When the forecast calls for nothing but sunshine, it can feel like Mother Nature has given you a taste of paradise. That is, until you get a sunburn. Cue cold lather, a strange scent, and “Can you do my back?”
It’s no secret that sunscreen is a necessity. According to the CDC, the sun’s UV rays can start damaging your skin after just 15 minutes of exposure, putting you at risk of skin cancer. And then there are the cosmetic concerns – the sun is a major contributor to fine lines and wrinkles.
Luckily, summer skincare isn’t what it used to be. Not that there’s anything wrong with more traditional sunscreens, but consider us grateful that these days, SPF is either infused in our favorite products, or a luxe product in and of itself. Short for Sun Protection Factor, a good SPF will protect your skin from over 90% of UVB rays, and it should be used every single day. In fact, it’s often cited as the most important step in your skincare regimen.
It’s no wonder, then, that our beauty buyer, Laura Stromberg, is a fan. With beach season nearly here, we thought we’d ask her for tips on all things SPF.
BEFORE YOU SUN
Good sun protection starts before you walk out the door. “As someone who loves to try new skincare products, the one constant in my routine is always SPF,” says Laura. “Whether it’s in my moisturizer, primer, or powder, I never leave home without protecting my skin first.”
To get a head start on the sun, introduce an SPF-rich moisturizer into your morning regimen to prime your skin for the intense UV rays you’ll encounter throughout the day. If your favorite moisturizer doesn’t have SPF, just mix some sunscreen into your everyday cream.
Top picks: More than just moisturizers, we’re loving SPF-rich cosmetics. “Peter Thomas Roth makes a great to set your makeup,” says Laura. “And Coola’s SPF stick gives your cheeks a nice, highlighted glow.”
WHILE YOU SUN
There’s nothing wrong with soaking up the sun – just remember to keep your skin healthy. Most sunscreens recommend reapplication every two hours, but if you’re heading into the ocean or a pool, you may want to invest in some waterproof formulas. Keep a travel sunscreen in your bag, so it’s easy to reapply throughout the day.
“Don’t just think about your face,” cautions Laura. “Your lips, hair part, and the tops of your feet can become pretty painful when burnt. Try an SPF mousse or mist for a less traditional consistency with easy-application.”
Top picks: You can’t go wrong with all things Supergoop!, a collection of lightweight formulas infused with antioxidants and botanicals – and missing that distinct “sunscreen smell.” The comprehensive collection ranges from everyday, classic SPF 50 to a rosemary-scented mist.
AFTER YOU SUN
Your après sun ritual should be all about hydration. “Just make sure you’re moisturizing and cooling your skin,” says Laura. Think soothing masks, creams, and conditioners formulated to relieve skin after sun exposure.