Anthelios sunscreens (including new Anthelios W Gel SPF 30) offer unparalleled UVA and UVB photostable protection against the sun’s rays. While these characteristics are important for protecting against concerns that some will call vain - loss of skin firmness, age spots and wrinkles - a broad spectrum sunscreen also can save your health.

Dermatologists have long recognized the importance of well formulated sunscreens in the fight against developing skin cancer. And with this sometimes fatal condition on the rise worldwide, using a sunscreen daily year round, will not only help to save your looks but also decrease the likelihood of developing skin cancer.

The Anthelios brand has always been viewed as one of the most effective sunscreen brands because it relies on La Roche Posay’s patented sun filtering agents Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL. Together with stabilized avobenzone and titanium dioxide, the combination of sun filters delivers broad spectrum UVA and UVB blocking ability over time. As important as the efficacy of Anthelios sunscreens, is the fact that there are a range of formulations to suit most skin types and activities.

Anthelios W SPF 30 Benefits

Anthelios W SPF 30 Gel is a new sunscreen formulation that has replaced the recently discontinued Anthelios W SPF 40 Gel. With a similar texture and protection from both Mexoryl molecules, Anthelios W SPF 30 will deliver highly water resistant protection in a pleasant formulation that isn’t greasy or sticky. The W 30 gel is the most water resistant of all the Anthelios sunscreens, which is why athletes favor its use during strenous activity. Free or fragrance and other unncessary ingredients, the gel can be used for all your favorite sports.

Unlike many other chemical sunscreens Anthelios W SPF 30 Gel is free of parabens. Parabens are preservatives used in food and cosmetics that have been inconclusively linked to breast cancer because they can mimic the hormone estrogen (which is linked to breast cancer). Keep in mind that several agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintain that at levels used in cosmetics today that there is no reason for customers to be concerned. However, this new formulation does give an option to individuals who are concerned about paraben use.

La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreens are available in a range of convenient and luxurious formulations making them suitable for use by the entire family. The sprays make application a cinch with children or sports lovers; the creams are perfect for body use or normal to dry skin types; and the fluids and lotions are ideal for oily or combination skin. Water resistant and highly water resistant formulations are available for both children and athletes. Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics SPF 50+ Spray and Lotion is designed for sensitive skin and Anthelios W SPF 40 Gel is a highly water resistant formulation that’s perfect for cycling, swimming and water activities.


If you read beyond the hype surrounding La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreens, there are very sound reasons why they are used and recommended by healthcare professionals:

  1. They offer protection against the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. Unlike many sunscreens that only protect against UVB rays and a small fraction of UVA rays, La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreens contain Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL. These two molecules offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection against the full range of UVA and UVB rays. Manufactured in France to exacting standards, this line of sunscreens is widely recommended by dermatologists and used by individuals who seek the best protection from skin damage associated with sun exposure.
  2. La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreens are photostable. The Mexoryl molecules maintain their integrity when exposed to UV rays so you can count on protection from application to several hours later. Many sunscreens on the market today are not photostable. As soon as you step into the sun they break down leaving with no protection at all.
  3. They look and feel great on skin. You’d think that because La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreens afforded such great protection that they may be thick, heavy and greasy on the skin. Nothing could be further from the truth. These sunscreens are light and luxurious. They go on smoothly and dry clear, leaving you with protection that only you know about. Perfect as a base under make-up of your favourite moisturizer, you’re protected without any white cast on your skin.

Studies have shown that the protection gained by using La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreens will protect not only against sunburns caused by UVB rays, but also from the long term skin damage associated with UVA rays. These include fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin as well as some types of skin cancer.

If you or your family love water sports – swimming, water skiing, snorkelling – then the allure of waterproof sunscreens is hard to resist. Factor in hot weather, tropical heat or perspiration and and you’ll want to know that your sunscreen is performing. There is a fair amount of confusion as to what constitutes a waterproof sunscreen and this article will help you to decide in choosing the formulation that will suit your needs. The truth is that a truly waterproof sunscreen doesn’t exist and you may be putting yourself and your family at risk for sunburns, long term skin damage, including skin cancer if you buy into labelling applied by sunscreen manufacturers.


Waterproof vs Water Resistant Sunscreens


Since 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented regulations that require companies to eliminate the use of the word “waterproof” when referring to sunscreens. Labelling a product as a waterproof sunscreen is misleading, because sunscreens cannot be formulated to stay on the skin forever. Despite this regulation, you’ll still find sunscreens labelled as waterproof so it’s important to understand what kind of protection you’re actually getting.


The FDA considers a sunscreen to be “water resistant” if it maintains its SPF level after 40 minutes of water exposure. And instead of waterproof, the FDA has recommended use of the term “highly water resistant “ or “very water resistant”. You may still find sunscreens labelled as waterproof, which technically means it is highly water resistant. This means that the sunscreen will maintain its SPF level after 80 minutes of exposure to water. If you are planning on pursuing an outdoor activity that includes exposure to water, you may want to choose one that is labelled as such. After 80 minutes in the water, it’s time to reapply.


Waterproof Sunscreens To Choose


New technology allows manufacturers to formulate sunscreens that adhere well to skin. Waterproof or water resistant sunscreens may feel a bit heavier than those that are not water resistant. This feature does give them staying power. In choosing a sunscreen that will deliver for your water activities, ensure that it affords broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays and that it is photostable, meaning that the sun filters will hold up against exposure to sunlight. Lastly, consider applying a minimum of SPF 30, especially if you are fair skinned and have a tendency to burn. Choose from a selection of water resistant sunscreens as found in the line of Anthelios sunscreens by La Roche Posay.

Whether you are looking for the best sunscreen for your favorite sport, such as swimming, the features of an effective sunscreen always remains the same:

  1. Broad spectrum UVA and UVB blocking ability. This will ensure that you are protected against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays lead to tanning and sunburns; UVA rays are problematic because they penetrate deeper leading to more longer term skin damage such as age spots, wrinkles and leathery skin. Both types of rays can cause skin cancer. Choose a minimum of SPF 30 protection.
  2. Photostability. Photostability ensures that your sunscreen will not degrade upon exposure to sunlight and maximizes its effectiveness.
  3. Pleasant texture. Sunscreens that are thick, greasy and occlusive will block pores, leaving a white, oily cast to your skin and cause discomfort. Sure, they might afford protection, but you will be uncomfortable and less likely to use it when you most need it. Never mind, trying to get it on a child the second time around!

Practice Sun Safety First


Most experts will agree that using sunscreen is important, after you do everything you can to minimize exposure to the sun. Practice these sun smart habits while swimming to avoid sunburn and long term damage:

  1. Swim either early in the morning or late in the evening; the sun causes the most damage to your skin between the hours of 10am and 4pm
  2. Protect your scalp; wear a swim cap to protect your scalp from the sun
  3. Wear eyeglasses or UV goggles to protect eyes. 

How to Apply Best Sunscreens For Swimming


Effective sunscreens may be either one of two types – chemical or physical. Physical sunscreens include ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and sit on top of the skin deflecting UV rays away from your body. Chemical sun filters interact with your skin’s top layer absorbing UV rays and rendering them harmless. Both types of sunscreens are effective, but whichever you choose, ensure that you are maximizing its effectiveness by applying correctly:

  1. Apply sunscreen to your entire body, not forgetting lips and hands, which are also prone to sun burn and sun damage.
  2. Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before sun exposure.
  3. Reapply water resistant sunscreens every 80 minutes or so, after being in the water or perspiring heavily.
  4. Lighter skinned individuals burn faster so if you are lighter skinned you may want to opt for a product offering a higher SPF. 

The Best Sunscreens for Swimming are Water Resistant


Though some sunscreens market themselves as being waterproof, there really is no such thing as a water proof formula. The best you can hope for is one that is water resistant or highly water resistant. These sunscreens will deliver effective protection for up to 80 minutes in the water or after heavy perspiration.

By choosing the best sunscreen for swimming you can enjoy your time in the water knowing that you’re protected not only against sunburns but also from the more serious consequences of UV exposure such a skin cancer.


The best sunscreens for swimming include brands like Anthelios, which provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB, photostable protection in pleasant to use formulations:


Anthelios W SPF 40 Gel - a highly water resistant formulation that is especially suited to water sports and activity

Anthelios Lip Stick SPF 50+ - don’t forget lips with this highly effective and convenient lip balm

Anthelios XL SPF 40 or 50+ Spray - water resistant and ease of use.


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