What to look for when buying a product with SPF
Most experts recommend checking the list of ingredients for two things: the first is to see if the product provides broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) coverage; the second is to see if the broad-spectrum sunscreen contains avobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. All provide excellent UVA protection.
What’s the deal with UVA and UVB?
Both are types of sun radiation. UVB damages the outer layer of the skin and causes sunburns, boo!
An SPF number refers to the UVB burning protection a product offers (one with an SPF of 15 allows the wearer to stay in the sun 15 times longer than she would otherwise be able to).
But now we know that UVA rays, while they don’t cause sunburns, do damage the skin’s deeper layers. They work insidiously, wrinkling and spotting skin from within, destroying its elasticity. Like UVB rays, UVA rays are also believed to be a potential cause of skin cancer (melanoma).
Use it or lose it…
Don’t be chintzy with your sunscreen! The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using at least one ounce (about a shot glass full) of sunscreen on exposed skin every day. And don’t be shy about reapplying throughout the day. Experts say frequent application is key to maintaining good sun protection.
The American Academy of Dermatology Seal of Recognition
It can be overwhelming to choose a sunscreen because of all the choices available. To help consumers choose products that provide the sun protection recommended by dermatologists, the American Academy of Dermatology has started a program called the “AAD Seal of Recognition.”
But the program has attracted a certain amount of controversy. When applying for the seal, manufacturers are obliged to pay $5,000 for the application, $10,000 on approval of the application and a further $10,000 a year later. Your best bet remains knowing (because knowledge is power!) which ingredients to look for (the most effective ones being avobenzone/Parsol 1789, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) when shopping for a product with sunscreen.
6 Summery Beauty Stunners with SPF
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 30, 55 and 70
Price: $9 for 3 oz.
Use: A waterproof sunscreen with awesome protection
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A
I can’t stand feeling sticky, so I use this sunblock on my neck, shoulders and arms. It has a light scent, absorbs well and provides great sun protection. I went through two bottles of the SPF 30 version of this a week before before my wedding day and didn’t get too dark, even after days of surfing and swimming. I also wear it when I run, bike or hike outside because it doesn’t burn if it runs into my eyes.
Too bad it isn’t very moisturizing and can leave a slightly greasy (yet not sticky) film on my skin.
Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15
Use: As a stand alone gloss or to layer over lipstick
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+
With a $14 price tag, Glosswear SPF really impressed the heck out of me. These are top quality glosses for the money, and, with added sun protection, these deserve an A+. I can’t wait to rock every one of the new colors at the beach this year!
Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock SPF 30
Price: About $9 for a 3 oz. tube
Use: A face and body sunblock
Makeup and Beauty Blog: A
This sunscreen has several great things going for it, despite that fact that it’s just water resistant (as opposed to waterproof). The first is the scent! The smell of a product is a big thing for me, and when I lifted up the top and took a whiff I fell instantly in love. It smells fresh and lemony — very summery — and doesn’t leave a grey cast to my skin like a lot of sunscreens do.
Oil of Olay Complete for Sensitive Skin SPF 15
Price: $9 for 6 oz.
Use: As a multi-purpose, daily sunscreen that works well with makeup
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A-
A dermatologist recommended this sunscreen to me, and I’ve been using it for over 10 years. It has subtle, light scent and sinks into my skin easily (but you’ll still want to let it sit for about 10 minutes before putting on your makeup). This stuff provides great, daily skin protection. Unfortunately, it doesn’t like the water and runs when it gets wet.
MAC Mineralize SPF 15 Loose Foundation
Use: As a foundation with SPF
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+
I really dig this stuff. It’s easier to apply than liquid foundations yet still provides doable medium-to-heavy coverage with the protecting power of SPF 15.
And MAC has given us seven shades to choose from:
Alba Botanica Sea Moss Moisturizer SPF 15
Price: $15 for 2 oz.
Use: A highly moisturizing sunscreen with a strong scent
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B
Packed with aloe vera and green tea, this sunscreen has a strong smell — you’ll either love it or hate it. I like it. With SPF 15, it provides ample sun protection. I wouldn’t say it’s as effective as Oil of Olay and Neutrogena sunscreens, but it holds its own.
So what did you end up doing last night? El Hub came home pretty tired after work, so we just stayed home and watched TV. We rented a horror movie called The Mist, which he liked, but I thought it was a little boring. Remind me never to get stuck in a crowded supermarket the next time an evil fog settles on Marin County, LOL.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
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