Tag Archive: Sun Protection


It’s a fact: The Ocean is one big sun reflector. You’re more at risk for sunburns and sun damage on the shore than anywhere else.

Here are my expert tips to keep your skin safe this summer:

  • Discontinue use of AHA’s: Using exfoliants regularly (such as Glycolic Acid) have been shown to increase sun sensitivity by 45 percent. It’s best to discontinue use of AHA’s seven days prior to the beach.
  • Sunscreen: It’s not the SPF number that is as important, it is how often and generously you apply.  When it comes to SPF, I prefer SPF 30 reapplied as often as every hour.

My pick: Tu’el Oil Free Protection SPF 30. It’s an oil-free, lightweight full spectrum sun block for oily or impure skin or for those in hot and/or humid climates. 3 oz. $22

It contains a key moisturizing ingredient, Sodium Hyaluronate as well as nourishing Cucumber Extract, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea
  • Be aware of oily skinned areas: The areas of your face where you have larger pores will always produce more oils.  These natural oils can breakdown sunscreens more quickly, so pay attention and reapply more often.  For example, the nose area acts as a natural reflectant.  Pay attention to your nose, or any area, that is getting shiny…
  • Apply sunscreen in forgotten areas: hairline, ears, tops of feet, toes, eyelids.
  • Don’t think you are safe in the shade: You still get sun under an umbrella, especially by the ocean. Because the water reflects light you still need to apply and re-apply sunscreen.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses: If the goal is to help protect your skin from premature aging, a hat and sunglasses can be the extra coverage you need for your face.
  • Got acne? Go for a swim: The salt in the ocean water helps destroy bacteria, which can clear up your breakouts.
  • Rinse off the saltwater: The same water that is destroying bacteria is also very dehydrated (great for blemishes, not for dry skin). Make sure to rinse off before leaving beach.
  • Wear mineral makeup: For extra protection, Youngblood mineral powders has an SPF protecting factor and will give you a finished look without being too heavy for the beach.

What if you applied sunscreen but still got sunburn? The most common problems are:

  • Too little sunscreen applied
  • Not applied every hour for intense exposure
  • Not the right formulation

Sunscreens wear off, sweat off and wash off.  Applying 20 minutes before exposure, liberally and often makes all the difference.  If you want to look young, avoid the sun. A little sun means a little damage; a lot of sun means a lot of damage.

Click here if you want to learn more about sun protection.

Summer means fun at the beach – relax and enjoy but be safe with your skin!

See you at the spa!

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Everyone’s always talking about UV rays and how bad they are and how you need a certain type of SPF to block out those rays. But what do all those acronyms mean? What are UV rays? Are they bad? And if UV rays are bad, how do you combat them? Well, let me tell ya!

Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is present in sunlight. It is considered an environmental human carcinogen. The effects of UV rays on normal skin include: skin cancer, sunburn inflammation and hyper pigmentation (also known as sunspots). In addition, UV rays can also have a negative impact on the immune system.

UV falls into 3 categories:

1.) UVA– can penetrate glass, it oxidizes melanin (the brown stuff), that’s already present and triggers the release of more melanin in the skin. It has less energy than other UV rays, but penetrates deeply. Fortunately, it does not cause redness. However, UVA can generate chemical changes which can damage DNA. Because it does not cause reddening of the skin it cannot be measured in SPF testing.

2.) UVB– stimulates the body to produce more melanin and produce a “burn”. They are the most potent rays that reach the earth, and can produce skin cancer.

3.) UVC- These are the highest energy UV rays.  They have the shortest wave length and could be the most harmful to your skin and eyes. They should be completely absorbed by the ozone layer, however the earth’s protective shield is increasingly compromised.

So, what is a tan anyway? My kids used to taunt me by saying, “Mom, I’m going out to get some sun damage!”

A tan is the skin’s defense against UV radiation, the brown pigment (melanin) in the skin increases when exposed to moderate levels of radiation. In healthy skin with moderate exposure, Melanin absorbs UV radiation and dissipates the energy as harmless heat, blocking the damaging of skin tissue.

It is important that sunscreen block both UVA,UVB and UVC. A skincare professional can recommend a product; or you can take a few notes about ingredients to look for in a full spectrum block like: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide  (life guards wear it – it’s clear now) and avobenzone.

Here is one of my favorite sunscreens, especially for sensitive skin that react to the chemicals in sunscreens: Tu’el Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30.

Most products contain an SPF rating to show how well they block UVB rays only. However they typically offer no data about UVA protection. In other words, that 80 SPF sunscreen you have sitting in your bathroom may or may not be working.  Since UVA rays don’t cause redness, there’s no way to tell if they’re damaging your skin.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering adding a star rating system to show UVA protection. (Note to the FDA: Hurry up already, it’s been promised for years!)

Everyday sunscreens should be at least SPF 15. If you’re going to be in the sun for prolonged periods, make sure it’s SPF 30, and remember to get one that is formulated to block the full spectrum of rays.

I recommend applying sunscreen to the entire body right after showering, and to the face after washing it. That way the product has time to soak in and take effect before going outside. It’s a good idea to slather on a second application when you hit the beach, or will be having prolonged exposure.

A white cotton shirt has a SPF of about 8, but if the shirt is tight and the weave stretched, it’s much less. If the shirt gets wet, fades or is several years old, its ability to protect against the sun is even more reduced. Did you know that dark colors absorb more UV rays (that’s a good thing), than light colors. That is why you are hotter in a black shirt than a white one.

Adding a hat and UV protective sunglasses to your sunscreen will help protect your face completely.

If all that wasn’t enough to convince you to slather on the sunscreen, here’s a few more fun (sun) facts:

  • One per cent of wrinkles are caused by ageing; 99 per cent are caused by the sun.
  • It only takes one severe burn during childhood to double the risk of skin cancer in adult life.
  • Using SPF 15 during the first 18 years of life lowers skin cancer odds by 80 percent.
  • An easy way to remember the difference between UVA + UVB rays: UVA = ageing, UVB= burning.

So remember – practice safe sun!

See you at the spa!

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