MISS Beauty Tip of the Week: Don’t Believe the Hype, Sunburns Are NOT Sexy.


By now, most people should be aware of the harmful effects of long term exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Despite what the cast members of The Jersey Shore will have you believe, GTL (that’s Gym, Tan, Laundry) is not a recipe for success. Sun protection is a key ingredient to skin cancer prevention. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, “About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.”

This year several changes have been made to the FDA’s (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulations on sunscreen. For instance, sunscreens can now only be marketed as “broad-spectrum” if they ensure protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, broad-spectrum sunscreens with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher are the only products that are allowed to state that they protect against skin cancer, and companies can no longer market sunscreen that claims to provide sun protection for more than two hours without reapplication. This is great news for the well-being of the general public, but it means nothing if sun safety is not being made a priority in one’s everyday life. However, sunscreen alone is not powerful enough to fend off evil UV rays all by itself. Additional steps need to be taken to actively protect skin from the sun, that includes seeking shade, wearing clothing that covers exposed skin in direct sunlight, hats, scarves, and sunglasses. Also, don’t neglect monthly self-exams for melanoma. I’ll pass along a mnemonic device that my dermatologist gave me a while back. When checking moles always remember your A, B, C, D, E’s:

  • Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half
  • Border: The edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular
  • Color: The mole has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red
  • Diameter: The diameter of the mole is larger than a pencil eraser
  • Elevation: The mole is raised from the skin

At the risk of  starting to sound like my mother, I’ll end the sun safety tips here.  But, remember the only person who can pull off a lobster face is Lady Gaga, so avoid getting sunburns by sticking to a daily sunscreen regimen. I’ve compiled some sunscreens, that I have been using and really work and feel fabulous. The first is a retractable mineral powder sunscreen made by Peter Thomas Roth, you may have seen it at Sephora for $12. It’s super light-weight, perfect for anyone with combination skin prone to acne breakouts, and small enough to throw into a purse.

Another great product is Supergoop’s Sunscreen Swipes. Packs of 40 wipes are available for $34 at Sephora. The formula is non-greasy and easy to apply, especially for ladies and gentlemen on-the-go. Clarins offers an oil-free sunscreen spray for $32 at Sephora, which is great for applying in between cream sunscreen applications at the pool and beach.

Then, there’s my #1 go-to tinted moisturizer made by Laura Mercier. It not only creates a perfect base, especially in the heat but, also has SPF 20 built into it. So it’s like killing two birds with one stone. It’s also available at Sephora for $42. For a basic everyday cream sunscreen, Neutrogena’s Ultra-Sheer sunblock is where it’s at. For $10 at a local drugstore, this product is perfect for everyday use. Finally, SkinCeuticals makes a really silky sunscreen for the face which is great for underneath makeup and for sensitive skin. You can buy it on Amazon for $34.


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