Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just Pack it! (Part 3-Sun Care)

I shouldn't be promoting laying under the sun and baking. Sun tanning is the fastest way to skin aging. BUT People still do it, and in a tropical country, people can't help it. For skin that burns easily (like mine!) I've narrowed down the choices and steps to get that sun-kissed look minus the pain. See, the trick is you start with a high SPF and you downgrade as you go along. I know this sounds pretty tedious, but it's really up to you: beach babe OR overcooked lobster.
After you've exfoliated your face and body (scroll down to Part 1 if you haven't) I reach for the highest SPF in the bunch, which is usually SPF 50 and I put on a coat of that all over before donning my swimsuit/bikini. For best absorption, I slap the sunscreen on immediately after a quick shower when I arrive at my sunny destination to rinse off the city grime, dust and sweat.
I usually pick out a shady area when I want to lay out in the sun. Aside from providing the obvious, I would like to enjoy a good read without having to squint and wrinkle my nose uncomfortably. I also have a glare problem and I don't like wearing sun glasses while sun tanning because it leaves a ridiculous reverse-raccoon mark around my eye area which is difficult to cover with makeup when the rest of your face is already tan. Everything in it's place, I bring out the tanning stuff aka the big guns. Since I'm forever trying products for critiquing, my sun care is always changing. Lately though, I've stuck to the same formula because this is the one that seems to work for me.
One of my guy friends actually introduced me to Maui Babe. So after that initial coat of sunscreen, this goes on next when I am actually under the sun. Go easy on your knees, feet & elbows, and you can skip your face entirely - areas which are the most thin-skinned and burn the fastest. Be mindful about staining your towels and any light-colored items like your bikini!.

For those too lazy to slap on sunscreen you can take oral sunscreen. Yup, you got that right! sunscreen in a tablet. Ask your dermatologist who should be able to hook you up with Heliocare, the only oral sunscreen brand I know. You can also hit me up here or on twitter, I'll forward you the number of my doctor who sells this. My only issue with oral sunscreen is that you have to be good at taking this, to the point of setting an alarm on your phone for when you have to drink these tablets. I guess this works for people who don't like the greasy feeling that most sunscreens bring when applied to the skin.

I alternate coats of sun tanning products with sunscreen products. I like multi-taskers and my favorite suncare staple is by Shiseido. It's a sunscreen & cooling mist for the body & hair. How awesome is that? super duper awesome if you ask me. Alternating this with the Maui Babe stuff leaves me golden, not burnt to a crisp.

For water activities I switch to this one made by Kiehl's (Vital Sun Protection). I like that it comes in a spray bottle which means not having to struggle with greasy hands and reaches hard-to-reach places like the small of your back and underneath your tush.

Most clients who consult with me often complain that they don't like wearing sunscreen particularly on the face because A. it leaves a greasy coat B. it's so thick you can't wear makeup with it/on top of it. So leave it to Shu Uemura to come up with an SPF 50 that enhances flawless skin. It disappears on the skin, it's anti-blemish (won't clog pores or cause zits!) and you can actually layer it with foundation as a primer. I never go on a vacation without this!!!!

When my day in the sun is over I give my skin a treat with Nars' body glow oil. The makeup guru/photographer also has a new formula without the shimmer! Made of Monoi oil from Tahiti, this leaves the skin supple and soft. I use it in place of lotion and scrunch some of it in my hair. It leaves a trace of coconut-like smell wherever you go that's yummy to the senses. Don't drink it, even if it looks and smells good enough to!