Anti- Aging Beauty Questions

With the return of  warm sunny days,  I’m getting a flood of great sunscreen questions.  Since 90% of  skin aging  is due to sun exposure, UV protection is just about the smartest thing we can do to avoid  wrinkles and dark spots.  But it can be harder than  just grabing a tube of goo and dabbing it on.

Question 1: Help! I know  I should use sunscreen, but they makes my skin break out.

I know about that  first hand. Its so unfair.  If you have oily or acne-prone skin, some sunscreen formulations can provoke breakouts, even in women over 40.  You should start by looking for oil-free formulations. Check the labels and avoid ingredients like beeswax, petroleum, parafin  and shea butter.  But oil  isn’t the only problem.  Breakouts over 40 are  the result of inflammation, rather than the hormone/bacteria axis, so  other non-oily ingredients  can provoke problems.  If you find sunscreens   are causing blemishes, check  your sunscreen for   silicones, alkyl benzoate, acrylate polymers and  the palmitates.  These are often used in creams and lotions and  are generally  good, safe ingredients.  But if you have a tendancy to breakout, these can be irritating.  I recommend buying sunscreens at  CVS, Sephora  or Bath and Body Works where they give you  a complete refund  if  the product doesn’t work for  you– and  breakouts certainly fall under that criteria. 

Question 2:  If  I use a moisturizer with a 15 SPF and  sunscreen with a 15 SPF, does that equal 30 SPF ?

If only that were true.  No matter how  manydifferent products you pile  on, generally your total SPF is  just the highest number you are using.  In this case, your total SPF is still 15.  However there are some  powders and mineral foundations contain  zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which are great UVB blockers.  Its hard to measure, but  in theory they can provide increased  protection.

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