Sunscreen, anyone

Old May 21, 17, 5:53 pm
  #1  
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Sunscreen, anyone

I use sunscreen year round, but with summer fast approaching (in the Northern Hemisphere), I thought we could start a thread discussing our sunscreen habits, our best and worst experiences, what we can't live without, and what has ended up in the trash bin.

My daily SPF ritual involves:

On face:

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50+
Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 34 (does not sting or burn in eye area).
Shiseido Lip Balm SPF 34 (re-apply liberally during the day).

All of these will cause flashback if you are having your photograph professionally taken. However, I am so pale that the flashback just looks like my natural color, and it is a matter of using some sort of color correcting filter in Photoshop if you want to be made to look a bit less vampire-like. In everyday (iPhone) photography, I look much as I normally do -- the palest person in any group. This does not bother me.

On Body:

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+

To touch up sunscreen during the day without having to re-do make-up: Colorscience mineral sunscreen powder SPF 30 (Fair). BTW, I like having this product when I am flying during the day. It's nice to be able to re-apply sunscreen on a plane -- a place where we are all more susceptible to sun damage.

Other items:

Large coolio brand sun hat -- SPF 50. Folds down to nothing, so it travels well, and it creates a great shade that covers my head shoulders and (depending on the time of day) more. Not an excuse not to wear sunscreen, but it is good to protect the top of my head and spots on the back of my neck and shoulders that I probably don't get to with the sunscreen as carefully as I should, no matter how hard I try.

What do you do?

What has worked for you? What has not worked for you?
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Old May 21, 17, 8:28 pm
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True confession time?

My sunblock use is rare to minimal and always has been. As a kid growing up in California I don't think I even knew what sunblock was until probably junior high, and then it was because of the Coppertone billboard on Hwy 101 - the one with the dog tugging at the girl's bathing suit. I remember a friend of mine trying it and her legs turned bright orange.

By college age I did use it for prolonged outdoor time - I was in New England most of the year and lost my longterm "base tan" that I'd had since I was little and outdoors all day.

The only time I always put it on my face is for a day at the pool, beach or amusement park. For hiking or biking I might use it, or might wear a hat. These days I do burn if I'm not careful - that English ancestry kicking in, with extra sun sensitivity from medication. If I'm using sunscreen, it's usually what I can swipe from my kid the lifeguard - Neutrogena 50 SPF for the face, Waterbabies Waterproof for the body. The Neutrogena has zinc oxide, so it does make me look a little ghostly.

Lipstick: the Clinique lipsticks I use do have a sunscreen in them, no idea what SPF it is.

What I'm much more diligent about is eye protection year round. I always have dark glasses with me as my eyes are extremely light sensitive.
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Old May 22, 17, 11:13 am
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Fair skinned red head with history of significant blistering sunburns when younger. I just use Coppertone waterbaby sunblock SPF 50 every day on face neck and hands and other exposed areas dependent on clothing, including feet.
My dermatologist says any sunblock with number 35 or higher that is water resistant is fine. She also says to take numbers and time with caution since studies that determine the spf and time w/o burn use amounts that no one would use - essentially coverage like zinc oxide
Apply 2-3 times a day in summer. I go to dermatologist twice a year and have most problems on my arms from childhood exposure
I also try to use Amlactin an alpha hydroxy on my arms and legs after showering. This seems to 'heal' or make small keratoses disappear. Looking at my exposed skin compared to non exposed makes me sad that good sunblocks weren't available when I was a child
Now I am happy to see sunblock I use stops my freckles increasing in the summer and I haven't gotten a sunburn or even color from the sun in years. Also decreased areas that need attention from my dermatologist.
My Irish cousins have skin that looks like milk due to sunblock and the Irish lack of sunshine
I also wear sunglasses outside and have worn hats for many years, many years sun would bring on migraines but thus helps with skin also
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Old May 22, 17, 11:25 am
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Tell me more about the Amlactin, jerseygirl.

I worry most about the areas of my skin that I think I get to with the sunscreen but clearly can't (especially when I was a child and teen -- my skin cancer was in my upper back/shoulder area: clearly a spot where I applied sunscreen when I went to the beach, but not well, and would lie down and fall asleep in the sun, only to burn badly and blister often).

Like you, I worry about areas like this, where the damage is done. Since my 20s (the 1990s), I have done a good job of applying sunscreen to my face and other exposed areas on a daily basis, and truthfully, as sunscreens have improved, I, too, see that my freckles no longer spread across my face at the end of a sunny day, nor are the exposed areas of my feet pink.

Still, with a family history of melanoma and a personal history of pre-cancerous and now basal cell carcinoma, I am doing all I can to protect my skin, especially since I live in NYC and spend so much of my time outside to get from point A to point B.

Anyhow, it's clear I was not meant to be spending time lying out on a beach trying to get brown. All I got was burned and freckled.
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Old May 22, 17, 11:38 am
  #5  
 
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For me:

On face -

Most days, Japanese Biore Perfect Face Milk SPF50+/PA++++
Sometimes, EltaMD UV Physical SPF 41 or MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Cream SPF 50
I also use the Colorscience mineral sunscreen powder for touchups

On body -

These days, I'm using Hawaiian Tropics Island Sport Lotion SPF 30. I mostly sit in an office, so this is just for driving to/from work and maybe sitting outside at lunch. I've struggled to find a good body lotion with SPF that isn't sticky, chalky or heavy. This one seems pretty good.
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Old May 22, 17, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by ysolde View Post
On face:

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50+
Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 34 (does not sting or burn in eye area).
Shiseido Lip Balm SPF 34 (re-apply liberally during the day).

On Body:

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+

To touch up sunscreen during the day without having to re-do make-up: Colorscience mineral sunscreen powder SPF 30 (Fair). BTW, I like having this product when I am flying during the day. It's nice to be able to re-apply sunscreen on a plane -- a place where we are all more susceptible to sun damage.

Other items:

Large coolio brand sun hat -- SPF 50. Folds down to nothing, so it travels well, and it creates a great shade that covers my head shoulders and (depending on the time of day) more. Not an excuse not to wear sunscreen, but it is good to protect the top of my head and spots on the back of my neck and shoulders that I probably don't get to with the sunscreen as carefully as I should, no matter how hard I try.

What do you do?

What has worked for you? What has not worked for you?
I'm still looking for my holy grail! I am of Scandinavian and English/Irish descent and do not tan (I wish I had figured this out before I spent so many years trying to tan!). I'm looking for sun protection that is also moisturizing and has anti-aging properties as well.

Is the Lancome sunblock moisturizing as well? Does foundation go over it smoothly?

I haven't tried colorscience powder yet. I've used the Peter Thomas Roth powder for a few years and it works well but it is too yellow for my skin.

On my body, I usually use whatever I'm putting on my kids. The neutrogena wet skin is the easiest with them, but I also feel guilty about using chemicals on their skin so I go back and forth with that and physical sun blocks. I think I've tried every product on EWG's safe sunscreen list, but nothing goes on easily.

I get cold so easily, especially in the water, that I usually wear a rash guard at the beach. Keeps me a little warmer and saves a lot of time applying sunblock!

My go-to hat is a San Diego Hat Company straw visor. It has a wide brim and rolls up so it provides decent coverage, lets me wear my hair up on hot days and is easy to travel with, but it's also pretty goofy looking. I am on the hunt for something stylish enough to wear in European cities this summer, so I will check out Coolio.
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Old May 22, 17, 1:40 pm
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I'm limited to physical blockers after various poor reactions to chemical sunscreens (including I think the Lancome one mentioned by @ysolde, unfortunately), so I feel like I'm missing out on the really good Japanese and Korean sunscreens.

I've been a happy user for several years of Bioderma's Photoderm Akn Mat 30: it's not at all greasy and leaves a nice finish. It's marketed for the acne-prone, but I'm in my 40s with dry skin, and I rarely wear foundation since I like how my skin looks with just the Bioderma. My only quibble is that it's not available in the US; I'd like to find one I can just pick up here.

The closest I've come has been Skinceuticals Physical Mat UV, but it's pricier than the Bioderma, and there's a tint that is slightly too dark for me. (I might be paranoid about too dark foundations/tints.)

The Clarins mineral sunscreen is fine but somewhat overpriced for its basic formulation, but only in the untinted, as the light version is too dark for me. Drunk Elephant was way too greasy on me, so I wouldn't use it daily. The Bioderma is really the only sunscreen that doesn't make my (dry and dehydrated) skin greasy. Why is that so hard?

I'm curious about the colorscience powder, though, and maybe the Elta MD Physical one mentioned by @Buster should be the next I try.
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Old May 22, 17, 2:17 pm
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The Lancome has its pros and cons. I wear it over my day moisturizer (currently Creme de la Mer; I will probably go for something a bit lighter in summer). The Lancome "plays well" with the moisturizer and with my foundation (no pilling). That said, it does burn a bit, and it cannot go anywhere near my eyes (hence the need for a separate sunscreen for the eye area). I wait about twenty minutes for the sunscreen to set (have a cup of tea, get my clothes together) before applying make-up. It is definitely not a HG.

The colorscience powder is much better than the PTR for us fair skinned gals. Same concept, but with many more color options. The PTR, as I recall, only had one color option, which was way too dark for me. The colorscience (in fair) is a much better match. Plus it's an easy thing to carry in your purse during the day.
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Old May 22, 17, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by turnleftbrighteyes View Post
I

I'm curious about the colorscience powder, though, and maybe the Elta MD Physical one mentioned by @Buster should be the next I try.
One note of warning...the EltaMD is pretty drying. I can only wear it in the summer, and not every day, because it's so drying. I think that's the case with many physical sunscreens. The MD formulations one is more silicone feeling, but I absolutely detest the pump tube that it comes in.

Not to sidetrack this, but ysolde, are there any tricks to applying La Mer? My husband bought me some for my birthday, and while I like it, I can't seem to figure out how to apply it. I feel like if I rub it in my hands to "activate" the product, I'm mostly just moisturizing my fingertips.
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Old May 22, 17, 2:42 pm
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To apply La Mer, you take a small amount (they always say pea size, so start with that) and rub it between your fingertips until it is emulsified. You should have cream on your fingertips (IOW, don't rub between fingertips too much or too long -- just long enough to soften the cream so that you can pat it into your skin). Now, just pat, pat, pat onto forehead, cheeks, eyes (I do this even though I use a separate eye cream because, why not?), etc. Use upward pats. If you don't have a separate neck cream, use a little more for your neck and décolletage (otherwise, use your neck cream for this). Rub any excess into your hands and cuticles.
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Old May 22, 17, 3:11 pm
  #11  
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For the allergy-prone

I'm very fair-skinned and had many blistering sunburns on my face, shoulders, and upper back when younger. Unfortunately, I have now developed severe allergies to many soaps, fragrances, and skin-care products, among other things.

I use Olay Complete Sensitive Skin moisturizer all the time, and it has an SPF of 15. When going out in the sun, I use Coppertone Oil-Free, Fragrance-Free, Hypoallergenic Lotion with a SPF of 30 in sun-exposed areas. If I anticipate being out very long, I'll put zinc oxide on my nose and the back of my neck, which seem the most susceptible to burns.

I like the shade a lot.
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Old May 22, 17, 8:58 pm
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I am part of a dragon boat racing team (a water sport) and we all use Bullfrog Quick Gel Sunscreen because you only need to apply it once during the day and it lasts all day and won't wash off. It is a clear gel, like a hand sanitizer, but the trick to applying it is to basically paint it on your skin and then let it dry. If you rub it in, it will ball up like rubber cement, and you'll actually be rubbing it off. Don't rub it in/off.

I use this on my face as well as my body.

If I am wearing makeup and need to put a lot of things on my face, then I'll either wear a large floppy hat and go with physical protection rather than chemical protection (zinc oxide is still a chemical, it just doesn't protect you with a chemical reaction as does Bullfrog, it simply protects you with albedo), or I will rely on the SPF 30 of my BB cream.

I also have a rash guard for physical-rather-than-chemical protection.

Personally, I prefer to use clothing rather than sunscreen wherever and whenever possible. I throw a sarong around my torso, poncho style, in the summer when hopping between different types of indoors, so as to avoid having to put on sunscreen. Clothes are +/- SPF 50, even if they haven't been officially labeled as such.
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Old May 23, 17, 5:53 am
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I'm very prone to allergic reactions to skin products, and after many rashes, have found that I can only use physical sunscreens (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide) . They are generally not as easy to apply to chemical sunscreens and leave you looking a bit like a metal robot, so I generally just avoid the sun as much as possible. If I will be outside for any amount of time, I use Aveeno sensitive skin mineral sunscreen. It's not quite as greasy or reflective as some other physical sunscreens that I've tried plus it comes in 80 ml tubes, so I can take it in my carry-on when going on vacation. This is very important since mineral sunscreens are often impossible to find in certain vacation destinations. I've tried a couple of other physical sunscreens but they are just over the 100ml limit, so no good for travel. You would think that companies would learn that lesson by now and reduce 114ml to 100ml to make it convenient for travel.
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Old May 23, 17, 9:58 am
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I don't have favorites (or allergies, most of the time) so I change up depending on what looks fun to try. But I do use sunscreen on my face (>spf30) every day year round and I have for a couple of decades. I am less diligent about my arms & legs on week days, but better on the weekends (when I'm outside gardening) I am not a beach person but I do spend quite a bit of time outside so I've been working on this. Using a body lotion with spf is better than nothing (like Lubriderm or Kiehls - only spf 15 but I use them on my hands and arms regularly during the day - better than no spf ;-).

Right now I'm using a Boots under eye spf I picked up in London. My favorite spf eye creams have been discontinued so I'll definitely look at that Shisheido option. On my face I'm using a revlon bb cream spf30 - I don't normally use BB creams so this was a test. Meh. It only goes on smoothly if I use my kiehls serum first, so that sucks. Next up will be Anthelios - can't remember the variety but I'll check. On my body (and my husband's head & face every day) is the Supergoop Every Day spf 50 - we have the big pump bottle and I love it. Since we started using this last year (just restocked with a new pump for this year) I've been much better about arms/shoulders/decolletage in the morning - it goes on smooth & quick but not greasy so I can get dressed. I have a tester of the supergoop eye product - I should see how I like that. I think my Boots spf eye is almost empty so I'll need to look around.....

Last edited by Hoyaheel; May 23, 17 at 12:14 pm
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Old May 23, 17, 11:29 am
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I'm very pale but not really "milky", and am another who can only use physical sunscreens. I use Suntegrity 5 in 1 on my face. Some may find this product too greasy. The tint evens your skin out ever so slightly, but not as much as most tinted moisturizers. It's available at Dermstore, which often has a 20% off code. "Fair" is a perfect match for me.

I usually wear Tarteguard (from Tarte) on my neck, and Sun'n'fun Mineral Sunscreen for children on my exposed body areas. The latter is available at Amazon. It smells like cocoa butter, and I don't love that aspect of it, but it rubs in easier than most non-nano mineral sunscreens so I deal. The smell does fade.

I wear a baseball hat when i go for a walk, which I know isn't great protection, and a sun hat for more prolonged exposure.
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