By Candice Sabatini
Sunblock, I can never get enough. I can’t keep my hands off trying new ones and I’m always excited to read about the latest advances in technology, application and textures. Gone are the days when sunblock was a shiny, gooey mess that clogged pores, ruined makeup and in my case, once took the color off the handles of a very expensive handbag!
For skin cancer prevention and anti-aging, you’ve got to ban de soleil…or rather its harmful UVA and UVB rays. Broad-spectrum SPF protection is the most important product you can use in your anti-aging goal. When I’m asked, “What’s the best sunblock?” I always answer, “The one you use”. Too many people buy products that they don’t enjoy using which then end up on the bathroom shelf, only to be thrown out sometime after the expiration date. When it comes to sun protection, it’s not one size fits all, and like your favorite jeans, it takes some time and research to find the right fit and you’ll want to wear different ones at different times.
Sunblock? Sunscreen? You know the diff, right? To shed some rays of light, I asked the experts from the De Paola Lowrance Skincare Center who explained that UVA is the “aging ray” and UVB is the “burn ray” and different products protect us differently. Sunblock uses a physical protection like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide while sunscreen uses chemicals such as Mexoryl to filter, protect or absorb UV rays and reduce the amount of radiation that penetrates the skin
Many products contain both sunblock and sunscreen. Love that!
To wear under makeup…
Finding a good facial sunscreen that dries quickly and is invisible, not greasy and lets foundation go on without peeling off in little crumb-like pieces has always been a challenge for me. Ain’t Misbehavin’ by DermaDoctor and Uber-Dry by Peter Thomas Roth both have SPF 30 and do the job well.
And if your fave day cream doesn’t offer sun protection, create your own! Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 30 is designed to be mixed in with your favorite moisturizer or foundation.
More than just sun protection…
A little extra somethin’ somethin’ can be a good thing. Chantecaille Firming Sun Cream SPF 30 also contains GABA, an anti-aging muscle relaxing amino acid that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Available: Bergdorf Goodman and www.saks.com
Those with dry skin don’t have to give up a great moisturizer just to keep the rays away. Lavera Sun SPF 20 contains hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and shea butter to keep skin hydrated while it’s being protected from rays.
Available: Whole Foods and www.lavera.com
Convenience, convenience, convenience…
Start your daily solar protection while taking your morning shower. Bethesda Sun Screen Soap leaves you with SPF 10 coverage, and it’s gentle enough for the whole family.
Available at www.bethesdaskincare.com
And if you don’t like carrying your tube or spray can of sun screen around with you while you’re outdoors, these handy little indy wrapped packs of SPF 30 La Fresh Travel Wipes will make it easy for you to reapply your sunblock throughout the day.
When you’re out playing sports…
Use protection created by medal winning athletes. Superstars like Mia Hamm, Amanda Beard and others teamed up with skin care experts and gave their input for a line of sun protection products that go the distance. You could say they were on a mission! Mission Daily Offense SPF 30 not only protects skin, but won’t sting your eyes even if your sweat drips while you’re crossing that finish line.
Available: Foot Locker and www.missionproduct.com
Keep those lips and eyes young and gorgeous…
Read the label! Many facial sunscreens are not meant for the skin around the eye area. DDF Protective Eye Cream SPF 15 goes on nice and creamy like a regular eye cream and doesn’t burn or irritate.
Available at www.sephora.com
Did you know that lip gloss attracts the sun’s harmful rays making your lips even more prone to aging and skin cancer? Candlenut Lip Balm SPF 20 by Juara comes in a cute little compact with a mirror and gives lips a nice matte finish.
Available at www.dermstore.com
Or, use Mission Lip Protector SPF 20 for protection with a shine. www.missionproduct.com
Both have broad spectrum protection to keep your pucker safe from harmful rays!
Put it where the sun don’t shine…
Because actually, the sun do shine in places you’ve never thought of! Skin cancer happens in the strangest places like between the toes and on the soles. So if you’re at the beach or the pool, don’t forget to protect your feet. If you like spray, try Coppertone Ultraguard Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 70 Spray.
Available at www.drugstore.com
Or, if you prefer a tube of cream, Natures Gate Aquablock SPF 50. www.natures-gate.com
Just what the doctor ordered…
Getting “a little work done” m’dear? Those post laser and post peel areas need extra TLC along with sun protection. Esente Derma Defense SPF 30 to the rescue with green tea and vitamins A, C and E.
Available at www.esente.com
EltaMD products are made without fragrance or other chemicals that can cause issues for those with sensitive or problematic skin and are sold exclusively through physicians offices.
Available at www.eltamd.com
To get the best protection, use a sunscreen that provides multispectrum protection, broad-screen protection or UVA/UVB protection. For more info about both UVA and UVB protection and lots of tips, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation site. Here are a few important tips from them:
• Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 everyday, even in winter, or on cloudy days.
• For best UVA protection, buy products that contain some or all of the following: stabilized avobenzone, oxybenzone, mexoryl, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide.
• When applying to the body, be generous use at least an ounce (two tablespoons) of sunscreen.
• Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
Dr. Kenneth Beer, MD Dermatologic Surgeon advises that along with sun protection products, we should be wearing polarized sunglasses to protect the skin around the eye area against skin cancer as well as protecting eyes from various eye diseases.
Additionally, Dr. Beer says that we should look for products using Mexoryl and Helioplex which are the newest advances in UVA protection and provide longer lasting protection than Parsol 1789.
Have a great summer!