How to Protect Your Gorgeous Skin in the Sun

Wow, I wish I knew then, what I know now! This applies to several things in my life, but today I am talking about sunscreen.

The Price of Beauty: sunburns, whether in the sun or in a bed, can (sadly) increase the risk of skin cancer (

With the money I have spent on correcting the damage caused by years of unsafe sun exposure, I could have rented a villa in the south of France for the summer!

I know what you are thinking: a little sun is healthy and who wants to look like they just crawled out from under a rock? Let’s face it, if pasty skin was sexy there would not be the flood of self-tanners, body bronzers and tanning salons that have hit the market over the past few years. I hear you, trust me! But… the reality is that sun exposure causes skin cancer and skin cancer can kill you. I had my first battle at 24!

Now that I have your attention, let me share with you a few helpful facts to help you pick the right sunscreen as we kick-off summer this Memorial Day weekend.

There are some great sunscreens out there and they don’t have to break your wallet. It used to be that they were broken down into two main categories: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens mostly block UVB rays (the rays that cause sunburns). They have a lower SPF and rub in easily, sometimes even clear.

Physical sunscreens block the UVA rays (the deeper rays responsible for wrinkling, leathering and over all aging of the skin…and oh yeah, cancer), have a higher SPF and contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that make them white.


The Friday before Memorial Day is National "Don't Fry Day," a skin safety awareness day endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Now the Skin Cancer Foundation has come out with a new seal of recommendation to make it easier for you to decide which product to use (see list of recommended products here). The seal says either “Daily Use,” designed for short periods of daily exposure (think UVB chemical), or “Active” for extended periods of exposure (think UVA physical). The new seals are on some products already, but the complete list won’t hit stores until May 2012. Until then, the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website ( is a fantastic source of information.

I personally use Obagi products every day. We carry it at RENU and it’s great, but I also love Hawaiian Tropic when I’m at the beach. It smells great and reminds me of spring break… which is going back to if I knew then what I know now, but that’s another blog.

Putting on Sunscreen

Apply sunscreen every 2 hours to avoid burning.

Facts to keep in mind:

  • Nothing protects you 100 percent.
  • Darker skin tones still need sunscreen!
  • When in the sun, ALL sunscreens should be reapplied every 2 hours.
  • Most windows do NOT block UVA rays.
  • Even on the cloudiest of days, 40% of damaging rays still make it to the ground.
  • It’s never too late to start, getting the majority of damage as a child is a myth.
  • Tanning beds are even worse than the sun.
  • An Australian study showed 50% reduction in melanoma for people who wear SPF 16 every day.

Now, to get you into the groove of protecting your skin from the sun, Renu Med Spa has a GIVEAWAY!

  • Subscribe to DC on Heels (in the upper right hand corner of this website) to be automatically entered to win the GRAND PRIZE of $100 worth of sunscreen products and a stylish sun hat from Renu Med Spa.
  • 10 Runners-up will win an Obagi Travel Sunscreen!
Subscribe to DC on Heels

Subscribe to DC on Heels in the box on the top right of this page to be automatically entered to win!

The winners will be announced on Facebook & Twitter next Friday, June 3. If you win, you will be invited to Renu Med Spa to come pick up your prize.

Good luck and stay safe in the sun!

Michelle Schoenfeld, “Beauty Buzz” expert for DC on Heels and co-owner of Renu Medspa and Plastic Surgery
301.652.RENU (7368)

Michelle Schoenfeld

Clarisonic Classic. Healthy skin and free shipping



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  1. Liz Joy

    Thank you so much for this Michelle. I’m sharing your article. We use Obagi also. Such an important issue!