Happy Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

Okay, so skin cancer isn’t exactly something to celebrate…but the prevention of it is. As my family and friends could tell you, I tend to lecture people about the dangers of not properly protecting yourself in the sun. I drive them crazy sometimes, but it’s a really important issue. So excuse me while I sound off for a minute, then I’ll get to the fun part — things to buy!

  1. Pale is the new tan. This is easy for me to say, as I have the complexion of Snow White (or Casper, depending on how generous I’m being to myself), but it’s true. Gone are the days where the style is “the darker the better.” Look at all of the GORGEOUS celebrities out there with pale skin: Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Taylor Swift, Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, and so on.
  2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BASE TAN. This fallacy is one of my pet peeves when it comes to the sun. “But I have to go tanning before we go on our cruise so I don’t burn!” No, you don’t. According to a skin care expert with much more knowledge than me: Yes, a tan does mean that your skin contains increased melanin, and therefore has a slightly higher resistance to burning – but that increased resistance is equivalent to an SPF of only 3-4! And that tiny amount of extra protection is certainly not worth the skin-aging and increased skin-cancer risk that tanning (in a bed or under the sun) brings.
  3. You don’t just need SPF on the beach. If you’re going to be spending the day baking in the sun, it’s a no brainer (or at least is should be) that you need to put on sunscreen. And if you don’t do that, well, you’re an idiot. But it’s the everyday exposure to the sun that even non-idiots often downplay. You are exposed to the sun EVERY DAY. Walking to your car, sitting near a window, running your errands…it doesn’t matter, you’re in the sun. This is why it’s crucial to wear SPF, at least on your face, EVERY DAY. I personally recommend using a facial moisturizer that has SPF of 15 or higher (recommendations to come), so you don’t have to use a separate product. And for days you’re going to spend more time outdoors, a separate sun product is in order for your face and any other exposed skin.
  4. Tanning is not healthy. Too many people believe that if they don’t get sunburned, they’re not at risk. False. Tanning is not healthy for your skin.
  5. Jersey Shore. Enough said.

Now, I will get off of my soapbox. Hopefully I haven’t scared you away yet.

I get the question pretty often about what sun protection products I use. Here are a few of my favorites — remember, always SPF 15 or higher!

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 has been my go-to daily moisturizer for a while now. It’s not too heavy, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with oily skin.

I reviewed Bliss Best of Skintentions SPF 15 last year, so you can read my review here. In short, it’s very light and soaks in fast, so it’s great for the summer.

I was introduced to Supergoop! SPF 30+ Everyday UV recently and haven’t gotten a chance to review it yet. It’s free of parabens, sulfates and all sorts of other synthetic stuff. It’s called an everyday product, but it’s a bit too thick for me to use every day. However, because of the higher SPF, it’s perfect for days I know I’ll be in the sun for longer periods of time.

If you’re looking for sun protection from your makeup, you can go with liquid or powder. Either way, I’d recommend Laura Mercier. If you’re looking for liquid, try her legendary tinted moisturizer. If you prefer powder, check out the Mineral Powder with SPF 15. I don’t advocate using makeup as your sole source of SPF if you’re going to have more than minimal exposure to the sun, but it can’t hurt to have an extra layer of protection.

If you need any other suggestions or have any questions, leave a comment!