Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, we all need to start thinking about sunscreen. You should be using sunscreen year-round. I live in an area with four distinct seasons and we are lucky, we actually get three full months of summer so in the dead of winter I sometimes forget my sunscreen. That said, growing up in Southern California and drenching myself in baby oil chasing after that elusive golden tan, I am now suffering the consequences–dark spots, crow’s feet and uneven skin tone. I used to have freckles and now I have brown blobs–not pretty.
Part of the reason I don’t like wearing sunscreen on my face and neck is:
1. it always feels greasy and sometimes causes breakouts
2. most leave a white cast to my skin
3. most are too thick and goopy
4. most moisturizers that have sunscreen in them don’t have enough protection–usually only an SPF of 15. If they have more protection…well, see #1-3.
I know, I know, not an excuse but I bet you’ve felt the same way. I do use a separate sunscreen on my body– we go boating and swimming a lot in the summer and I make sure to use at least a 30-40 SPF and re-apply every 30 minutes.
While on my recent trip to NYC, I had the good fortune to be introduced to Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 +++–(thank you Janelle)! This oil-free daily sunscreen protects against 3 major causes of skin cell damage: UV Rays, oxidation and over production of sebum. The ultra-light formulation spreads smoothly and contains mineral powders and herbal extracts to maintain a pore-free and shine-free finish. I wouldn’t normally use an oil-free product but still having combination skin, my oil production increases in the summertime and my foundation tends to slide off. This is perfect for keeping me shine free throughout the day.
The texture is not like anything else I’ve expereinced in sunscreens and like Martha Stewart would say “that’s a good thing.” It is extremely lightweight–to the point of being runny. I shake the bottle and put a dab in the palm of my hand and then use my fingers to apply to my face. It’s takes very little product and absorbs immediately leaving my skin feelsing silky NOT sticky. This, beauties is a multi-tasking product at it’s best–sunscreen and almost a primer in one. It wears incredibly well under my foundation, keeping me oil free with a satiny finish all day. I’m not so sure if you have dry skin this is the product for you, however Shiseido makes this product in a regular formula too as well as 14 different types of sunscreen!
I love the super lightweight feel and powerful protection. Helloooooo new HG sunscreen!!!
Bottom Line: THE perfect sunscreen for combination or oily skin.
Improtant Info: This month the FDA’s new sunscreen regulations go into effect. Here’s what you should look for:
- Only the term ‘sunscreen’ can appear on a label. The word ‘sunblock’ can no longer be used, because it overstates effectiveness.
- “Waterproof” and “sweatproof” are no longer acceptable claims (because, as it turns out, they’re false.) A “water resistant” claim must specify how long the sunscreen can stand up to swimming or sweating (either 40 or 80 minutes, based on testing).
- “Broad spectrum”- a previously unregulated claim- now means that a sunscreen has undergone testing to ensure that it provides protection against both skin-burning, cancer-causing UVB rays (those included in the SPF rating) and skin-aging, cancer-causing UVA rays.
- Only sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher that have passed the broad-spectrum test can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging anywhere on their packaging. If a sunscreen has an SPF below 15, or has not passed the broad-spectrum test, it can claim only to help prevent sunburn.
TIP: Don’t try to mask the scent of self-tanner with perfume! The combination of perfume and self-tanner can temporarily give your skin an eerie and otherworldly green tint. To avoid a sci-fi pallor, resist the urge to apply fragrance (and other body products like deodorant and lotion) for at least six hours after self-tanning.
Reprinted with permission from The June issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.