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Sun vs. Your Face

Cautionary Tale: Exhibit 1


The other day I told a colleague that diet and sun protection are 75% of the battle against aging and leather skin.  I was mistaken.  Sun protection by itself is 75% of the battle.  I cannot overemphasize the need for sunscreen no matter your age, melanin quotient, or desire to tan.  There’s a lot of info and even more products to choose from and they all work, in different ways.  For myself, I alternate between 3 daily sunscreens.  As a person with dry AND oily/acne prone fair skin that can best be described as “dermis with pervasive personality disorder,” I navigate daily between the desire to block the heck outa those carcinogenic rays, red nose and cheeks and clogged pores.  Regardless, everyday one must slather up.  

Since these creams are the ones you will know daily, I suggest you try as many samples as possible to see how your skin reacts to various brands.  After trying many many brands, I’ve found that price is not always an indicator of effectiveness.  What matters most is that any sunscreen you choose includes the following attributes:

  • SPF 30 or higher
  • Broad spectrum
  • Water resistant
  • Something you are happy to apply every day.  Whatever it takes: fragrance, packaging, size... I don’t care.  Whatever it takes to get it on your face.
    Once you’ve found that special potion you are willing to commit to the real work begins.  Make sure to apply your first application one half hour before sun exposure (I’m looking at you, morning commute) and apply every 2 hours throughout the day.  If you work in an office that doesn’t support sunlight or the windows its shines through, go ahead and just apply before lunch and when you’re getting off for the day.  

    On those days you do get fun in the sun; PLEASE make sure to reapply every time you get out of the water.  Suncreen, even those marked “waterproof,” are actually only water resistant and are not fullproof.  Even with religious application, those of us with fair skin will still end up a little pink unless we are willing to also get into headgear.

    While sun protection headwear has traditionally been dominated by the older Asian women of yore, visors and hats are here to stay.  For all of us.  Just look at what awesomeness Balenciaga offered us last year.


    Now this is not necessarily a look I advocate at home or on your Target run, unless your initials are ADR, but there is a myriad of awesome straw visors, panama hats, floppy felt hats and lord knows what to give you that added protection.

    In review, find a sunscreen.  Use it.  Employ a multifaceted coverage system as the excuse to purchase a new hat.  And you should be good to go.


    Kelly T. 

    Photo credits: and

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