Monday, April 12, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Sunscreen!

Sun is glorious. Sometimes I crave with great intensity, a trip home, so I can have the luxury of lying on a Hawaiian beach -- where the potent tropical rays will knockout any worry, ache, or perplexity. Even if you're having a great day, the sun makes things better. And let me tell you, people in Hawaii are extremely friendly and for the most part, quite happy. Can you guess why? Probably all that Vitamin D.  But on the flip side, the sun is also extremely damaging to your skin without protection. It prematurely ages you, causes wrinkles, age spots, and can lean to skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen everyday will ensure that you can have your cake and it too.

My mother has been applying sunscreen as soon as she rises, for about 37 years now. I, as well as many of her friends and relatives can vouch for the fact that she has no major wrinkles at 62 years of age. And she resides in sun-sensational Honolulu! So if you can't compel yourself to wear the sunscreen for health reasons, then maybe maintaining your younger looks for longer will motivate you.

I have to admit, I'd never been a big fan of sunscreens (in terms of daily usage) because of how heavy they've been in the past, but a few years ago I started to change my tune when I discovered Christine Chin's Solar Guard SPF 28 ($52). It goes on sheer, feels like a moisturizer and doesn't have that goop-y sunblock feel. And under make-up, it is weightless.

As for sharing sun protection on a daily basis with A, we've never totally succeeded. Body lotions, baby balms: yes. But, my sunscreen goes on before my makeup, and hers is carried around in her stroller or diaper bag, and her skin is even more sensitive than mine. So I stick with the California Baby SPF30+ Sunscreen for A. It took a lot of trial and error to find that one. Previous products that have now hit the trash, oozed and stained our clothes with orange and pink oils, but this one causes no reaction in her uber reactive skin.

I will recommend though, that for long plays on the beach or at the pool, you consider a Rash Guard shirt, which have built in UV protection. They are like the ones surfers wear, and A had this Roxy Girl one ($30) while she was with me in Hawaii. Add on top of that a UV treated, wide-brimmed sun-hat (here's A's by i Play, $10), and if you get distracted and forget to re-apply the sunblock, at least you've got some insurance!

Sunscreen 1-2-3:

The American Academy of Dermatology (ADA) recommends applying a broad spectrum (protecting against both UVA and UVB rays), water-resistant sunscreen, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 before exposure to the sun. I use the Christine Chin's Solar Guard SPF28 everyday as a moisturizer, but make sure to put on something with a higher SPF on days I know I'll be out getting some serious sun on with A. Here are some sheer, light to the touch, and quickly absorbing options for you to try:

1) Great under make-up: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock, SPF 70 ($13).

2) Convenience of a spray: Paula' Choice Ultra-Light Weightless Finish SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray ($8).

3) To finalize: a quick tip sheet from the ADA on being safe in the sun.

Special Note: Thanks to my good friends, L. and N. -- fellow parents of A's dear amigos who so kindly helped me test sunscreens this past week.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

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