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Question
Posted by: Gigi | 2010/07/18

SPF &  UVA

I know a sunscreen with spf 50 is best, but most products say nothing about UVA protection! Is there a product available that really is good for UVA and what is the symbol (?) used to indicate the level of protection?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageAnti-ageing expert

Hi Gigi, thank you for the question.

Most SPF products are aimed at blocking both UVA and UVB rays and typically the best ingredients for UVA is zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
The following table (below) gives one an indication of the different ingredients and their specific UV blocking effects:

Drug Name Concentration, % Absorbance
Aminobenzoic acid Up to 15 UV-B
Avobenzone 03-Feb UV-A I
Cinoxate Up to 3 UV-B
Dioxybenzone Up to 3 UV-B, UV-A II
Ecamsule* 2 UV-A II
Ensulizole Up to 4 UV-B
Homosalate Up to 15 UV-B
Meradimate Up to 5 UV-A II
Octocrylene Up to 10 UV-B
Octinoxate Up to 7.5 UV-B
Octisalate Up to 5 UV-B
Oxybenzone Up to 6 UV-B, UV-A II
Padimate O Up to 8 UV-B
Sulisobenzone Up to 10 UV-B, UV-A II
Titanium dioxide 2 to 25 Physical
Trolamine salicylate Up to 12 UV-B
Zinc oxide 2 to 20 Physical

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: anti-ageing expert | 2010/07/21

Hi Gigi, thank you for the question.

Most SPF products are aimed at blocking both UVA and UVB rays and typically the best ingredients for UVA is zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
The following table (below) gives one an indication of the different ingredients and their specific UV blocking effects:

Drug Name Concentration, % Absorbance
Aminobenzoic acid Up to 15 UV-B
Avobenzone 03-Feb UV-A I
Cinoxate Up to 3 UV-B
Dioxybenzone Up to 3 UV-B, UV-A II
Ecamsule* 2 UV-A II
Ensulizole Up to 4 UV-B
Homosalate Up to 15 UV-B
Meradimate Up to 5 UV-A II
Octocrylene Up to 10 UV-B
Octinoxate Up to 7.5 UV-B
Octisalate Up to 5 UV-B
Oxybenzone Up to 6 UV-B, UV-A II
Padimate O Up to 8 UV-B
Sulisobenzone Up to 10 UV-B, UV-A II
Titanium dioxide 2 to 25 Physical
Trolamine salicylate Up to 12 UV-B
Zinc oxide 2 to 20 Physical

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