Sunscreen in Real Time

Now that  sun filled days are here, I am wondering  how much sunscreen do I really need to use.  Many expert recommend one tablespoon for the face and  a total of two tablespoons for  both face and body.   To test  it out, I  measured out one tablespoon  of sunblock and dumped it on a small plate.  Then I went to work, dabbing it  on my checks, nose, and chin. I avoided my bang covered forehead.   At first, things went fine.  My skin seemed very happy  with the  extra moisture  of the sunscreen.  But as I applied more and more, it started to pile up on the surface until it looked like frosting — or clown make-up.

One of my biggest concerns when using sunscreen has been wearing make-up over it.  Not infrequetly, foundation, powder or blush … Continue Reading…

No More Aging Sunburns

The UV wristbands are  on  their way to all  subscribers  who emailed  me their contact information.  They are so easy to use– Apply a dab of  your sunscreen to the top of the strip, and watch the colors change.  As soon as you go into the sun, the band turns a bright purple.   When it fades  to a lavender pink, its a signal  to put on more sunscreen.  When the band is pale, yellowish color, its time to get out of the sun.  Children really seem to like it and run to tell me when its time to put on more sun lotion– which is more fun for both of us than running them down and struggling with them to get more suncreen. 

The wristbands can be hard to find, but I found a cache at a K-mart  near NYU. I still have twenty left, so email me if you want  one.  And  let me know  how they worked … 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: How much is too much?

How much sunblock  do you use on your face?  Most experts recommend one tablespoon for the face and two tablespoons for the whole  body.  I measured out  one tablespoon of a favorite sunblock  and dumped it on a saucer.  Then I started to apply it to my skin. At first  things were working normally.  As I applied it,  my skin was happy to absorb it.   Then as I applied more and more,  it started to pile up on the surface until it looked like frosting. ( or clown paint). 

It certainly makes you wonder how the “experts” came up with their recommendations.  Did any of them ever actually try out this quantity  before issuing the one tab guideline.  Seriously!  Not only did I look  like Bozo the Clown, my skin began to burn and itch.  I was so uncomfortable, I was gritting my teeth until I could take the shot and  rush to wash it off.

Even … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Sunscreen Cheat Sheet# 6

#6. SPF — This is the big Kahuna of sunscreen terms.  Seeing   “SPF”  on a package gives  you confidence in a product- maybe too much confidence.

Here’s how it works:  SPF stands for “sun protection factor”.  An SPF 15 means that you can stay in the sun 15X longer without burning.  If you start burning after 10 minutes  of sun exposure, then a 15 SPF  means you can spend 10 x 15 =150 minutes in the sun without burning.   But this sounds better than it is.

Many factors affect how much sun protection you actually have in real time– how much you use, if you’re near water or sands which reflects light,  as well as heat, humidity and time of year.  To me the most interesting things I learned is an SPF 30 is not twice  as good a 15 SPF.  Who knew?

I think that the best way to view an SPF is as proof that this product has actually been … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Sunscreen Cheat Sheet #4

Non-Greasy/Oil-Free – We’ve come a long way since  suncare meant a homemade mixture of baby oil and iodine.   Heavy, rich sunscreens makes you look sweaty, can ruin clothing, and provoke breakouts– even way past the age  when  blemishes  should be a problem.  Breakouts AND bags are  just too unfair.  When I ask people why they don’t wear sunscreens  one of the most  common reasons is that they cause breakouts.  If you  look for non-greasy/oil free on the label,  sunscreens will  make your skin  look better, not worse.

For more information on sunscreens, click on 15minute beauty fanatic on my blog roll.  This beauty blog has a great series on sunscreens, including tips on a wide range of products.