The temperatures have dropped in NYC but just the fact that fall is around the corner does not stop me from using sunscreen everyday. Sunscreen is the only way to prevent photoaging, or the development of wrinkles and dark spots and rough sagging texture of the skin, not to mention prevention of skin cancer. As a dermatology resident I often get asked what sunscreens are the best to wear, and I wanted to share and review one sunscreen that I’ve been recommending to patients AND buying for my own friends and family to wear, the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen. La Roche-Posay has agreed to give away two of these wonderful sunscreens so don’t forget to enter to win on my Instagram account!
In general, the sunscreens I look for have the following qualities:
- broad spectrum (blocks UVA and UVB), SPF 30 or above (or SPF 50 or above if I’m outdoors all day)
- quick and easy to apply, and does not leave my skin with a white chalky thick tint
- lightly tinted to cover up some of my freckles and red spots (anyone else with rosacea?)
It’s actually not easy to find a good sunscreen that meets all of the above criteria. I received a sample of the La Roche-Posay Ultra Light Sunscreen (c/o) at a dermatology conference years ago, and I became hooked. I’ve since used up that bottle and purchased more, and I even bought two bottles for my mom and aunt and they have also been recommending it to all their friends. The main ingredient in this sunscreen is titanium dioxide, which is a physical blocker. That means it deflects UV radiation from your skin, acting as a shield, rather than the chemical blockers, which absorb the radiation. Physical blockers are ideal sunscreen ingredients, because they are photostable, chemically inert, safe even for sensitive skin, and block UVA and UVB radiation. The drawback is that they can have a chalky white appearance. The La Roche-Posay Ultra Light Sunscreen has titanium dioxide, but NO chalky white texture or appearance! The sunscreen goes on silky smooth, absorbs quickly within seconds, and leaves the skin with a nice matte finish.
The tint in this sunscreen is also universally appealing; it does not appear caked on but gives my skin a soft natural glow. I prefer to use this sunscreen alone without any foundation because the tint alone gives me all the coverage I need. I never feel like I am even wearing sunscreen because this one is super light weight and not oily at all.
The La Roche-Posay Ultra Light Sunscreen is also formulated with Cell-Ox Shield™ antioxidant technology. Antioxidants help combat against aging, both natural and atmospheric, by combating production of reactive oxygen species. If you’re going to be putting on sunscreen every single day, you might as well be killing two birds with one stone; by putting on antioxidants as well, you will further help prevent skin damage from the sun.
As usual, remember to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors, and to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours (check out my favorite handy sunscreen reapplication tool here). Limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun’s rays are most intense. For more tips on sun safety, check out my post on how to choose the best sunscreen for your skin type here and sunscreen ingredient safety concerns here.
For giveaway rules and how to enter, head on over to my Instagram page! The contest will be open from Monday 9/11 until Wednesday 9/13. Good luck