The Straw Hat– Style Meets Sun Protection

The disarming straw hat has  endured for centuries as a wearable symbol of the perfect day– long, hot and sun soaked.  These hats provide a cool shade that is absurdly flattering, framing your eyes as it seems to erase tiny lines. But wait there’s  more– a beautiful  straw hat also offers  affordable low tech sun protection.

There are  a dizzying buffet of straw  hat styles and sizes.  The key to wearing it faithfully is to  find the shape that  makes you feel cool and pretty:

Panama Straw HatThe Panama Straw Hat

The first thing youshould know about the Panama hat is that it is not  made in Panama.  Crafted in Peru and Ecuador, it was introduced to the United States by sailors returning from Latin  Panama. It became socially acceptable when  worn by President … Continue Reading…

Q & A- Sunscreens and the Hair

Question:  I’m now a believer and use  a sunblock everyday on my  face, neck and  hands.  I’ve been seeing ads for  shampoos and conditioners  with  sunscreens.  Should I   use them  to protect  my hair from UV damage?

Answer:  Hair is made of keratin, which is also found in  skin.  But the keratin in hair is dead– which is why you can cut it without pain.  And because the  hair shafts  are dead, UV rays  cannot cause cancerous changes. However UV rays can  still damage the hair.  Shampoos and conditioners with sunscreens   are  just rinsed out and cannot   offer  protection.   Spray on sunscreens  would  have to leave a thick  greasy film in order to genuinely block UV rays.  FYI You will notice that hair care products with sunscreens don’t  provide an SPF.  This is because   their protection cannot be measured the way it  can be with the skin. 

However, sunlight can definately … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week  Kari of Fab Over 40 is the host of Fashion Flash and   she has an info packed post on  the European Waxing Centers.  One has opened in my hood, but  past scary waxing experiences has  made me  keep my distance.  Her explanation of   their waxing  techniques convinced me to make an appointment.  Beach season is right around the corner  and   hair removal is no longer an option.  Kari also  introduced me to an exquisite new  line of products   called  Naked Princess that  are perfect for Mother’s Day. Beautifully designed and packaged  they are designed  to celebrate being a women.  Nice.

And I am so proud of two  Fashion Flash  friends– Jojami Tyler of Fab After 40 is featured in a full page  ad in More magazine.  She is an Aveeno Brand Ambassador for their new Active Naturals campaign … Continue Reading…

Should I Use A Moisturizer with My Sunscreen?

Question and answer about beautyI’ve received quite  a few emails  asking what moisturizer I use  with  my sunscreen.  Actually I don’t.  I’m not a big  fan of layering products on my skin.   Its hard enough  for bare skin to absorb ingredients in a single  product.  I can’t  help but think  that adding a separate moisturizer interferes  with absobption  of sun protection chemicals.  And thats  what they have to do to be effective.  Rather than sit on  your face  like a ski mask, most  sunblocks   work within the skin to deal with UV rays.

If you have dry skin or if you are using Retin A and you feel   as if  your skin is thirsty using  just a sunblock, I have two suggestions:

1.  Rather  than using a traditional sunscreen, use a moisturizer than also has an SPF of at least 30.  In fact  my … Continue Reading…

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…

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…

Sunscreen Anti-Aging Cheat Sheet

When I was  a twenty something,  Memorial Day was the start of a glorious tanning season.  Now that I am over forty, hot sunny days sends me scrambling  for the biggest baddest sunscreen I can find.  And each year I find myself standing in front of shelves of sunscreens until my eyes glaze over.   Should I buy oil free?  fragrance fee?  and what is Helioplex?  In the past  I grabbed a few different brands and hoped for the best.  Now that I am committed to an anti-aging program, I need to do better.   So here is the start of my sunscreen cheat sheet:

1.  Broad Spectrum — this means that  it provides protection against all types of damaging sun rays.  There are basically two types — UV A and UVB.  At one time experts believed that  UVA  was a good guy and caused the skin to tan  and UVB  was the bad guy … Continue Reading…