'If there is no wind, row.' - Latin proverb


Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream with Mexoryl

By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Aug 20, 2014
Category: Home

Veteran Butler readers know all about Anthelios and use it regularly to protect themselves from sunburn and worse. Newcomers may not know its greatness. And there’s just enough summer left for you to be hurt by the sun. So… here. Think of Anthelios as a summer classic — a cautionary tale.

When my wife and I both worked at home and our daughter was too young for school, travel meant Paris. These trips were free-form, but they all had the same ending — we stocked up on Anthelios Sunscreen.

We bought this sunscreen rather than silk or cashmere because it was all but impossible to get it in America. Although the French authorities — said to be tougher than ours — had approved the key ingredient, a sunblock called Mexoryl, in 1993, the FDA was dragging its heels. Not only had the FDA failed to approve it, it refused to explain why.

Result: If you wanted a sunblock with Mexoryl, you either had to order it from a pharmacy in Canada, or you had to smuggle it in from France. In Canada, it was expensive; in France it was relatively cheap. That was a no-brainer — like a great many other savvy Americans, we became smugglers.

Let the trumpets blare: In 2006, the FDA approved Mexoryl. No more smuggling. And the American price for Anthelios with Mexoryl is not dramatically higher than it is in France.

What’s so great about Anthelios with Mexoryl? 

Dr. Vincent DeLeo, Chairman, Department of Dermatology, Founding Director, Skin of Color Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and Beth Israel: “It produces a product which gives us almost perfect protection against sunshine.”

Dr. Darrell Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University: Mexoryl “is the No. 1 individual ingredient in terms of protection from Ultraviolet A radiation.”

You want the science? Here: “The UVB range of sunlight is 280 to 320 nanometers, and the UVA range is 320 to 400. Mexoryl sunscreens protect against UV wavelengths in the 290-400 nanometer range. Since Mexoryl doesn’t cover the entire UV spectrum, it is usually combined with other active sunscreen agents such as titanium dioxide, avobenzone (stabilized with octocrylene) to ensure broad-spectrum UV protection.”

And Mexoryl is convenient: It doesn’t degrade in sunlight. One application, and you may be good for 24 hours — even if you swim or exercise.

What you want: La Roche Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream with Mexoryl. [To buy it from Amazon, click here.]

Around here, we also have considerable affection for La Roche Daily Moisturizing Cream with Mexoryl. [To buy it from Amazon, click here.]

Yes, this stuff costs more than creams that protect against sunburn. The thing is, those creams don’t offer long-lasting protection against Ultraviolet-A rays (UV-A). And UV-A doesn’t cause sunburn — it causes cancer. Me, I’d rather pay more now and dramatically reduce the chance that our daughter, my wife and I get skin cancer. And the way I figure it, I’m saving a fortune by not having to fly to Paris to get Anthelios. Though if you have a private jet and some empty seats…..

Short takes

The Grand Bar and Grill: A treat grows in Brooklyn

My stepson now lives and works in Brooklyn, so we find ourselves going across the bridge to the city’s trendiest borough. It’s not easy to find a restaurant that isn’t terminally hip, so it was a pleasure to learn from Pamela Miles — our Reiki master and dear friend — that her son and his friends have launched a restaurant, The Grand Bar and Grill, that lives in the sweet spot between cool and appalling. It’s an American bistro — in the lineage of the original P.J. Clarke’s and the Old Town Bar in Manhattan — that serves comfort food with a twist, offers City Winery varietals on tap from repurposed antique fire extinguishers, and observes the modern requirements (jazz brunch on Sundays, comedy every other Tuesday night) The service is laid back without being comatose — in Williamsburg, that’s worth an extra star.

Laura Munson’s retreats for writers aren’t just for writers

You surely remember Laura Munson, author of the New York Times best-seller, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is — the marriage memoir in which her husband unilaterally declares their marriage over and she responds with “I don’t buy it. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?” Now she leads Haven Writing Retreats in Whitefish, Montana. What are they like? Well, they’re not just for writers. Here’s Laura: “My creative life has always been my safe haven. Usually it’s quite the other way. People say, ‘I’m afraid to be that vulnerable’ or ‘I’m not good enough, anyway,’ which means that their inner critic holds court in their minds and they have learned to bow to it. It doesn’t have to be like this. We can find profound freedom in our creativity. That’s why I lead my writing retreats. I want to help people in their creative expression through writing, no matter where they are on the page. I have written my entire adult life, and I’ve learned that it’s about one thing: doing the work. And that can be daunting. While the wilderness of Montana holds the space for inspiration, I hold the space for my retreaters to step into the wilderness of their creativity — in a nurturing, safe, challenging setting. I designed a retreat that I would want to attend. In other words, it’s not about criticism or hero worship or reinforcing the tortured artist paradigm. It’s quite the opposite. At Haven, we do a variety of writing exercises that nimble the mind, free the muse, breathe our words alive. Over and over, I see people leave re-fueled, ready to create what they want to create whether it’s a book or a letter to their grandchild.” This isn’t hype; Open Road Media ranks Haven in the top 5 of American retreats. The fall schedule: 9/10-14, 9/24-28, 10/8-12, 10/22-26. For more information, email Laura@lauramunsonauthor.com

“The Curse of Van Gogh”

When I met Paul Hoppe all those years ago, he was a callow young Washington lobbyist and I was a callow young journalist. Worlds collided, and we became friends. Does that compromise me? You bet. But that’s not to say I’m charmed by high-testosterone thrillers — I loathe car chases, shootouts, encounters with nasty foreigners. Happily, “The Curse of Van Gogh” features an unusual main character — Tyler Sears, a gifted art thief who is, after a jail term, eager to go straight — and 12 masterpieces in Washington’s impregnable National Gallery of Art that become his new obsession. Wait, didn’t I say he’s going straight? Yes, but that’s before he meets Komate Imasu, a mega-rich art collector who doesn’t care who he has to threaten to rip art off a museum’s wall for him. Tyler’s his patsy — he gets car chases, shootouts, encounters with nasty foreigners, and worse. Does he prevail? Better than Pierce Brosnan might. [To buy the paperback from Amazon, click here. For the Kindle edition, click here.]

Reader Mail (Advertisements for myself)

From Paul Zengilowski

My children will turn 19 and 21 in a few weeks and the birthday gift choice falls to me. My wife and I bought them books by the bushel when they were young — some they chose, more often though, we exercised our parental prerogative. That stopped as they entered their mid-teens and felt more confident in their choices than in ours.

I’ve not bought them books in years — with two exceptions. The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias, was a high school graduation gift. Knowing that having the money talk with them would be fruitless, I passed on to them my financial bible. I’d read it when it was first issued and it has served to keep me mostly on the financial straight and narrow over the last 30 years.

The second exception is their birthday present for this year: The 100 Essentials. Should they read only those two books, I’m confident they’ll enter adulthood with important and foundational knowledge that will serve them well.

from Marcie

You recommended Queen’s Gambit to me about six weeks ago when I asked for the most grabable book you could think of. I loved it. It’s difficult to articulate precisely what the dark magic of that book is, but I found it fascinating — the characters, all of them, were like no others I’ve encountered. The relationship between Beth and her adopted mother was so subtle. I love that Tevis never capitulates to cliché or sentimentality. Elegant. Thank you for urging me to read it.