Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just pack it! (Part 1-Pre-Sun Care)

Sun Exposure can't be avoided especially if you are living where the sun never sets. This brings us now to the coming week of Lent, a holiday we take quite seriously. A vast majority of us are heading somewhere even sunnier, which means more sun, sand, sea & salt, a recipe for disaster sure to wreak havoc on skin and hair. I always say that it is way better to invest in a good sun block rather than a jar of very expensive anti-age cream. But a good sun block isn't enough when you already know that you will subject yourself to prolonged sun exposure. Aside from protection, the other benefit of pre-sun care is a guaranteed even, long-lasting tan that won't leave you looking like Freddy Krueger.

Already part of your skincare regimen is facial exfoliation at least once a week. You may want to exfoliate 2 days in a row prior to prolonged sun exposure. I would normally do the exfoliating before bed time. For problem skin, it's always best to consult with your dermatologist, most scrubs cannot be used on open wounds or blemishes.

ST. IVES APRICOT SCRUB is already a hall-of-famer. A household name I've been using as far back as my college days (well not THAT far back!). It's value for money, very recession-friendly.

My bestest, most favorite, ultimate Kiehl's non-negotiable (not the lipbalm!) is the Pineapple Papaya Face Scrub. Aside from ridding your skin off ruddiness, it soothes any redness and inflammation caused by blemishes or imperfections. I literally slap this on and leave it as a mask before rinsing off. Note to self: DO NOT EAT.

Since the skin on the body is tougher, exfoliation should be more frequent. Bump it up to every day prior to prolonged sun exposure focusing on your legs and arms. Go easy but DO NOT forget your elbows, knees, decolletage & feet.

I'm more amazed with a brand that has limited product range but works rather than a brand has everything but fails to deliver. I got sold on MODELco 4 years back when I went on a quest for the least greasy body lotion. They win hands down in that department too, but my favorite top pick is the Exfoliating Body Wipes. Talk about exfoliating on the go. I remember making a mad dash to the airport en route to a summer shoot in Koh Sah Mui and stuffing these babies in my pockets then remembering I had them on the plane. By the time we landed, my legs and arms were saying "we're ready for ya sun!". Aside from the cool packaging ala baby wipes, the sheets are two-sided. One side is rough (like sand paper) to exfoliate, and the other smooth to buff. Yes, buff the same thing you do when you get your toes done. The rough side is to slough off dead/dry skin (elbows, knees, feet,) and then the smooth side is a nice wipe down infused with a hint of ilang-ilang that leaves your skin feeling like a baby's butt.

Another hall-of-famer range is the Creme de Corps line of Kiehl's. I'm not a fan of the body lotion, the star product, only cause I abhor lotion or anything that will make me feel sticky or greasy in this already too humid climate. The Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish though is one I won't pass up. I'm guilty of using this in place of body wash, because it's gentle and smells awesome.

L'Oreal's Sublime range is no stranger to the sunless tanning game. My only apprehension with the self-tanning stuff is that it's not suitable to my typically Asian skin tone. I'm quite in between depending on the season. I'm pink during the rainy months when I'm fairer and sallow/yellow during the summer months when I'm golden brown...okay fine, tan!
L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Glow Body Scrub in the shower doubles as a body wash as well. This gives my legs a deeper tan, without the self-tanning ingredient. I don't know maybe I'm imagining it? Well whatever it is, these guys really mean business where sunless tanning is involved and this is a great complementary product to go with the rest of the line.

If any of the options I've tried first hand are difficult for you to find (you've got a well over a week before the Lenten holiday!) then a trusty loofah glove with a foamy body wash will do. Just remind yourself to be gentle because you risk scrubbing yourself raw under running water and suds. Remember, we are aiming for beach babe not road kill.