Bad news: Science says that too much sun will lead to a multitude of health and cosmetic issues. From skin cancer to premature wrinkles, UV rays can do some serious damage to our bodies. “One in five Americans will develop skin cancer,” says New York dermatologist Debra Wattenberg, MD. “Getting a blistering sunburn and exposure to sun tanning beds can increase your risk for developing skin cancer even more.”
Luckily, all that potential for premature aging and cancer can be prevented, and one brand, La Roche-Posay, is making a serious investment in helping us all do exactly that. Here, we’ve got a full rundown of the brand’s sun-safe efforts and all the best products we recommend to keep your skin protected from those harmful UV rays.
Specifically, how is La Roche-Posay investing in sun-safe practices?
“For over a decade, La Roche-Posay has been educating the public about the dangers of UV exposure and the importance of sun safe practices through its annual SOS – Save Our Skin program, a public health awareness and educational campaign dedicated to sun safety,” explains Dr. Wattenberg. “The brand encourages consumers to: protect their skin, check their moles, and play safe in the sun.”
Obviously, this education from La Roche-Posay is vital for protecting your skin long-term, but actual action is the most important form of preventing damage. “For the last ten years, La Roche-Posay has partnered with dermatologists to provide almost 20,000 free skin-cancer screenings across the country,” explains Dr. Wattenberg.
What products should you use to protect your skin?
Sunscreen is the single most important product for preventing UV rays from damaging the skin, and La Roche-Posay provides many innovative options that are suitable for all skin types, tones, and ages. “They’re made with revolutionary textures that are appealing to wear and safe for even the most sensitive skin,” says Dr. Wattenberg.
It’s important to always use a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection sunscreen that’s water resistant and has at least an SPF of 30. “It is always a good choice to pick a product according to your skin type,” Dr. Wattenberg adds. “If your skin is oily or acne prone, choose an oil-free product, and if it is sensitive, choose chemical-free.”
A good option for everyone is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Fluid as it’s broad-spectrum, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and oil-free. It is also free of oxybenzone and octinozate. “I also really like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen because it is oxybenzone-, octinoxate, and oil-free and super easy to apply all over the body.” Another great option, the Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen for Face SPF 50 comes in both a tinted version and non-tinted version.
What other sun safety tips does La Roche-Posay recommend?
According to Dr. Wattenberg, the best way to apply sunscreen is to strip down to your birthday suit and apply it all over the body at least 20 minutes prior to leaving the house. “It takes approximately 1 ounce of sunscreen to adequately cover the entire body, or approximately the size of a shot glass,” she explains. “If you use less, you are not going to achieve the SPF listed on the bottle.”
Also, don’t forget to protect areas like the tops of your ears and your lips. These areas often get overlooked and can garner a rather painful burn if left unprotected. Finally, it’s important to remember that sunscreen is just one part of the sun-protection process. It is also vital to cover up with extra clothing, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade or indoors when the sun’s rays are the strongest—from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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