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Reducing Sun Damage While on Vacation

Sun protection 411

Whether you're cruising or heading to a villa on the beach, vacations are all about the sunshine. While it does wonders for sun protection on vacation? our mood, what it does to our skin is another story. Too much sun can trigger melasma (chloasma), brownish patches on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip and chin.

"Anytime hormones are in flux, your skin gets more sensitive," says Wendy Lewis, author of The Beauty Battle (Lauren Glen 2002). "Pregnancy, menstruation and menopause translates to the potential to burn more easily."



Know when to run from the sun

There are two kinds of ultraviolet rays that you need to protect yourself from.

  • Ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB rays cause your skin to show the signs of sunburn, but most sunscreens protect against them.
  • Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays penetrate deeply, damaging collagen production and demolishing lipids; read wrinkles, saggy skin and in extreme cases, cancer. A good sunscreen is effective against both UVB and UVA.

Pay attention to the SPF number - it indicates how much exposure your skin can handle before the sizzle starts. Most dermatologists recommend a minimum SPF 15 for all skin types. Multiply the SPF number by 10. As long as you're not sweating profusely or swimming, an SPF 15 protects up to 150 minutes before burning.

Even with a protective sunscreen, dermatologists stress that you'll still get some exposure so reapply often.

Getting sun protection on - the right way

For greatest protection, apply a generous amount over all parts of your body and face that will be exposed to the sun - now's not the time to skimp. Let it absorb for at least 15 minutes before applying make-up or going outdoors. Some sunscreens are water-repellent or waterproof, but they still need to be reapplied every two hours.

And don't forget your lips - use a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher.

  • sunshine at the beach - extra protection needed!Creams and lotions are good choices for use on the face and body.
  • Gels are oil-free and won't clog pores, which makes them a necessity for acne-prone skin.
  • Sprays are useful for getting those hard to reach places (shoulders and back) and for restless children.
  • Solid formulas target the lips, ears, nose and sensitive skin around the eyes.

Before you leave for vacation, treat yourself to a brand-new bottle of sunscreen - one that offers complete protection.

Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 For Sensitive Skin

And if you need some sunscreen inspiration, check out my favorite brands.

DDF Enhancing Sun Protection SPF 30 - A full spectrum sunscreen that can be worn year round with or without make-up. If you're prone to acne, this is a good year-round choice - you'll have coverage and then some.

Aveeno Sunblock for the Face SPF 30 - A broad Spectrum SPF that blocks UVA and UVB sunrays, it's also oil-free, Paba-free, fragrance-free and dermatologist tested. It's clean, non-greasy formula glides on easily for quick absorption while moisturizing with vitamins A and E.

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 For Sensitive Skin - This is serious sungear for your face. Sheer mineral face sunscreen lotion provides superior protection from harmful UV rays with naturally sourced 100% zinc oxide active ingredient. Specially formulated for facial skin, it’s oil-free and non-comedogenic.

Are you commited to sun protection while on vacation or you do just soak up the sun and forget about it?


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