Friday, 4 July 2014

SPF - got any questions? (filming completed)

Next week I am filming with Dr Marko Lens, founder of Zelens and one of the eminent specialists in melanoma (amongst other things) in the industry.



I thought it would be a brilliant opportunity for you to ask the questions you have always wanted the answers to but could never find!

Feel free to leave comments below and I'll try and get as many answered from the man himself.

Thanks!

www.zelens.com

182 comments:

  1. There is still some controversy on whether to put sunscreen on before or after moisturizing etc.? And are there any ingredients that will interfere with sunscreen? Let's say you put sunscreen after your skincare and your moisturizer contains mineral oil, will that reduce or interfere with the efficacy of the sunscreen? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I would love to know if it should be moisturiser or sunscreen first! I thought I knew but after googling it appear that opinions differ and now I'm so confused as to which comes first.

      Delete
    2. The answer is: moisturiser first, then sunscreen, And yes, mineral oil tampers with the SPF.

      Delete
    3. I thought chemical SPF needed to go on bare skin to be most effective and physical SPF after moisturiser.

      Delete
    4. Nope. the video will involve a lot of 'wait, WHAT?' lol

      Delete
  2. Is there anything that can be done about melasma once you have it? I got mine on my cheekbone while on a high oestrogen pill on holiday and I can't seem to reduce/fade it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agreed, i have it on my upper lip, currently using meladerm [civant's website in the uk] (they have a moneyback guarantee) i hope hope hope it works!

      Delete
  3. Hi Caroline,
    I've recently reviewed the new Zelens sunscreen: http://www.iheartbeauty.net/2014/06/zelens-daily-defence-sunscreen.html
    and I've also written a guide to UVA1, UVA2, UVB, sunscreen ingredients and labelling: http://www.iheartbeauty.net/2014/06/the-essential-guide-to-uva-and-uvb-rays.html

    On top of that I've also started a thread about sunscreens on Mumsnet and I think something me and others would like to know more about is the issue of how to stay protected for the whole day. For instance, are mineral sunscreen ingredients more stable and last longer than chemical ones? The active sunscreen ingredients in the Zelens sunscreen are encapsulated - does this make them remain active for longer than other chemical sunscreens? Any advice in the area would be greatly appreciated.
    Also, I know the general rule is that you need 1/2 a teaspoon of product for face and neck to get the amount of protection indicated on a label but why don't brands explicitly state on their packaging the amount you need? It would really help with awareness.

    Sorry for the long comment. Hope it's not to garbled! Alex x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex,

      I'm answering as many questions as possible having filmed with Dr Lens, but not yet put it up. You can see for yourself on Friday but for now I can answer as follows:
      There is no way to stay protected all day without avoiding the sun, wearing a hat or reapplying your SPF. Mineral sunscreens are not more stable and there is new research that shows titanium dioxide can possibly be carcinogenic when exposed to the sun. (I KNOW).
      Brands don't put it on the packaging because there is no legal requirement to do so. Not helpful but the truth! x

      Delete
    2. Wait, what??

      Delete
  4. Advice on finding sunscreens that work on darker skin tones. Everything I've found seems to leave a white/blue cast which means you then have to follow with make up. Some days I just want to slap on sunscreen and go makeup free!

    www.peonyandpeach.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and for dark skintones: what strength is best? i have a lot of hyperpigmentation and am afraid that i might not be putting the correct strength of suncreen on my face.
      thank you!!!

      Delete
    2. Go for a chemical SPF and use SPF30.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the reply! How do you tell if an SPF is a chemical one? Is it just the ones that don't contain titanium dioxide? (sorry if that's a silly question!)

      Delete
  5. I would like to see you discuss the difference between PPD and SPF. Many people (Marco Lens included) claim that wearing SPF 30 (as opposed to 50) is "enough", since there is not that much of a difference in the amount of UVB rays that they absorb (97% vs. 99%, if I remember correctly). But the PPD rates of these two creams will be vastly different - EU requires PPD to be at least 1/3 of the SPF rating, which means spf30 only guarantees ppd10, and spf50 guarantees ppd of at least 16-17. Big difference, especially given that it is the UVA that contributes the most to ageing.

    Also, would be nice if you discussed how to interpret different UVA protection ratings, since there doesn't seem to be any international standard (like we have with spf).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too would love to learn about the differences and relationship between PPD and SPF, some of the American SPF 50 sunscreens contain less than 10 PPD and some of the European (bioderma photoderm max comes to mind) SPF 50 sunscreens contain a PPD of 35! it'd love to learn about exactly what ingredients to look for (tinosorb, meroxyl, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) and what to focus on when looking for an effective sunscreen to prevent scars from darkening and promote general skin health!

      Delete
    2. Hi mszn and Anon,

      We cover this so I'll leave you to hear it from Dr Lens directly but essentially:
      1, PPD is no longer considered reliable in the EU
      2, there is zero correlation between Australia, the FDA (US) and the EU. Helpful eh?

      Delete
  6. Do you really need a certain amount of time in the sun without SPF for the sake of vitamin D? If so, how long? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. 10-15/20 minutes depending on your skin tone.

      Delete
  7. 1) is there such things are too much spf (although I know all the spf's dont add up) e.g. face cream spf, powder spf, then topping up throughout the day with spf

    2) do you really have to top-up spf throughout the day (i put it on before work) e..g at lunch time, then after work again?

    3) are spray spf and powder spf ok as substitutes throughout the day

    4) do sweat-proof spf's really work? (i usually ave a wet face by the time i get to work, so i have invested in a sweat-proof/water resistant one)

    5) do you have to clean your face to reapply spf throughout the day?

    6) do the sun rays go through clothes, if so does that mean I need spf everywhere even if my skin is not showing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      1, No - but there is no proof that they 'add up' to a better coverage
      2, Yes
      3, No
      4, No
      5, No
      6, Yes - you are particularly susceptible in white linen and cotton. Wear black if you are worried.

      Delete
  8. Hey. I would like to know what's best in fighting early aging - chemical or physical sunscreens? Thank you

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  9. Hi! My question is simple: do you have to wait 15 minutes for your moisturizer to sink in your skin, before applying spf? How can you protect your under eye area with spf? How do you reapply spf if you have make up on, do you have to reapply every 2 hours even with make up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes.
      Use it under the eyes or use sunglasses!
      If you want to be covered you have to reapply.

      Delete
  10. Much appreciated if you can help with the following - so I put my skincare/SPF 50/makeup on in the morning 8am. I work outdoors most of the afternoon (indoors most of the morning) but unable to re-apply my spf, I am very pale & do not tan. Am I wasting my time applying my SPF & how much protection would I really get?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Buy a wide-brimmed hat and wear sunglasses. Otherwise you will not be protected.

      Delete
  11. Is a foundation with SPF15 enough to cover you for a few hours after applying it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, ironically there is an argument that it would provide better protection than a dedicated SPF 15 because you apply it more evenly and blend properly.

      Delete
  12. I apply various skincare in the morning, followed by an SPF30/50 then follow with make up. Does my makeup reduce the efficiency of my SFF? Also would any of my skincare reduce the efficiency - I use anti-oxidant like agera mag c, then a serum like Bravura hyaluronic acid the follow with another serum like Dermaquest collagen stem cel complex and the finally a moisturiser (at the moment omorovicza elemental emulsion) followed with the SPF? Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would also be interested in hearing his answer to this one!

      Thanks a lot :)

      Delete
    2. Me too, I want to know more about the possible interactions with cosmetics and spf. For instance I apply liquid foundation over my spf (supergoop spf 50 water resistant), does the liquid makeup destabilize my spf or make our less effective in any way?
      Thanks for doing this!

      Delete
    3. Makeup does not reduce the efficiency of your SPF.
      The only skincare ingredients to be wary of are glycolic acid and vitamin a's in an unstable formula.

      Delete
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  14. I wear SPF 50 PA+++ tinted moisturiser in summer with ordinary makeup on top (various products also have SPF).
    When I'm working I am fine with this, however I'm a bit concerned about 'holiday-days' when I'm outdoors for longer and how to 'reapply' UVA/UVB protection during the day.
    I'm particularly concerned with UVA and minimising dark spots (as an Asian I feel I'm prone to them).
    I feel many western products don't focus on UVA ratings and it's difficult for me to find a suitable product in the UK - they tend to just mention SPF.
    I've bought some Korean face powder SPF 50 PA+++ to use over my make up during the day in place of my usual pressed powder.
    Would you or Dr Marko have any other suggestions on ways to 're-apply' UVA/UVB protection over makeup?
    Thanks very much.
    Kay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's probably the best way short of completely reapplying SPF.

      Delete
  15. hello, somewhere I read that if you wear a SPF and follow it with a foundation containing a lower SPF they sort of clash and overally the level of protection is reduced - true or not? should we only use one product with SPF, which is quite difficult for me (very pale skin) as i need a rather high SPF and most of foundations contain a rather middle hight SPF;
    thanks for all the replies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not true. You will have the protection of the highest SPF which in your case should be your actual SPF product - not foundation. They won't clash.

      Delete
  16. Why are there different SPF factors on market, such as 10, 30, and 50? If a higher SPF has better protection, why can't all products be 50 or higher?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. because not everyone needs an SPF 50 - and above 50 is problematic in Europe. Different laws everywhere - most unhelpful!

      Delete
  17. Which is more effective, a physical block such as zinc oxide or the combination that's in Anthelios XL, which is supposedly the best chemical combo going? I have melasma and really want the most effective approach possible. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chemical. Anthelios uses zinc and titanium plus an antioxidant mix. Its a predominantly physical block.

      Delete
    2. Mary, the US version of Anthelios is chemical only unless it states "mineral" on the front of the bottle. It doesn't have not the unique chemical combo you are talking about that we in Europe get which is Mexoryl. It has a few of the regular chemical sunscreens in it.
      The UK version has Mexoryl and no mineral sunscreen ingredients. A physical/mineral sunscreen can rub off easily as it sits on the surface of the skin, whereas a chemical one gets absorbed into the skin to protect you.
      I've used Anthelios for years on my face and it is great for people with sensitive skin. I use it around the eyes with not whiff of a reaction that I normally get from regular chemical sunscreens such as Boots/Nivea/Garnier/Ambre Solaire etc.
      I have to use it at ALL times as I use Retin A (unstable Vit A) for anti-aging. That takes off the protective layer of the skin and the sun can very very easily damage skin. Otherwise it's ok to get a small bit of sun on your face as you should have your protective layer still in place.
      I'm a Mary too ha !

      Delete
  18. Should I take a step up in sun protection by wearing clothes that carries a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only if you are extremely vulnerable.

      Delete
  19. Any tips about perioral dermatitis and the sun, and sunscreen, would be really helpful. From what I have read, it seems that both the sun and sunscreen are bad for perioral dermatitis, so I'm confused about whether PD sufferers should wear sunscreen or not.
    (Btw the advice is for my boyfriend so the SPF needs to be separate or in moisturiser, he doesn't wear makeup! And UK based.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wear the sunscreen. If the PD area is sore or irritated, avoid if necessary.

      Delete
  20. Is it true that suncream 'goes off'? If so, is it just the condition of the lotion itself which deteriorates, or does the protection on offer also decline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caroline answered this one in her SPF cheat sheet. The answer is yes, SPF deteriorates, buy new every year.

      Delete
  21. I have a history of malignant melanoma in my family (father and sister), and am happy to use a chemical sunscreen on my body. However, I also have rosacea (hugely improved thanks to your suggestions, Mrs H!), which seems to prefer a physical sunscreen. What would you suggest for a 40-something skin, please? x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would genuinely use Zelens. It's perfect (completely unrelated to him filming and I don't work with him professionally). Or SkinCeuticals.

      Delete
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  23. Wow, I can't wait for the interview!! I would love to know:
    - how protected one is in the shade or under a wide-brimmed, tightly woven hat?
    - what Dr. Marko's views are on the positive effects of the sun. I am very pale (typical irish white skin) and am as vigilant as possible concerning sunscreen application. However, I live in Germany, where people really hate sunscreen (out of ten people only one or two would apply any sun protection while lying in the midday sun, and spf 15 max!) I get an annoying amount of comments from friends and family about how I am HARMING my skin by blocking all the essential vitamin D when I apply a thick layer of spf 50 every 2 hours in full sunlight (I also have mild acne, and here there is a strong belief that sun heals that...). I'd love to be reassured that sunblocking is the right thing to do!
    -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. hat is a good plan. Very protected.
      2. You will get enough vit d through your body - as long as you are showing some skin - it doesn't have to come via the face.
      3. SPF50 every 2 hours is possibly overkill. 30 would be better for your acne.
      4. The sun is, in most cases, good for acne. Sorry! (you could go easy!?)

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    2. Tell them how much a sunburn HURTS!

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  24. is it ok to mix products with different types of sunscreen? like using your spf with a spf foundation and so on?

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  25. how many times should i apply sunscreen?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I suffer from PMLE and it's gotten worse as I've got older, any suggestions on preventions or treatment? I use ultra sun last holiday and it did go quicker than usuall but the first week is always a miserable one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really, sorry. Have you tried gradual exposure?

      Delete
  27. Is it okay to use your face SPF on your under eye area as the skin there is much thinner? And will using face SPF on the under eye area have any adverse affects in the long run such as early crows feet

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  28. Is it true that darker skins need a lower factor SPF? I am of mixed heritage and will often burn quicker than my much paler companions despite my darker skin tone. Why is this? What factor sunblock should I be using?

    www.clementinebuttercup.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not that you need a lower SPF - it's more that it is harder to see if you are burning - which would seem the case for you? When in doubt go SPF30.

      Delete
  29. Please advise on how to prevent hyper pigmentation / melasma. I apply SPF 30-50 on holiday but it seems that even the spfvand covering my face does not prevent the pigmentation from darkening?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you already have it - it will automatically darken. Have you tried a complete block? they're not nice but if you are really concerned....

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  30. What ingredients fade damage (dark spots) caused by the lack of using SPF in our foolish youth?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lasers, vitamin A's and SPF.

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    2. I'm far from being Caroline but I'd also recommend exfoliants like glycolic acid. Also products with Niacinamide in them have worked like a charm for me.

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    3. Just to add to the list ...Vit C serum.

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    4. However, once you've faded them, you'll find they reappear in the sun: I finally wiped mine out (Medik 8) and spent two hours in Kew Gardens the other week, walking around - with SPF50 on my face. Every single mark returned - I think only lasers offer a permanent solution.

      Delete
  31. I have really bad eczema, and continual use of topical steroids over the last 8 years has now made me sun sensitive. I burn very quickly and i am Asian Indian. But I have terrible eczema on my face with severe flare ups. I wear a wide brim straw hat even on cloudy days because applying any sunscreen feels tight and burning and my skin looks even more red after removing it. Is there any suggestions for a more suitable SPF???. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not if you are that uncomfortable. You may find a chemical one - ironically - is more comfortable as it won't (well, it shouldn't be) as drying. Sorry! :(

      Delete
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  33. How accurate are the ratings on EWG skin deep database and the best way to interpret the scoring system. For instance is the mineral sunscreen with moderate UVA protection better than a chemical sunscreen with a score of excellent?

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    Replies
    1. I would completely ignore the EWG. Scare mongering at its very worst. But: no, chemical with a score of excellent - infinitely better than mineral with moderate UVA.

      Delete
  34. Please ask him if a Powder with SPF, let´s say 50, do protect the face like it was a SPF 25 lotion, or less, or if it does not protect at all.
    Please ask him Caroline! I always wanted to know this!
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No conclusive research. It will protect, but in all likelihood not as much as a cream/liquid SPF of the same factor.

      Delete
  35. Sorry, another question..... almost every sunscreen I have tried has set my eyes streaming if I apply it to the eye contour, although it never gets directly in to my eyes. Are there amy specific eye-spf-products or techniques to prevent this?? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wear sunglasses. I kid you not. if you are that sensitive to the ingredients - avoid the area.

      Delete
  36. Layering sunscreen, say a facial sunscreen+tinted moisturizer with SPF. I know there's no cumulative effect. But I heard someone saying the two actually cancel each other out? Is that the case? Also, how reliable is powered mineral sunscreen as a top-up when you're out and about? Many thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No they do not cancel each other out.
      Yes a powder top-up is better than nothing. The problem is that you don't tend to use powder on the tops of your ears, the tips of your nose, your decollete etc....

      Delete
  37. Is There a difference between chemical and physical spfs ? Or are they both just as effective ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They work very differently - when pushed he went chemical. :)

      Delete
  38. Hi Caroline:
    Would you please ask who (what risk factors) should be having annual whole body mole mapping?
    Thanks!! Hermanspottypantsxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone in a high risk category aka with a lot of moles or history of melanoma.

      Delete
  39. I've been developing 'sun spots' on my torso, - mostly around my stomach, mostly on or near my hips, - and I'm rarely ever outside during the day as I keep night hours ('rarely' meaning I've only been outside during the day twice in the past two months), those areas of my body are never, ever exposed when I am outside, and I live in gloomy, overcast Ireland. I know they're common in people over 40, but I'm only 25. I've searched and searched but can't find an explanation of why I might be getting them, or if I should be worried. Should I just try using a brightening serum on them and not worry about it? Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In all likelihood they are from childhood damage done before you were 20. Don't worry, treat them. More may come - be forewarned.

      Delete
  40. My question would also be regarding melasma spots (large area on my forehead and upper cheeks) and how to best try to combat/fade them since I've already spent a fortune and NOTHING seems to be really working. Also, for melasma sufferes, what is the best SPF protection? Thanks a million!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SPF30 reapplied properly every 2 hours, a wide brimmed hat and laser treatment.

      Delete
  41. I have two questions please:

    1. I am Vit D deficient but SPF is important to me, can Vit D forming rays penetrate SPF or where is the balance to be found?

    2. A Dior consultant told me that face wise, you are only as protected as your final layer ie. If your face base is SPF 30 but your foundation is SPF 15, you only have SPF 15 protection. Surely this is wrong?

    Thanks Caroline, this is really useful :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Yes it can penetrate but you will probably get enough Vit d through your arms for example. It doesn't have to come via the face.
      2. Utter bollocks. :)

      Delete
  42. Hi, Caroline!

    I have two questions, please:

    1. There are aerosol's sunscreens that claim they can be used over make-up to reapplying throughout the day, is it true? Is It work?

    2. In summer, I usually take Heliocare, but sometimes I have the feeling that my spots worse, is It because Heliocare active melanin? Is It possible?

    Thank you so much for this opportunity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. No.
      2. No it's probably related to increased use of SPF.

      Delete
  43. Although the use of organic uv filters is a lot more aesthetically pleasing and texture wise is much favourable, my query would be why not formulate a sunscreen that uses inorganic filters (non-nano) exclusively without the characteristics of an inorganic sunscreen ie. white cast, thick and greasy formulation that many of us dislike? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm unsure what you mean by organic and inorganic. Can you explain further? Do you literally mean organic or do you mean mineral? Sorry!

      Delete
    2. Hi Caroline, organic uv filters are chemical filters such as avobenzone, octinoxate etc. Inorganic uv filters are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Confusing I know, sorry!

      Delete
  44. I have combination/oily blemish-prone skin, and I always get bumps under my skin when I use SPF - I use it whenever I am out in the sun as I have dark marks and don't want them to darken. I have tried numerous brands of SPF, but always find this to be the case (even though I double cleanse in the evening).

    Could Dr Lens recommend anything that might help with the blemishes - either to layer below SPF, or specific brands to try? Thanks so much Caroline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to know that aswell!! Is the new Zelens sunscreen suitable for blemish-prone skin?

      Delete
    2. Hi Anon,
      It depends what you are using. Do you favour mineral sunscreens? They are more likely to cause the bumps.

      Olivia - he was being humble and wouldn't answer - but in my opinion - yes absolutely.

      Delete
    3. Thanks very much Caroline - will try the skinceuticals and zelens you recommend below.

      Delete
  45. 1. How often should one apply a physical or chemical sunscreen during the day?

    2. Also, regarding the "Once A Day" suncreens, is once a day application really enough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every 2 hours if out in the sun.

      Delete
    2. Sorry! Hit Publish instead of return!

      2. NO.

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  46. How best to control melasma? I remain out of the sun but still have it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In that case it is probably hereditary. Sorry!

      Delete
  47. I would love to understand the testing protocol that went into the development of his own brand SS - was the testing on bare skin? Over moisturizers or serums? Quantities applied? Not to give away trade secrets of cours

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He always tests his products in vivo. On people, not in petri dishes. And this SPF went through the most sophisticated testing available. He wouldn't say so btw - but I was working with him at the time of development (I'm just a mate now!) :)

      Delete
  48. Having oily, blemish prone skin, I have always struggled to find a sunscreen that works for me and which I feel comfortable enough with that I will apply it everyday with no fail. They are always rather heavy and feel like clogging my skin, even the non comedogenic ones or the ones for sensitive skin, and never absorb fully (ie, giving that ghastly shiny face look). What should I be looking out for to find good sunprotection with good UVA/B coverage that will feel great on the skin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stay away from mineral. Go for sophisticated chemical sunscreens such as skin ceuticals or Zelens. (My suggestion - not his).

      Delete
    2. You are a star, thanks so much, will look into these.

      Delete
  49. Hi Caroline, and thanks for doing this.

    My questions are specifically about the Zelens sunscreen. Firstly, regarding photostability - how long does it remain stable and provide the SPF 30 protection? And if it is stable, what ingredients are responsible for this (and how)?
    Secondly - I am concerned about putting foundation on over the top of sunscreen in case it removes or disrupts the sunscreen. It seems to me that the sunscreen should be the very last thing that goes on to the skin - please can Dr Lens explain how the Zelens sunscreen (though this would probably apply to other chemical sunscreens too) works with other products, specifically makeup. And has he tested the SPF rating of his sunscreen when used underneath foundation?
    Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon, see my comment above re testing. The Zelens testing was the most thorough available - I don't think its appropriate to ask him to plug his own product (nor frankly, give away his specific how-to's) .
      Re makeup and safety: all SPF's should be tested to ensure stability testing under makeup - as Zelens has, not just chemical SPF. Skincare first, then SPF, then makeup. (In an ideal female (if they wear makeup) world obvs)

      Delete
  50. Does he personally use spf on a day-to-day basis? :)
    K.L.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. Day to day London etc no. In sunnier climates or sunnier London - yes. That's on the vid! :)

      Delete
  51. I have vitiligo and have a few concerns with SPF and tanning in general. I know sun exposure makes my vitiligo spread, so I do slather on the SPF50 daily, but when it comes to holidays, I really do want to tan (of course with an SPF!) but will the spf stop the spread of the vitiligo or not when I'm tanning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Impossible to say - its on a strictly individual basis. Sorry Anon. :(
      A high enough SPF should help prevent it - but there are too many mitigating factors. If in doubt, cover up. IE don't do 11-4, wear SPF 30 or 50 and limit your time in the sun.

      Delete
  52. great!
    I would be interested what he thinks about natural sunscren oils such as carrot seed or raspberry seed oil, especially photostability.
    and is it necessary/sensible to wear sunscreen every day even when I'm at home most of the time? it's said that we should be some minutes out unprotected for vit.d-production.
    ooh and what I never get answered clearly: is a darker skintone resp. more melanin also protecting the skin from uva-rays or only uv-b?
    thank you!!
    sophia :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. No - utterly unreliable. No SPF protection. Certainly no legal protection. (Sorry!)
      2. Absolutely not. Why wear it if you're not in it?
      3. Doesn't really protect - wear SPF. (Again sorry!)

      Delete
    2. thank you very much for the answers!! you put so much effort in here, wow!!
      sounds like raspberry seed oil has been tested (broadband) but I guess it would already be used in products if it was that good ;) I meanwhile quite enjoy it to smear suncreen-products on my skin knowing I do something sensible for myself haha

      Delete
  53. Does lactic acid or AHAs in general make the skin more sensitive to the sun?

    ReplyDelete
  54. I have Rosacea especially on & around my nose ,my Dr has advised i use a factor 50 but read another interview with Dr Zelen in which he said Factor 30 is better and( if 30 is best why is their products out there that are as low as a factor 2 !!!) , i have fair sensitive skin & i'm having to take a prescribed calcium medication as i have low calcium level ,as i am in early menapause , i have read that sunlight helps with vit D levels so wanted to know should i always use sunscreen all year round ,as i know some professionals think 10 mins of un protected skin exposure helps with this Totally confused hope you can help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon,

      1. Take a vitamin D supplement - you can get your levels checked to see how (if at all) deficient you are
      2. Wear 30 if you're out and about for the day but if you're pottering in teh garden for 10 minutes you should be fine and you will get your vit d requirements. (If you are in early menopause I would get your levels checked)

      Delete
  55. Hi Caroline!

    I'm dying to know about the effects of layering SPF. For example, if you use a moisturiser with an SPF of 30 and then a foundation with an SPF of 15, what level of SPF coverage are you getting? I have heard that layering SPF is quite ineffective but I would love to clarify this topic.

    thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No conclusive proof so always assume you are only as covered as your highest individual factor.

      Delete
  56. What a super idea and great questions so far !!
    I am always wondering about passive UVA UVB rays eg how much is getting my face from the ground even though I'm paranoid about wearing a very wide hat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're wearing a hat you should be covered. Unless you're holding a piece of foil under your face like we did in the 80's? *scared face*

      Delete
  57. Hi I have melasma (seems like a lot of people here have this) and feel that using a mineral sunscreen prevents me from getting more pigmentation - that it works better than when I used to use chemical sunscreens. Is this true? Is a mineral sunscreen better for people with melasma? And if yes, is there a difference between a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and one with titanium dioxide? Is one of them better at preventing brown spots? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read, zinc oxide filters both shortwave and longwave UV-A rays, but titanium dioxide performs better, so a combination would be best. But I am not sure and would like to know the answer to that one too. :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Both,

      Actually chemical is the way forward. Watch the video. You'll be both blown away and horrified.

      Delete
  58. For those who tend to get break out from spf, what ingredients should we be on the lookout for / avoid in an spf formulation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wear a chemical SPF and avoid zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

      Delete
  59. Like many others, I have a question related to SPF. I know that using an SPF daily is important to protect the skin from damage. My issue is that the majority of sun screens on the market cause me to breakout. I was wondering if there are certain ingredients that make this occur and what I should be looking for to try and avoid breakouts with sunscreen. Is mineral better than chemical? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I would love to know what a good spf routine looks like... I am very fair and live in a cold climate. I have read your cheat sheet, but my skin and climate is very different from yours, Caroline...

    1. Do I need to apply it in the 10 months of the year when we have close to no sun, and I spend max 15 min outside at the time? If so, how often?

    2. How can I apply spf in a good way, without having to take my make-up off? Do sprays actually work? Powders are a no-go for me. I have never found a pouder pale enough, and I also can't layer foundation through out the day without making it look too dark on me.

    3. Are there any ingredients I should avoid using in the summer months? Certain acids for example?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. No.
      2.You can't. You have to reapply or avoid the sun.
      3. Glycolic can make you sun sensitive but if you wear a high SPF you will be covered.

      Delete
  61. Are SPF's in powder foundations/ finishing powders enough to protect you if you reapply throughout the day?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jury is out but probably no. impossible to test properly, too many differing factors and you won't apply all over your ears, neck, nose etc.

      Delete
  62. Hi Caroline! I would love to hear about Oxybenzone. I have always been one of those people who washes their face, throws on some sunscreen daily, and runs out the door. I love the clean dewy look I have throughout the day. I have always felt very confidant until I started researching my sunscreens, and hearing so much in the news about the chemicals found in top rated brands. Would you recommend a product that does not contain such chemicals? If so why or why not, and which step of your daily regime would you incorporate sunscreen? Thank you so much! Much love from New Jersey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cleanse/tone/moisturise/spf/makeup.
      Avoid oxybenzone if possible.

      Delete
  63. I understand that SPF protects your skin 15, 30 , 50 (depending on the SPF factor) times your normal tanning/burning time.
    ie: if you tan/burn in 10mins, then SPF 30 means you are protected for 300 minutes.

    My question is: How is that timing effected when your skin is out of the sun?
    ie 8am I put on SPF 30, meaning I have 300 mins protection.
    I'm in the sun 30 mins getting to work, shut in office until I'm out again in the sun for 60mins over lunch, and the back inside until home time.
    So by 5pm, I've only had 90mins of sun exposure.
    If I don't reapply, is my skin still protected by 5pm???

    So my second question is: Why is it suggested we reapply SPF every 2 hours
    ie: if you tan/burn in 5 mins, wearing an SPF 50 means you are protected for 250 mins (totaling over 4 hours, well over the 2 hour mark!!)
    So if that's correct, what's the point of reapplying or wearing SPF over say 15?

    Thanks so much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Unfortunately not. It runs concurrently. Not on a timer that you can turn on and off.
      2. There isn't really much point going over a 30 for most people. the reapplication advice is to ensure safety.

      Delete
  64. Sunscreen advice for normal women who do their makeup at 6-7 AM in the morning and have to commute to brutal, sometimes sharp-angle afternoon sun at 5-6 PM -- how to reapply? How often? What kind of product? Do we need to wipe out all of our makeup before the commute home?
    I have freckles on one side of the face, the side that is next to my car window. I don't think this is coincidence. Please help! Many thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately in an ideal world, yes you would reapply. OR wear sunglasses and a big hat if you are especially susceptible. Sorry! (And make sure you always wear at least a 30 on your driving side. No coincidence.)

      Delete
  65. Please also talk about chemical sunscreen stability: much of the formula out there are not stable (esp those containing Avobenzone). Also, is it ok to layer sunscreen one on top of the other? If so, what kind should not be used together?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can layer sunscreens - that's not the issue. Yes, ideally avoid avo and oxy benzones.

      Delete
  66. As far as I can understand, most chemical sunscreens react with the skin in order to absorb the UV rays and this is why they should be applied to clean skin. Apparently some chemical sunscreens have ingredients that do not react with the skin. What are some ingredients I should look out for in a chemical sunscreen that will indicate it won't react with my skin so I can wear skincare underneath my sunscreen? I usually use a physical sunscreen because the ingredients are easy to spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gillian,

      Sunscreen should be applied on top of your skincare routine. It goes last thing before makeup.
      If your product says it should be applied to clean skin its possible it isn't photostable. Possible - not definite. :)

      Delete
  67. Hi Caroline,
    Thank you for organising this! My question for Dr Zelens is regarding my mum. She was a sun-queen for most of her life (she is 51), roasting in the sun with minimal sunscreen and including lots of peeling (even as a child - she has light skin). Her dermatologist detected some pre-cancerous stuff, and removed it (she now has regular check-ups), so now she is out of the sun forever. So I wanted to know, what is best care she can currently give herself/her skin, to prevent any further developments? Should I/she look for anything specific in a sunscreen? I'm trying to find the best and least toxic ones for her...
    Am super grateful! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Nothing - if the damage is done nothing will stop the moles etc coming to the surface/changing. She just needs to be vigilant about mole checking etc - which it seems she is. :)
      2. Avoid oxybezone and avobenzone and wear a minimum of 30.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for taking the time to answer :)

      Delete
  68. Hey, I would very much like to know if sunscreen should contain antioxidants?
    Also how do I know that my sunscreen "catches" both longwave and shortwave UV rays?
    In other words, which ingredients are necessary, which are beneficial and which are superfluous?

    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. It's nice if it does but it's not a requirement to make the SPF work.
      2. It should be broad spectrum and make the claim in the literature on the box.
      3. An actual sunscreen is the key - things like vit a,c,e etc and hyaluronic acid/glycerins are nice but they are not SPF's.

      Delete
  69. Hello Caroline,

    This is so important to me. Thank you. I am pale and freckly and get sun damage easily even in London. Huge fan of Zelens products too.

    - Since we are supposed to reapply sunscreen every two hours, does this mean I should reapply sunscreen ON TOP OF my make-up before I leave work to walk home?

    - Do make-up and sunscreen ever contradict each other?

    - I recently read Ruth Crilly's interview with Dr Marko Lens. Dr Lens said that he did not develop a Zelens SPF50 because 'SPF30 absorbs 97% of UVB while SPF50 absorbs 98%- really clinically not relevant.' He also said that we could still get a tan with SPF30. But tanning is not safe. I was left confused and I also hope I did not misquote him. I notice new sun spots and moles all the time and want to make the best decision for my health (and vanity). I feel as though I need a high SPF. Could he clarify if no one needs to wear anything greater than SPF30?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. If you are pale and worried yes, if you travel at dusk you should be ok. (Be sensible basically)
      2. No. unless you're using a thick foundation over a sprayed on SPF in which case you can't guarantee that you got the spray everywhere.
      3. Stick with the 30. You need to reapply anyway - anything higher is a false sense of security. I'm sure he was probably saying you still need to be careful when using a 30. :)

      Delete
  70. I would like to know his thoughts on natural sunscreens versus traditional sunscreens, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hello, I have black skin and would like to know which SPF I should be wearing on my face and body? I live in an all year round sunny climate and have grown a lots of beauty spots (moles) on both my face and torso, could this be a peculiar reaction to an increase in exposure to the sun? Looking forward to the answers. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hello, I have black skin and would like to know which SPF I should be wearing and I do I need a different one for the face and body? Or is my colour sufficient protection? I live in an all year round sunny climate (mediterranean) and have grown many facial beauty spots (moles), any connection? Looking forward to the answers. Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I've always wondered how bad it is for skin when a sunscreen has Alcohol denat as one of the primary ingredients. Does the alcohol break down the photostable ingredients in the sunscreen and make us more prone to burning/damage?
    Thanks!!! :-))

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hi, thank you so so so much if you can address this issue in your interview:

    I have the hardest time finding any sunscreens I can use which aren't packed with ingredients known for disagreeing with highly sensitive or breakout-prone skin. Every day I apply SPF, I feel like I am simultaneously protecting AND damaging my skin.

    It's genuinely not due to insufficient cleansing, but ingredients like mystyrites, palmites, silica, mica, fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, ... the list goes on and on.

    I'm no chemist, but I have spent years carefully tracking what ingredients trigger problems in my skin. I know it's not the same for everyone, but these days with so much information available on the internet, I can see that I'm not alone. The ingredients I'm familiar with watching out for show up again and again - even in the sunscreen offerings from scientifically-backed brands like Zelens.

    It's a disappointment - my acne isn't severe, but it's enough to make me want to hide my face. With almost every other skincare or cosmetic product, I can eventually find options which don't trigger problems - but not sunscreen. What is it about SPF which seems to require formulas filled with comedogenic ingredients? Or alternately - why is there such a hole in the market?

    One last question - why doesn't Zelens list the full ingredients of its products on its website?

    Thank you thank you, for any insight you can provide.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I've been hearing lately about how spf shouldn't be considered the "good guy" since the chemicals present in it are pretty nasty for our skin ad they block our absortion of the essential vitamin D. What does Dr. Marco has to say about this? Should we really be wearing spf or should we just be using it as minimally as possible?

    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  76. I work for a skincare brand and we have one SPF cream with Zinc acting as the SPF agent. It's SPF15 and I had a customer once who insisted on using it (even though it wasn't suitable for her skin type as it's quite heavy and not ideal for oily skins) because her mother always used an SPF and told her to do so as well. I mentioned that SPF15 is very low and it's only suitable for accidental sun exposure, for an urban lifestyle in London SPF is not necessary every day (I mean, we're lucky if we get a ray every so often!). What's Dr Marco's stand? Is SPF really needed every day?

    ReplyDelete
  77. I have another question! Sorry.
    How does Dr Zelens feel about the 'once a day' sun creams that are available? Does he feel they're useful? And does he feel they're reliable?

    ReplyDelete
  78. How much sunscreen should I be applying to my face and neck every morning? I try to apply 1/4 tsp which, though it doens't sound like much, is pretty overwhleming for my combination skin (I can't really tolerate the ultra light sunscreen which use alcohol as a base, it really dries out bits of my skin). Is that enough though? Or am I going overboard?
    Furthermore, since I wear makeup I can't reapply sunscreen at work, how deterimental is this?

    ReplyDelete
  79. Question re vitiligo. Im unlucky enough to suffer from both vitiligo & freckles. The most noticeable vitiligo is along my hairline and for a few years has remained stable and not spread. I bought pepta bright yesterday with the thought of fading my freckles somewhat (though not entirely, they have been with me forever and I love them), but just slightly mainly in my forehead so the difference from my pigmented and freckled skin compared to the depigmented white skin (covered by makeup) was not so obvious. Makeup does a fairly good job of disguising it, but there is an obvious line where there is all of a sudden no freckles. Wondering if pepta bright might trigger vitiligo though? Also purchased retinol reface by indeed labs and now also questioning using retinol products with vitiligo.

    ReplyDelete
  80. What are the rules of exfoliating with BHA AHA etc.

    Currently I have the following in rotation. maybe not every night but close enough.
    Liquid Gold. the Zelens Bio resurfacing Pads, Clarins Brightening Toner, REN Glycolactic Mask, Ole Henriksen lemon peel.

    And for serums i have khiels midnight recovery, PAI regenerate. SKII essence, rosehip oil,

    and then i pat on some moisturizer- kate somerville or khiels rosa arctica light cream.

    am i over doing it?
    what is the best combination ( i have oily skin, and i use a very light gentle cleanser)

    Please! thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  81. I have a few questions:

    1. If I wear multiple products with SPF- example foundation and moisturizer- are the SPFs additive or is the last one I put on the one that counts?
    2. What strength of SPF should we be using on our face? I heard once we get a strength over 30 it isn't doing much more for us, is that accurate?

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing the interview :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. Important!!! Please answer this one too!

    I´m in my mid twenties, the last years ive been good when it comes to slapping on the spf.. staying out of the sun when its strong.. covering a bit up.. and avoiding tanning and tanningbeds.. but as a teenager the tanning bed was like my second home, and my skin color got like 3 shades darker.. Even if I protect myself now, how big is the chance that in my 30-40´s i develope a dangerous disease or melanoma kind.. because of my young stupidity. Can I do something to prevent it, or at least minimize the damage????

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hello
    I have sun damage on my decolletage (lines and sun spots) from terrible sun burn years ago in Africa.
    Is there anything I can do to help repair it? Or is it too late?? So grateful for any advice!
    Thank you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  84. Please can I ask Dr Lens a question about the Zelens sunscreen? I am a fan of other products in the range, so was excited when the SPF was launched. I'd like to know why he chose the particular filters he has used in the sunscreen, and why he chose them over others that are available such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. In general does he think that physical filters are less effective? And how do the chemical filters he has used compare (in effectiveness and photostability) to the Mexoryl-type sunscreens used by L'Oreal?
    Would be really interested to hear the answer - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  85. What Zelens product regimen would you suggested for ethnic skins tones prone to large pores, discoloration, and normal to dry skin types. Also are there major differences in skincare regimens between those of us with ethnic skin/darker complexions than those of Caucasian decent.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  86. How do you keep you face protected all day without have to remove make up for reapplying sunscreen every few hours?

    ReplyDelete
  87. 1. How does he feel about the Institut Esthederm suncare products given that their philosophy is to "adapt" the skin to the sun and they don't seem to use the traditional sunscreens such as zinc oxide or avobenzone?

    2. What products/brands would he recommend for redness/rosacea/irritated skin?

    3. Are chemical sunscreens bad for skin/cancer-causing?

    4. Are antioxidants in SPF products actually harmful to skin as was said a few years ago?

    5. Are powder sunscreens sufficient for touch-ups? Are spray sunscreens, such as the Goldfaden one, sufficient?

    ReplyDelete
  88. How are we meant to reapply sunscreen during the day and what products do you recommend for that?

    ReplyDelete
  89. I seam to be really allergic to SPF. The last thing I tried was La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV Light.

    (AQUA / WATER
    OCTOCRYLENE
    ISONONYL ISONONANOATE
    GLYCERIN
    ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE
    HOMOSALATE
    DIMETHICONE
    BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE
    ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE
    SUCROSE TRISTEARATE
    POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE
    POLYSORBATE 61)

    It should be suited for sensitive skin but it broke me out so bad,it looked like I had the measles!
    Do you have any good recommendations on a good spf and also something to calm the breakouts from bad reactions if it doesn’t work?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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