True or False –Use Sunscreens When Its Cloudy

It has been overcast  and drizzly all week, yet  I dutifully applied my morning  sunscreen.  I have repeatedly read that 40% of UV rays come through even when its grey and cloudy.  But I began to wonder…is this true?  Or is it like the one tablespoon of sunscreen for the face thing. 

Wednesday was  particularly  humid andcloudy– a bad  hair  day, but perfect  to test the idea.  I strapped on a UV Sunsense wristband  and  walked outside.  Within seconds, the  ban turned  purple– not the bright, lurid, purple I see in the full sun, but a true  full purple color.  Clearly there were UV enough UV rays out there to activate the band.  After one hour walking to Bloomingdales, it stayed the same color.  By comparison, on a sunny day,  it had faded to lavender– a sign to reapply  sunscreen.

Another hour passed as I walked to Otarian, a great vegetarian fast food  place.  As I sat down  to … Continue Reading…

Beauty Dangers of Book Clubs

This week I had my monthly bookclub meeting which meant  great conversation, a perfect brie  and of course  several glasses of  a crisp Pinot Grigio.  The next morning I was reminded what  alcohol does to the skin.  My under-eye circles which  had nearly faded way ( thanks to Tri-luma) had now  suddenly  made an encore appearance.  The reddish/blue shadows were a clear sign  that  alcohol had caused minute leaking  from tiny blood vessels. under the eye.  I now have to wait until the body can breakdown this hemoglobin for the color to fade.   To help things along, I applied a compress of cold Lipton tea bags.  The cool temperature and tannin in the black tea  should shrink the swollen blood vessels– and shrunken  vessels won’t leak anymore blood and fluid.  Within 48 hours, the lurid color  had faded a bit and I can cover it with a dab of green Dermablend cream  under my regular concealer.  But I know  what … Continue Reading…

A Reality-Based Sunscreen

I am still uneasy over the disconnect between sunscreen recommendations  and what  can actually fit on a human face.  So when I caught a review of  Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF70 on 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic, I was intrigued.  This products hits all the marks– it is waterproof, oil-free, PABA free, broad spectrum and contains Helioplex, an ingredient that helps sunscreens do their job.  But what  put Ultra Light Face Shield on my radar?  The instructions said to use only a few drops on the plam of  the hand and spread on the face.  Drops!  Not the  large clumps  that are suggested for most other products. 

This sunscreen goes on smoothly and is absorbed quickly.  As  an extra bonus, it does not leave that  dreaded white sheen on my face.  It is however about twice the price of other Neutrogena sunblocks.  I am going to test it out today with my … Continue Reading…

Is Sunscreen Really Needed Indoors?

Since I started  my anti-aging program seven months ago, I have diligently applied sunscreen, even when I am working at home.   I have heard that UV rays can come thru glass windows and damage unprotected skin .This sunny  morning  I wondered  if this recommendation was like the silly one tablespoon of sunscreen for the face  thing.

I strapped on a UV SunSense wristband, dabbed  my usual 30SPF sunscreen on the strip and started to cook breakfast.  The band turned a light lavender immediately, but not the lurid purple  it became when I tried the strip outdoors.  (FYI  I have a sunny apartment so this will be  a fairly valid test).

After an hour, the entire strip  was turning a darker lavender.  (At this point outside it had been actually fading, indicating it was time to reapply sunscreen. )   Another hour  passed and the strip stayed about the same color.  Within two hours it never became  deep  purple, never … Continue Reading…

The Anti-Aging Hat

Some years ago I was walking in the park with a fashionista friend when we spotted Jackie Kennedy strolling with  a small child.  She was wearing a pair of  slim black pants, a black tee, pearls and a beautiful straw hat.  “That’s a Tilley” my friend whispered in my ear, pointing to her hat . Well into her sixties, Jackie  looked perfect.  The name Tilley stuck in my mind and I assumed it was a fabulously expensive designer.  Last spring I was at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting    and there in the exhibits hall was a Tilley booth.  It turns out that  not only is the hat beautiful, it provides an SPF 50.   There are certainly alot of straw hats out there, but this was the first time that  I found one with a measured SPF.  I tried it on and  it brought out my inner Jackie.  I bought it on the spot because it was … Continue Reading…

Anti- Aging Wristbands

Its awful but true– up to 90% of skin aging  is from unprotected sun exposure.  This year my summer project has been to  find the best way to protect my skin from aging in the sun.  I have a handle on what to look for in a sun block, but  I realized tht I was using  very little on my skin.  Was it enough?  In the Sephora Sun Kit, I found a pair of wristbands that can  tell me  how well I was actually doing.  I used them this weekend and now I have a new favorite toy. 

Here’s how they work:  When I  first put them on, they turned a bright  purple.  After an hour wandering around a flea market, they faded to a lighter  lavendar, an indication I should reapply sunscreen.  ( see  first photo).

After another hour gardening, they … Continue Reading…

Sunscreen Sense or Nonsense

  The standard recommendation of one tablespoon of sunscreen  is clearly ridiculous, and even one teaspoon is  challenging.   But if these are the quantities which are used to measure SPF,  how much  good am I doing with  my 1/2 teaspoon?  And I thought I was doing so well diligently applying it every morning. 

I’ve now found a new tool to measure how much protection I am actually getting.  They are disposble strips called UV Sun Sense and I got them in a great suncare skin from Sephora ( Its $25 for 12 samples of different suncare products and I’d get it if  its still available).  As per instructions, I applied  a dab of my sunscreen to the strip and attached it to my wrist.  These  bracelets change color according  to the amount of sun you receive.  At first they turn bright purple.  When the band fades to pink, is time to reapply  sunscreen.  When  it  turns pale yeallow, … Continue Reading…

Sunscreen:How Much is Too Much, Part 2

This is what one tablespoon of sunscreen looks like on my face. 

One of my biggest concerns  when using sunscreen  has been wearing make-up over it.  Not infrequently foundation, powder or blush would turn dark and orangy when applied over  sunscreen  covered skin.  Looking at this  photo,  I can’t imagine where I could actually put the  make-up.   Clearly  this one tablespoon idea is not something too many experts have actually tried out.

Moving on, I measured out one teaspoon of sunscreen and  started to put it on my face.  Starting near my eyes, I applied the sunscreen to the sides of my nose and  smoothed it out over  my chin and cheeks– and there it sat.  And sat. Rather than looking like fluffy frosting, … Continue Reading…