Sun-smart Beauty

Beach getaways, sun-drenched escapades … what’s not to love about summer? Keep your beauty routine in tow as you make the most out of the sizzling season.

SPF -- Done Right
If you’re already using a daily SPF 15 moisturizer, chances are good that you’ve covered your sun care basics -- at least on your face, during regular months. In the summer, however, you may want to up the sun protection factor to 30. Switch to a sweat-proof formula, or layer on another SPF product on top of your base. Look for primers, foundations and mineral powders that go the distance when temperatures go up.

“SPF doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do a good job of applying it,” says Bobbi Brown, renowned makeup artist and author of Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules: Fabulous Looks, Beauty Essentials, and Life Lessons. “You need 1 teaspoon of sunscreen for your face, and about 3 tablespoons for your body.” And don’t forget to apply on oft-neglected parts, such as your ears, your hairline, and the tops of your feet. Brown also recommends shopping for a great lip balm with SPF.

Check the Label
There are essentially two main types of sunscreen ingredients: physical blockers titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (which literally block out light), and chemical sunscreens that absorb UV radiation. Mexoryl and octocyclene are popular examples of the latter. Many effective sun care products contain both physical and chemical sunscreens. When shopping for these, look for packages labeled “broad spectrum” -- meaning, they protect from both harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Why bother? UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn, while UVA rays are able to penetrate glass and windows and cause deeper damage to the skin. Both cause wrinkles, freckles and age spots. Most important to note, exposure to both rays significantly ups your chances of getting skin cancer.

Beauty on the Beach
When heading out seaside, ditch the baseball or trucker cap and opt for a tightly woven wide-brimmed hat. “Baseball hats offer sun protection for the forehead, but they aren’t so great for the sides of the face and the nose when you are looking up,” says Dr. Joely Kaufman, a dermatologist and the director of the Aging and Geriatric Skin Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine. And, if you’re planning to be under the sun for long stretches of time, stash your sunscreen in your bag and reapply every two hours, “or more if you are swimming or sweating,” advises Brown.

While it’s tempting (and delicious!) to make a beeline for the lounge chairs and start an authentic summer tan, resist the urge to bake under the rays to simply score that sun-kissed glow. UVB rays are most intense from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and are stronger in summer, at higher altitudes, and in locations that are closer to the equator. Brown recommends faking a tan with the help of self-tanners and bronzers. “They give you the same great glow, and you don’t have to damage your skin to get it.” (Check out our Trends Today blog for fab bronzing and tanning tips!)

Stay Happy and Hydrated!
Summer and sunshine are enough reasons to start smiling. “One of my favorite sayings is that happiness it the best cosmetic for beauty,” shares Brown. “And one of the best ways I know to be happy is to take great care of yourself by exercising, eating right, sleeping enough and drinking plenty of water.” So, take heed: Enjoy the sunny skies, treat your body right and look your absolute summer best.