourages people to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, given that people typically do not apply adequate amounts of sunscreen. This is my recommendation also.

How many cases of skin cancer do you typically treat in a year?

I typically see and treat over 2,000 skin cancer patients a year and diagnose around 350 new skin cancers annually.

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The Best Face Sunscreens According to Reddit

When it comes to face sunscreens it can be a bit of a trial and error process to find one that will tick all of your check boxes. For me, I always just aim for something that isn’t going to break me out because that’s my main concern. I decided to go hunting through reddit to see what other people were recommending based on their experiences with different products, so here’s some of the best face sunscreens according to reddit.

Recommendation by Reddit User: _Whats_Crackalakin_
Chemical: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel

Physical: Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen SPF 50. This is also the best primer for my oily skin as well. You just have to wait for it to settle and dry down for like 5 minutes. Also, while it looks to have a tint, as someone who is NC15, it does not show up on me after rubbing it on.

Recommendation by Reddit User: sublime311
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. I love it for these reasons:

“9.0% transparent zinc oxide Calms and protects acne-prone skin Antioxidant protection combats skin-aging free radicals associated with ultraviolet (UV) and infrared radiation (IR) Leaves no residue UVA/UVB sun protection “Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic”

Recommendation by Reddit User: balmy_beanie
Any Neutrogena sunscreen. It’s pretty thick so not super easy to spread sometimes but it doesn’t feel greasy and lasts a long time.

Recommendation by Reddit User: emily_fr
La Roche posay anthelios face sunscreen, it’s super watery (in a good way) and feels like you have nothing on your face at all

Recommendation by Reddit User: W1ldYouth
I have two favorites:

Beauty Rx solar defense sheer sunscreen spf50: Texture is great, smells nice and doesn’t leave a white cast on my nw55 complexion skin. The finish is also relatively matte without drying and makes a great base for makeup. I love to use this during the warmer months and on the beach.

Goodal mild protect sun essence: This one is a Korean sunscreen. It literally has the consistency of a thick essence, no white cast whatsoever, smells divine and leaves a bit of dewiness. I use this all year round when I want my skin to have a bit of glow, but I’ve been enjoying it this winter as it provides a little extra moisture

I would love to hear what your favourite sunscreen is as well!

Reddit best face sunscreen

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