And with it, pigment spots, wrinkles and weathered skin! Hearing George Harrison’s herald call to summer is a gentle reminder that the time has come to pay serious attention to blocking those skin damaging rays. Yes, we were supposed to be doing this regardless of the season, but many let it slide until a truly sunny day appears or we head for the beach, pool, deck or boat. Think about this next time you skip the sunscreen:
Sun exposure is cumulative and those damaging UV rays are present all year long…
When you walk to your car.
When you work near a window
When you drive to and from appointments or errands.
When you walk the dog on an overcast day.
When you shovel snow.
They can add up to hours of unintended exposure every week.
No excuses! There are too many options now that make it easy to protect yourself.
Look for moisturizers that include sun block and will save you time and money on multiple products. I like Neutrogena Tone Repair with Retinol and SPF 30, a triple threat that gives you moisture, anti aging benefits and protection in one product ($20.99). A favorite and affordable company, Neutrogena had me as a fan since their iconic clear amber soap bar. Now they offer a multitude of sun protectors in stick, cream or spray form and every SPF. I also love their Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 55 which is light and totally non greasy, so perfect for face and body.
My derm recommends Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($32) and it has become a staple in my sun block stable of products. Weightless and color infused with a universal tint, it blocks the rays with transparent zinc oxide while giving you a radiant, better than bare look. This is so light, you can reapply (as you should, every two hours) without visible buildup.
Another option is La Roche-Posay, a company which is serious about sun protection and skincare. Formerly available only from derms, it is now stocked by CVS. The company makes a variety of award winning sunscreen products powered by Anthelios. My fave is Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Suncreen Fluid, $33.50, a feather light, fast absorbing tinted fluid. It is juiced up with Cell-Ox Shield for a powerful anti oxidant boost. I find this a little less matte than the SkinCeuticals so better for those of you who are ultra dry. I tried a sample of their Anthelios Primer SPF 50 too, but like all the new “blurring” primers, it feels too silicone slippery and occlusive to me. I’ll let my peers’ failing eye sight do the blurring!
In the “steal” category, L’oreal has a new entry, Silky Sheer 50+ BB Face Lotion Sunscreen. It’s transparent so perfect for under makeup. For under $10, you get UVA/UVB protection with anti- oxidants Vitamin E and white grapeseed. For the body, their latest formulation is L’oreal Quick Dry 50+ Spray, $7.99, an alcohol and oil free spray that has you covered in either 30 or 50 SPF.
If it’s a multi tasker you are looking for, look no further than Kiehl’s Skin Tone Correcting Beautifying BB Cream SPF50 for face which does it all: moisturizes, protects, brightens with Vitamin C, and covers beautifully, like a tinted moisturizer (4 shades) on steroids. $37, and for all it does, worth every penny.
Once you’ve picked your products of choice, apply at least 15 minutes before exposure to the sun and apply generously enough to get the job done. And don’t stop at your chin with your facial sunscreen. As with all treatment products, cover your neck and décolleté, areas also susceptible to aging, damage and discoloration.
It’s a no brainer that while preventing sun damage you are more importantly warding off skin cancer, a potentially serious disease. Please visit your dermatologist yearly for a complete body check (yes, even those areas which never see the light of day.)
Since I have recently had all traces of sun damage removed by laser, I am hyper crazy about protection. Those spots, unlike us, have short term memory and will come right back if not shielded from the sun. So add a large visor (so trendy now thanks to V. Stiviano!) or broad brimmed hat to your arsenal and a pair of Jackie O worthy sunglasses with UV protection, worth the extra expense. Grab a Mojito and you are ready to face summer!