In the Know: Murad

What advice can I give my clients about selecting the right SPF, depending on the climate and their skin type? 

I always recommend my patients to continue to treat their skin concerns while simultaneously protecting the skin. So it’s important to look for a moisturiser that suits your skin type but also offers protection. 

Many sunscreens concentrate solely on protection against UVB rays, in other words against burning rays.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens offer a more complete sun protection; defending against both harmful UVB and UVA (ageing rays), so always recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your clients, for maximum protection.

Also recommend your clients to look for products with hydrating properties, anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants. These will help repair the skin barrier and make the skin better able to defend itself against the sun and other environmental aggressors, such as bacteria and pollution. 

It’s important to optimise skin hydration, so look for sunscreens that contain hyaluronic acid and glycolipids to attract moisture to the skin barrier. Liquorice extract is an important anti-inflammatory agent to look for in sunscreens and pomegranate extract is not only anti-inflammatory, but also one of the most effective antioxidants when it comes to sun protection, as it helps protect the skin against free radical damage.

Murad M&CoIn addition to topical products, I also recommend enhancing the body’s natural SPF through internal care. Only 20% of the skin can be reached with topical products alone, the other 80% is reached internally.

By adjusting what they eat, concentrating on having more antioxidant-rich raw fruits and vegetables, your clients can boost the effectiveness of the sun protection they use. 

All skin types need protection against sun exposure, so the best thing your clients can do if they’re going on a beach holiday is to use a sunscreen that, ideally, is at least SPF30 and to re-apply every two hours, or as needed.

It’s a common misconception that once the summer ends, you can put your sunscreen away. However, just because the sun is not as strong in winter does not mean it’s not there, so the skin should always be looked after with suitable protection.

Also remember that UVA rays are the same strength all year round and can penetrate clouds and glass, so you should advise your clients to always protect themselves against ageing UVA rays.

Dr Howard Murad is the founder and chief executive of science-driven skincare brand Murad, available in 38 countries around the world. A dermatologist, author and trained pharmacist, Dr Murad continues to operate a dermatology practice in Los Angeles and is an associate clinical professor of medicine (dermatology) at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA - among other roles. 

*Image: M&Co