When I'm at shows, some of the most common questions I'm asked are:
- How do I get rid of wrinkles?
- and How do I get rid of sun spots?
Have you ever heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Sure enough, preventing wrinkles and sun spots (not to mention SKIN CANCER!!!) has proven fairly easy with just the addition of sunscreen to your routine.
I DO NOT make sunscreen. Why? Because sunscreen is considered a drug and subject to rigorous FDA testing. But as a skin care specialist, I do have recommendations for which one you should choose. Scroll down to see my preferences. But first, let me answer your questions about why we need sunscreen.
Aside from preventing the signs of aging, sunscreen is important for another reason. Any time you use a regimen designed to counteract aging or treat acne, the goal is to reveal new skin and remove the dull, dead skin in the top layer. This is done gently at home, or more aggressively by an esthetician or dermatologist. They might use chemical peels in the office. We might use more mild fruit acids at home. But either way, these new skin cells are fragile and more sensitive to the sun. Sun screen helps protect them. In other words, go through a whole bunch of treatment and don't use sunscreen? You might be worse off than you started.
Sunscreen should be applied every two hours. I used to agonize over this. Before I knew about the alternatives, I hated the traditional messy creams and the greasy sprays. Applying every two hours is especially important if you're outside, even if it's cool or cloudy. It definitely doesn't take warm weather to burn. But it's also important inside or if you're in your car because UV rays can penetrate windows.
Keep in mind that it's best to limit exposure between 10 am and 4 pm even if you're wearing sunscreen.(1) You should also add a stylish hat and sun blocking clothing to your sun fighting array.
Does this mean all sun exposure is bad? No, not at all. We need the sun for our bodies to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D can reduce the risk of MS, helps build and maintain your bones, (2) and decrease aches and pains. And Vitamin D deficiency is very common, especially in the northern half of the United States, and this even includes my state of Kansas.
Just a short amount of sun exposure 2-3 times per week can get you the Vitamin D you need in southern climates. I implore you to keep the sunscreen on your face and neck at all times though. And for goodness sakes, do not use tanning beds.
Ok, so on to my favs for sunscreen. I actually have two, but I will also give you my sister-in-law's favorites. She is an esthetician.
My #1 favorite product is Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist. The ingredients are mostly clean (this is very hard to find in a sunscreen), it smells nice, and it sprays in the finest mist. My esthetician sister-in-law says it's more of the two hour touch-up product, but I've used it without anything else and not burned. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Homosalate 4.0%, Octinoxate 6.0%, Octisalate 3.0% Inactive Ingredients: Alcohol Denat., Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Isododecane, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Stem/Leaf Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, PVP, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Silica Silylate, Water
Other Supergoop! products I've tried are Unseen Sunscreen, which applies like a primer right after your moisturizer. I loved this product until I saw the ingredients, which are really not clean. 100% Mineral Mattescreen is also not clean and is hard to remove at the end of the day. And the Mineral Invicible Setting Powder leaves your chalky. For my money, I'd stick with the setting mist.
My second favorite product is Suntegrity Impeccable Skin. (linked to my color) It comes in five different colors and applies like makeup. It's pretty thick, but I never feel like it's heavy. I would call the coverage medium. It tends to stay shiny, so I apply powder over it. But if you like the all over glossy look, you really wouldn't need that. I have not found it to clog pores, and I'm pretty sensitive to that. The best part? The ingredients are really pretty clean.
Active Ingredients: 15% Zinc-Oxide (non-nano) Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Purified Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C13-15 Alkane, Glycerin, Lauroyl Lysine, Polyglyceryl-2 Oleate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Melanin, Bisabolol, Hyaluronic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Phospholipids, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Sodium Chloride, Propylene Carbonate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Titanium Dioxide (C.I.77891), Iron Oxides (C.I.77492, C.I. 77491, C.I.77499)
This is the only product I've tried from Suntegrity, but I would definitely like to try more.
My sister-in-law likes TIZO AM Replenish. And she says, "It has a smooth, silky texture, doesn't run when you're exercising/sweaty, and can easily be used under makeup if that's your style." I'm not a huge fan of the ingredients, but like I said, it's HARD to find a good and clean sunscreen.
So what's the takeaway from all this?
- Please, please, please wear sunscreen!
- There are sunscreens available to use after a nice moisturizer like mine, that are not goopy, oily, or runny.
- Don't forget to reapply your sunscreen.
- If you're a manufacturer and happen to be reading this, give us a clean sunscreen! Consumers demand both a luxurious product and green ingredients. There's definitely a big opening here for someone.