Sunday? Sun Day! A Primer.

I’m mentioning this again because not only does it bear repeating, but as the weather cools down in the Sunny South, the exposure to sun damage can increase. So many products offer SPF for our skin, hair even our nails. We see the higher numbers and think one application is all we need to protect us all day. Well…think again!

Darker skin needs just as much sunscreen protection as the fairest of the fair. The natural melanin content on our skin is at best, an SPF of 8. I know, I know –  the ashy cast left by sunscreens containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can be off-putting. Try mixing it with your foundation or tinted moisturizer to minimize the effect. Feel like it sweats off too quickly? Try one of the lightweight spray formulations or wait 5-10 minutes before applying makeup.

If you’re truly not spending anytime outdoors,  a product containing an SPF of 15 should be enough. However, we forget sitting by a sunny window, a long drive or even the florescent lighting an older building can increase or exacerbate sun damage.  If you’re spending the day in the sun, your SPF measurement goes like this:

SPF number x ten = number of minutes for safe sun protection

So, an SPF of 30 means 300 minutes of protection. Unless you burn easily or sweat a lot or swimming. Then apply more often. Keeping a small tube or spray bottle in your bag is essential. You’d be surprised how many new friends you make spritzing sunscreen!

Forget simple arithmetic when it comes to SPF. A moisturizer with SPF of 15 followed by a foundation of SPF of 15 does not equal SPF 30 protection. It’s really between 12-15. If you need at least SPF 30, you’ll have to use an actual sunscreen in our beauty routine. Here’s a few I like below. All can be used on the face, but oilier/sensitive skins should check the ingredients before use:

Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 

Kiss My Face’s Face Factor SPF 50 For Face & Neck

Fresh’s Moisturizing Soy Cream SPF 20**

Boscia’s Self-Defense Vital Antioxidant Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30

**There’s a school of thought that high SPF can cause irritation in sensitive skins. Some say an anything over an SPF of 10, some say SPF 30. As always, please do a test behind your ear for reactions before applying all over your face.


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