Here Comes the Sun – And the SPF
By Gigi Anders
If you dismiss SPF, you’re literally playing with fire. According to my great friends at Neutrogena, some 350 Americans are diagnosed with sun exposure-related skin cancer every hour. Every. Hour.
99% of physicians agree that using sunscreen helps lower skin cancer risk.
Nine out of 10 dermatologists choose SPF 30 or higher for themselves and their families.
Three out of 4 doctors agree that SPF 50+ provides more safety.
And P.S., freckles may be cute and currently trending, but no baby is born with them. Freckles are sun damage. I’m so sorry. But there it is.
The good news? I’ve been testing fabulous SPF products for weeks now so you don’t have to. I looked for high SPF’s with broad spectrum (meaning it protects you from both UVA – aging --and UVB – burning -- rays, which respectively cause premature aging and sunburn; I’m as fair as the driven snow and in the sun I fry faster than KFC Popcorn Nuggets), zero greasiness, pleasant or nonexistent fragrance, easy application, no chalky white cast, and a texture that feels nice wherever I put it. Then I organized each SPF product by body part.
Here’s what I found.
Face and Environs:
This category’s the trickiest because sunscreen has to work on its own as well as under makeup on all skin types. Very scary to suddenly grease out on the sidewalk or smell strange to whomever comes close enough to kiss or hug you.
The following are all perfection.
Moroccanoil Sun 30 SPF Face Lotion Lightweight Hydrating Sun Protection Broad Spectrum ($38). This fast-absorbing formula is a daily moisturizer and a sunscreen in one, which I love; one less step in the morning. Antioxidant-rich argan oil hydrates and nourishes the skin with a powerful fruit complex that won’t overwhelm even the oiliest skins. Your face will feel smooth and supple for the duration.
Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen + Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($34). Nobody doesn’t love Glossier, and their newest product is no exception. This “watergel” formula goes on over your moisturizer and disappears as you apply it. It neutralizes harmful free radicals with a powerful mix of Vitamin E and Vitamin P; and broccoli and aloe leaf extracts. To keep junk from getting in your face in the first place -- that’s the “+” – there’s a matrix of fermented yeast and vegetal extract. (Like the Los Angeles scene in Annie Hall when Alvy orders “the alfalfa sprouts and a plate of mashed yeast.") But in this context, it’s actually invisible and breathable. And as for the scent, a drop of sweet orange peel oil finishes the fine job.
RoC MULTI CORREXION® 5-in-1 Chest, Neck & Face Cream with SPF 30 ($27.99). Clinically proven and scientifically sophisticated, this creamy yet light formula helps restore elasticity and firmness to the vulnerable neck and chest area with a protectively high SPF. It also hydrates, boosts radiance, and smoothes the appearance of fine lines.
Supergoop! Shine On Lip Screen SPF 50 with Grape Polyphenols ($22). This literally cool new product is a top coat for your lipstick. Why do you need this? Because many traditional lipsticks and glosses can actually magnify UV rays. Yes. This clear formula adds a subtle, unsticky, water-resistant shine to your fave lip color and shields your kisser from all the bad rays. Plus, its grape seed extract is rich in something called resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+ ($12.99). For me, there is no summer sans this perfect sunblock. It bubbles up upon application, then turns into a weightless, colorless, oil-free sun condom that smells clean and soft, like fresh laundry and freshly-shampooed baby hair. The “Helioplex® Technology” is water resistant up to 80 minutes, won’t clog pores, and has the highest SPF, which, for delicate blossoms like me, is pure poetry.
Supergoop! Super Power Sunscreen Mousse SPF 50 ($19 - $34). This fun new product makes SPF application a moussey-poofy blast with a foamy-fluffy texture; a soft clean scent; and a quickie absorption. Blue sea kale provides antioxidant protection, while a blend of shea butter, olive and avocado oils leaves skin nourished and moisturized.
Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl Broad Spectrum SPF 25 Hand Cream ($28). Neglect your hands at your own peril. If you drive or walk during the day, your hands are constantly exposed to sunlight. Those ensuing age spots? Completely gratuitous. Take an extra 15 seconds before leaving the house in the morning to protect your hands with this luxurious, award-winning cream. With shea butter, avocado and jojoba oils, and a botanical brightening complex to even out skin tone, your hands will thank you, thank you, thank you.