With the arrival of warmer weather come many highlights. Whether it is walking to work, trading your machine-based cardio for an outdoor run, or maybe even cycling, swimming or hiking, the question is – do you add three very important letters with it? SPF for sun protection factor.
Most of us will only think to apply our sun protection when on vacation, at the beach or by the pool for one reason or another. What does that “S” stand for anyway? Slimy, Sticky, Smelly, Sweaty, Shiny?
Some may even think the pitfalls of a bad SPF may outweigh the safety it provides, but with over 3.5 million cases annually, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers according to the American Cancer Society. Investing in a proper sunscreen that fits your needs does not require you to sacrifice your style. Here are some tips for staying safe and stylish in the sun.
To remember some of the key guidelines from skincancer.org, I like to borrow the SPF acronym.
S – SET the time. Follow the instructions of your SPF.Most will last only 40 minutes-to-two hours and if you get wet or sweat, you need to reapply sooner. Remember, no sunscreen is 100 percent waterproof or sweatproof, despite the claims. If you are the type to get distracted, set a timer on your smartphone or watch to remind you.
P – PLAN 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Sunscreen is only as effective as your use of it. You need to give the product time to absorb into the skin. And if you are rushing, you may miss a spot leaving part of your skin exposed and in danger of a painful and embarrassing blotchy sunburn. Not chic.
F – FREQUENTLY check your skin for irregularities and changes. In addition to having a professional skin exam by a physician, the frequent self-check is the first line of defense. So next time you are taking that shirtless selfie in the gym, take a few moments to analyze your skin for changes like texture, color, size, thickness and asymmetry of moles or spots.
Bobby’s Picks for SPF with Style
Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Stick SPF 30
This all-purpose SPF stick is my latest obsession. It’s a convenient stick formula, designed for the active lifestyle. The Sport Stick is so convenient – it lets you keep those active hands clean! It’s approved for use all over the face, including sensitive areas around the eyes and on the lips (you don’t want to forget about those). The sugar formulation is a nourishing humectant known to prevent mois-ture loss. Available at fresh.com – $25 for 6 g
Algenist Sublime Defense Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50
For those fearing the shine factor, this is a powerful oil-free SPF 50 that glides on smoothly for a soft, matte finish while still providing UVA/UVB broad-spectrum protection. Infused with antioxidant-rich alguronic acid, it will help delay the signs of aging. Also comes in SPF 30. Available at sephora.com – $28 for 30 ml
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist SPF 30, 45, 70 & 100+
Now to protect then entire body, I like to enlist Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist. It is available with several SPF levels so finding the right one for you is easy. The light mist feels cooling and will not leave your body feeling sticky, especially if you plan to work up a sweat. The mist is also the best way to ensure total body coverage, especially if you do not have someone to apply sunscreen to your back, one of the more common locations for skin cancer, especially in men. This formula is also available in a dry touch lotion if preferred. Available at drugstores nationwide from $9.99 for 5 oz
Bobby Says …
Sunglasses are not just a style accessory! They are a way to shield your face from harmful UV rays. They also prevent wrinkles, like crow’s feet which can prematurely develop from habits like squinting in the sun.
So as the weather warms up, stay active and safe AND in style with these recommendations. If you found any of these tips to be helpful or have your own secrets for sun safety, please share your comments.
By Bobby Ciletti, travel and lifestyle expert and founder, thedaysofthechic.com.
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