High UVA sunscreens

If you know me only as nail polish junkie with 1400+ collection of bottled beauties, then you will be probably shocked that I am more passionate about skincare … and always were. :D

I have been using sunscreen on a regular basis for almost 20 years. As a sworn geek, I studied every little detail about the subject. But I am not held down by theory. Quite frankly, I put a lot into my own experience and those of my fellow SPF worshipers.

One of our pet peewees is the non-disclosure of UVA protection. Why in the world is that still not a legal obligation? UVA is just as important as UVB (SPF numerical label).
I personally want more than:

  • UVA in a circle – EU way of telling us that UVA is 1/3 or more of UVB protection.
  • or an Asian PA + system that is also rudimentary
  • and don’t even get me started on USA “broad spectrum

I want NUMBERS not cat in a bag. :P

UVA in a circle: SPF 50+ usually means SPF is around 60. 1/3 of that is the UVA-PF 20 which is deacent UVA protection.

A few of UVA freaks gathered joined me in the Slovenian Facebook group Ljubim kozmetiko and we compiled a list of known UVA numbers from official sources only – contacting manufacturers, listed on the packaging …

CLICK HERE for the extensive LIST of sun protection products with known UVA protection … I promise it is self-explanatory even if you don’t speak a word of Slovenian language. Our currency is Euro.

UVB vs UVA

Let’s pretend that UVC rays are all stoped by our ozone layer (they will be in 10+ years if we leave it alone to regenerate) so our focus is on UVA and UVB.

UVB skin damage by Maestra Parokeets
UVB skin damage with a clear line where strong SPF protection was used by Maestra Parokeets

UVB rays are the ones that will let you know when you exceed your natural protection – skin turns red, blisters … we all know how that story can end.

UVA rays are more sneaky. Slowly but surely they destroy your collagen, skin gets saggy, can cause skin cancer … Remember the famous truck driver photo? Glass stoped the majority of UVB rays, but UVA got through and visibly damaged the side closed to the side window.
If you have skin cancer in your family or deal with hyperpigmentation/melasma … then you should look into higher UVA protection. Granted, nothing mentioned is only about UVA, but that is one of the specters you should at least research for yourself and see if you could benefit from it.
As someone with vitiligo, I need hight UVA, UVB, and IR protection on the skin that is left with no protection whatsoever.

UVB vs UVA

Why hide UVA hight?

I was a contact for a few of the largest companies for the list we made and I have to tell you … they added quite a few gray hairs to my collection.
Slovenian PR girls did their best and definitively earned my respect with their efforts, but the amount of #beep manufacturers tried to serve me … astounding.
Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • “We do not measure the hight of UVA protection.”
    Are you joking me? You clearly state that UVA is a third of your UVB protection. So how in the world did you manage to get the number to divide it with if you never measured the UVA?
  • “We don’t wish to test on test subjects which is why we do not measure PPD. Laboratory (in vitro) tests only for us.”
    But my dear, UVB IS tested on human skin. Only last year did the EU pass the first in vitro standard for UVB measuring … which is jet to be implemented.

Bottom line – I really do not care if they share UVA-PF or PPD … for the average user they are so close together that we don’t even see the difference.

I have to admit I don’t really see the point in hiding numbers of UVA protection. I know I won’t give up my loved mineral sunscreens even if they rarely exceed UVA-PF of 20. They give me so much on other levels that there is no option of trading them for usually sticky and barely wearable formulas. I choose them carefully – make sure infrared protection is there for the warmest months …

But it’s my choice to decide that I will opt for P20 on my hands to protect the vitiligo damaged hands and Australian Gold Botanicals for my face. My choice to decide if UVA-PF 20 is enough … a choice is all I want.

Top 8 sunscreens with a very high UVA

PhotoBrandProductSPFUVAEURml
MesoesteticMesoprotech Melan 130+ Pigment Control1316752,950
UriageBariesun XP Cream SPF 50+50+65 (PPD)16,9040
P20Suncare For Kids SPF 50+50+5312,6100
RilastilAK-Repair MD 100+1315324,950
La Roche-PosayAnthelios Shaka Fluid SPF 50+50+46 (PPD)17,2650
RilastilSun System Comfort Fluid SPF 50+50+4617,7950
Evy TechnologyDaily Defense 50 Mousse50402775
BiodermaPhotoderm KID Spray SPF 50+50+3918,63200

Rules of sun protection

LPR Shaka UVA
LPR Shaka UVA – 46 PPD, PA++++
  • apply liberally means 2 mg on cm2 of skin. Anything less and you are not getting SPF/PPD on a label.
  • reapply – after 2 hours of wear time protection is starting to weaken.  Even if you have a type of skin that would guarantee you 8-hour protection with SPF 50 – you rub it off, sweat it away, filters degrade …
  • don’t listen to those who skipped geography lessons … closer you get to the equator it is more important to protect yourself. A similar thing goesto altitude – higher you go,
    Sunscreen - keep away from heat and sunlight
    Sunscreen – keep away from heat and sunlight

    more sun protection you need.

  • the waterproof label is a must for those of us that sweat a lot or those who spend lots of time in the water.
  • The majority of sun protection creams come with a warning about not exposing it to too high of a temperature. I stick with temperatures below 25°C.
    The same goes for direct sunlight.
  • shake really well before use.

 

Thank you, ladies, for joining me in the task of compiling UVA list that only brought us gray hair: Tika Hribar, Špela Bordon, Nina ŠtajnerTajka Selan in Daša Peternelj.

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