Are You Blocking UVA, Too?

Remember that SPF refers only to UVB protection and doesn’t help you on UVA. And buying a sunscreen that says "broad spectrum" or "UVA Protection" won’t necessarily protect you much. Some of those have only a tiny amount of zinc or titanium for UVA blocking.

You need to make sure your summer sunscreen has zinc (at least 5%), titanium (at least 5%), stabilized avobenzone (helioplex), or mexoryl (at least 3%).

Use the high quality, more expensive sunscreens on your face, neck, and chest, and use less expensive but still high zinc or titanium products on your body.

Affordable UVA sunscreens for the body (don’t use these on your face; they’re too white and heavy):

More expensive UVA sunscreens for face, neck, and chest:

See all of Dr. Irwin’s sunscreen recommendations.

See Dr. Irwin’s new Glossary of General Dermatology Terms.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!