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Don't Be Like Gina (or me)! Wear Your Sunscreen

Yesterday Gina was showing me some discoloration on her upper lip that occurred while she was at the beach recently. She said she got a terrible sunburn on her lips because, you know, she hadn't thought to put sunscreen on them. The result was burned and cracked lips and a discoloration running the outline of her upper lip. It got me thinking about how terrible I am at wearing sunscreen - not just on a daily basis but when I am in the sun for a prolonged amount of time: the beach, the pool, or being active outdoors. I do LOVE the way the sun feels (when it's not 105) and I may have a mental block about the damage that it can inflict, both short term and long term.

I recently wrote about the BBL I had on my arms, and for the last week, I've been staring at the extremely visible repercussions of not wearing sunscreen (the constellation-esque freckles on my arms turned to full on milky way from the BBL) and I'm waiting for the pigmentation to slough off. The conversation with Gina, the post-treatment pigmentation, and my upcoming wedding have all made me reexamine protecting my skin with sunscreen to prevent the visible damage and to try to slow the aging signs.

Education on what types of sunscreen are most effective, as well as which are best/least harmful to the environment and sea creatures, seems like it's becoming more prevalent. So you may already know that chemical sunscreens are NOT what you should be using. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing into the skin, then absorbing UV rays, converting the rays into heat, and releasing them from the body. Most of the readily available sunscreens are chemical. Physical sunscreens are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and they provide a barrier which protects your skin by reflecting the UV rays.

Quick Sunscreen Facts: The most effective sunscreens are broad-spectrum (protects from both UVA and UVB rays) with a high amount of zinc oxide (like Elta MD products). A broad-spectrum sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

UVB rays mostly affect the outermost layer of the skin. They cause:

  • Sunburns

  • Play the greatest role in formation of skin cancer

  • Directly damage your DNA

  • UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer so fewer reach the ground

UVA rays are not absorbed by the ozone layer and account for 95% of our sun exposure. They permeate the deeper layers of skin and cause:

  • Skin aging

  • Damage collagen and cells which leads to wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity

  • Have a role in the formation of some types of skin cancer

There’s a multitude of sunscreen products available, so here is a breakdown of the sunscreens we offer and what they are most effective for (these are all Elta MD because they make effective products with a great price point and we love them!)

Non-Tinted Facial Sunscreens: Best for men; also great for women who want to layer SPF under their makeup

  • UV Daily Non-Tinted: Elegant, silky smooth feel, with hyaluronic acid, for drier skin

  • UV Clear Non-Tinted: Best for oilier skin types or skin types prone to acne

Tinted Facial Sunscreens as a Makeup Substitute:

  • UV Daily Tinted: Silky smooth feel, with hyaluronic acid, for drier skin

  • UV Clear Tinted: Best for oilier skin types

  • UV Physical Tinted: Best for extra-sensitive skin or post-procedure skin. Water resistant. Has a slightly thicker feel than the UV Daily or UV Clear.

  • UV Elements Tinted: This one has hyaluronic acid like UV Daily but also includes water-resistance. The consistency is slightly thicker than the UV Daily and the UV Clear.

Non-tinted Facial Suncreen for Sports Protection

  • UV Sport: It is water-resistant for an hour and a half and can be applied to wet or dry skin.

Everyday Body Protection

  • UV Lotion: Perfect to use over the whole body every day. It doesn’t leave you smelling like sunscreen, or leave you white with zinc residue.

  • UV Aero: This is best when used as a reapplication layer on top of the UV Lotion (think being at the pool and needing to re-apply throughout the day). The continuous spray makes it easy to protect hard-to-reach places. Sprays on white so you can see coverage then dries clear when rubbed in.

Don’t Forget the Lips Lip cancer is the most common form of oral cancer. I absolutely never remember to protect this delicate area (apparently Gina has this mental block too! :)

  • UV Lip Balm: Feels creamy (contains Hydromanil for moisturization), has long-lasting sunscreen, and helps soothe and protect dry, chapped and sun-exposed lips. We haven't carried this for awhile but we will be at the end of August. Elta MD is reformulating it and we will let you know as soon as we have their newest formulation.

(A side note on what to do if your lips are already burned: Gina used Skin Ceuticals AOX Lip Repair on her burned/cracked lips and she said it felt amazing and she healed quickly!)

As I'm getting older I have definitely started to noticed my skin having a lot more laxity and crepiness. It might be too late to undo some of this sun damage but I'm FOR REALS committed to preventing further damage. Who's with me?? Come in a grab your Elta MD products. They are effective and they are affordable!

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