Protected Skin is In
By: Nicole DeMet
What's the largest organ of the body? If you guessed skin, you're right!
So why aren't more of us taking loving care of this major organ?
I guess for so many of us, it has to do with the fact that nothing seemingly major happens if we neglect proper skincare. A breakout here and there, a bad sunburn you forget about once it's healed or the itchy dry skin that is ever present during winter.
There a so many different ways people abuse their skin internally and externally but one of the biggest neglects that seem to not be taken seriously by both men & women alike is sun protection. I know, I know you've heard this before! Before you stop reading, consider this statistic. Over 2.5 million people are diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma (Skin Cancer) every year in the United States alone. If that doesn't scare you, try googling images of Basal Cell Carcinoma and maybe then you'll rethink walking out of the house without your daily sunscreen.
Like so many things, we take our skin for granted because the effects of the sun are gradual. Now of course in the summer those effects can be more immediate, such as a burn or a tan. While a tan looks and feels a whole lot better then redness and a burn the bottom line is they both equal damage!
It seems no matter how much information is shared and studies are done millions of people still refuse to make sun protection a priority. So, besides the fact that you make yourself vulnerable to skin cancer, you are also going to show the signs of aging much sooner then you may want. The fact is, almost all aging-related changes to the skin are caused by sun exposure. So, what can you do? Well, the obvious answer is to apply sunscreen daily. But now your thinking how often do I have to apply? What's a good brand? How much do I need? Etc.... So specifically for the face, I've got some tips to help you out.
First, when it comes to products that already have SPF in them this is a bit of a toss-up. A very awesome mentor of mine once explained it like this. Imagine a little man stirring a giant pot of your favorite moisturizer or foundation, as he's doing so some SPF is added to the pot. But as he's bottling it, the first bottle gets a bunch of the SPF, the next only gets about half that and then another barely gets any. Basically, who really knows if your bottle truly got the SPF it was supposed to because there really isn't any regulation.
Because of that I always recommend that you use a separate SPF product. You'll want to apply the sun protection first, wait a few minutes to let it soak in and then follow with moisturizer and for the ladies continue with the rest of your skincare /beauty routine.
Ladies! Don't let the men in your life walk out the door without this same protection!
Men are not magically immune to the sun and need to protect & moisturizer like the rest of us! Since men are typically creatures of habit and like things simple when it comes to any products they may use in the morning. Make the sun protection readily available on the bathroom counter and encourage them to use it every day and just like you, it will become part of the daily routine.
Also, make sure that you are using a broad spectrum with UVA (Aging Rays) & UVB (Burning Rays) protection. I would shoot for a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 minimum.
A little bit goes a long way as I'm sure we've all experienced the annoyance of squirting out too much Sun Protectant on our body and feeling like it takes days to rub in. Same goes for your face, a pea size amount should do the trick. You don't want to end up with a white cast on the face, no matter the skin tone....not a good look!
I have a few favorite products both drugstore brands & professional. Here are my favorites.
Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
L'Oreal Advanced Sun care Silky Sheer Face Lotion 30
Skin Scripts Sheer Protection SPF 30
Image Skincare PREVENTION+ daily hydrating moisturizer SPF 30+
Nicole DeMet is a Licensed Esthetician & Freelance Makeup Artist based in the Chicago area. Please visit the Balance Beauty Gal Instagram page and subscribe to this blog and newsletter here!