The first time (about 10+ years ago) my dermatologist told me to incorporate sunscreen into my daily skin care regiment, I looked at her like she had two heads. At that time I didn’t understand the importance of sunscreen during non-summer months…and as a beautiful brown woman of color, I definitely did not understand the need to protect my skin against the sun. I mean, hello…I have built-in SPF 15 (I thought). My dermatologist educated me on the benefits of daily sunscreen and sent me home with an MD Forte product that, when applied, made me as white as a ghost. The formula had a severe grey-ish purple tint. Meh! How was I supposed to embrace sunscreen and its anti-aging benefits when it made me look so hideous. Back then SPF formulations were terrible. I wandered aimlessly from sunscreen to sunscreen trying to find a product that could be worn everyday without making my face look like a pastey purpley greyish mess!
Well that was then and this is now. Sunscreen has come a long way baby. Today, effective SPF products come in many innovative forms (sprays, towelettes, gels, powders, etc) and formulas. I currently faithfully wear sunscreen 365 days a year and have a wrinkle free face as proof. The lovely young woman in my local coffee shop (slash office) thought I was 23…bless her heart!
When it comes to skincare, I’ll step on my soap box in a minute. I LOVE makeup but good skin care is crucial. You all know what my daily regiment is like. However, if you listen to nothing else, listen to this. WEAR SUNSCREEN DAILY. For the record, I pretty much SPF 30 everyday. Sometimes I do the occasional SPF 15. Clarins SPF 15 Multi Active Day Cream is a wonderful product (*UPDATE* As of 5/31/12 original product mentioned appears to have been discontinued. Found Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Corrective Lotion with SPF 20) Clinique Even Better is a solid choice) but my preference is SPF 30. (Mario Badescu Oil Free SPF 30 is my current SPF 30 of choice).
Dermalogica Solar Defense SPF 30 Booster is one of my personal favs from way back. My dermatologist turned me to this product a few years ago and I often recommend it to friends and clients. Solar Defense Booster can be mixed with your foundation or moisturizer or applied directly to the face for maximum SPF 30 protection. The formula is free of artificial fragrance and color. Over time Vitamins C and E, Green Tea, and Grape soothe, smooth and help protect against free radical damage. Solar Defense Booster shields against both UVA and UVB rays.
If a physical blocker is more your speed, try….oh wait a minute. Do you know the difference between a physical blocker sunscreen and a chemical absorber sunscreen? Well lets pause for a quick lesson.
Topical sunscreens are broken down into two groups, chemical absorbers and physical blockers. Chemical absorbers work by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation and can be further categorized by the type of radiation they absorb, UVA or UVB, or both UVA and UVB. Physical blockers work by reflecting or scattering the UV radiation. A few common chemical absorbers ingredients include:
- Octyl methoxycinnamate
Chemical absorbing sunscreens are often mixed with a combination of ingredients to provide broad spectrum coverage against both UVB and UVA radiation.
Certain individuals are allergic to chemical absorbers and can only wear physical blocker sunscreen. The two most common physical blockers are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens contain powdered versions of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which reflect light, keeping it from penetrating skin. Physical sunscreens are not known to cause allergic reactions. While the aforementioned ingredients are ideal with respect to broad spectrum UV protection, their poor cosmetic appearance leaves much to be desired. When applied to the skin, physical blockers tend to have a whitening effect.
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 offers broad spectrum protection without the unflattering after effect of a physical blocker. The lightweight mattifying fluid spreads evenly and dries quickly to a transparent finish on light to medium complexions. The revolutionary formula contains 5% Zinc Oxide/ 6% Titanium Dioxide and is ideal for individuals who are allergic to chemical sunscreen or individuals with extremely sensitive skin. This product is truly impressive because the words “sheer” and “physical sunscreen” have never truthfully existed in the same sentence…until now! SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 is my go-to sunscreen for morning runs!
Dr Dennis Gross Powerful Sun Protection SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen Towelettes are perfect for the gal, guy, or mommy on the go. The geniuses in R&D at Dr Dennis Gross deserve a gold star for this little innovation. I keep a few pre-moistened individually packaged towelettes in my purse and whip them out whenever I’m out in the sun for an extended period of time. While the oil-free and Vitamin C enriched formula is perfectly safe for use on the face, I mainly use Daily Sunscreen Towelettes on my arms and legs. I regularly SPF my face in the mornings but sometimes forget about the rest of my body until I find myself standing in an hour long line at Shake Shack thinking, “oh the damage this sun is doing to my precious body”. During moments like those I rip open a towelette and go to town….wrinkly leathered skin averted!
Another convenient on-the-go sunscreen product is KORRES Sweet Orange Sprayable Sunscreen Emulsion. (*UPDATE* As of 5/31/12 It appears this product has been discontinued and I was unable to find a replacement product from the brand. For on the go Sunscreen try Philosophy Here Comes The Sun Age-Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen for Body, it offers both UVA and UVB protection.
Packed with Vitamin C and other antioxidants, this oil-free sunscreen is ideal for individuals with photosensitive complexions. KORRES Sweet Orange Sprayable Sunscreen Emulsion provides broad spectrum UVA-UVB-IR sun protection. The sweet orange scent is a pleasant bonus!
Janson Beckett Sun Block Daytime Moisturizer SPF40 is an effective day cream and SPF all-in-one. The greaseless formula contains Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, and Soluble Collagen to plump and moisturize skin. I love that the silky formula absorbs quickly and leaves skin prepped for foundation. The finish feels like nothing yet it provides a high level of UVA/UVB protection.
VMV HYPOALLERGENICS is a brand that is new to me and one that I am very excited to share with ThisThatBeauty. The brand offers a broad selection of hypoallergenic products that exclude ingredients that known irritants. VMV’s hypoallergenic products are all rated on a “VH (Validated Hypoallergenic) – Number” rating system. A product’s VH-Number directly correlates with the number of allergens the product DOES NOT contain, as referenced by the list of allergens compiled by the North American Dermatitis Group and the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). Most VMV products have a VH-Number” ratign of 76, which means it contains none of the 76 known cosmetic and non-cosmetic allergens.
VMV’s Armada Face Cover SPF30 offers intensive protection against skin darkening and melasma. This product is quickly becoming my favorite and here’s why! What I find most impressive (and unique) about VMV’s Armada Face Cover SPF30 is that it offers both outdoor and indoor protection…so that means that it protects against UVA, UVB, and PFV. PFV is visible light protection against indoor light sources like halogens, fluorescents, computer screens, and heat from saunas or ovens.
For those of you who are concerned about hyperpigmentation and the sun’s harmful effects, Armada Face Cover can help. The product has protection so opaque that by using it daily, both indoors and outdoors can help to lighten dark spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation. Don’t let the products claim of “opaque protection” scare you. The formula applies sheer and quickly dries to a smooth soft matte finish.
Experience VMV at a 10% savings. Use code: VMVTHISTHATB. The code is valid until Dec 31, 2010, 12AM EST
Are you ready for SPF on a stick? Next up is Clinique SPF35 Targeted Protection Stick.
Clinique’s SPF35 Targeted Protection Stick is the brand’s latest offering from their Suncare With SolarSmart line. This travel-friendly stick option features vitamin and E jojoba to condition the skin and a blend of photostable sunscreens such as avobenzone to protect against UVA rays. Clinique’s SPF35 Targeted Protection Stick also features Clinqiue’s SolarSmart 3:1 technology, where UVB protection is three times proportional to UVA protection.
This month Lancome introduces Génifique Sôleil Face Cream SPF30 and SPF50. The product is said to be the brand’s “first sunshield to protect skin proteins”. The technologically advanced formulation incorporates a broad-spectrum multi-filter system to shield against UVA and UVB ra. The formula is water- and sweat-resistant. The summery floral oriental aroma is a nice touch!
If you have yet to check out the new line of SPF 50 products from Physician’s Formula you are missing out. The newly launched Healthy Wear collection features pressed bronzer, powder foundation, and tinted moisturizer. All deliver maximum SPF 50 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection while providing sheer and natural-looking color. The anti-aging formula incorporates Licorice Extract and Tomato Derivatives to help brighten skin and diminish the appearance of sun spots. This Frugalista friendly line of sunscreen products is probably most appropriate for women who are fair to tan. Be on the lookout for an upcoming review of Physician’s Formula Bronze Boosting Glow Boosting Pressed Shimmer Bronzer. Christene Carr, a new ThisThatBeauty contributor, is currently road testing the bronzer…more soon! (*UPDATE* See review here.)
Dior Capture Totale Solaire Global Anti-Aging Multi-Protective Suncare SPF20 is an anti-aging skincare product with UV protection. The satiny cream protects skin by forming a UV shield on the skin’s surface. This luxurious product contains the Dior Cell-Protection Complex, which is formulated with jasmine extracts to stimulate the natural capacity of cells to produce their own anti-oxidant defenses. This is most definitely a splurge product! (*UPDATE* As of 5/31/12 it appears this product has been discontinued. Please click here for Dior SPF products.)
Earlier this year Darphin launched Vital Protection Age-Defying Protection Lotion SPF50. This sheer, hydrating lotion has a high SPF and incorporates both chemical and natural filters to protect against UV rays. Vital Protection Age-Defying Protection Lotion SPF50 is formulated with exclusive triple biological shield technology: botanical shield, which contains edelweiss, vitamin E and C to neutralize free radicals; enzymatic shield, which contains Venuceane to assist in detoxifying the skin; and cellular shield, which contains Transluce, an enzyme with light-resistant properties.
Naturally active skincare company Liz Earle has reformulated its sun cream using mineral sunscreens. The new Mineral Sun Cream SPF20 is formulated to reflect rather than absorb harmful UVA and UVB rays. The light formula is fragrance-free and contains shea butter as well as natural antioxidants pomegranate, green tea and natural-source vitamin E.
Neutralize free radicals with clinically proven Idebenone. PREVAGE® Day Ultra Protection Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 PA++ is a lightweight moisturizer with both high level SPF protection and revolutionary antioxidant Idebenone. My derm first told me about Idebenone years ago…it works to neutralize free radicals and improve improve the appearance of dry, sun damaged skin. This luxurious splurge is ideal for individuals who seek brighter, more radiant skin and an all-in-one product to help achieve maximum results!
Last, but certainly not least — don’t forget to protect your lips! Jane Iredale Lip Drink SPF 15 is a colorless SPF 15 lip product that nourishes the lips! Lip Drink does not contain petroleum-derived products so there’s no chance of the treatment drying out your lips. The formula consists of a base of macadamia nut oil combined with edible zinc oxide, green tea extract, Vitamin E and C. It is flavored with a refreshing mixture of lemon and orange oils. Give your usual lip balm a break and try one with SPF protection!