Tag Archives: Sunscreen

Best Sunscreen Reviews – 5 Top Picks

27 Jun

Summer has once again blessed our skin with its radiant presence. From beaches to mountains to time at the park, many of us spend more time outdoors during the long warm summer days. With increased exposure to UVA (age rays) and UVB (burn rays) it’s critical that we protect our skin from the suns harmful rays. More than ever before, we have options ranging from physical to chemical protectants. Since finding the right sunscreen can be such a challenge, I thought that I would share my experience with some wonderful products. Here are some of my favorites selected randomly from products that I’ve used most recently. If you want information about other products, leave a comment and I’ll respond with any information that I may have!

La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50 (about $31.95). 100% mineral protection. This product is remarkable, when you first place it on your fingers you may find yourself questioning if it is really a sunscreen because it is so light and fluid. The formulation is truly non-whitening and its lightweight perfection, seriously you don’t feel like you’ve just applied a sunscreen, it feels more like a very light treatment product. Some noteworthy benefits are its Titanium Dioxide broad spectrum protection and the Cell-Ox Shield which is a powerful antioxidant formula featuring Senna Alata extract, a medicinal plant that has healing properties. Other benefits include its photo-stability, a matte finish that doesn’t leave you shiny, and the fact that it is free of parabens, PABA, and fragrance. The biggest selling points for me is that it’s super lightweight and feels like nothing is applied to the skin once dry. This product is great for outdoor activities or prolonged sun exposure.

NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 (about $45.00). Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation this product offers 100% mineral protection. Though it does go on white, it absorbs quickly and leaves a silky feeling versus the normal gooey feeling felt with other sunscreens. The result when applied and absorbed is more like a makeup primer, when make-up or tinted moisturizer is applied over it, the application is smoother than normal and leaves your skin looking like it has a healthy brightness to it. That said, this sunscreen can be felt little more under makeup but only if you touch your skin, it’s not heavy at all, it just feels like a primer. The formulation on this one includes broad spectrum physical protection using micronized Titanium Dioxide (9.45%)  and Zinc Oxide (3.6%). It also includes vitamin E and the Pro-Niacin (5%) patented molecule that is designed to deliver Niacin into the skin. Niacin helps improve the appearance of sun damage and hyperpigmentation, with that in mind, I think of this product like a sunscreen, moisturizer, and treatment all in one. There is a whole other science behind the Pro-Niacin so I highly recommend researching that ingredient to discover the benefits of it. One con to this product is that some folks are sensitive to Niacin and it can cause redness if you are sensitive to that ingredient specifically, otherwise its good for all skin types. This product is great for outdoor activities or slightly longer sun exposure.

Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF30 Brush Perfectly Clear (about $50.00) Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation this product offers broad spectrum mineral protection. This product is a great alternative to a cream or lotion. This unique product is a mineral powder SPF that is contained within its own brush application system thus it is a highly convenient SPF solution that is safe for the entire family, it travels very well in your purse with no worries of leakage. This product is also water-resistant and uses the Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as a physical sun barrier that won’t absorb into the skin. The biggest selling points for me are that it’s a powder, it lasts a long time, and is super convenient. It does feel a little grainy to me, but I’m not generally into powder so that is likely a personal bias matter.

BareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen (about $28.00).  Another product recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Winner of a 2010 CEW Beauty Award, this SPF is a mineral powder that is preservative free and offers broad spectrum protection using Micronized Titanium Dioxide. It also has Aloe Vera Extract and Vitamins A,C, and E which are your core antioxidants essential to healthy skin. This product is a great alternative to the Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF30 if you are looking for a lower price point. It also didn’t feel as grainy to me.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All In One Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 ($44.00). LOVE! This is a favorite of mine. The smooth texture and moderate coverage makes this the perfect all in one product. No make-up application required and the SPF protection is perfect for daily use with minimal sun exposure. To increase coverage, simply let first layer of product dry, then apply another layer. Single layer application is plenty of coverage for most people. The downside, its pricy and the container is not huge. It is well worth the price if you don’t mind spending a couple of extra bucks to save time, a little does go a long way, I just wish it would last forever.

To read more about sunscreens and the importance of consistent use, please visit The Skin Cancer Foundation for important and even lifesaving information.

How to get healthy skin – part two

8 Aug

How to get healthy skin – part two

Can the secret to healthy skin really be demystified? I am here to let you in on my secret…there is no “secret” to healthy skin, just a lot of common sense!

In part one of “how to get healthy skin” we discussed the benefits of a healthful diet abundant in vegetables and fruit and moderate in healthy proteins. We also talked about the importance of antioxidants and how to make food selections which optimize the external benefits on the skin. With no single correct answer on how to get healthy skin, we will explore our second common sense factor – your skin care regimen.

So many wonder if healthy, beautiful, luminous skin is really possible just by eating right…it’s not likely. Others wonder how they can retain the skin of their youth…nothing lasts forever! So let’s dive into our second article. 

Part two of the “how to get healthy skin” series focuses on incorporating a healthy skin care regimen. In short, gently cleanse twice a day for normal, combo and dry skin, cleanse more if you are oily. Treat your skin for any concerns such as acne, wrinkles, crow’s feet, rosacea, dark circles etc. Moisturize twice a day, even if you are oily…don’t freak out oily folks! I will explain how to moisturize your skin with out adding oil. Exfoliate 1-2 times per week except in the summer. Protect your skin daily using an SPF30 during all seasons. 

Cleans: Most individuals can cleanse each morning and each night with out causing any concerns. Individuals who are oily may wish to cleans more often, be careful to not over cleans your skin by washing too often (more than 4 times per day) unless you are instructed to do so by your dermatologist. Why cleanse at night? Your skin regenerates at night while you sleep. While you sleep your skin is actively working to repair damage done during the day; this is when your cells are most actively turning over. When you sleep with make-up or other environmental elements on your skin, such as pollution, you are damaging your skin and providing a great foundation for other issues to crop up. Believe it or not, some experts state that you age up to two days for every one night you sleep without cleansing your face before bed. Perhaps that is just a scare tactic to sell more skin care products BUT think about it, how good can it be to sleep with all of the day’s exposure on your skin. Eventually you will see congestion, possible break outs and you will experience generally dull skin. For cleansing, use gentle products with minimal fragrance; remain clear of those apricot pit scrubs! Those are terrible for your skin. Use warm, not hot, water for best results as hot water will over dry and scold your skin. I suggest using an eye make-up remover if you wear mascara and eye liner.

Treat: For those of you that need or like treatment (anyone over the age of 20), most treatments are applied before a moisturizer. Some individuals use a toner and a treatment after cleansing, and this is fine. Toner is applied first, then the treatment. In most cases toner is not entirely necessary but many love it…so tone away if you’d like. For treatment, I am referring to retinol treatments, vitamins (A, C, E), alpha hydroxyl acids, beta hydroxyl acids, antioxidants, etc. Whatever your choice of treatment, they are generally applied under your moisturizer.

Moisturize: This is a critical step in your skin care regimen. Adding hydration to the skin no less than twice per day will help in the appearance of your skins tone, texture and suppleness. Select your moisturizer carefully as you do not want to add oil to your skin, just hydration! Remember moisturizer does not have to mean oil! There are a lot of oil free moisturizers on the market today, nearly every one of your high end or dermatologist recommended products will have oil free hydration options for your skin. Individuals with oily skin should be aware that adding hydration to the skin can greatly help reduce the amount of oil that your skin produces, thereby reducing you’re your chances for acne to form. When you over cleans your skin, or add too much treatment, the skin will naturally produce more oils to help protect itself! Image that! If you would like suggestions on selecting a moisturizer let me know. 

Exfoliate no more than twice per week using a mask, peel or scrub. Reduce exfoliation in the summer to once per week or even every other week as your skin will become more sensitive to the sun through the exfoliation process. If you would like recommendations, let me know, I can post some goodies!  

Protect: Always wear a sunscreen during the day. Exposure to UV radiation (UVA/UVB) is damaging to the collagen fibers and elastin proteins in your skin. The damages cause premature aging in the form of wrinkles, rough skin, hyperpigmentation, dryness and sallow unattractive skin.

Regardless of the season, sunscreen containing SPF30 or greater should be worn for prolonged sun exposure or anytime when you will be spending more than a few minutes in the sun. If you are just walking from your car to the office, an SPF20 should be fine. If at the beach, gardening or other outside activity, you may want to consider wearing a hat to protect your skin further for the sun’s harmful rays.

Stay tuned for more tips on – how to get healthy skin – part three!

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