With summer in full swing and many gyms and indoor restaurants still closed, we are undoubtedly spending more time outdoors. If you follow me I’m sure you’re far enough along in your skin care journey to know that you need sunscreen EVERY day, but are you unknowingly committing some major sun sins? Not only does improper sun care lead to skin cancer, but also signs of aging like wrinkles and brown spots which can even pop up the same day!! How many of you have come home from a day at the beach to a face with a few new spots? No thank you.
So, I’ve teamed up with Colorescience to give you the 5 common “sun sins” I see amongst my patients and what you can do to remedy them!
- Let’s get started with number 1: You’re not protecting your skin from visible light. The sun emits multiple types of light energy that reach the earth’s surface. Of course we’re all familiar with damaging UV. UV rays are shorter and higher energy and cause by far the most damage to our skin. High Energy Visible (HEV) light are wavelengths on the shorter side of the visible light spectrum. They are sometimes called blue light. HEV light is also emitted in lesser amounts from our computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. Most notably, HEV light has been shown to worsen hyperpigmentation. So, how do we protect ourselves in a world where we spend most of our days in front of the screen or outside? Iron oxides… these pigments have been shown to be protective by absorbing wavelengths of visible light. Luckily this is any easy fix as iron oxides are present in tinted sunscreens like the one I use from colorescience! I also love this sunscreen because it comes in an original, glow (my favorite) and bronze formulation. Mineral sunscreens can be hard to find for darker skin tones (although iron oxides do help to remedy that) so I like have a bronze option to recommend!
- Next: You’re relying on your makeup as your sunscreen product. With an increase in awareness about the sun’s aging effects, many cosmetic companies have started to add SPF in their liquid and powder foundations. This is great! But it won’t be sufficient to protect you from the sun. If your makeup is “XYZ foundation with SPF 30”, you would actually have to apply 7 times the amount to get a true SPF 30. Now I know you’re not applying 7 layers of foundation, at least I hope you’re not. The super easy remedy to this is the same as above. Not only does this tinted sunscreen protect but it acts as a really nice primer under your foundation. Or if you’re like me and not a fan of foundation, skip it all together! The colorescience Face Shield is just enough to blur any imperfections for a sheer, natural coverage.
- You’re forgetting to protect delicate areas like around the eyes. Periocular issues are one of the main concerns I see in clinic. Whether it be fine lines, crepy skin, sun spots, or dark circles my question is usually the same: are you applying your sunscreen here? The sun ages us more than any other external factor and this is often an area that we notice changes first as we age so it’s important to protect it. Furthermore, depending on the cause of your dark circles, sun exposure can make them worse. I use Colorescience Total Eye to not only immediately correct (it has a great tint thanks to our friends iron oxides) but also to hydrate and protect the eye area every morning. This product also acts as a great primer. I use shade medium and apply after my regular sunscreen application.
- You’re not protecting your lips. Did you know that many glosses and lip balms will actually amplify the damage you’re getting from UV? It’s important that when choosing a lip product you choose one with SPF. Our lips do not have the outer protective layer of dead skin that the rest of our skin has so make it a habit of choosing lip products with SPF in them. I love using the Colorescience Color Balms not only for my lips but for a pop of color on the cheeks and eyelids. The shade “Berry” is my favorite! When you’re at the beach, a stick or balm may be less appealing so in that case I reapply with the Lip Shine! I have shades “Coral” and “Rose” and love them both for an everyday lip color as well! Having products like this in my makeup bag make it so easy to ensure I am protecting myself every single day.
- This brings me to the last sun sin you may be committing: you’re not reapplying. On a day you’re out in the sun you need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after you sweat or swim. If you’re on a full-blown beach day, swimming and playing paddle ball, I recommend a liquid re-application for a couple of them. If you’re like me and your beach days are under an umbrella and a hat, then I love to reapply with the Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen. I also keep one in my work bag so that I can reapply quickly before my drive home. UVA rays penetrate the car windows and are largely responsible for aging. In my sunscreen bag (yes I have a whole bag) is always a Lip Shine SPF 35 to reapply my lip sunscreen as well, especially at the beach where the sun reflects off the water and sand.
There you go! Now you armed with everything you need to keep your skin looking flawless and spot-free all summer. Protecting ourselves from sun damage NOW will set us up for success for years to come. I PROMISE YOU preventing is much easier and more cosmetically appealing than trying to correct later. My patients who do a good job of protecting their skin look years, even decades, younger than their friends. You’ll thank me later!!
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