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Anthelios Sunscreen with Mexoryl

By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Apr 13, 2017
Category: Health

Here’s news you can use — there’s going to be a big rise in skin cancer. If you’ve been reading media that goes deeper than the daily Trump outrage, you know why. As Elizabeth Kolbert, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, writes in The New Yorker: “A White House characterized by flaming incompetence has nevertheless managed to do one thing effectively: it has trashed years’ worth of work to protect the planet…. The Administration has proposed slashing the E.P.A.’s budget by thirty-one per cent, which is even more than it has proposed chopping the State Department’s budget (twenty-nine per cent) or the Labor Department’s (twenty-one per cent).” So if you want to be protected from the sun’s increasingly harmful rays, you’ll have to do it yourself. And as anyone who uses Anthelios will tell you, this is how you start to do that.

When our daughter was too young for school and we worked at home, 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.

The gold standard? Anthelios, 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 my loved ones 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…..