What ingredients in sunscreens are best in protecting me from the sun?

Cybele Fishman, MD
The most effective, natural ingredients to protect you from the sun are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which block both UVA and UVB rays. In this video, dermatologist Cybele Fishman, MD, discusses what to look for when choosing a sunscreen.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The most effective protection from a sunscreen comes from one that contains a high sun protection factor (SPF 30 or higher) and ingredients that screen both UVA and UVB sunlight rays. Read labels carefully. Ingredients that block UVB rays include padimate O, homosalate, octyl methoxycinnamate, benzophenone, octyl salicylate, phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid, and octocrylene. Broad-spectrum sunscreens add mexoryl, oxybenzone, or avobenzone (Parsol 1789) to block UVA rays. Physical sun blocks and chemical-free sunscreens contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, which reflect UVA and UVB and are especially useful for people allergic to or easily irritated by chemical sunscreens.

Continue Learning about Sun Care

How to Choose and Use Your Sunscreen
How to Choose and Use Your Sunscreen
On an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry and Newman discover Kramer asleep on the roof, shirtless, on a very sunny day. “Oh man,” Kramer says when they wake h...
Read More
What is the safest way to get a tan?
Your best bet is to use the sunless tanners that are available at drugstores, cosmetics counters...
More Answers
Do you just have to apply sunscreen once to be effective?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
How often you need to apply sunscreen depends on how much time you will be spending in the sun. If...
More Answers
How Often Should I Reapply Sunscreen If I Am Outdoors All Day?
How Often Should I Reapply Sunscreen If I Am Outdoors All Day?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.