September Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

september-birchbox

Hi everyone!  The last subscription box of the month is here and this month’s theme was all about multitaskers.

Take a look below to see what I received!

sept-bb

 

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

A creamy cleanser that sweeps away dirt and makeup while gently exfoliating.  This product was paired with a muslin cloth to aid in the removal of it, although you can remove it separately. First off, I really love how this product feels- so very creamy and luxurious.  However, it did leave a film behind and although I tried to remove it with a different cleanser, it never really went away.  It kind of made me breakout a little too.  I will try this again once the weather cools down.

Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

An eco-friendly, lightweight sunscreen that has a cucumber scent.  This is a chemical sunscreen that has antioxidants like evening primrose oil and acai which are a nice addition.  It doesn’t feel heavy at all but as much as I like Coola products, I’ve been receiving them a lot lately and would love to explore other brands.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk

This lip and cheek stick melt on contact with body heat for sheer, buildable color.  The sheer coral shade is a great option as a cheek color or lip shade.  I prefer to use it as a cheek shade and it goes on nicely and blends out evenly.  I will be trying this out further to see if it causes breakouts or not.

milk-perk-swatch

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

A lightweight formula that protects and adds gloss to hair ans strengthens and nourishes hair with watermelon, lychee and edelweiss.  I’m a fan of a few Oribe products so I was curious to see how this worked since I have color treated hair.  This did make my hair feel softer and left a nice, glossy sheen behind.  However, most Oribe in shower products cause a little bit of a reaction on me and this made me slightly itchy.  I might just use it sporadically to minimize the reaction time as I was impressed with the results.

Bonus: Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color

While I really like the Oribe shampoos and conditioners (hello amazing scent and lovely feel!), I do seem to have a reaction to them as my hair and body start to itch.  I decided to hold off on these as I tried the Oribe glaze and didn’t want to increase the risk for a reaction.

Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum

Notes of grapefruit, bergamot, jasmine, blue iris, blonde wood and white musk make up this scent. Unfortunately, this was a no-go for me as the scent of jasmine was a bit overwhelming.

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Overall, this box was just okay.  I could do without the perfume and while I appreciate the sunscreen, I have plenty samples to last me a while.

What do you think of this month’s Birchbox? Will you be keeping your subscription?

Stephanie 

 

July Birchbox Unboxing!

Birchbox July

Hi everyone!  Hope your weekend was great.  🙂  Today’s post will be a quick run through of  July’s Birchbox with my first impressions so let’s get to it!

Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub

This milky white scrub utilizes bamboo, tiny  jojoba beads and apple enzymes to exfoliate.  Compared to the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, this feels more gentle and hydrating.  According to the instructions, this can be used as a mask and left on for 1-3 minutes.  So far I like it.  Haven’t noticed any dramatic effects but it leaves skin smoother. *Note: this has cinnamon, clove and ginger extract so it may be a bit stimulating for sensitive skin.  Always conduct a patch test.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray 

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you’ll know I really love this spray and I was excited this was featured in July’s box.  It’s a smaller sample than the purse size option but is enough to give you a feel for the product.  I love using this product when I use a curling wand to curl my hair as it sets the style, adds texture without a sticky or stiff feel and smells ah-mazing.

Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 

Love that a sunscreen was included in this box as it’s essential for skin health.  Like the name implies, this feels like a serum which is so light-weight and absorbs quickly into the skin.  It’s a chemical based sunscreen which you can read about here. Definitely an easy sunscreen to work with underneath makeup as it doesn’t pill.  Best part?  Toss it in your bag to carry with you on the go or if it irritates your skin, try using it as hand sunscreen protection when you’re driving. Yes, our hands and body need protection too!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Bella 

I call this lipstick my ‘sitting pretty’ lipstick.  You know how you have those high heels that are so beautiful to look at but killer to wear so you use them only when you’re not going to be walking much? Well, the same concept applies to this lipstick.  It is a gorgeous, bright pink color that provides intense (and I mean intense) color in one stroke.  It does stain lips but it tends to move and transfers so if you’re planning on going out to eat while using this or are wearing white, I’d skip this or a least, use caution. Removing it with an oil based makeup remover works best.

theBalm cosmetics Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush 

I was surprised by how tiny this  sample is-a little bigger than my thumb.  You’re still able to pick up enough product with your brush but it takes a bit more effort.  The consistency is creamy and blends nicely but I think this is more bronzer than blush.  You can use this as blush-I love using bronzer as blush- but compared to the Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer, which has a lot more pink undertones, this one is a dusty rose shade that leans more towards tan.  Makes a great pick for summer.

JB Swatches

L-R: Bronzer/Blush and Bella

That’s it for today!

What did you think of this month’s Birchbox? 

Stephanie 

Skin Tip: Sunscreen Don’t!

Happy Friday readers!

With the long weekend ahead, most of us are going to be spending our time outdoors and by now, you should know one of the most essential items to carry with you is sunscreen. However, many people tell me they carry sunscreen and leave it in their car for future use which is a mistake.  The heat that accumulates in your car degrades the sunscreen, reducing its efficacy. To prevent this, carry it with you or store in a cooler.

*Sephora now has their Sun Safety Kit available for purchase which contains trial sizes of sunscreens that make it easy to carry when you’re on the go.  Visit sephora.com to learn more and you can also see up close pictures of the products through my Instagram.

Wishing you a safe weekend,

Stephanie

But I’m Sensitive To Sunscreen…

Sunscreen is perhaps one of the most, if not the most, important ingredient to guard against aging and more importantly, skin cancer.  However, I find that it is the skincare product most people skimp on.

“I’m sensitive to sunscreen,” or “It stings my eyes after a while,” are common responses as to why sunscreen isn’t used on a daily basis-if at all. While I too have suffered that wrath of a sunscreen that has seeped into my eyes (oh the stinging sensation!), there are plenty of options out there that won’t work against you.  Mineral sunscreens,in the form of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, may be your best bet.  The reason?  Whereas chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays and release them as heat, mineral or physical sunscreens sit on skin and reflect UVA and UVB rays, meaning less irritation.  Here’s a list of  some physical sunscreens you may want to look into.

Colorescience

http://www.colorscience.com  $52 and refills $25-$30

Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 30

Boasting the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval, this mineral sunscreen comes in a few select shades and finishes, making sunscreen reapplication easy.  Also worth checking out from this brand: Mineral Eyescreen SPF 30.

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Coola Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint

Formulated with shea butter and evening primrose oil that help retain moisture and rosehip oil which is rich in antioxidant vitamin C. Remember that antioxidants like vitamin C and E work synergistically with sunscreen.

jason

http://www.drugstore.com $14.95; Whole Foods

Jason Mineral Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30 

This sunscreen is fragrance free-great news if you are sensitive/allergic to fragrances-and includes calming aloe vera, chamomile and green tea.

 

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen Mineral Protection Fragrance Free Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Also fragrance free, this sunscreen provides antioxidant support from vitamin E and grapeseed oil and is gluten and paraben free.

 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, SPF 50 Face

An Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner, this paraben and fragrance free sunscreen has an ultra-light matte finish that won’t leave behind a white cast on your face.  It features Cell-Ox Shield technology which is comprised of physical sun filters for improved protection and a powerful antioxidant complex to protect from free radicals.

Once you find a sunscreen that works for you, it’s vital to remember to reapply every two hours or so, especially when you’re outdoors.  

Have a favorite mineral sunscreen you don’t see listed here?  Feel free to share!

 

Summer Leaving You Looking Like A Lobster?

lobster

Days spent at the beach or by the pool is one reason we love summer but sometimes this enjoyment renders one caveat: leaving us lobster hued.  Sunburns can be painful and in some cases be accompanied by blisters.  Note:  If you have blisters and severe swelling, seek medical attention immediately.

But once your sunburn heals and the peeling has stopped, all is good right?  Not really.  Sunburns can double your chance of developing melanoma later in life but it may take several years for the damage to show up.

So what is a sunburn and how do we get relief?

Simply put, your skin turning red is an indication that your skin has been severely damaged due to extreme UV exposure causing blood vessels to dilate.  The skin starts to lose moisture and hydration causing a feeling of tightness. Although our body can cope with minimal amounts of sun damage, the danger happens when our DNA becomes damaged and its repair process is compromised, which can lead to skin cancer.

Application

application

Application and reapplication of sunscreen is crucial.  Ensure you are applying enough- a teaspoon for the face and one ounce shot-glass size for the body- and reapply about every two hours.

Hydration

water

Your body is overheated so it’s important to drink a lot of water.

Skim Milk Cold Compress

skim milk

A cold compress or cloths soaked in skim milk can relieve pain-skim milk is the preferred choice because it does not have any fat content. The protein found in milk binds to the burned skin to soothe the pain.

OTC Remedies

meds

Aspirin or ibuprofen can slow down the inflammatory reaction.

Application of a 1% hydrocortisone cream may help with sunburn pain and swelling.

Simple DIY Remedy

 

yogurt

Plain cold yogurt can be used on sunburned areas.  Leave on for 10-20 minutes, then rinse off.

Final Say

Until your skin heals, stay away from the sun, heat, friction and excessive exercise and do not pick at loose skin-it can scar!  Avoid exfoliating and keep your skincare regimen simple.  The key is to soothe and calm inflammation.

 

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.

 

SPF Lip Product Guide!

While we may protect ourselves with sunscreen from face to toe, what about our lips?  Many of us forget about protecting our lips from the sun’s damaging rays, so I created a list of  great lip products with SPF.  From things you can find at your local drugstore or nearest Target to Sephora, perhaps you will see your favorites featured here or discover a new favorite one!

EOS

target.com; $2.99

EOS Lemon Drop SPF 15    $2.99 target.com

Summer definitely conjures up images of pitchers filled with ice cold lemonade, making this a fitting product for summer.  Housed in a spherical container, this lip balm contains vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil to help keep lips smooth with a hint of lemon.

FSCoral

sephora.com, $22.50

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 (Coral)  $22.50

I am a fan of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment because of its hydrating, long-lasting nature that also provides a hint of tint.  Coral is my choice for a fun summer color but there are other shades to suit your likes ranging from nudes, pinks, reds and plums.  The one deterrent is the price so for me, it’s definitely a splurge item.

JBLip

sephora.com, $7.50

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

Although this product is targeted for men, either gender can use and benefit from this lip balm.  It’s moisturizing without feeling overly heavy and absorbs fairly quickly, leaving lips soft without much shine.

soft lips

target.com, $1.99

Soft Lips Raspberry 

I used to carry these with me all the time and forgot how much I loved them.  True to the name, they keep your lips soft, and with a delicious raspberry scent and green tea extract, not to mention the great price point, you can keep them both or gift one to someone else.  Unlike other lip balms, these are encased in a slender tube, making them less bulky and space efficient.

baby lips

target.com, $2.99

 

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm SPF 20

Although these are not my absolute favorites, I do like them.  They do soften lips (albeit they don’t last long on me) and although the color range isn’t as expansive as the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments, the price definitely allows for multiple purchases.

What’s your favorite sun protecting lippie?

Father’s Day Skincare Gift Ideas!

Men’s skincare is too often overlooked but can make a world of a difference-and a great Father’s Day present!  So weather you’re still looking for gift options or you’re a guy who wants to step up his skin health, take a glance at some of the options below!

 

JackBlack

$52; sephora.com; getjackblack.com

Jack Black Core Collection

I’ve purchased and gifted this set several times and it always seems to be a crowd-pleaser.  This trio includes a facial cleanser, shaving lotion and face moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 20.  It’s fragrance and alcohol free and perfect for men who want a simplified routine.

dermalogica

$38, ulta.com

Dermalogica Shave System

This shaving kit includes two shaving creams (Pre-Shave Guard and Soothing Shave Cream) which can be used alone or together to help soften the beard. Other items included in this kit are Daily Clean Scrub, an exfoliating cleanser which helps minimize ingrown hairs;  Post-Shave Balm, which helps control oil and reduces redness that can occur after shaving; and Daily Defense Block SPF 15 is a matte sunscreen.

PCA Skin

$22, dermstore.com/ PCA Skin Representative

PCA Skin Total Face Wash Face & Body Cleanser

A 2-in-1 product for men on the go!  This gentle foaming cleanser is formulated with lactic acid to exfoliate, moisturize, and help prevent ingrown hairs and also doubles as a body wash in one easy step.  Antioxidant vitamin E improves the barrier function of the skin; soothing aloe, allantoin, and  bisabolol help to calm skin; and tea tree oil provides antiseptic properties.

AL

$48, sephora.com; $56 ulta.com

Anthony Logistics For Men The Essential Traveler Kit

This kit features an array of products that are perfect for those who travel or for those who want to get a feel for the products.  The Glycolic Facial Cleanser exfoliates and loosens dead skin cells to achieve a closer shave; the Shave Cream calms the skin and includes anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects; All Purpose Facial Moisturizer contains antioxidants vitamin C to brighten skin and vitamin E to help nourish skin; Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash incorporates Pro Vitamin B5 which promotes tissue healing in skin and helps to retain moisture ; Advanced Formula Lip Balm SPF 25 Mint and White Tea soothes, protects and conditions lips.

 

AOS Block

$20, sephora.com; theartofshaving.com

The Art Of Shaving Alum Block- Unscented

If you’re prone to nicks and cuts, this may be a product to check out.  The alum block helps stop bleeding from minor cuts and delivers antiseptic properties.

Have you tried any of these products?  What did you think of them? 

I am always looking for and researching new lines so if you have a skincare line you use and love, do share!  

Sephora Sun Safety Kit Review

Sephora Sun Kit

Sephora Sun Safety Kit, $32

Last week, Sephora released their annual Sun Safety Kit and I believe it is perfect timing since May is Skin Cancer Awareness month.  Since 90% of skin cancer is caused by the sun, I love that this kit provides an array of sunscreens you can try out.  This year, they included a lot more self-tan/bronzing products, which in my opinion is okay, but I would personally prefer more sunscreens.   All products are great for traveling and you can toss them in your purse, making it easier to reapply.  $20 of the proceeds go towards the Skin Cancer Foundation. Here is the breakdown of the kit, along with my thoughts and/or experience.

Sunscreens 

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20

IMG_20140518_132949_089-1

This is both a moisturizer and sunscreen, which is great if you want to cut down your morning/afternoon skincare routine time.  I find it has a slight medicinal-sunscreen like fragrance that while not overpowering, is prominent.  However, the scent does not linger after it is applied.  It feels a bit thick but it absorbed quickly into my skin and so far, has not broken me out.  Ingredients like enantia chlorantha bark extract and biotin can help control oil and it does contain a bit of vitamin C. *Note: No synthetic fragrances are added.

 

Bare Minerals ready Touch Up Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Translucent 

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I really like that they included a pressed powdered sunscreen instead of the loose powdered one.  Definitely not as messy.  I also love that this is an easy way to reapply SPF, especially if you are wearing makeup.  It also can work to keep shine at bay for those with oilier skin.  It’s also formulated with antioxidants like green tea, vitamin C, vitamin E, and grapeseed oil.

 

Clarins UV Plus HP Ecran Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Titanium Dioxide 

IMG_20140518_132615_358-1

This is a 100% mineral based sunscreen (titanium dioxide).  Personally, this is not my favorite as it leaves behind a white cast on my face and feels like a heavy sunscreen.  I do keep this in my purse though and apply to my hands while driving to keep them protected.  It does contain two notable antioxidants, green tea and vitamin E.  However, I also see that alcohol is listed as an ingredient but it doesn’t state which kind so it may be irritating to some.

Ole Henrikson Protect The Truth SPF 50+

IMG_20140518_132237_093-1

I don’t particularly love this sunscreen but I don’t hate it either.  The consistency is light-weight but it leaves behind a little bit of a white cast effect too.  It’s easily covered when you apply your foundation on top though, works fairly well under makeup and it contains vitamins A, C, and E, which are excellent antioxidants.  Another downside: There is a minute amount of fragrance added but it appears last on the ingredient list.

Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer with White Tea 

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Another time saver in the morning as it is both a moisturizer and sunscreen.  The scent is kind of herbal and citrus like and it does tend to linger a bit.  The texture is lightweight and it is oil-free.  The addition of  white tea and resveratrol are great antioxidants and can strengthen the efficacy of the sunscreen.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a complete list of the ingredients online, so I can’t tell if it has any added fragrance.  Bottom line: It’s good but not my favorite.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion Sunscreen Lotion

IMG_20140518_132049_185-1

This sunscreen definitely smells like a traditional sunscreen and it does feel a bit heavier.  While it didn’t make me break out, it tended to make my skin feel a bit more oily.  *Note: It is a chemical sunscreen, so if you are sensitive to chemical sunscreens and are looking for a physical sunscreen (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide), you may want to skip this one.  Noteworthy ingredients: Vitamins A,C and E, allantoin (a calming and soothing ingredient) and panthenol (pro vitamin B5 which is an humectant).

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ 

IMG_20140518_132714_790-1

Since the texture of this sunscreen is heavier, hence the cream factor, I think those who have a dry skin type would benefit from this.  What is great about this sunscreen is that it has the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal Of Recommendation for those who are active.  This means it “should protect the wearer from extended sun exposure, such as exposure received outdoors during recreational activities.”  It has also been found to include a water resistance factor, although as with any sunscreen, you must reapply every two hours or so, especially when outside.

Sunscreen Oil

Supergoop Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil with Meadowfoam Broad Spectrum SPF 50 

IMG_20140518_131323_391-1

 

I have not tried this one as I glanced through the ingredients and it contains coconut oil.  Although coconut oil may work for some, it makes me breakout when I use it on my face.  I feel this would really make me breakout and I would have to do more research on sunscreen oils.  Not entirely convinced on this idea yet. It is also a chemical sunscreen and lists tocotrienols (members of the vitamin E family), argan oil, grapeseed oil and shea butter among other ingredients.

Lip SPF

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

IMG_20140518_130752_951-2

I am glad that the kit this year included a lip product with SPF as sometimes we (yes, even me!) tend to forget about protecting our lips.  Fresh Sugar lip balms in general are pretty moisturizing but fee light-weight.  This particular one has a lemon scent, which is pretty perfect for summer.

Oil Control with SPF

Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 

IMG_20140518_131112_285-1

I think this mattifier would work great on oily skin.  It contains cinnamomum zeylanicum bark extract, which is excellent for treating acne; biotin and niacinamide, great for controlling oil production; and antioxidant vitamin E.  My skin isn’t too oily yet, but I will keep this around and see how it works. 

Bronzers

Dr. Denis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Anti-Aging Exfoliating Self-Tanner with Active Vitamin D and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Glow Moisture 

IMG_20140518_131812_806-1

I haven’t had luck with self-tanner towelettes and this was no exception.  In theory, this would be great because you receive exfoliation benefits as well as a nice tan.  However,  until I get the hang of how to use these, I will pass because they tend to streak and some areas are darker than others.

St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse 

IMG_20140518_132810_773-1

Of all the self-tanning products in this kit, I like this one the best.  It’s a dark-colored foam that is easy to apply and you can actually see where you are applying it.  I think this would work best on those who are fair-skinned.  The color looked the most natural on me but I am still working on learning how to apply it evenly.

 

Stila All Day10-in-1 HD Bronzing Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 30

IMG_20140518_132859_957-1

This is a BB cream with a bronze tint.  While I wouldn’t use it by itself, I may mix it in with my normal CC cream to add a hint of color.  It comes in a ‘universal’ shade, which by my experience won’t work on everyone.  Fragrance is listed rather high on the ingredient list so beware if you are sensitive to it.

Tarte Brazilliance Self Rejuvenating Maracuja Self Tanner 

IMG_20140518_131431_942-1

Sadly, this didn’t work out for me.  True to their claim, this did not turn orange, but on me, it looked muddy.  Definitely not natural.  I know the full size comes with a mitt so maybe that might make a difference.  This does contain vitamins A,C, and E but is also lists fragrance towards the top of the ingredient list.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep Matte Bronzer

IMG_20140518_131935_461-1-1

Love this bronzer.  It is a matte finish (perfect for my skin since it tends to get oilier in the summer), great for contouring or adding a hint of color, is travel sized and has a mirror attached on the inside.

You can purchase the kit at Sephora stores or you can ask for samples to try them out.  I hope this review was helpful!

Hello Sunshine!

sunshine

Spring is here and with the weather warming up, we’re bound to spend more time outside enjoying the sun.  Our exposure to sunlight creates vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is important for enabling the body to properly absorb and use calcium, which is needed for proper bone development and maintenance; it’s also essential for cell growth, wound healing, proper barrier function and recently, research has suggested it may protect against cancer. Deficiencies in vitamin D can cause rickets leading to bowed legs in children; osteomalacia in adults, which is the gradual softening and bending of the bones; and nervous system irritability.

Although sunlight is our natural source for vitamin D production, we must also be mindful that the skin is severely damaged by sun exposure.  So, how can we balance the beneficial effects against the detrimental consequences?

Minimal amounts of sunshine are all that is necessary for vitamin D synthesis and wearing SPF is still absolutely crucial in maintaining skin health.  Other sources of vitamin D include dairy(e.g. fortified milk), fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines in oil and mackerel, and mushrooms exposed to UV.  Supplements are a third option, however always consult your physician first to determine if this is an appropriate choice for you.

*Note: Be wary of tanning salons who claim tanning beds can produce vitamin D.  UVB produces vitamin D and tanning beds use UVA.  Excessive and unprotected exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer!

Complete avoidance of the sun is not really possible nor desirable.  After harsh cold weather, sunny days provide a perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy life.  So relish watching flowers bloom, take a relaxing yoga class at the beach-just make sure you stay protected and practice better judgement!

What’s your favorite spring time activity?

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.

Sunscreen 101!

Sunscreen 2

Different seasons bring a host of new trends in the beauty industry- think pastel washes of color, orange lipstick, the coveted au naturale look- but what’s one trend we should implement and follow all year-round?

Sunscreen!

Whether you are male or female, have a skincare regimen in place or not, sunscreen should be a staple product in your arsenal.  The immense danger of exposure to UV radiation is skin cancer, however skin cancer is almost entirely preventable if you choose the right sunscreen and apply with slavish devotion.  The sun is also a main culprit in the causes of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and saggy skin-even going out for a quick walk or running an errand in your car exposes you to the sun’s damaging rays!

While there is a plethora of sunscreens to choose from, you don’t have to spend a fortune to protect yourself.  Here is a brief insight into sunscreen.

Broad-spectrum

Make sure that your sunscreen offers broad-spectrum coverage, which will protect you from UVA and UVB rays.  UVA rays cause premature aging and UVB rays are known as the tanning and burning rays; both cause cancer.

Sun Protection Factor

The term “SPF” is the abbreviation for a product’s Sun Protection Factor.  The level of protection is not proportionate with SPF rating, meaning a higher SPF doesn’t mean more protection.  In fact, an SPF of 15 provides protection from 93% of the sun’s rays, SPF 30 protects from 97% of the sun’s rays and an SPF 60 protects 98%.  No sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays and it is important to reapply every 2 hours during outdoor activities, sweating or swimming.

Types: Physical and Chemical

Physical sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin and reflect or scatter UV radiation before it can reach the epidermis. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide compose this category.

Zinc oxide is a great option for those who have sensitive skin or rosacea.

Chemical sunscreens have a strong ability to effectively absorb UVB radiation before they can damage the skin. Look for:  Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Homosalate, Octyldimethly PABA (Padimate O), Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Avobenzone (Parasol 1789), and/or Ecamsule (Mexoryl).

Bonus: Antioxidants

Sunscreens formulated with antioxidants can further protect against harmful UV rays and damaging free radicals.

Caffeine, silymarin (from milk thistle), genistein ( a soy isoflavone), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid)  are examples of common added antioxidants.

Application

According to the FDA, the correct amount of product to use is a teaspoon for the face and a shot glass for the body. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure.  Remember, constant reapplication is key, even with sweat and water resistant sunscreens!  Also, avoiding prime sun hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) if you can, and covering up with shades and a hat helps.

Overall

Physical sunscreens are typically a good option for sensitive skin types and offer UVA and UVB protection.  Chemical sunscreens offer adequate protection from UVB rays but frequently don’t offer favorable protection against UVA rays. Blended sunscreens (physical and chemical) with the addition of antioxidants are ideal, however the type of sunscreen that will work best depends on your skin and how it reacts. Sometimes, it takes a couple of trial and error sessions to figure out what the best formulation is for you.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Feel free to comment or ask a question!