Sunscreen is a must year-round, but certainly more top of mind this time of year. Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, L’Oreal Paris’ Consulting Dermatologist, shares her sunscreen expertise with us below.
Q: What words or claims should I look for when selecting sunscreen for the beach or pool, where I know I'll be swimming? Do you have a sunscreen that you recommend?
A: Look for “water-resistant.” “Waterproof” and “sweat-proof” are no longer allowed on labels. Also look for specific timing for reapplication, i.e. 40 or 80 minutes. I prefer L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Crystal Clear Mist Spray SPF 50+. Another good option is SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50.
Q: What words or claims should I look for when selecting sunscreen for daily use, like when I'm running errands? Do you have a sunscreen that you recommend?
A: For daily use, SPF 15 to 30 is fine.
Q: What words or claims should I look for when selecting a facial sunscreen? Do you have a sunscreen that you recommend?
A: Look for non-comedeogenic and oil-free. I like L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Liquid Silk Sunshield for Face SPF 50+. It comes is in a convenient 1.7 fl oz container which is great for travel too.
Q: Regardless of when or where I'm using a sunscreen, what should I look for when purchasing a sunscreen?
A: Broad Spectrum. This means UVA and UVB coverage.
Q: Are beauty products (like foundation, moisturizers etc.) that contain SPF effective?
A: It is great if a foundation has sunscreen in it, BUT I don’t let this count. It is just an extra bonus. The reason is because we often skimp on the amount of foundation we apply as to not look too "made-up,' so use the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Liquid Silk Sunshield for Face SPF 50+ and then use your makeup with SPF as an added bonus.
Q: I've heard conflicting things about when you should get rid of your sunscreen (i.e. if it's over a year old, or has been sitting out in the sun, etc.). Can you clarify when a sunscreen starts losing its effectiveness?
A: Sunscreens last one year but in the summer you should be using at least a bottle a month if out in the sun. You should not be saving sunscreen. You should be using it up!
Q: How often should you reapply for everyday use vs. when you're in the sun all day (i.e. at the beach)?
A: For normal daily use, you don’t need to re-apply. Remember, you get sun even through the car window. For vacation/sunny use, re-apply after one hour of swimming or sweating.
Q: Any other tricks/tips you can offer would be great.
A: A tip I like to share is to put sunscreen on a foundation brush to easily apply the formula on your face. Also, use sunscreen spray for the hairline and part line which tend to burn, especially on blondes.
See below for some newer (and tried and true) sunscreen options.
G.M. Collin’s new Mineral Sun Cream SPF 25 is good for all skin types. The facial sunscreen has an ultra-light formula and is formulated with 100% natural mineral sun filters. It’s ideal for sensitive skin and children. For both face and body, the High Sun Protection Cream SPF 30 is water resistant and helps prevent visible signs of aging with the antioxidant properties of Vitamins E and C. (Available at gmcollin.com.)
Day Therapy (Broad Spectrum SPF 30) from NEOVA hydrates and maintains essential skin barrier function. It reduces visible signs of photodamage with DNA repair enzymes and anitoxidants. DNA Damage Control Silc Sheer 2.0 SPF 40 provides sheer coverage and a non-oily finish. (Availble at neova.com.)
Neutrogena’s new Beach Defense line comes in both SPF 30 and SPF 70. Good for both face and body, the sunscreens also come in lotion or spray. The Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 55 is designed to provide protection without causing breakouts on acne-prone skin. It leaves a weightless, matte finish. (Available at neutrogena.com.)
The Aveda Inner Light Sheer Mineral Tinted Moisture SPF 15 is oil-free and non-acnegenic and features the aroma of certified organic essential oils. It features coconut and jojoba seed that delivers hydration with a dewy finish. (Available at aveda.com.)
Juice Beauty, known for their authentically organic products and commitment to the environment, introduces their Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream. The Color Correcting Cream provides a chemical free SPF 30. It also evens out skin tone, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and provides hydration. (Available at juicebeauty.com.)
The Orgo Completely Weightless SPF 29 Sunscreen Face Spray provides UVA/UVB protection. The paraben-free and fragrance-free lightweight formula absorbs quickly, perfect for under makeup. (Available at beautycirque.com.)