The repercussions of adverse sun exposure include skin dryness, wrinkles, sun spots, sunburn, premature skin aging and even skin cancer. Without protection, fibers in the skin called elastin are damaged and break down from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose elasticity—becoming more prone to bruising and tearing due to sun damage.
Dermatologist Aivee Aguilar-Teo, M.D., reveals, “Anyone over the age of 6 months should use sunscreen if exposure to the sun is more than 20 minutes. Most people will receive this amount of sun exposure while performing routine activities.” Even if you’re exposed under 20 minutes daily, every minute counts. “SPF stands for sun protection factor and is the universal measurement of protection against UV rays,” Dr. Aguilar-Teo adds. Products with this kind of protection are a must, summer or not.
Professional make-up artist Ces Guerrero suggests BB Cream. “It’s a dynamo product because it’s so hard working and fulfills the roles of moisturizer, [sun protection], pore minimizer, brightener, concealer and primer [for] your face. It's become such a great product that most cosmetic lines have their own BB cream.”
Maybelline’s Clear Smooth BB Cream has SPF 26, corrects uneven skin tone and reduces fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. It also makes skin smooth, soft and supple while hiding flaws to reveal a healthy glow. A pea-sized amount will do for one use, advises Guerrero, who recommends using a stipple brush to apply the product evenly on the face. Another good BB cream is the Smashbox Camera Ready BB cream with SPF 35, which can be worn alone or under foundation for more coverage.
If you don’t intend to put on anything after cleansing your face and want a pleasant powdery finish, then there’s the Hydra Specific White by Yves Rocher. A few small drops, and SPF 25 whitening fluid moisturizes the epidermis, lightens the skin and prevents the appearance of dark spots.
The rest of your skin also needs protection. Palmer’s Olive SPF 15 Body Lotion softens and smoothes dry, rough skin with antioxidant-rich organic extra virgin olive oil to help maintain skin’s natural protective moisture barrier. It also has an anti-aging peptide complex that helps to increase skin’s firmness and elasticity.
Guerrero shares another SPF secret. “For girls that just want a hint of color, sun protection and moisturizer, tinted moisturizers fit the bill. ... Use your ring finger to apply it lightly and evenly all over the face, or use the stipple brush as well.”
After cleansing and toning, you should always moisturize to hydrate your skin. Clean & Clear’s moisturizer with SPF 30 has a vitamin-rich cherry extract formula that renews the skin naturally, while the rice extract absorbing oil system keeps you oil-free. Once you’re done moisturizing, put on the MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50, a gentle, lightweight cream worn as the final step in a skincare regimen—over moisturizer or under foundation. It’s formulated to help prevent skin discoloration and premature aging; zinc oxide and octinoxate are added to absorb UV rays. The oil-absorbing formula contains the antioxidant vitamin E and humectants that help retain skin moisture and minimize the appearance of imperfections.
Maybelline’s Clear Smooth Extra with SPF 20 can also help against the sun’s harsher rays. This oil-free powder foundation has high coverage suitable for sensitive skin, doesn’t clog pores and is fragrance-free. Busy ladies who want protection right after cleansing may want Yves Rocher ADN Vegetal White with SPF 30—also ideal for women subject to high loss of facial radiance who want to recover deep and durable luminosity. It simultaneously whitens and protects as it regulates melanin production and accelerates elimination of dead cells.
If you’re a busy lady who needs the same kick for a lesser budget, there’s Snoe Beauty’s Here comes the Sunblock. With SPF 45, this paraben-free, non-greasy sun lotion with Bengkoang (singkamas) contains vitamin C, flavonoids and saponins. It effectively inhibits the formation of melanin and pigmentation due to hormones and the sun, as it prevents and reduces acne scars.