Sunscreen is an everyday necessity, but even the SPF-agnostic recognize its value when warmer, sunnier weather starts. Not all sunscreens, though, are created equal. To begin with, many only protect against UVB rays, when you need protection from the similarly dangerous and far more skin-aging UVA rays as well. And on a more immediate level, a few sunscreen ingredients are common skin irritants, meaning that there's a chance you could experience breakouts. To find out what to look for — and what to avoid — just keep reading.
New warnings from the American Academy of Dermatology state that athletes, both professional and amateur, are at high risk for developing skin cancer. Outdoor athletes face the most risk because perspiring intensifies risk. Even though we're not all classified athletes, most of us are taking our exercises outdoors this summer. So here are a few reminders on staying smart while exercising outdoors this summer:
- Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. Look for the AAD SEAL OF RECOGNITION on products that meet these criteria.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.
- Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Protect children from sun exposure by applying sunscreen.
- Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements. Don't seek the sun.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you've been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
- Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
New from The Balm is the San Francisco brand's latest and greatest product, called Balm Shelter SPF 18. This unbelievably weightless tinted moisturizer has an active ingredient called avobenzone, which helps protect skin from sun damage by absorbing both UVA and UVB rays.
Although this ingredient is not oil-free, it is non-comedogenic, which means that even though it contains oil, it won't clog your pores. See, you thought Bella was all fluff, but you guys are constantly adding new lingo to your vocabulary.
I learned all about this moisturizer last week during my afternoon lunch with The Balm's CEO, Marissa Shipman. Balm Shelter will be available in three shades — light, light/medium, and medium — and is set to hit stores within the next couple of weeks.
Indulgences usually come with a price. Envision your body getting toasty warm and turning a gorgeous golden color. While that used to be fun as a child, if you haven't already learned by now - exposure to the sun without sunscreen can result in premature aging as well as skin damage and skin cancer.
The summer months are soon approaching and now is the time to respect and protect yourself. As I am sure you already know (but reminders never hurt), sunscreen should be applied evenly to your skin 30 minutes before exposure. Re-apply throughout the day and especially after swimming. Here are three of my favorite sensitive sunscreens for your face:
Apivita's Propoline High Protection Face Cream SPF 30 , $21, is suitable for those with sensitive/dry skin. It uses organic filters and is water resistant.
Its special ingredient is grape seed which is a natural botanical that helps fight aging by neutralizing free radicals. This sunscreen will help block out harmful UVA and UVB rays, hydrate your skin as well as strengthen your skin's natural defense system. Oh, and it smells amazing!
To see more facial sunscreens with SPF 30, read more