Any skin care savant knows the most crucial step in any anti-aging regime is sunscreen. Applying this skin saver in the morning is a must, but if you are skipping reapplication throughout the day, you are subjecting your skin to harmful UVA rays that cause premature skin aging and UVB rays that cause burning. The really scary part? Both types of UV rays are linked to skin cancer. To adequately protect your skin from harmful UV rays, you should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours or less, depending on the sunscreen’s instructions.
We consulted with board-certified dermatologist and LovelySkin CEO Dr. Joel Schlessinger on the subject.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make with sunscreen is not applying often enough. They either think they don’t need sunscreen because they won’t be outside, or they don’t reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Most importantly, sunscreen is your first line of defense against skin cancer. Even if you’re sitting inside all day, you still need sun protection. Most car, home and office windows protect against UVB rays, but they leave you unprotected from UVA rays that cause premature signs of aging, as well as skin cancer. By wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen every day, you can shield your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. My go to protection for any 'missed areas' is Heliocare Sun Protection Pills. While they aren't technically a sunscreen, taking two pills every morning does provide extra sun protection and is formulated with potent antioxidants to assist in overall skin health.”
The bottom line? Sunscreen doesn’t last all day. Fortunately, reapplying sunscreen to your arms, legs, tops of the feet and decollete is a cinch. Just slather on the good stuff, and you’re ready to go about your day. But how do you reapply sunscreen without messing up your makeup? What about protecting your scalp and hair without demolishing your ‘do? We’re sharing our five favorite sunscreen extenders, from powder sunscreen and spray sunscreen to stick sunscreen that adequately protect your skin and hair from the sun without ruining your look.
The beginning of any daily makeup routine should always be sunscreen–no matter the time of year or how sunny it is. We love EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 because it more than sufficiently protects the skin from the sun while also addressing any blemishes or uneven skin tone with 5% high purity niacinamide and lactic acid. However, if you’re halfway through the morning with a full face of makeup, we wouldn’t recommend reapplying a lotion sunscreen over top unless you want a sticky, splotchy-looking complexion. Fortunately, there are a multitude of sunscreen formulations that apply flawlessly over makeup and keep your look intact.
If you prefer powder sunscreen:
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50
This versatile, compact brush shields your skin from the sun with all mineral sunscreen ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Plus, it contains EnviroScreen antioxidant technology to further protect against skin-aging free radicals caused by pollution, blue light from devices and infrared light. It’s available in four shades and is applied effortlessly over the top of makeup similar to a setting powder. No mess or uneven splotches here!
Pro Tip: Try it on your scalp! The exposed skin in your hair part is very susceptible to sunburn, so keep it protected with this powder sunscreen. Just sweep the brush over your hair part when you need it and viola! Any exposed scalp is protected from the sun without any greasy residue.
If you prefer sunscreen spray:
COOLA Organic Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30
If you’re more of a spritz and go kind of gal, try this lightweight, matte-finish makeup setting sunscreen spray with SPF 30. It hydrates and helps detoxify the skin with algae extract, is water and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes and keeps makeup right where you want it. Plus, it features a yummy green tea scent to refresh your senses!
If you prefer stick sunscreen:
MyChelle Tinted Sun Shield SPF 50
If you love the ease of a stick sunscreen and want something to help conceal existing sun damage or blemishes, this tinted zinc oxide sunscreen is a must-have! It features a universal tint to flatter any skin tone and includes avocado, jojoba and vitamin E to nourish and further protect the skin from aging free radicals.
If you are looking for the perfect lip sunscreen:
COOLA Tinted Mineral Liplux SPF 30
Don’t forget to protect your lips! But, if traditional mineral lip sunscreens aren’t quite your style, try this tinted mineral sunscreen and lipstick in one. From bold red and petal pink to a coppery bronze, give your lips the pop of color you’re looking for while shielding sensitive skin from the sun with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Plus, it nourishes and hydrates dry lips with cupuacu butter and mongongo oil.
Although your hair can’t technically get a sunburn, too much time spent unprotected in the sun can cause color to fade and locks to feel zapped of essential moisture. Keep your tresses looking healthy and hydrated by using a daily hair product that contains UV filters to protect against harmful rays.
If you need sun protection for your hair:
PHYTO Plage Protective Sun Oil
If you’re spending a day at the lake or rocking a natural, beachy wave look, this protective sun oil is perfect for protecting your hair color from fading in the sun’s rays. Besides offering sun protection with a form of octinoxate, it hydrates strands with apricot kernel oil for a truly luscious, healthy head of hair.
If you want sun protection for styled hair:
Pureology Style + Protect Soft Finish Spray
Applying an oil to hair through the day might not be the best choice if you’re rocking well-coifed curls or an updo for a special occasion. Choose this flexible hold hair spray that boosts radiance with orange peel and protects strands from heat, pollution and the sun with UV filters. Use throughout the day to further lock in styles and extend sun protection.
Check out more tips and tricks to keep your skin and hair safe from the sun on our blog!