Do We Really Need Sunscreen?

Welcome to the fourth instalment of the Murad Q&A series – if you want to read about this series or look at the other Q&As then click here and the list should pop up in a new window! This Q&A focuses on sunscreens.

Evi:

 My skincare question would have to be about sunscreen; the Murad skincare line has some interesting sunscreens that no other brand has [one for acne, one for anti-ageing, the Vit C for anti-pollution], so I’m guessing that Murad rates sunscreen highly. Should we really apply sunscreen even if it’s cloudy outside? Is an SPF 15 adequate for daily wear around the city? Chemical or natural sun block ingredients? What about the “white cast” that most sunscreens have, is it possible to have an SPF cream without it or is it something we can’t do without because of the specific ingredients of each spf cream? And a last question: should we invest in a good (and expensive) SPF cream or the do the more affordable ones offer the same level of protection?

Dr Murad:

Hi Evi,

I recommend everyone wear SPF on a daily basis because most sun damage occurs during daily activities. This incidental exposure includes more than just direct sunlight on bare skin while you’re tanning. Light also reflects off surfaces, comes through building and car windows and penetrates through clothing. And don’t let the cloudy days fool you! UV rays can travel through those dark clouds to reflect off water, sand and snow, meaning that even cold, windy and overcast days won’t offer a shield from the sun’s rays.

An SPF 15 gives you 93% protection from the sun (there is no such thing as 100%) so this is more than adequate for everyday use, as long as you are not spending the whole day out in the sun. Here at Murad, we use a combination of both natural and chemical sun cream ingredients depending on age, skin type and your skin concerns. All of our sunscreens contain powerful antioxidants that help fight free radical damage. The SPF rating in a sun cream protects against UVB rays and the PA rating protects your skin against UVA rays, all our sun products contain a minimum rating of SPF 15 and a minimum of PA++. The highest SPF we make at Murad is an SPF 30 PA+++, as you will get powerful broad spectrum protection and the texture of the product is not compromised.

You can also protect your skin from the inside too by eating raw fruits and vegetables- the more colorful the better! They’re loaded with skin-protective antioxidants and also have a high water content, which helps keep your skin’s barrier (the outer layer) hydrated and more resistant to free-radical damage from the sun and daily pollution. Also, taking supplements containing pomegranate extract provides powerful antioxidant protection against free radical damage, which accounts for more than 80% of the signs of premature aging.  There is evidence that pomegranate extract can even boost the effective SPF of sunblock.

My notes: 

I have to admit that I hadn’t looked at the Murad sunscreens before but there are indeed a few different ones that also treat specific skin conditions. Murad products are available at FeelUnique.com. I also like Anthelios from La Roche-Posay and for just a simple, everyday moisturiser with UVA/UVB protection, No7′s Protect and Perfect.

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33 Responses to Murad Q&A: Do We Really Need Sunscreen?

  1. Jen says:

    Hi Ruth,

    Just wondering if you or any of the other readers can help me out with this query? I have a few sunspots from last summer.

    I keep seeing a Murad product recommended on YouTube – it’s called “Murad Rapid Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Serum”. Is this a US only product? Can’t find any mention of it on the Murad UK website/Feelunique etc – and I can’t work out what the UK ‘version’ might be, as the UK products don’t seem to be as strong/targeted as the serum I’m interested in…

    So far I’ve tried the Rodial White Brightening serum (it was on sale and I also had a voucher). Used it for over a month, verdict = it’s total rubbish. So glad I didn’t pay anywhere near full price. I don’t really want to waste any more money – and all the anti-pigment products are so expensive.

  2. Gina says:

    Hi Ruth!

    My skin is very white (not pale) and I have freckles all over my face, specially on my nose and during summer (and I love having them), I never ever get tanned and sometimes I burn a little. I only wear SPF when I sunbathe, cause I really hate them because of the texture, the smell, the white appearance, the sticky feeling and those ones that are comedogenic. My question is: if I decide to wear a sunblock as the Murad’s ones daily, should I apply my moisturiser before? It’s not too much? I’m afraid of clogged pores. Thanks!

    • RuthCrilly says:

      I don’t – I use a moisturiser with SPF. Most of them that are meant as day creams will be moisturising enough… It’s all personal preference though! x

  3. I need a high spf on a daily basis but can never find anything which isn’t too heavy under makeup or which doesn’t set off my rosacea. Is there anything you could suggest (as I am beginning not to bother with sunblocks!)

  4. Dave @Label_D says:

    Great post, v informative!! ( Ex : LRP Anthelios, Current : Decleor SPF 50, Soon : Alpha-H SPF 50 )

  5. rohan says:

    Thank you so much for this post.. just wondering which LRP anthelios in particular you like/use? There are a few versions, melt in cream, lotion, XL fluid the list goes on. I have combo skin an the ones i looked at were aimed dry sensitive skin. Thanks

  6. I’ll have to look for those pomergrante extract vitamins. I def need some of those

  7. Chantel says:

    I agree Jessica, I wear suncream religiously but only wore an SPF 15 on a cloudy day, low and behold I was a little pink by the end of the day. Great post Ruth :)

    Ooh please if u have any advice re: Lana’s comment about how to cover up freckles/embrace them without loading ur makeup let us know.

  8. Lana says:

    I really love your flawless looking skin. But I have a few freckles on my face which I have loathed since I was a child, do you have any tips on how to reduce the appearance of my freckles without having to cake on my make up? Thank you xx

    • RuthCrilly says:

      Hmm. Not too sure actually; they are always going to show through unless you cake it, and I’m guessing there are too many to spot conceal? I LOVE freckles though! Everyone without freckles always says that, it must be really annoying, Sorry! x

  9. Sylvie says:

    I looove Badger sunscreen. I’ve been using it on my face for years, and the zinc is great for blemishes. Chemical sunscreens contain some nasty stuff, much of which may be carcinogenic. I think that’s counterproductive, so I stick with organic.

  10. Jessica says:

    great series Ruth! It’s always interesting to hear different ways of caring for and protecting the skin. I began wearing sunscreen on overcast days after learning that 80% of the UV rays still pass through the cloud cover.

    Happy New Year from California!
    Jessica

    the Wellbeing Narrative

  11. So thrilled that Dr Murad answered my “little” question! Thank you Ruth for this amazing opportunity!!! xx

  12. Elisa says:

    I’m 30, I have sensitive combination skin prone to break outs and I noted that the best thing I can do to protect my skin (as daily SPF is essential to prevent aging, cancer, etc) is to choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide instead of titanium oxide, as zinc oxide is actually very good for skin that tends to breakouts or with breakouts (as zinc oxide does not make it any worse). Because of my skin type I prefer physical sunscreen as chemical ones tend to make my skin more oily and cause breakouts. In addition is very important to make sure you use a very good make up / sunscreens remover that eliminates all SPF ingredients. I’m using a clarins make up remover oil and then my effeclar la roche pose cleanser products. My personal advice is read the ingredients and never stop to the product description and try to clean your skin properly. Hope this helps :)

  13. Ziloa says:

    I have a question, but I guess I won’t get an answer because this is a bit too technic. We need vitamine D, this is synthesized thanks ot the sun… But if we wear SPF all the time, does it have an impact on our way of synthesizing the vitamin D?

    • Jess says:

      Hi Ziloa, you’re absolutely right, and Vitamin D deficiency is increasing as a result. I personally take Vitamin D supplements because I am extremely fair and don’t like leaving my skin exposed, but physicians also suggest getting 15 minutes of sun on your forehead in order to get the required Vitamin D. Hope that helps, and if you’re interested in health/nutrition, I just started a blog and hope to share this kind of health information. Happy New Year!

      Jess
      Wellbeing Narrative

      • Ellen says:

        I just started taking Vitamin D supplements, too! My doctor suggested it because I didn’t want to go out in the sun–my freckles start showing up!

    • It’s important to take latitude into account – The phenomenon of the ‘vitamin D winter’ means that in most of Europe and North America for 6 months of the year we are not able to produce vitamin D naturally as the sunshine is too weak. So it is important to supplement, especially given that even in the summer most people are chronically vitamin D deficient (mainly because of using SPF over-zealously and because we live so far North!). Vitamin D deficiency has actually been linked to lots of types of cancers and other diseases. If you want to read more about this there is lots of scientific research being done that a quick Google search could turn up (as it seems Ruth isn’t happy with me providing links although Jess has linked to her blog below….).

  14. Lucy says:

    My skin normally hates Clinique… but I love the Super City Block. It’s normally the whole basis of my day look in terms of skin cover. I always go for the higher factor too, although I am deathly pale.

  15. Jess says:

    It’s probably worth noting that this advice is only going to be relevant to specific geographical regions! For example, the recommendations and clinical guidelines produced by Cancer Council Australia emphasise the importance of 30+ SPF in Australia, based on the geographical location, UV ratings, climate, etc. In terms of percentage protection, sure, there’s not a huge numerical difference between 15+ and 30+, but that difference can be critical depending on multiple factors that vary from region to region and country to country. :)

  16. Elisa says:

    I’m 30, I have sensitive combination skin prone to break outs and I noted that the best thing I can do to protect my skin (as daily SPF is essential to prevent aging, cancer, etc) is to choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide instead of titanium oxide, as zinc oxide is actually very good for skin that tends to breakouts or with breakouts (as zinc oxide does not make it any worse). Because of my skin type I prefer physical sunscreen as chemical ones tend to make my skin more oily and cause breakouts. In addition is very important to make sure you use a very good make up / sunscreens remover that eliminates all SPF ingredients. I’m using a clarins make up remover oil and then my effeclar la roche pose cleanser products. My personal advice is read the ingredients and never stop to the product description and try to clean your skin properly. Hope this helps :)

  17. Kitty says:

    The Murad Oil Control Mattifier with SPF15 is perfect for my oily/combination skin. I’ve tried loads of others, but this is the best I’ve found so far.

  18. Jane Pierron says:

    I’ve been using Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection primer, even though its way expensive, its incredible for me because I’m super paranoid about protecting my skin from the sun. But I do tend to breakout some, so I’ll have to have a look at the Murad ones. I absolutely love this series btw!

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