The Best Sunscreen + More
Quick Tips And Great Picks Shopping Guide
A few things to think about when making plans for time spent in the sun.
First, the best sunscreen products always have a formulation of chemical agents that create FULL Spectrum or BROAD Spectrum coverage against UV rays (the SPF is ONLY an indicator of protection from UVB rays and does not include protection from UVA rays).
Second, use common sense in the sun. In stead of increasing the SPF from 15 or 30 to 45, 50 + and receiving marginal percentage increase in sun protection factor (but massive increase in exposure to mixed chemicals), TRY a combination of SPF 15 or 30, and wearing protective clothing when sun is at its highest and most intense (approximately noon- 2:00 pm). Even better, take a break from the sun and find some shade.
Third, do you like the look of sun kissed skin? ...why not FAKE BAKE (use sunless tanning lotions). I too love the look of sun kissed skin, but not at the expense of my health. Sunless tanning lotions are a great way to go. The days of orange results are long gone because most formulations, are practically fool proof (that doesn't mean don't skip the instructions).
Enjoy the sun! (with care of course...best sunscreen and sun care will help you with that). The endorphins released in your body as a result of sun exposure, are a natural way to feel a rush of well being and happiness. There is also the important synthesis of vitamin D (more on this below).
There are many chemical agents used to create sun protection, and yes they provide some effective coverage. However, don't assume that just because they are present in a sunscreen, that they provide full spectrum service....in fact, you would be shocked to learn, how many of these sunscreen agents become unstable when combined with one another.
Handy List Of Best Sunscreen Agents
The Most Effective Sunscreens Have These Ingredients...
These ingredients are proven to cover the full UVA/ UVB spectrum (not just part of a ray spectrum). They also tend to be found in combination with other agents that leave them photo stable (which is of coarse key in exposure to ultra violet light). The shocking truth is there are many products on the market that boast a big SPF, but in doing so, create an unstable chemical cocktail, and therefore, useless products.
Chemical Block (absorb UVR):
- AVOBENZONE (Parsol 1789)
NEW! (Recently approved by the F.D.A. in the U.S.) I am glad to add to this list BEMOTRIZINOL AND ECAMSULE for full UVA spectrum protection, photo stable and have minimal absorption into skin...
- Tinosorb S (Bemotrizinol) is safe and compatible with most other blocking agents and can actually help other sunscreen agents by preventing their breakdown)
- Mexoryl Sx (Ecamsule another safe agent that provides full UVA spectrum coverage, and is photo stable)
Physical Block (reflect UVR):
- TITANIUM DIOXIDE
- ZINC OXIDE
SPF indicates protection from sunburns only and therefore ONLY UVB rays.
For the best sunscreen choice, always choose full spectrum protection from UVA and UVB by ensuring a combined presence of the above specific ingredients; AVOBENZONE (Parsol 1789)- chemical agents in sunscreens absorb UV Rays with Titanium Dioxide - an immediate physical reflector, for example.
Best Sunscreen For Face (top choice):
Many great products to choose
from but my top choice Is La
Roche-Posay Anthelios SX SPF15
for regular daily wear (errands, to and from work, in other words,
limited time frame short exposures). If I was headed to the beach
(extended time frame, intense exposure) I would wear the same brand but
up my SPF to 30 or 45.
Best Sunscreen For Body (top inexpensive choice):
Again, there are
lots of great options but a more recent discovery is a well made
product call KINeSYS. I use
this product on myself and my kids and it offers a great broad spectrum
formulation and SPF15 or 30. The bonus? It smells like mangoes! (don't
worry there is also a fragrance free formulation).
Some common sense will aid you greatly when it comes to sun protection, and remove the excessive exposure of chemical treatment to your skin. Start with use of sunglasses with noted 100% u.v. light protection, add a wide rimmed hat, where long sleeves if you are out in the mid day sun (or all day if you are fair or a child...there are some very cool rash guards for beach or pool side situations). Take some breaks in the shade.
Some great choices shown below on sun protection gear to get you
pointed in the right direction and illustrate good features. (choosing
the best option is not really possible since we all have different
needs and budgets).
So, the best sunglasses for
an active life style, are made by Oakley
(they also make other great gear). Three great
styles to check out, Forsake,
Disclosure and Immerse. Choose your frame
style and color, choose your lens color, and other lens options
including prescription. Light weight frames that grip for
movement and are awesome for a casual, on the go life style (they do
have wire frames and dressier options as well).
Great all round sun hats,
are made by Outdoor
great choice in style is Helios; lightweight, UPF 50+ SolarShield
fabric, inner head band will wick away sweat, and it will float if
dropped in water.
Great combination of comfort, function and beach style in rashguards, Billabong. This product line is made from nylon and spandex with UPF 50. There are a number of good companies making rashguards for sun, swim and surf days.
Can You Still Enjoy Sun Kissed Beauty?
Yes...But, knowing what we know now about the harmful damaging effects of sun tanning OR prolonged sun exposure (and have unfortunately experienced), sun kissed should only ever be a style achieved artificially.
And...You can do a better job than the sun! There is an amazing array of beauty products designed to do exactly that; sunless tanning lotions, sprays, bronzers, makeup that can simulate that look. In fact, a more beautiful sun kissed look can be achieved (minus the dehydration, uneven pigmentation, scaly, rough, raccoon eyes, etc). One such award winning product is Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel for a super, natural looking, sun kissed look. In fact, Clarins makes some of the best sunscreen products as well as the awesome sun kissed products.
New to the market and apparently super easy to use? Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. Towlettes that are doused with DHA (tanning ingredient), Vitamin D and exfoliating. This product has been a huge success with multiple awards including 2011 Allure Best of Beauty, 2011 InStyle Best Beauty Buys, InStyle Editors' Pick 2011, and 2011 Elle Genius Awards .
*Best Sunscreen Note For Kids And Those With Sensitive Skin
Take special care those of you with sensitive skin (including children's skin). The best sunscreen choice still has to accommodate your skin type. Really high SPF sunscreens can potentially increase your chance of reaction (the greater the SPF, the more chemicals used to generate the SPF) especially when applied to the face.
What about vitamin D?
Sun exposure provides a natural dose of vitamin D (vitamin D is made in the skin activated by UV light), and it is essential to your health (especially important for children who are in a constant state of growth...think healthy bones, teeth etc.), But a little exposure goes a long way. Also keep in mind, that the best sunscreens will block it out. Your best bet is to ensure your daily diet includes vitamin D...not easy to source (mostly in fatty fish) so the easiest way is through vitamins that suit your age group.
According to the National Institute of Health, an adequate intake
(AI), that is, intake sufficient to maintain healthy blood levels of
vitamin D, for adults are 200 IU age group 19-50, 400 IU age group
51-69, and 600 IU for age group 70+.
*Make sure you double check your requirements when purchasing (this information can get dated).
One a Day Multi Vitamin Womens, and One A Day Women's 50 + Advantage both have 1000 IU Vitamin D. One A Day Women's Prenatal Multivitamin has 400 IU.
Last word on best sunscreen and sun care....
Do Get Out And Enjoy The Sun!
Don't miss out on that natural sense of well being that the sun
gives you, as a result of the biochemical reaction in your body
releasing endorphins into your bloodstream---creating a euphoric
effect. Being S.A.D. (suffering from seasonal affective disorder) can
happen when you don't get enough UV light exposure. My mom would always
say this oldie but a goodie, to my sisters and I;
"Make hay while the sun shines... "
Old English proverb -practical thinking on many levels.