The Lowdown on SPF

Why do we need SPF?

Sun Protection Factor or more commonly known as SPF, is a topical lotion used to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that contribute to early signs of aging and potentially skin cancer.  Most people don’t realize there are two main types of UV rays that cause harm to our skin including:

  • UVA rays are what ages our skin the most by causing wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of premature aging. It could also be playing a role in some skin cancers.
  • UVB rays could be the cause of most skin cancers and is what causes our skin to burn. FUN FACT: UVB rays can cause a sunburn in as little as 15 minutes!

There are many factors that play a role in the strength of UV rays and these include time of day, season, altitude, closeness to the equator, and cloud cover.  This leads to the common misconception that you only need to wear SPF when you are doing something like spending the day out by the pool or on a tropical vacation.  It’s true in these situations, you are probably exposed to a greater amount of harmful UV rays, but unless it’s the dead of night, if you are outside ANYWHERE, you are most likely exposing yourself to UV rays. SO YOU GOTTA PROTECT THAT SKIN, BABY!  Keep it young, fresh, and cancer free.

What SPF should you use?

Now that we all agree you should ALWAYS wear sunscreen let’s talk about what sunscreens you should be slathering on.  Because just like anything else, they are not all created equal!

I used to be fine with picking up some rando SPF but after discussing with my esthetician she brought me to the light (see what I did there?!)… mineral based sunscreens. Thats because the minerals, like Zinc Oxide, sit on top of your skin creating a physical barrier and reflect both UVA and UVB rays. Chemical sunscreens that are commonly found in drugstores, absorb the UV rays but are potentially harmful and can really irritate sensitive skin. Keep in mind, it’s only as good as you apply!  Make sure you are covering all exposed skin and reapplying according to directions.

Now, I know you’re scared of that white, greasy, and sticky lotion on your skin but it’s 2018, not a 1990’s scene of Baywatch, and the SPF game has come a long way just like Zac Efron’s abs. Check out a few of the best mineral based sunscreens below that can be used everyday.

EltaMD

EltaMD has a great line of sun care products that range from $25 – $35, all of which are recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation as effective broad-spectrum sunscreens.

  • For the Body:  The 30+ SPF is a great option for normal skin, if you have acne prone or oily skin, go with the SPF 45.
  • For the Face:  I love both of the following two options which comes in both clear or tinted formulas.  Use this SPF 40 for normal to combination skin or this SPF 46 for acne prone or sensitive skin.

Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant has a fantastic sunscreen for the face, neck, chest, and hands and is a great option everyday use. Shall I repeat. EVERYDAY USE!  It comes in both a sheer formula at $34 or tinted formula at $36.  And I love the fact that they are cruelty free, because ANIMALS!

Block Island

Block Island is the 2017 Best Beach & Sport Sunscreen (Environmental Working Group – EWG) so I have to include in this list!  To top it off, it’s cruelty free, vegan, and recycle friendly.  Even better, this SPF 30 is super affordable at $20So you can put on all the SPF without the guilt of breaking the bank. Can I get a MEOW!?!

Now, start making SPF application a part of your everyday morning routine to protect your skin from cancer and keep it young!

Have a favorite mineral SPF that wasn’t mentioned, have a question, or a thought you want to share?  Comment below or drop me a line here!  I would love to hear from you!

XOXO,

Mary

The Truth about Vitamin C Serums

Give your skin a serious boost by including a Vitamin C serum into your skincare routine.  Honestly, it should be a staple.  It brightens and tightens, helps even out skin-tone, boosts production of collagen, and helps keep wrinkles at bay leaving you with a young and healthy, glowing face.  So put that glass of orange juice down and pick up that serum, babyyyyyy!

When to Apply a Vitamin C Serum

If you’ve ever looked up when to apply Vitamin C serums you’ll notice that there are varying opinions.  Morning only, night only, twice a day…  I however, prefer to wear mine at night and here is why.

Vitamin C is a badass when fighting off free radicals from the environment and sun, basically acting like a sunscreen which is why some people may advocate for morning use.  However, others say that it break-downs as it’s kicking radical ass which can prevent it from fully absorbing into your skin and may mean your skin isn’t getting the full benefit.

My suggestion is to use as directed and if you do apply in the morning, remember there is absolutely no substitute for SPF.  WEAR SPF EVERY. DAMN. DAY.  And I mean rain or shine, summer or winter.  PROTECT YOUR SKIN!

5 Best in Class Vitamin C Serums

Now that we got that out of the way, check out some of the below best in class serums.

*Indicates products that are not tested on animals

The Ordinary $5.80*

If you’ve been reading anything about skincare you have no doubt heard about The Ordinary.  They make some amazing high-end products without the high-end price tag and people are dying over their offering. Their line-up includes a variety of Vitamin C products, but their Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% is the top seller.  This isn’t technically a serum but it does provide a fairly high concentration of vitamin C right to the face however, there may be a bit of tingling the first couple weeks of use.  A small price to pay for glowing skin if you ask me!

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic $165

This is an award winning serum that is comprised of 15% pure vitamin C, 1% vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid. It creates an ultimate defense against free radicals that lead to aging skin and works for all skin types.

Glossier Super Glow $28*

I may have a huge girl crush on Emily Weiss but that’s not why I’m suggesting this serum. This Vitamin C is combined with Magnesium to give your skin the energy if you haven’t been getting enough sleep and it’s impacting your skin.  You may feel tired on the inside, but your skin definitely shouldn’t show it.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Day Serum $80*

Similar to Skinceuticals C E Ferulic as the serum contains 15% L-ascorbic acid plus ferulic acid and 1% vitamin E.  This serum has a pH level of 3.3, which (direct from the Sephora website) Drunk Elephant believes is the key to a non-irritating, effective formulation that delivers real results.  And another product line I can’t turn a corner without hearing about!

Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate $62

Kiehl’s has been around since the dawn of time so they should know how to make a great product and they have a serious fan following. With 12.5% vitamin C, this is a good alternative if the higher levels of L-ascorbic acid are a bit too much for your skin. It also contains plant-based glycerin which helps keep your skin moisturized. GLOW BABY!!

Go forth and Vitamin C and let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or dropping a note here!

XOXO,

Mary