Now that it’s June, I thought it would be a good time to discuss sunscreen. Also, a couple of you have asked me about sunscreen lately so I figured this would be a good time to devote a few posts to the subject.
My beloved SkinCeuticals has a winner with Ultimate UV Defense. For a few years it was my favorite sunscreen. Then I got a job at a new spa that doesn’t carry SkinCeuticals so I thought I’d try something new, which I did, and I love it more (more on that later). So, I’m divided between “like it” and “love it” because I USED to love it, until I found something better. You’ll have to decide on your own!
Here’s how I use it:
– Every. Single. Day. It’s my last step before makeup.
– I use enough to cover the last digit of my middle finger and I massage it into my face, front and back of neck (short hair or updos require back of the neck SPF application), ears and down the decollete. If I’m wearing a wide neck shirt on a sunny day, I always make sure that everything within the neck hole is covered with this sunscreen. Arms and elsewhere get a less
expensive broad spectrum block.
Broad-Spectrum Sun Protection
– The Sun Protection Factor of this one is 30. That means you can be in the sun 20 minutes after applying this block and have 30x the amount of time it takes you to burn without sunblock. HOWEVER, chemical sunscreen neutralizes in about an hour of sun exposure.* Therefore, one must reapply every hour or so. This is where sunscreen fails most people – they apply in the morning and then go spend 5 or 6 hours sitting in Dolores Park drinking beer and people watching without a shade structure or even a hat.
Anywho… the reason I like SPF 30 is because, when reapplied appropriately, it will keep you from getting any color at all. If you take some time to sit in the shade and maybe use a beach umbrella when out in the sun all day, this helps to mitigate your potential for burning.
– Broad-Spectrum means that you’re getting both UVA and UVB protection. I’ve been told that the A in UVA stands for Ageing and the B in UVB stands for Burning. S.un P.rotection F.actor only refers to UVB protection. There is no standard for UVA. On the Wiki Page for Sunscreen, it is explained like this:
UVA gives a quick tan that lasts for days by oxidizing melanin that was already present and triggers the release of the melanin from melanocytes. UVB on the other hand yields a tan that takes roughly 2 days to develop because it stimulates the body to produce more melanin.
– The texture of this sunscreen is a little thick at first. It does take a little while to massage it in so you don’t see the whiteness of the Zinc Oxide. However, because of the Zinc Oxide, I find that this product does a relatively good job of not being too greasy – the zinc can absorb a bit of oil throughout the day. If you’re particularly oily, you’ll probably notice a greasy feeling – hold tight, I’ll talk about a good sunscreen for you shortly. In the meantime, you can simply apply some powder on top and it’ll help keep the grease at bay.
– For dry, normal and combination skin, this product can be your only moisturizer on the daily. But, you’ll have to tell me how that works out for you specifically. There have been a handful of clients who wanted something more emollient.
– More than $30 for sunscreen is a bit steep for me. If you’re only using it for your face and you use it every day, it’ll probably last you six months tho so that does make up for it. Still, it’s a lot to shell out at once.
– While I do like the texture on normal days (predominant here in the temperate Bay Area), when it gets hot, this sunscreen does feel greasy. Anything I put on my skin feels greasy tho so that’s to be considered. I do find the amount of massaging I have to do to be a bit much sometimes.
In all, I think this sunscreen is worth the price and effort if your skin is combination or dry. It works well to protect your skin from the sun and that is the most important part of sunscreen.
* I could go on and on about sunscreen but would rather let you read on here if you’re interested in more info. However, keep in mind that Wikipedia is edited by users and there is a lot of information on that sunscreen page. The topic of ingredient efficacy and toxicity is a popular one with multiple views. Take what you will and remember – on a very practical level – no sunburn feels better than a sunburn.