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I am currently not on any acne meds but I am udoing a jessner peel once every 4-5 weeks and also sometimes use a toner which includes AHA, glycolic and salycic (spelling). I want to use a very good sunscreen with atleast SPF 30. Right now I am using nivia's moisterizer with vitamins and q10 and it has spf15, is that enough to prevent red marks in the florida sun ? I don't sepnd much time in the sun but when I do go out I do want to be protected.

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Depends on how serious you are about photoaging. While UVB light is what causes burns, UVA is what causes the sagging and wrinkling of the skin associated with photoaging bc the wavelengths travel deeper into the skin. The problem here is that SPF is a measure of UVB only, and if you live in the US, you don't have that many good options for UVA protection that are stable (ie do not degrade in sunlight). UVA light is measured by what is called a PPD factor, or persistent pigmentation darkening, in Western countries and a +, ++ or +++ (PPD over 8) in Asia. PPD is directly related to the % of UVA rays blocked, and is 1-(1/PPD) ie a PPD of 10 blocks 90% of UVA rays.

Besides physical filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which protect against both UVB and UVA (although titanium barelyl extends into the UVA protective spectrum), the main chemical used in UVA protection in the US is Parsol 1789 which is avobenzone. The problem with this chemical is that it is difficult to stabilize. Some people (read Paula Begoun) have claimed that avobenzone is stable on it's own but even the manufacturers and patent holders openly state that Avobenzone on it's own is not a stable sunscreen. However, DSM (the makers of Parsol) have in their patent a particular molecular ratio of Avobenzone with the chemical octocrylene which is a stable combination. To save yourself doing some tricky math, it is advisable to get a SS with a concentration of octocrylene which is at least half of that of the Avobenzone for the avobenzone to be stable, otherwise you will lose half your UVA protection in 15 minutes of UVA exposer, and UVA rays (unlike UVB) are at about the same level year round and penetrate glass, so they are even present inside your house and your car. The problem here is that some people (although very few) experience a sensory reaction (itching, tingling or burning) to Avobenzone/parsol, and so lots of people with sensitive or sensitized skin do not like to use Avobenzone, which means that if this is you, you will need to use a SS that is both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but you are unlikely to get a PPD over 10 (w DHC White, probably the most protective physical only sunscreen) while most are around 8 (Shiseido SPF 55) or less. Physical SS's PPDs are difficult to estimate since protection has a lot to do with particle size and encapsulation of particles.

The Nivea Q10 SPF 15 is not a stable sunscreen, IMO it provides minimal UVB protection and you will likely have next to no UVA protection by lunch time. I wont tell you not to use it (you may like the rest of the formula) but I would not use it on my skin.

If you live outside the US, you have access to the best UVA protection because of the product Mexoryl and Tinosorb, which are not yet FDA approved (there is no known reason for this and the FDA will not comment despite many healthcare providers being pro-Mexoryl. Some speculate that with the recent FDA embarassment over Vioxx, the FDA is dragging their feet purposely and watching Mexoryl's progress in Europe, possibly for several more years, before Mexoryl will be added to the FDA SS monograph.)

Probably the best stable UVA (and UVB) protection you can get at the moment in a US sunscreen is Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF 55 or the Neutrogena Age Defense, which is thicker. Do not purchase the other Dry Touch SPF numbers because they are NOT stable. Aveno also has a few new SS's (Advanced SPF 30 and Face SPF 30) out which are stable with only a slightly lower protection than the Neutrogena. Both of these products are quite new to the US market and are not yet available at all retailers.

Otherwise, if you are in Canada/Europe (or want to order from abroad), Ombrelle, Vichy, LaRoche Possay, SVR and Garnier (read: most brands under the Loreal umbrella) offer great UVA protection.

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