May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month so we are going to help spread the word this month in a series o f articles focused on one of our favorite subjects – sun protection! The weather is starting to get warmer and summer is just around the corner, so it’s perfect timing to start thinking seriously about sun block. Of course, we advocate wearing sunscreen every day of the year, regardless of season, but now is the time when it becomes more crucial as we spend more time outdoors and the sun’s rays are getting stronger. While I can talk for days about why wearing sun block and makeup with sun protection in it is important, we’ll focus on targeted areas and what functional products will do the job. One of the must-have products during the summer is facial sunscreen. Let’s face it; your face is your money maker and you don’t want to be seen looking like a shriveled fig. Sun damage causes premature aging and can make you look more than 10 years older than you really are. I don’t know about you, but I will do whatever it takes to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay completely out of the sun. These sun protective cosmetics are easy to use, easy to remember and will do the job phenomenally well when you need it.
Starting with the first step of your skin routine, use an SPF moisturizer. This will help give you a great base before makeup, keep your skin hydrated and offer the protection that it needs all in one cream. I love iQ Derma’s Life Without Wrinkles Day Cream SPF 25 Moisturizer. It is very lightweight and doesn’t make your makeup ball up and flake off. It’s the perfect base with added protection. If you don’t normally use a moisturizer before you apply your makeup, there’s also foundation with SPF available. SPF foundation is another great way to utilize your normal makeup routine while incorporating sun care.
So your makeup is done and you’ve got your face well protected for the day. Sun protection doesn’t stop there. What most people don’t realize is that for an SPF to be effective, it has to be re-applied! There is also a universal misconception of what the Sun Protection Factor actually means. Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how much protection you get from UVB rays (the rays that cause sunburn). So, if you wear SPF 15, it will take 15 times longer for you to burn than if you didn’t wear any sun block. SPF does not account for protection against UVA rays, which are the nasty rays most associated with the visible signs of aging and also skin cancer. Learn more about UV rays from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Here are some factors that influence the efficacy of your SPF:
- Your skin type
- The amount applied and how often you re-apply
- Activities that you engage in (i.e. swimming leads to a loss of sunscreen)
- The amount of sunscreen your skin has actually absorbed.
This is why it’s so important to re-apply throughout the day. If you aren’t sun bathing and aren’t in need of SPF lotion every 2 hours –Let’s be honest, I’m not rubbing oily SPF on my face every 20 minutes- then I highly recommend a SPF mineral makeup brush. This multi-functioning product is easy to use and very effective. I use Colorescience’s Sunforgettable Brush SPF 30 while I’m on the go and keep it in my purse so it’s always available. At the same time of providing my skin with SPF, it also takes away shine and offers mineral coverage when I need it. Not only is it a fabulous multi-functioning product, but it’s recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. If you want something a little smaller, you can also use their smaller Sunforgettable Orb which you can choose in your next Beautyfix kit!
I’m truly a believer that sunscreen should be worn year round with no exceptions – (unless it’s night-time.) Your skin is your largest organ and is your body’s first level of defense against the sun’s rays. There is NO excuse not to take care of it. This means, be dedicated to taking care of it. Moisturize, protect and don’t bake in the sun until you’re burnt. And ladies please, if the new tanning tax wasn’t enough, no tanning beds! The last thing you want is to be in a doctor’s office waiting for your melanoma to be cut out. If you aren’t protecting your skin, then you should stay out of the sun or at home.
P.S. I’ve talked about your face but don’t forget to protect your lips also! Coola’s Liplux is awesome!
What are you sun care favorites?