Up until 2006, when its special ingredient was approved for use in products for sale in the US, this sunscreen was referred to around my house as that “contraband stuff from France.” La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreens contain mexoryl, which provide UVA protection, whereas many sunscreens on the market only offer UVB protection, which means that you might not get a sunburn if you use them, but you won’t get any protection against skin aging and skin cancer. Anthelios is also less likely to degrade when exposed to sunlight than other sunscreens on the market today, and can maintain most of its efficacy for up to 24 hours after its application.
I used to order this stuff off the internet, or get my friend who lives in France to send it to me. But now, it is available a bunch of places, including CVS. I still prefer the selection of the European line, since they have formulas for kids and higher SPFs, and since the products are cheaper and more widely available there. You can get these versions by befriending a European, or by ordering it here.