Monday, May 3, 2010

Be Skin Smart This Summer

Now that summer is coming up on us hard and fast it's time to look towards protecting your skin. The number one item you should have in your bag of goodies is sunblock. I say sunblock because it is not the same as sunscreen and protects better. Sunblock is opaque and is stronger than sunscreen since it is able to block a majority of the UVA/UVB rays and radiation from the sun, thus not having to be reapplied several times a day. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are two of the important ingredients in sunblock. Sunscreen is more transparent once applied to the skin and also has the ability to protect against UVA/UVB rays as well. Sunscreen breaks down at a faster rate once exposed to sunlight, and some of the radiation is able to penetrate to the skin. In order for sunscreen to be more effective you'll have to consistently reapply and use a higher SPF. The SPF (sunscreen protection factor) in sunscreen is frequently misunderstood; many people think that an SPF 30 sunscreen offers double the protection of an SPF 15. However, reviewers say SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. Experts say that SPF ratings higher than 30 don't offer any further UV protection, and let the same 3 percent of UV rays through as SPF 30. However, a higher SPF means you may not have to reapply as often. Furthermore, SPF only applies to UVB rays. For that reason, it's just as important to look specifically for UVA protection. Experts and consumers alike say that the lightweight Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch is the best sunscreen overall. It provides broad-spectrum protection and is available in SPF 30, 45, 55, 70 and 85 formulations. But Neutrogena can be expensive at $3 per ounce. Especially for those with kids who go through gallons each year. A nice cheaper alternative is No-Ad Sunblock Lotion SPF 45. At about $10 for 16 ounces, No-Ad is an excellent, water-resistant sunscreen that contains avobenzone and oxybenzone for broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage. Aloe is also one of the ingredients. Aloe is known to be a soothing water-binding agent that draws water to the skin. It also has antioxidant properties. When applying sunblock you need to use a liberal amount-the size of a shot glass-and reapply frequently. Lets not forget your lips and hair. also need to protect those lovely locks and kissy lips this summer. When looking for a sunblock for your lips make sure it is specially designed for your lips. Applying regular body sunblock on your lips can irritate and inflame your lips. OUCH! 2 of my personal favs for lip protection are: mdskincare Powerful Sun Protection SPF 25 Lip Balm Kiehl's lip balm with SPF 15. Easy to apply and both have a nice smell and almost NO taste. Between sun, sand, surf, and chlorine your hair can end up looking like this For perfect summer hair protect it with some of the following products below. Need Shine?

Try Biolage Sunsorials Sun Repair Treatment ($14; salons)

For Best Results Use weekly. This moisturizing mask mends damage; UV filters adhere to the hair shaft until your next shampoo.

Need Manageability?

Try KMS California SolPerfection All Day Defense ($17; salons)

For Best Results Spritz on after shampooing, and apply frequently at the beach to keep color from fading. Silicone oil detangles, while vitamin B hydrates.

Need A Refresh?

Try Fekkai Wash & Wear Instant Shampoo Spray ($20; Sephora)

For Best Results Spray on dry strands to cleanse without stripping. Sunflower and moringa seed extracts maintain silkiness.

Fight Those Fly aways.

Try John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Formula Hair Serum ($10; drugstores)

For Best Results Run through hair before styling; protective oils and vitamins shield your locks from heat.

I hope all this helps you have a fun and SAFE summer this year.

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