Ask your pharmacist : what sunscreen should I get?

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How to choose your sunscreen?

The sun is great for the mood but not that much for the skin. Without the protection of clothes and an effective sunscreen against both UVA and UVB, prolonged exposure causes sunburns and can lead to skin cancer and ageing of the skin. Sunburn doesn’t just happen on holiday, you can burn anywhere, even when it’s cloudy.

This is a guide to help you choose the best sunscreen for you and your family.

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

« SPF (sun protection factor) is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) B rays. The main cause of reddening and sunburn, UVB rays tend to damage the epidermis, skins outer layers, where the most common (and least dangerous) forms of skin cancer occur. Those cancers are linked to sun-accumulation over the years. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is thought to be caused by brief, intense exposures, such as a blistering sunburn. »

Article of July 2015 magazine issue Consumer Reports.

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Skin type: extremely sensitive to the sun

Level of protection: Very high

Protection sign: 50+


Skin type: sensitive skin

Level of protection: High

Protection sign: 30 / 50


Skin type: intermediate skin

Level of protection: Average

Protection sign: 15 / 20


Skin type: fairly resistant skin

Level of protection: Low

Protection sign: 6 / 10

Warning! The total screen terms or total protection terms no longer exist. No solar product guarantees total protection against ultraviolet rays. Since 2006, indices above 50 (60, 80 and even 100 %) have been grouped by the European Commission into a single 50+ index. A measure that was taken to protect consumers and avoid thinking that with a 100 % index they could stay all day in the sun without needing to put on protective cream and without the effects of the sun on the skin.


What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

UV represent only 5% of the solar radiation received on earth but are very powerful. There are several sorts there. While UVC is stopped by the ozone layer, UVA and UVB reach the earth and have effects on the skin.

UVA: A like age or allergy

Most of us are exposed to large amounts of UVA throughout our lifetime. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent. They are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass.

UVB: B like bronzing or burn

UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photo aging. Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays so that they hit the skin twice. UVB rays do not significantly penetrate glass.

Source: Coola


Sun exposure

It’s also important to take into account the factor of sun exposure. Depending on where you are, you will have to adapt the choice of sunscreen. The power of the exposure may be low, medium, high or very high. The sun will not have the same impact on your skin if you are high up in the mountains or on a beach in Mauritius than if you are in England on a fine day.

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Classic VS Mineral: Which is which?

« Classic and Mineral Sunscreens are differentiated by their active sun protection ingredients. Classic sunscreens use chemical (also commonly referred as “non-mineral” or “traditional”) active ingredients designed to absorb and dissipate UVA/UVB rays, while Mineral sunscreens use mineral (also commonly referred to as “physical”) active ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays. »

Source : Coola

Source: Coola


Waterproof protection

If you spend the day at the seaside or swimming pool, it’s important to buy sunscreen completely water-resistant. This will allow you and your children to bathe while remaining protected from the sun. Waterproof sunscreens are made to resist on average two baths of 20 mins per day.

Which sunscreen texture to choose?

Lotions, oils, sprays, mists, gels… so much choice. Here’s what you need to know before choosing the right sun protection for you.

Milks and lotions:

As a spray, solar milk is very convenient and quickly penetrates the skin. More fluid than sun creams, milks are very soft and do not form thick films on the skin. This texture is ideal for swimming pool or for hairy areas on men.


Thanks to its atomized format which allows reaching all the areas of the skin, in a homogeneous way and in micro-droplets, the solar mist is also appreciated for the refreshing sensation. Its veil is deposited on the skin to protect it from the sun without weighing it down.

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Rich in water, solar jelly brings freshness and hydration thanks to non-greasy, melting textures that penetrate the skin quickly. In tube or pot format, it is often fragrant to bring you a fruity and exotic touch.


The solar oil gives us a satin finish shine, thanks to their fluid texture which spreads evenly on the skin and allows combining thus tanning and optimal protection by choosing a high index.


The solid texture of the solar stick allows a localized application on sensitive areas of the face (nose, cheekbones, and lips). Its format makes it possible to transport it everywhere. It is recommended for water sports, skiing, and hiking in high altitudes.

Tanning Spray :

They are sun protection products but helping to boost the tanning. For example, some formulations such as Bronz complex from Bioderma stimulates the natural biological tanning process for safely-tanned skin. This tanning complex is combined with vitamin E which offers real cellular protection thanks to its anti-oxidant, photoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, in addition to its surface UVA/UVB protective activity, this complex offers real internal biological protection : Cellular Bioprotection. This product preserves and stimulates the skin’s defences during sun exposure.

Oral supplements:

For intolerant or even allergic people to the sun, taking a supplement rich in carotenoids could help prepare and protect the skin before being exposed. Those complements are also widely used for helping getting a lovely tan faster and prolonging it after holiday.

For example Oenobiol Autobronzant is a food supplement who prepares your skin whilst protecting it from cellular ageing and giving you a natural glowing complexion.Packed with turmeric extract, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, lutein to offer you a golden even and luminous hale without sun.

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Recommended by Dr Marine Vincent, Doctor of Pharmacy

Best for sensitive skin

Anthelios La Roche Posay






Best for anti aging

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Best for children and babies

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