The Weather is Warmer, so now is NOT the time for leather(y faces).No one really likes to hear me say it. I have often angered people with my pleas regarding the matter. I wonder why this is—is it because young people don’t realize that beauty fades and can be helped along? Is it because of a society which for years has equated summer beauty with a deep golden glow? Could it be, among my peeps of color, that our internal protection is all we need to get by?
I am referring to protecting ourselves folks, not from some communicable disease or from some attacker entering our homes, but from THE SUN. Yes, I said it. We need to put some extra distance between our skin cells and the UV rays of the sun. Now, before you suntan lovers get yourself in a huff and leave the page in anger, I implore you to look at some very BASIC facts (no I won’t get super scientific on you… that’s just not me)
1. Exposure to the sun is the #1 cause of skin aging. (It’s not even smoking- although I don’t advocate it if you want to stay alive and keep those horrid pucker lines away from your lips)
2. UV rays can pass through tinted glass, most clothing, and even so called SPF foundation. (*More on that later)
3. Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the USA. ( according to the CDC)
4. A tan is an S.O.S. from your skin cells that damage has occurred! Sound healthy to you?
5. People of color (Afro, Latino, Indian etc.) can get skin cancer too, even with our added melanin.
You see Ultra Violet rays that come from the sun are really damaging. The shorter rays, UVB, cause you to burn and turn into a lobster fresh from the pot. But those sneaky UVA rays reach further and cause photo aging (i.e. wrinkles, poor texture and dark spots). So a sunscreen that doesn’t offer UVB and UVA protection is leaving you…well exposed. Broad spectrum is best….chemical sunscreens are more effective IMO because they absorb those mean rays instead of just shielding you and don’t leave a pasty cast on darker skin, but if you are allergic to most screens, a physical screen is way better than naked skin.
Put you best face forward. Let’s talk proper sun care for the face today--This includes men too. Here’s some products I like:For Combination skin to Oil Refineries like me (LOL): CHEAPIE- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid in SPF 70 $12.50. It is a super thin liquid that glides on and protects without feeling like it’s coating your skin. LUXURY- Peter Thomas Roth’s UberDry SPF30. Dries to a matte finish and can be used all over. $26
For Normal to Dry skin: CHEAPIE-Neutrogena Age Shield Face $11. Nice texture, not too thick. LUXURY-The Roche-Posay Antethelios X15 Moisturizing Cream$32 . Great combination moisturizer and screen for drier or more mature faces.Sensitive/Allergenic (and Babies)- Remember, these physical screens make darker skins look a bit “ashy”. CHEAPIE-Burt’s Bees Chemical Free SPF 15 $12. Burt’s Bees is the “go to” natural choice. LUXURY- SunscreenCosMedix Reflect SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen $44 Titanium Dioxide blocks rays.
*A skin care diva’s warning, as much as I LOVE a great foundation, I urge you to NOT rely solely on it for UV protection. This is the #1 excuse I’ve heard over the years from clients. Only trouble is, in order to get the amount of protection that it lists on the label, you’d need WAY more than we normally apply. Even mineral foundations, which are physical blockers, can’t provide enough in a normal application. Think of SPF in foundation as added security, not first line of defense.Okay, so I’ve been on the soapbox long enough. And hey, if I see you coming out of Sunless Hawaiian Tanning Salon one day, don’t fear I won’t bite. But if in ten years my twenty something friends look older and more dried up than I do, I may say “I told you so”. Love, Bronzediva