Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Best Under The Sun (According To Me)

Sun Safe Sun care products

Sun Safe Sun care products by elbonner featuring philosophy skincare

As nice as it is to be outside being tickled by warm sunshine,the sun can seriously mess you up. There is a lot of give and take when talking about the sun: it gives us warmth, happiness, an overall sense of "it's so nice out, maybe I won't drive off the bridge on the way to work". The sun can also increase signs of aging, dry out your skin, cause hyper pigmentation, burns and worst of all: the cancer. Being the paleface that I am, I have made it my mission to find the best ways to save my skin from looking like a cheap leather bag. 

I protect my face with Shieseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Cream spf55. It's a mineral sunblock which is good for sensitive skin that is not happy with chemical sunscreens. The Japanese are masters at keeping themselves out of the sun and protecting their skin, so my first choice for outdoor sun protection was a Japanese product. On days where I'm not going to be sweating as much or I'm going to be at work all day I'll use a product like Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense spf50. It's not waterproof, but it's completely non-greasy and doesn't make you look like corpse. 

For my body I like to use a variety of things, but I have narrowed it down to my two favorites. Sun Bum is a great sun care line, especially their slogan "protect your lazy ass". Their products range from spf 15 to 70 and come in sticks, lotions and sprays. They smell like bananas and coconut, they moisturize, aren't greasy and have the best packaging. I personally love their spf 50 lotion: I can use it at the beach on a 95 degree day and not come home looking like I feel into a vat of ketchup.

Hei Poa is another great body spf brand from France. It's difficult to find in stores in the US, but it's readily available online. I like that a lot of their sunscreens are sprays as I find them much easier to apply and less greasy and they also have spf oils which make you look "eff off Gisele I'm fabulous". They're a Tahitian flavored brand that uses monoi oil (a blend of Tahitian tiare flowers and coconut oil to keep skin moisturized and shriveled like a snake skin). They also smell friggin' amazing.

For lips I like to use a balm, as lip glosses or shiny things can actually reflect the sun and give you a not-so-nice carcinogenic surprise on your mouth (ew!). I love Fresh's Sugar lip treatments, their rose tint and coral are great for the beach since they give you a bit of color and are also spf 15. Sun Bum also makes a great lip balm with an spf of30. Protect your lips because ain't nobody wanna kiss your ashy-ass lips!

I am the queen of sunless tanners. I think they are wonderful and allow me to look just as tan as my friends who lay out for days, but significantly increase my chances of getting carded forever (no lines here bitch). One of my favorites is St. Tropez's sunless tanning mousse. This starts off as a brown/olive color foam and turns your skin about 2-3 shades darker than itis originally so you don't look like a freak. It'snot orange, the smell isn't overpowering and the color guide helps you see what you may have missed. Caution: always used gloves ora tanning mitt when using this or you could end up with beautiful chocolate brown palms that make you look as though you've strangled a Hershey bar. I use this after a deep exfoliation before I go to bed and I wake up with color that would take me weeks to get. 

Your hair can also get ravaged by the sun like a romance novel character so using an after-sun mask isn't a bad idea. This one by Fekkai soothes your hair an scalp and keeps you from getting the vapors (it probably doesn't :( ).

Sun protection doesn't have to end with sunscreens. Topical use of vitamin C has been proven to help reduce sun damage in the form of L-Ascorbic Acid. The problem is, vitamin C in liquid form is very unstable and doesn't last very long, so having a powdered form of vitamin C gives you a better effect. Philosophy has made a powdered version of L-Ascorbic Acid called Turbo Power C-Booster Powder that can be mixed with you daily serum or moisturizer to give you maximum benefits. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce wrinkles, keep skin even , and help prevent dark spot from showing up. Using an antioxidant enriched serum also helps your spf out a little by reducing inflammation caused by sun exposure. 

If you absolutely hate sunscreens over your moisturizer or have really oily skin, there is still hope for you. Peter Thomas Roth makes a powdered mineral sunscreen that can go over your moisturizer/foundation/clown paint or whatever you already have on your face. I don't know if this would be great for dry skin since powders tend to suck up any excess moisture on your face, but oily/sweaty/combination faces could all benefit from an spf powder. Just be aware that this type of spf is for light day wear. If you're going to the beach, find something that is going to stay on like the Shiseido lotion. La Roche Posay makes a line of sun milks, and though I have not had the chance to try them, the amount of rave reviews I've seen speak for themselves.

Sorry for such a long post, but I'm passionate about sunscreen! Nobody wants to look haggard at thirty and everyone I went to high school with who lived in tanning beds at 17 now look closer to 36 than 26. With all the sunless tanning options available today, there's no reason to fry yourself to look like the color of your iced coffee. Protect what you have or have it biopsied off in the future and in the words of Captain Planet "The Power Is Yours!".

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