Good morning LILA ladies! Today we are welcoming back to LILA Fashion International HQ our guest blogger Sara Meyer, La Chele Medical Aesthetics Marketing & Retail Specialist and Licensed Esthetician. This week on the east coast we were bombarded with winter storm Juno and although there was no direct sunshine to speak of, this weeks blog post is all about sun, sun, sun and how detrimental it can be to your skin! Today, Ms. Meyer is going to share insights into how best to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays and some of the most effective products to do so. So, let’s get started!
If you all remember, the last three Sundays we discussed the first six steps in morning skin care. Step 1 is making sure you properly cleanse your skin and effectively exfoliate. [Get started on the first post here with The Radiant Fashionista: Cleansers & Exfoliators.] Step 2 is making sure you utilize toner to restore your skin’s pH balance. Step 3 requires the use of serum to help active substances penetrate deeper into your skin and help with a variety of different things including anti-aging, acne control, etc. [Click to view The Radiant Fashionista Part II: Toners & Serums.] The last two steps involve treating the skin around your eyes with the appropriate eye cream and remembering that hydrated skin is healthy skin and therefore you MUST moisturize. [Click to view The Radiant Fashionista Part III: Eye Cream & Moisturizer].
Ms. Meyer emphasizes that: “Sun protection factor is the most important anti-aging product you can use! Sun damage is thought to be responsible for 90 percent of skin aging and only 10 percent of skin aging is thought to be intrinsic – meaning part of the natural aging process. Everyone who is concerned about their skin should be wearing a broad-spectrum sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher every single day. Sunscreen should be part of your daily routine no matter what the weather is outside, where you live, or what your plans are for the day! The rays of the sun are aging your skin even when you cannot directly see the sun on a cloudy day or a snowy day. In addition to using SPF over 30 you should also look for broad spectrum SPF – this type protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
It is important for every woman to know that there are two types of sunscreen. These provide either chemical protection or physical protection. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays. Some chemical sunscreens can scatter the sun’s rays but most just absorb them. Examples of ingredients in chemical sunscreens are: octylcrylene, avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone. Unlike chemical sunscreens, physical sunscreens protect your skin by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays. Examples of ingredients in physical sunscreens are: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Sunscreen products that provide physical protection using zinc oxide will give you the best protection because they are ACTUALLY blocking the suns rays from penetrating your skin and ultimately aid in preventing any sun damage from occurring. Sunscreen products that use chemical protection allow the sun’s rays to penetrate your skin but protect the skin from absorbing those rays. Research studies have shown that chemical protection often allows for sun damage. A good resource to better understand the ingredients in different sunscreens can be found at the Environmental Working Group’s website.
One might ask: Why wouldn’t everyone just use sunscreens that promote physical protection? Seeing as they are more effective and don’t have any known safety implications. Well, many women steer clear from physical sunscreens because they can be cosmetically unattractive under make-up. However, there are products out there specifically designed to protect your skin and are cosmetically elegant. Below are some suggestions:
EltaMD UV Daily – use this product if you have normal skin or a combination of normal and dry skin. There are two versions – one is tinted and one is clear.
EltaMD UV Clear – use this product if you have oily skin or are prone to acne.
Obagi Sun Shield Matte SPF 50 – this product can be used by all skin types.
SkinMedica Physical Defense SPF 30 – this product can be used by all skin types.