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Institut Esthederm Sunscreen: Explained

Institut Esthederm Sunscreen: Explained

Institut Esthederm Sunscreen: Explained

From his early days, Jean-Noël Thorel, the mind behind both Bioderma and Institut Esthederm, had a complicated relationship with the sun. He loved it, but he was allergic to sun exposure (he suffered from what is called polymorphous light eruption). When he became a pharmacist with his own lab, Monsieur Thorel started developing the first Esthederm product—which was, indeed, the first Esthederm sunscreen, specially designed for skins that are intolerant to the sun.

Monsieur Thorel wanted everyone to be able to receive all the benefits from the sun without having to risk unhealthy exposure. In order to achieve that ambitious goal, he developed a full range of Esthederm sunscreen products, all of which are targeted for specific skin types, skin concerns, and sun intensities.

Shall we get to know them?

On this post:

The Esthederm approach to sun care

The relationship between Esthederm and sun exposure has developed to a point where, today, there are Esthederm Sun Spas in the world’s best destinations, all designed to ensure that visitors can take full advantage of the sun, achieve a natural tan, and, most importantly, stay safe.

The Esthederm line of sunscreens and sun care also embodies this philosophy, promoting a respectful relationship with the sun, adaptable to different skin tones and sensitivity levels.

It’s in the name of greater adaptability that Esthederm sunscreens are organized according to their own level of sun protection, without reference to the SPF rating. As you know, the SPF rating of a product indicates the level of protection against UVB radiation, which is responsible for sunburn, but there’s much more to think about. UVA radiation, for instance, is responsible for aging and melanoma, so it cannot be disregarded. Likewise, recent years have seen a rise in concerns regarding the potential effects of “blue light” on the skin. SPF isn’t enough to tell us whether a product offers protection against this type of light either.

How, then, does Esthederm indicate a product’s level of sun protection?

Orange packaging: Moderate Sun & Strong Sun

You may have noticed that Esthederm sunscreens in orange packaging often feature a couple of sun-shaped icons on the front. These icons represent the level of protection from UVB radiation that each sunscreen provides:

  • Two suns: “Moderate Sun” products, which protect against 93% of UVB radiation (roughly equivalent to SPF15);
  • Three suns: “Strong Sun” products, which protect against 96% of UVB radiation (roughly equivalent to SPF30).

As for UVA, all Esthederm sunscreens have a UVB/UVA ratio of more than 2/3.

White packaging: Esthederm’s highest level of sun protection

Esthederm sunscreen in white packaging will protect your skin from 98% of UVB radiation, as well as UVA, IR (infrared), and HEV (high-energy visible light, or “blue light”).

This white range of sun protection products is also referred to as the “No Sun” range, since it doesn’t feature any sun symbols on the packaging. Even so, it offers the highest level of sun protection, roughly equivalent to SPF50+.

The best Esthederm sunscreen (for you!)

In order to pick out the best Esthederm sunscreen for you, you’ll have to look into the levels of protection we’ve just explained, plus your skin type and concerns. Here’s a little guide to help you make your decision:


The Adaptasun sunscreens are perfect for those who want to protect their skin, but also want to tan. The formulas contain three exclusive patents–Cellular Water Patent, Adaptasun Technology, and Global Cellular Protection Patent–, which maintain the vitality of the skin, boost the tanning process, and protect the skin against the environmental aggressions responsible for aging.

They are available in lotion, spray, and mist formulas, in both Moderate and Strong Sun versions.

Bronz Repair

Bronz Repair is a facial sunscreen for those who want anti-aging care and sunscreen in a single product. It includes not only the three patents present in the Adaptasun line, but also a fourth patent: the exclusive Repair+ Technology, which helps to minimize visible signs of aging.

Because it is formulated for use on the face, this product is available is both tinted and untinted formulas.

Sun Intolerance

Sun Intolerance products provide high sun protection for the face and body, for those who suffer from sun allergy.

Photo Reverse & Photo Regul

While Photo Reverse offers sun protection and depigmenting action for existing dark spots, Photo Regul offers high protection for those who want to tan without worsening existing dark spots.

No Sun

The No Sun sunscreen is unique within the Esthederm brand, as it offers 100% mineral protection, ideal for those who are intolerant to chemical filters. With a fluid and light texture, without fragrance, this sunscreen is also suitable for application on skin that’s extra vulnerable to sun exposure, such as scars, or even after medical procedures.

There’s much to be said for the unique philosophy behind Esthederm sunscreen; and indeed, much more to be said still about the full Esthederm range, which features everything from peeling serums to anti-cellulite creams. We hope we’ve convinced you to give this luxurious French brand a chance; why not start with some of the highest-rated Esthederm products out there?

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