If I’m chinese, but would like NOT to tan, which sunscreen is best?

Dear Dr. Irwin. I'm a 26 yo female,chinese,but grew up in tropical country with high intensity of sun (Indonesia). I have an acne-prone skin and really oily. My skin color is light like most of Asian Pasific people have (Chinese,Korean,Japanese). What I want to ask : what is the best sunscreen for me and with how much SPF? I heard that the higher the SPF,the more tanning I get. In my country,has a white complexion is good, so I want a sun protection but don't want to get tanned. Thank you.

I would advise you to use a very high zinc and/or titanium containing sunscreen at least SPF 30. This will block UVB well, but more importantly, will block the UVA rays that cause tanning and blotchiness. Those rays are blocked best by two ingredients – zinc and titanium.

If your skin was less oily, I would advise using the Dermaquest Zinclear or the Dermaquest Tinted (they both have 18% zinc and look good on the skin). The better zinc formulations are more expensive though. Then put the Colorscience Powder over it – so two layers total.

But if you’re skin is oilier so you’ll have to experiment a little to find the ones that don’t make you break out. Consider trying the NeoCutis Sunscreen (less zinc but the base may be less pore clogging for you) and then putting the Colorscience Powder over it. Use them separately for a few weeks so if your acne worsens, you’ll know which one is causing it.

Also, try the PMD home microdermabrasion device if you’re acne is mostly clogged pores – it will really help and is one of the best acne products.

Hope this helps, Dr. I

Learn more about acne by reading Dr. Irwin’s article Acne in Depth.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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