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Simplifying Sunscreen

Sunscreen and I have always had a love hate relationship. First and foremost, the love part is the necessary protection to prevent skin cancer. This by far is the number one reason anyone should get in the habit of daily protection, especially if you tend to be out and about. Having areas of your face removed because of the sun is no fun.

Reasons to Wear Sunscreen

If you are fair skinned or have a history of skin cancer, sunscreen should be like water to you. Limited sun exposure is your friend. I know it is not what you want to hear, but if living is the goal here, skin cancer can be deadly.

This article from WebMd is one of the best articles I have read on skin cancer made simple.

If your concern is wrinkles, lines and age spots, then hands down, sunscreen is your best anti-aging device. Especially if you start the habit young and marry it with keeping sun exposure to a minimum.

There are some great daily and lightweight chemical, broad spectrum sunscreens that we sell by Gloskinbeauty and Dermalogica that are tried and true, tested by my estheticians over the past fifteen years. We have learned that in order for you to use sunscreen, it must feel as good as it works or else you will never use it.

These are our three faves that we recommend for daily use:

Oil free 40 is great because it is lightweight. What I like about it is that I use it over my regular moisturizer because I like a heavy oil rich cream and I don’t want my sunscreen mixed in with that.

The tinted moisturizer is the same formula as the oil free 40, but with an added light tint to even your skin out and add a little color. This is our number one seller.

Lastly, for our daily sunscreens, we have never found a better all in one then Dermalogica’s Dynamic Skin Recovery. This is the sunscreen that serves two purposes: - a moisturizer with some weight that is not oil free and and a sunscreen all in one. This is for the person who doesn’t want to have to apply both a moisturizer and a sunscreen and needs weight.

As far as the beach and outdoor water activities are concerned, sunscreen is never waterproof. There are two types of sunscreen: chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens should be applied at least thirty minutes before exposure and should be reapplied every hour. Mineral sunscreens can be applied on site are a better choice for optimum protection, but they also leave that white cast to your skin as they sit on top of the skin.

The Flip Side of Sunscreen

Remember your body is protecting itself from burning- it is quite miraculous when you think about it, but when we layer on sunscreen we are essentially telling our bodies to stop nagging us about burning.

We force our skin to stay out longer so we can have more fun in the sun. Our skin burns for a reason, to tell us it is too hot, the sun is too strong for our skin and to get out of it. We don’t pay it any mind though, we just slather on more sunscreen essentially telling it to be quiet.

The rules around sunscreen are changing. Language is getting more truthful and label reading should be getting easier soon.

My non love portion of sunscreen comments are around vitamin D. I have often wondered about the potential blocking of Vitamin D we do with the use of all of this sunscreen and if that in itself presents its own challenges. This article from the Skin Cancer Foundation explains why it should not be a concern. 

This article from Harvard Health is also a good simple way to understand how the use of  sunscreen does not challenge your Vitamin D levels. 

I listen to some alternative thinkers and practitioners who think otherwise, but what I have learned over time is that you must decide for you what is the best course of action for your own health and body. Take what you need and leave the rest. We are here to help you navigate the confusing world of skin care and sunscreen.