Skin Care

By Irene Fogarty

When you’re as pale as I am, with blueish-white skin, you always have to be careful in the sun, even in beautiful Brazil. No matter what anyone tells you, a tan is literally a burning of the skin. And when you hit your thirties, you have to be extra careful. Apart from the fact that skin cancer is so prevalent and dangerous, tanning can cause permanent damage that can make you look older. Plus, I actually think “white” skin is rather nice! One day we’ll look back at tans the way we look at shoulder pads from the 80′s and ask “what were we thinking?”

So here’s what I used in Brazil. I bought a case of sun protection products from head to toe: spfs 12-30, after sun lotion, hair masks, hair spray with spfs, spf lip balms, tinted moisturizers, and spf face powder.

The good news? I didn’t burn. And I think I came back with a “healthy” glow.
Here’s a list of everything I used, and what was in it and why I liked it. So, before you head off to the sun this year, don’t just think about your bikini. Think about your skin. The more you protect it the more beautiful it will look as you age.

SPFs:

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DDF Moisturizing PhotoAge Protection SPF 30:
I loved this and used it all the time. This lightweight fragrance-free formula is great because it not only absorbs easily but helps minimize free radical skin damage caused by UVA/UVB exposure. It also contains DDF Redox TM II Antioxidant Complex for maximum protection from sun damage and premature aging. It’s great for all skin types especially dry skin like mine. Make sure you rub it in well.

TIP: Apply liberally to face and body at least 20minutes before you go out in the sun. And if you hit the waves, make sure you apply again.

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DDF Organic Sunblock SPF 30:
How could I stay in an ecological resort focusing on “organic” living and not have organic suncare products? This was an interesting formula. I’d definitely recommend it for sensitive skin that needs complete sun blockage protection – like mine. It acts like a physical barrier to repel the sun’s harmful rays. This also contains DDF Redox Antioxidant Complex for complete free radical protection. Ingredients include vitamins A,C, E, and zinc as well as grape seed extract to help repair cell membranes.

TIP: Because this formula is so protective, it’s very rich, so make sure you rub it in well.

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SCO Oil Free Face Shield, spf 30
I’ve written about SCO before. (go to my article archives to read more about it). Skincare Options uses herbal infusions of your own choosing to make individualized moisturizer, skin cream, etc. For their spfs however, you get all the goodies in the jar already prepared for your protection.

This spf is a matte, lightweight sunscreen that really protected my fair skin, but it’s most outstanding feature is the fact that you can use it over your moisturizer or alone under makeup. You’ll find this spf absorbs easily and won’t leave a sticky, heavy residue. I think it’s perfect for when you have already been in the sun a few days and your skin has adjusted to the new climate.

DERMA NEW Satin Screen Firming Daily Moisture SPF 15.

While I heard of DermaNew before, I had never tried any of their products. I loved the fact that this product is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, and leaves your skin feeling smooth without a “shiny” look.

Here are some of the ingredients in this product:

CMX.NEW (Anti-ageing complex) a DermaNew complex that stimulates collagen production as well as improving the texture and elasticity of your skin.

Chamomile Extract – great for smoothing your skin. Vitamins C, A, and E – all antioxidants that support skin renewal.

I used this as a moisturizer in the evening after time out in the sun. You’ll love its lightness and the “satin like” finish it gives your face.

Korres atural products: Aloe Vera Moisturizing Body Milk
It’s been said you should never judge a book by its cover, but when I saw the packaging of these products I was intrigued. In fact, every person in my office who saw them was also intrigued. I liked the simplicity of the photography, the recycled boxes, and of course, the ingredients. (Plus, there’s just something cool and exotic about the big, bold, black Greek letters all over the product.) Enough fluff. This is a new Greek line that is really going to be big in ’05. And I’m glad to say that has nothing to do with what’s on the outside of the products.
This range is prefect for light-skinned complexions that are sensitive to sun exposure.

Sunscreen face cream spf 12: This sunscreen contains a natural filter titanium dioxide with shea butter for natural sun protection, and also contains active aloe, calendula, vitamin E, and chamomile oil. So you can see why these products are good for sensitive skin. Since they are so rich in nourishing ingredients, skip your moisturizer. This spf will do the job nicely.

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Aloe Vera Moisturizing Milk:
I don’t think I could have survived the trip without this product! When showering after a day in the sun, you’re often a shade darker-with patchhes. Here’s a body milk so refreshing and relieving that it will cool down irritated skin patches and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Aloe vera, calendula, evening primroseoil are quite a treat for your skin. This moisturizing milk conditions, heals, and softens skin.

Red Vine Hair Spray Year Round Protection:
The cool thing about this spray is that it’s not just for the sun. It’s practically a liquid spf for your hair for any season. Red vine polyphenols ( the goodness of grapes) in combination with sunflower extract protect your hair from UVA rays. I carried this everywhere with me, and sprayed liberally on the beach, after the water, etc. It smells great, it’s light, and it really works. In fact, I think I came back with better conditioned hair because of it.

Keep an eye out for Korres. They’re going to win gold in a lot of cosmetic categories in the future.

AFTERSUN
Leave it to the Italians to know what’s best to drench your skin with after you’ve over-indulged in the sun! Created from natural ingredients found in the Amazon, this nourishing formula repairs and rehydrates skin that has been over-exposed to sun, wind and water.

Aftersun Face Recover calms your skin and helps reduce signs of aging with andiroba oil from Amazonian tree nuts, paranut oil and cat claw. To demonstrate their commitment to nature, they participate in a project to preserve Amazonian communities and the plants of the Amazon. The next time you slather on this wonderful cream, you can feel happy knowing you’re also protecting the beauty of the Amazon region. And when you’re surrounded by Amazonian wilderness in Brazil, this really does mean something.

Dr Hauschka After Sun Lotion
You can always trust Dr. H to come up with a natural formula that smells great and really works. This milky smooth, cooling lotion is a must for all fair skinned sun-bathers. After your shower, just rub it in. It’s light, nourishing and truly cooling. It smells so good you’ll want to use it after your trip. I still do!

It’s full of plant oils, seed extract, rose hip extract, sweet almond oil, and waxes – perfect for all skin types.

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Dr Brandt spf 30 bronze barrier face:
Here’s something a little different. It’s basically an spf/foundation all-in-one. It offers UVA/UVB protection, combining the most effective sun screen ingredients with skin-saving anti-oxidant/anti-aging botanicals.

What is unique about this product is the natural tint, beautiful for all skin tones, and since the bronze barrier is so light in texture, you won’t looked caked. Great for night time!

Stila sheer color face powder spf 15
Here’s another one for night time that I highly recommend. Stila has introduced a face powder with an spf that’s perfect for those balmy evenings when you want to wear a little makeup and not look shiny. With one stroke, you can rid your t-zone sheen. Plus, I love the way it evens out your skin tone without adding dry, cakey color. Best of all, this is a great product for any season.

As you can see, when you’re as well equipped as I am you have absolutely no excuse to burn. But as we all know, there’s always an “overcast” day you believe is harmless. Remember: the sun’s rays are always harmful, so keep yourself well protected. If you do, you can be a sun worshipper and still maintian your porcelain, Kidman-like alabaster complexion. Here’s to pale sun goddesses!

Originally published January 2005
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