Reasons to Reach for Medical Grade Sunscreen

Posted June 27, 2018 in Skin Care


You wouldn’t use drugstore brand makeup when you’re looking for the best, so why trust drugstore brand sunscreens to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation? The greasy feeling and unpleasant smell associated with consumer-grade sunscreens are there for a reason: These brands typically contain cheap, ineffective, and sometimes even harmful chemicals. That’s why, here at Gilpin Facial Plastics, we recommend the use of medical grade, high-SPF sunscreens instead.

5 Reasons to Throw Out Your Generic Sunscreen

1. Consumer grade sunscreens often don’t live up to their stated SPF value.

This sunscreen scandal is so big that it made CNN news: According to research conducted by Consumer Reports, 48% of the sunscreen brands found in drugstores and department stores have a much lower SPF value than advertised. This study looked at 65 popular brands, meaning that most people are being exposed to a lot more UV radiation than they think they are. Medical grade sunscreens, on the other hand, are rigorously quality-tested and are made up of naturally occurring chemicals that are safe for you and your family.  The two active ingredients you want to look for are either Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide.

You should be aware that this problem is even more prevalent with tinted sunscreens and makeup that has an SPF value. In fact, these products probably won’t protect your skin at all. Researchers found that you would need to apply approximately 14 layers of most of these creams in order to reach the stated SPF value. Don’t take the risk—purchase a trusted medical brand (like Epionce Daily Shield Lotion Tinted SPF 50) instead.

2. Not all ingredients are made equal.

Non-medical grade sunscreens use synthetic chemicals, such as oxybenzone, to penetrate the skin and absorb harmful rays. In recent years, chemical sunscreens have been a cause for concern and studies have revealed they can be carcinogenic, negatively affect your endocrine system, and disrupt DNA mutations.

Unlike the ingredients used by non-medical grade sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are naturally occurring minerals that form a barrier on the skin to block UVA and UVB rays. These are called physical sunscreens and are more effective at protecting your skin from harmful rays and are not absorbed into your body.

3. Inexpensive sunscreens often lead to breakouts.

Cheap sunscreens feel greasy because they are. Like any other oily personal care product, they tend to clog the wearer’s pores, leading to breakouts in susceptible individuals. Medical grade sunscreens, on the other hand, go on more like a serum. They’re extremely lightweight, being free of heavy oils and chemical irritants. Some medical grade sunscreens even contain ingredients that help to fight acne.

4. Drugstore brand sunscreens don’t do anything to rejuvenate your skin.

No matter how amazing a sunscreen is, a small percentage of harmful UV rays are going to penetrate through it. (This is why dermatologists are always telling us to cover up, too.) While this level of exposure probably won’t significantly increase your risk of skin cancer, it will contribute to the visible signs of aging. UVA/UVB radiation is, after all, the leading cause of wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and texture abnormalities.

Even if we can’t completely shield our skin from the sun’s glare, however, we can proactively repair it. Some medical grade sunscreens, like SkinMedica Total Defense & Repair Tinted SPF 34, contain nutrients that increase collagen production, protect your skin from UVA/UVB rays down to the sub-dermis, as well as infrared protection. By replacing the collagen that’s destroyed by UV radiation, SkinMedica Total Defense & Repair helps the skin stay firm, smooth, and blemish-free. Over 90% of SkinMedica users have reported a visible improvement in the condition of their skin after 8 weeks of regular application.

5. Most generic sunscreens aren’t designed to stand up to rigorous activity.

Any kind of moisture—sweat, water, or even atmospheric humidity—can cause drugstore brand sunscreens to melt away. Unless your idea of summer recreation is sitting still in the shade, you’ll, therefore, need to purchase a high-quality full-body sunscreen like Elta MD Aero SPF 45, Elta MD Sport SPF 50, or Elta MD UV Lotion SPF 30. These brands are water resistant, allowing users to get active without compromising their safety.

Schedule a Consultation to Repair Sun-Damaged Skin

Do you think you’re already showing some signs of sun damage? Our range of gentle, rejuvenating chemical peels can help. Chemical peels erase sun spots, freckles, wrinkles, and patches of dry, leathery skin—giving you a fresh, smooth look. To learn more about our range of medical grade sunscreens or book askincare consultation, contact Dr. Gilpin in our Nashville office today.



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