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Few face creams block UV-A1

Article-Few face creams block UV-A1

New York — A review of popular facial creams has found that few provide the UV protection to which they make claim, MedPage Today reports.

The review was conducted by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, here, and at Henry Ford hospital in Detroit. They looked at 29 best-selling daily facial creams. Researchers found that regardless of their cost, popularity or sun protection factor (SPF), most creams provide inadequate or no protection against photoaging from UV-A1 radiation.

Investigators selected the creams based on sales rankings on They evaluated each product as to the presence and concentration of ingredients that afford UV-A1 protection: more than 2 percent avobenzone plus more than 3.6 percent octocrylene (with or without 2 percent ecamsule) and/or more than 5 percent zinc oxide.

The creams had SPF values of 15 to 50, and ranged in cost from $3 to $64 per ounce. Six products contained no ingredients at all for UV-A1 protection. Of the 23 creams that contained one or more such ingredient, seven contained zinc oxide, but only three had concentrations of more than 5 percent.

Sixteen products contained avobenzone, but only three contained the concentration of octocrylene that prevents the photodegradation of avobenzone. Seven of the 16 avobenzone products contained low levels of octocrylene, and the remaining six contained octinoxate, which protects against UV-A2 but not UV-A1.

The authors noted that the most expensive product tested — $64 per ounce, No. 3 in sales — contained no UV-A1 protection, and that the two biggest sellers had high levels of octocrylene, inadequate levels of avobenzone and no zinc oxide.

“Until sunscreen labeling clearly defines the degree of UV-A protection, dermatologists should educate their patients and the public to select products with ingredients that contain the appropriate concentrations of (ingredients that afford UV-A protection),” the authors wrote.

The review was published online as a research letter in Archives of Dermatology.

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