La Roche Posay Sunscreen Range La Roche or LRP has a range of sunscreens under the name of Anthelios. Depending on where you reside, the active ingredients will vary according compliance. The most important factors in the context of sunscreens include correct application, as well as frequency of use.
SPF is a factor or ‘burn index’, namely UVB. A SPF of two means 50% of UVB is blocked. This means double the time you can spend under the sun before you burn. Now the part that most people don’t now-an SPF of 60 only increases the UVB protection by 1% compared to SPF 30. UVA wavelength goes deeper into your skin. This wavelength is responsible for skin ageing. Hence it is important to choose a ‘broad spectrum sunscreen’, acknowledging that long wave UVA is not blocked, even with the best sunscreens. In summary if one chooses a broad-spectrum sunscreen the most important factor in use is the correct application technique as summarised in the video and below.
Now to give the Anthelios range of sunscreens a Dav Score-
1. Skin science 5/5. Sunscreens are the foundation of all to come. Sunscreen has been shown to reduce sunburn as well as preventing skin aging. Studies show that up to 80% of skin aging can be prevented with sunscreen use. Broad spectrum sunscreens with UVA protection can protect the skin from accelerated break down of collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin. Sunscreens can also decrease UV induced immunosuppression.
2. Ease of use 5/5. Sunscreen use is simple- apply 15-20 minutes before sun exposure for chemical sunscreens, or just before exposure with physical blockers such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Remember to use the recommended amount- 5ml for face, and neck and reapply 4-8 hours after initial application. I realise some dermatologist recommend reapplication after 2 hours for maximal protection. I do understand the invitro studies, however for practical solutions, compliance with twice a day application should suffice. (The exception is with physical activities- especially outdoors and in water. 2 hourly application with a water proof sunscreen is recommended)
3. Compatibility with other topicals. 5/5. Skin irritation with sunscreens are rare, allergies are extremely uncommon. Photoallergic side effects, especially to UVA are well known, however exceptionally rare. If you have sensitive skin, try a physical blocker. If you think you have an allergy, perform a ROAT or Repeated Open Application Test behind your ear, or inner forearm. Be guided by your medical dermatologist.
4. Subjective feel 5/5. Remember this is subjective. I find the La Roche Posay Anthelios range of sunscreens one of the best on the market. Anthelios covers nearly every aspect of skin variable including sensitive skin, oily skin, and skin of colour with their tinted range. If I were to be picky, extending the tint to cover darker skin types would be useful.
5. Packaging 5/5. Acknowledging that with TGA, FDA and CE regulations the actual ‘active ingredients’ will vary from country to country. Ingredients are clearly marked on the package (may need reading glasses to read, given the small print). Minimal loss of product with packaging. Refreshing to see LRP avoid marketing of spay-ons. With spray delivery SPF is compromised as sunscreen layer is too thin.
6. Price 2/5- In the US, the rrp is $34 USD, in Australia rrp is $19 USD, and in Asia the rrp is around the $20 mark. Remember that is for 50 cc. If one uses 10 ml per day, as recommended by dermatologist, one 50cc pack will only last 5 days. Hence each application cost $3.40 USD. Expensive? Yes, however in the scheme of things spending money on prevention is certainly better in the long run than spending on antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, vitamin E and other topicals. If sunscreen reduces oxidative stress, prevention of oxidation is surely better than scavenging UV induced free radicals!
Total Dav Score is 27/30.
Summary: Sunscreens are the absolute foundation of skin care. This review focuses on only one brand of sunscreen. Most dermatologist will agree the ‘best sunscreen’ is the one you are going to use. Don’t get too stressed with the ingredients, just as long as the product is marked as ‘broad spectrum’. Practically speaking, if a sunscreen is cosmetically elegant, chances are you are going to use it!!!
Dr Davin S. Lim Cutis International Brisbane. Australia.