Skin Care

By Erin Brady

Everyone knows wearing sunscreen in the summer is important, but many forget that even in the winter our skin is exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays. If you’re like me you think, “but I work in an office and am inside all day, why wear sunscreen?” Well, Dr. Marsha Gordon, St. Ives Consulting Dermatologist, has thankfully made me rethink this notion. Dr. Gordon says that although “the amount of ultraviolet radiation produced by ordinary fluorescent lighting is very small, in winter we are still exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. We are exposed during our commutes because UVA penetrates window glass, in our offices and homes if they are sunny and we are exposed even more if we enjoy snow sports because of the reflection added by the snow.” She emphasizes that this cumulative UV exposure is what causes photo aging (exactly what we don’t want!), so it’s important to protect our skin (face, neck, chest, anything exposed) everyday.

When I asked Dr. Gordon about what types of products to look for, she advised that “a minimum of SPF 15 is best every day.” My concern with wearing sunscreens in the winter is mainly that they feel heavy and sticky. “Looking for a product that feels good on the skin is important, so you use it everyday,” says Dr. Gordon. Of course there are a million sunscreens out there, so Dr. Gordon advises to use “a broad spectrum UVA and UVB lotion, and to find one with a mix of ingredients to ensure you are fully protected.”

To make your lives easier, we have narrowed down some of the best face lotions and creams with SPF, to ensure you are protected this winter and of course, that you enjoy using the products in the process!

As a big fan Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer for its light, silky finish, I was very excited to try her new Flawless Oil-Free Day Lotion with SPF 15 that includes ingredients discovered by Laura on her worldly travels. This ultra-luxurious lotion is enriched with Deep Sea Water that provides skin with a dose of minerals such as magnesium, zinc and iron. Sea Water easily penetrates the skin to deliver the minerals while being extremely gentle. Upon applying you will notice how light and fresh smelling the lotion is, but once it hits your parched skin, it will be rejuvenated and instantly quenched. The SPF 15 will protect skin from damaging rays, at the same time reducing and preventing fine lines and wrinkles. This lotion is perfect for those with skin that tends to get oily as the day goes on. My skin, (oily in the t-zone), stayed well moisturized all day and did not get greasy – perfect in my book.

On shelves this month at Saks, Bloomingdales, http://www.Sephora.com and http://www.lauramericier.com

I woke-up on a typical chilly morning in January, thirsty for water and my skin parched from the dry New York City heat. I immediately knew some instant hydration was needed. Luckily the Clarins HydraQuench Cream with SPF 15 was sitting on my vanity. After washing my face, I opened the sea-blue container and applied the divine cream all over my face. I noticed an immediate difference as my skin went from red, irritated and tight feeling to hydrated, more even and radiant. This brand new product from Clarins is meant for exactly that, to ensure balanced hydration and preserve skins freshness all day long, while the SPF 15 protects skin from sun damage and pollution. Clarins exclusive Katafray bark boosts the skins natural moisturization and the hyaluronic acid complex restores water to the skin for elasticity and firmness. This lotion really is magic in a jar.

Available fine department stores and http://www.clarinsusa.com

Olay is synonymous with good quality skincare, so when I had the chance to try their latest line of products available this month, I jumped at the opportunity. The Olay Pro-X line was designed by the Olay Professional Alliance for Skin Care Innovation, a group of dermatologists and Olay scientists. I tried the Olay Pro-X Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, due to its broad-spectrum sun protection, moisturization and anti-aging benefits. As you pump the lotion out of its professional red canister, the lightweight formula will hydrate the skin at the same time reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. After a few uses and applying my makeup over the lotion, I noticed how it helped my makeup go on smoother, kept my skin hydrated and my only qualm was that my skin did get a bit greasy at the end of the day. A main ingredient is Vitamin B3, which increases the skin renewal and improves the moisture barrier to help reverse the signs of past skin damage.

Available in drugstores and http://www.drugstore.com

A big fan of all things minerals, from mineral makeup to lotions, I was intrigued to try a new lotion from St. Ives called the Elements Mineral Moisturizer with SPF 15. Formulated with an essential blend of iron, potassium and calcium, this lightweight lotion is designed to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, while protecting it from sun damage, leaving skin soft and smooth, with no excess oil. As I pumped the lotion out of its clean white container, I immediately smelled a bit of an ocean-breeze (lovely!), applied it all over my face and was very pleased that it gave just the right amount of moisture and made my skin feel balanced all day. Dr. Gordon notes that the mineral moisturizer “contains a mix of different sunscreen ingredients, including homosalate and octisalate, which give a broad spectrum UVA and UVB block.”

Brand new and available in drugstores, mass retailers and http://www.stives.com

During the winter, the eye area is definitely a place I forget to protect with sunscreen. Often forgetting my sunglasses at home, my eyes are definitely in need of some help. I decided to try an affordable eye cream (its something I tend to go through quickly), from a brand I love and trust. I went for the first Garnier Nutritioniste Eye Cream with SPF, the Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage Eye Cream SPF 15 that reverses signs of sun damage around the eye area. The cream contains the natural skin nutrients: Lycopene, Vitamin C and soothing minerals. After applying, my eyes were more radiant and moisturized, allowing me to apply my powder eye shadows and eyeliner with no problem. The lotion is fragrance free, gentle and comes in a tiny green bottle, perfect for travel.

Available in drugstores and mass retailers and http://www.garnier.com

Originally published February 2009
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