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What is the Best Sunscreen?

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Posted November 21, 2016 in News

You’ve heard it a million times.  Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.  It’s like flossing.  We all know we should be doing it, but knowing doesn’t always mean doing. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I want to share a picture that will give you a visual of why EVERY expert who works in skin care harps on the topic of finding the best sunscreen.

Best sunscreen

This picture is from an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is a photo of a 69 year old man who has been a truck driver for 28 years. For 28 years, the left side of his face was exposed to the UV rays coming through the driver’s side window, while the right side of his face was protected from the damaging effects of the sun. If seeing this side by side comparison of the effects of frequent sun exposure doesn’t convince you that sun equals wrinkles, then nothing will!  

There are good reasons that Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and anyone in Aesthetics go on and on about sunscreen. Not only are there compelling cosmetic reasons to wear sunscreen, but there are very significant health benefits also. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. We know how to drastically reduce the rates of skin cancer and the answer is avoiding the sun and wearing the best sunscreen consistently.  

In addition to reducing the risk of cancer, we also know that an estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun. Let me repeat that. 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun! Sunscreen doesn’t block 100% of the sun so using sunscreen isn’t going to mean you prevent all sun related aging. But, people who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24% less skin aging than those who do not use the best sunscreen daily. (

So now that you are convinced of the benefits of sunscreen lets go over what sunscreens are best.  The best sunscreens are physical sunscreens, which are zinc or titanium based.  These sunscreens provide a physical block against the sun’s rays.  They are broad spectrum, meaning they  block more types of UV rays.  

At NOVA Plastic Surgery we carry SkinCeuticals sunscreens and EltaMD sunscreens.  Both are zinc based and feel great on the skin.  We have several different options depending on your preference – tinted, non-tinted and matte finish.  So you can find the perfect sunscreen that you won’t mind wearing every day.  People always ask me what SPF they should wear.  The reality is that an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks about 97% of the UV rays and anything above that is a very small increase.  Sunscreens above an SPF of 50 haven’t been shown to provide any added benefit.  So I recommend using a sunscreen above an SPF 30.  Additionally I highly recommend adding an antioxidant to your skin care regimen.  Studies show that using an antioxidant such as Vitamin C effectively doubles the sunblock’s protective rating and promotes skin renewal.  Vitamin C boosts the body’s natural defense againnst UVA- induces free radicals. CE Ferulic by Skinceuticals is an award-winning antioxidant serum that is an excellent option.  Click here to learn more about this fall skin care regimen.
Sunscreen should be an essential part of your daily skin care regimen. At NOVA Plastic Surgery we would be happy to help you customize a skin care regimen that is right for you and that delivers real results.

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