School’s out and the pool is open. You are basking in the sun with your favorite device and I am sure the first thing you thought of was your sun protection, right?
Bad girl if you didn’t. I know it is repetitive and there is a certain truth to the sun’s rays giving you the vitamin D you need, but let’s face it, those UVA and UVB rays also age you. I can tell you I have religiously slathered my face, neck and decollete with spf 15 since I was twelve and I do not look 33. So where do we start with sun protection? Sunscreen of course.
There are two main types. Those that protect you based on chemical means (think avobenzone) and those that are mineral based (think zinc oxide). There is great debate over which is better and whether the chemical category does more harm than good. I will let you do the research and choose for yourself.
I use a product with avobenzone, but that is my preference. I layer my daily moisturizer with sunscreen followed by my coveted BB (beauty balm) cream. Both contain spf 15. I have found anything greater than spf 15 makes me greasy and I can’t do that to my skin. I have also heard anything greater than spf 15 really only protects you minimally more. But again, find what works for you with trial and error. Beauty stores as well as other retailers will often allow you to return tried products that don’t work for you. Just keep your receipts!
An important side note here and mind the tangent.: If you are going to have your photos done and there will be a lot of flash photography, sunscreen products with zinc oxide will sometimes ghost out your skin where the zinc oxide is leaving a whitish cast or bleach out your face.
With any type of sunscreen, it is important to remember you will have to reapply if you are perspiring or getting wet. Even waterproof formulas won’t stay all day if you are in and out of the water and toweling off. Reapplication as directed by the bottle is important. If you don’t want to put a liquid formula on your face after you’ve set your face with powder, find a powder containing spf to do the job for you.
My other way to ensure the rays stay away is with a hat. I like wide brims for all day in the sun as well as for running errands. There are a lot of us divas out there that have professionally colored hair. We all spend hard earned money on getting it colored; the last thing we want is for the sun to lighten it. In addition to the wide brim covering all of your face and hair, it also shields the back of your neck. Don’t forget the neck and chest are susceptible to aging as well.
If wide brims are just not your style and you prefer a little tomboy chic to your daily attire, find a good old fashioned baseball hat. Now mind you, it won’t cover the back of your neck and all of your hair, but it does a good job of covering your face. I have a couple of baseball hats I implore based on what I am doing and the look I am going for. My husband had a hat made for himself that just might be my latest fashion accessory as it is an all-black hat with a scripted “S”. I’ve worked that into so many outfits, it’s frightening.
Now, if you don’t like hats but want to cover your hair and scalp, please think about scarves. Head wrapping is very chic these days and brings a retro vibe to an outfit. If you’re interested in the varieties of ways to tie a head scarf, the internet is your best resource. From turbans to side ties, you can find a style that will work with almost any scarf you probably own in your closet.
Stay tuned for next week, when we discuss sunglasses. There is nothing more refined than a scarf-wrapped diva sporting oversized shades.
Now, go find your sunscreen!
Denise Bennett maintains a fashion blog on Perfect20.co.