If you are approaching 35, or are already over 40, you've probably started to notice some changes. At this stage in life collagen, elastin, and our DNA are all starting to slow down causing things to sag. It is important to combat the sagging from the inside out, and the outside in. By now, you know that sunscreen should be a daily ritual, not a beach day thing.
90% of aging is caused by environmental factors, most of which are mainly driven by the sun and how it ALTERS, yes alters our DNA that prevents our skin from being able to repair itself. A tan lasts less than a few weeks, but the damage can last a life time. In fact most skin cancer damage ocurrs before the age of 18.Sunscreen isn't sexy but it is the holy grail of aging well. Here is your sign, spend the money, and dial in this habit with you and your family until it's like brushing your teeth. Often this is realized late in life, here is a situation I encounter often working in Orange County California.
I recently sat next to a gal at a conference. She was there alone, like I was, and we got to chatting. She was really cool and like many I talk to, had an enthusiasm for skincare. She immediately started asking me what procedure or treatment she should have done. This gal was into all things green, and is a blogger. By her appearance and the way she was talking, I thought for sure, that she was 15-20 years older than I. As I was trying to understand what she's currently doing and what could be improved the pieces didn't add up. She was doing lasers, and Botox, and expensive skincare. Then I asked, "you're using sunscreen, right?" And there it was, the answer was no. You can imagine my horror. Lol, just kidding. But I felt bad because she was very self-conscious and spending thousands to try and fix it. She admitted that she was worried about all of the information that's controversial about sunscreen so she decided to not use any. And, I am sorry to say, but not using sunscreen for the last 15+ years while living in L.A. really took it's toll.
The expensive treatments and skincare products couldn't make-up for the impact the sun rays have in the deeper layers of the skin that effects DNA, elasticity, and collagen production. At some point it came out that we are the same age, and I was shocked. For her job, she is in front of the camera a lot and in the public eye. Whether I like to admit it or not, image matters for many careers. My goal is to help provide information that enables you to decide what is worth your time, energy and money. Whether your image is important for your career or not, there will be a reunion, family photo, or Mother of the bride moment when you want to look and feel your best. No matter how old you are, you are always making investments today that will help the version of you 10 years from now, say thank you.
A few harsh truths, that need to be said so you can avoid the same issue.
- If you aren't using sunscreen, unless you live where there is little to no sunlight, you are wasting time and $ on everything else antiaging
- Make-up "with SPF" isn't enough, 99% of the time. Why? The amount that you would have to put on of the make-up to get the protection is unrealistic.
- Many tinted sunscreens are fine. They are a sunscreen first and then, they add a tint. Sunscreens have to go through a much more rigorous process than make-up, so if it says tinted sunscreen; there is peace of mind knowing they likely had to proven it. Use SPF 30 or higher.
- The powder touch-up sunscreens are better than nothing, but aren't very protective. Do not use a powder sunscreen as your main sunscreen and realize that the amount that has to be put in is a lot to actually be a beneficial spf.
- Skin cancer is still a major issue and more likely to kill and hurt you than actual sunscreen, but if you are worried, use the Yuka app and buy sunscreen with clean ratings. Think Sport is a clean rated brand that we love in our family.
The good news is, if you are consistent about using sunscreen and sun protection, sunglasses, hats etc., you are doing GREAT!!!
Treatments, procedures, supplements will help, but will not supersede the powerful benefits of consistently using sunscreen. I hope your shoulders relaxed a little out of your ears to know that you can age well by doing the basics well, and let go of the pressure that society makes you feel. As a Mother, this is one of the most important habits we try and cultivate with our families.
A few simple tweaks that have helped my family.
- Keep sunscreen by the door, that you leave from. We have a little sunscreen caddy that has different options.
- Include a pump or roll on Sunscreen for the body that makes it easy, try and avoid the aerosol sprays. Many aerosols prevent the good ingredients from getting on the skin and the toxic ingredients penetrate deeper due to the often high alcohol vehicle that helps the product be in an aersol form.
- Use a stick for the high burn areas on fair skin or long beach or sport days, like under the eyes, nose and backs of ears + a lotion sunscreen for all over.
- Use a tinted sunscreen option for darker skin to avoid a white cast.
- For teens and adults include your sunscreen in your bathroom or wherever you get ready for easy incorporation into your morning routine.
Neuroscience shows us that making success to a consistent habit includes: making it simple, as frictionless as possible, and tying it to an existing habit all increase the likelihood of success.
- Picking a sunscreen that you don't hate putting on because it breaks you out or feels icky, is important.
- Getting an affordable sunscreen that you aren't afraid to put enough of on and that's sustainable to keep buying is key
- Tying it to an existing habit like brushing your teeth or next to your keys before you leave helps make it more likely to be consistent
When it come to picking my favorite sunscreens, I incorporate all of the above and just like all of my recommendations, at the hear of all of my recommendations is ROI, "return on investment." If it costs more it better be substantiated by better science, efficacy or something that delivers better results. All recommendations are viewed through my licensed training as a certified skincare consultant on cosmeceutical ingredients, and my 18 years in the dermatology industry with pharmaceutical training. I look for the right mix of ingredients, well studied molecules, science and data to substantiate product claims as well as the clean rating.
Finally, onto my favorites. If you know me by now, you know I love the Isdin sunscreen because of their sexy data and usability as a product.
My husband and I both use Isdin sunscreen for it's all in one approach.
- No white cast (even with his beard)
- Anti-oxidants + DNA repair chromosomes that reverse existing damage
- Tinted (I love for no make-up days or workouts, walks) and un-tinted
- Here are my other favorite sunscreens:
- ThinkSport tinted for kids
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch
- Sun Bum Roll on
- Verta clear stick (clean rating 100)
- Elta MD
- If you are next level, an oral antioxidant for high sun exposure days is a game changer: great for fair skin, history of skin cancer, outdoor workers, surfers, overachievers and beach + ski vacations, and bio hacking enthusiasts
Heliocare is a plant based oral antioxidant that is niacinamide based. This is important because some people have a niacinaminde sensitivity. It boosts the skin's ability to protect itself from free radicals and sun damage. Insider scoop it's the same ingredient used in many biohacking supplements for it's anti-aging benefits.
I love it for any long days in the sun. Think sporting events, beach days, vacation, surfing, boating, skiing. It gives head to toe protection and minimizes burning drastically. I have never gotten burned when I apply sunscreen once and use Heliocare. Of course reapplying is ideal, but the combo is amazing.
If you love your routine and you're getting the results you want, then keep them! When it comes down to it, time is our most valuable asset and who doesn't like to spend their money where it matters most.
If it was all about $ then every celebrity and dermatologist would have the most fabulous skin, but we all know that's not true. The secret is aligning the right things with YOUR skin priorities and needs in a way that is "dewable" and worth it = consistency and results.
I'm here for you. Let me know if you found this post helpful.