Okay. It may not be sexy. And it’s not new. But If I can convince even one person to start using sun protection daily this post will be a success. I chose this image, a favorite of many plastic surgeons and dermatologists, because it illustrates the damage the sun does. This gentleman is a truck driver who didn't wear any sun protection. Notice the left side of his face that is exposed to the sun. The number one most effective thing you can do to protect skin from the signs of aging is to use sunscreen. And if that is not enough to motivate you to get your block on, one in every five Americans will get skin cancer at some point in their life.
So how do you get started incorporating more or any sun protection in your life?
I agree it has gotten a bit confusing . All the terms UVA, UVB, broad spectrum, physical block, chemical block and then there are all of the brands. So I have tried to keep it as simple as possible and provide all the needed information so you can make informed choices.
How Much ?
A shot glass. Keep one in the bathroom, fill it with sunscreen and apply to face, neck, décolleté/chest, arms and hands. Anything that is exposed to the sun. And don't forget your ears and the top of your feet if needed.
When to apply ?
Ideally apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you get dressed for the day. This will help you avoid getting it on your clothes and give it time to sink in to the skin. Especially helpful if you will be applying makeup or other products.
If you will be in the sun you need to reapply every two hours, after being in the water or sweating. For regular daily use I typically reapply at lunch, anytime I am outside or in my car. Since there are concerns about inhaling nano-sized and micronized zinc and titanium in powdered sunscreens and makeups, I just put some matte sunscreen in my hands and pat it on my skin during the day.
Also don't count on the amount of sunscreen in products or makeup to be sufficient. Consider it a bonus and still apply a base of sunscreen.
Make sure you refresh your sunscreen. I have been told that all sunscreen should have expiration dates but I only found one in my cabinet that did. To be safe I just replace mine every summer if it has not been used up. I also like to keep a small one in my purse and one in the car so I don't get sun spots on my arms and hands.
Don’t forget the sunglasses to keep your eyes protected. When outdoors hats are great to protect the part in your hair from getting burned. Bald? You definitely need to slather your head with sunscreen in addition to a hat.
What type of sunscreen should I buy?
Considering the the amount of sunscreen I use and you will be using, you will want a good quality product that isn't cost prohibitive. I like to use a combination of certain chemical and physical blocks.
Different skin types will react differently to ingredients so I have noted a couple of things to look for based upon your skin type.
You will want a BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN with an SPF of 30. This will protect you from both UVA and UVB Rays. Keep in mind that the higher the SPF, the smaller the increased benefit: contrary to what you might think, SPF 30 isn't twice as strong as SPF 15. While SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, SPF 30 filters out 97%, only a slight improvement.
The worst thing about very high-SPF products is that they give people a false sense of security and tempt them to stay in the sun too long. They suppress sunburns but raise the risk of other kinds of skin damage. The FDA is considering barring SPF above 50+.
Choose the least amount of reactive products so ideally no or minimal fragrance, preservatives or alcohol which can be irritating to sensitive skin.
Ingredients to avoid
Oily or acneic skin may choose a lighter formulation or matte finish while drier skin may do better with a moisturizing sunscreen.
Can’t bear to be pale?
Jergens natural glow+firming daily moisturizer (with no sunscreen) has to be my favorite go to product for a touch of color. Granted, you can get a darker look with actual tanning creams. But this provides enough color when used regularly to give you a natural healthy glow without any orange or weird streaks. You can choose your tone. I usually choose medium to tan, even though without any sun my skin color is pretty pale.
Cost - $8-$12
You really need to read ingredient labels and test a few on your skin to find your favorite. I suggest getting a few samples before buying a more expensive face sunscreen. Here are some of my favorites.
Anthelios 50 Face Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, Water Resistant with SPF 50
Cost $30 - $35
Skin Medica SPF 30 Daily Physical Defense Sunscreen
Cost $25 - $32
Mineral Sunscreen SPF 25 - With Natural and Organic Ingredients Water Resistant Sun Block - Non-Nano Zinc, Non-Toxic Gentle Enough for kids babies sports and reef safe from Beauty by Earth
Cost $14 - $20
Image Skincare Prevention +
I have combination skin so I alternate between the 32+ daily matte moisturizer oil free version and the 30+ hydrating version.
Cost $20 - $35
Enjoy the outdoors. I certainly do. Just be sure to protect yourself and your loved ones.
This blog was created to provide information as it relates to skin, body and food health.