Moisturizers with Mineral Sunscreen
Now that we’ve all survived the protracted torments of winter, the time has come to get serious about sun protection. Of course, being a savvy DC on Heels reader, you’ve been using sunscreen every day, year round, rain or shine, sunny or cloudy, but now that the burning rays of the sun are growing more intense with summer’s approach, daily sunscreen is indispensable.
The sun ages the skin in several ways. UVA and UVB rays damage the skin’s structural proteins—elastin and collagen, causing them to break down, which eventually leads to sagging, wrinkled skin.
The sun’s rays also penetrate the epidermis’ protective lipid barrier, compromising its ability to retain moisture. The result is not pretty: dried out, leathery skin. Also, long-term exposure to UVA rays (the so-called tanning rays that reach deeper into the dermis) can increase melanin production, creating hyperpigmentation in the form of freckles and age spots. More disturbingly, the free radicals generated by sun exposure can alter the skin cell DNA, causing mutations that can result in skin cancer.
Since sun exposure triggers the formation of free radicals, which are a primary cause of aging, it makes sense to counter the effects of sun exposure with a sun block that shields the skin from the sun’s damaging rays while combating free radical activity with antioxidants. Instead of a chemical sunscreen, which can have insalubrious effects when absorbed into the bloodstream, I prefer a natural, physical sun block made from zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
For daily use, you’ll want a facial sunscreen that doubles as a moisturizer that is sheer, easy to apply and nourishes your skin. Texture is of paramount concern; many sunscreens feel heavy on the skin and can cause breakouts. You shouldn’t have to choose between pimples and leathery skin, so here are my top picks for healthy, skin-saving sunscreens:
If oiliness is an issue, try Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost ATB. This high SPF moisturizer absorbs quickly and its non-oily, light texture imparts a matte, natural-looking finish. In addition to free-radical fighting argan oil, it also contains a proprietary blend of antioxidants and skin-soothers called SunBoost ATB.
For a healthy dose of natural antioxidant power, pick up a tube of Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer, which provides broad-spectrum UV protection and is infused with organic pomegranate oil, white grape juice and algae extract. These ingredients prevent free-radical damage from occurring, condition and moisturize the skin without clogging pores.
If you’re seeking a tinted sunscreen look no further than Marie Veronique Organics MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30. This sheer, yet powerful all-natural product protects your skin from the ravages of the sun with non-nano zinc oxide, which also soothes and heals irritation and blemishes.
Red raspberry seed oil also enhances its sun-protective properties, while sea buckthorn, emu oil, and green and white tea extract provide an antioxidant boost. But the star ingredient, in my opinion, is pearl powder. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine for its health and skin-enhancing benefits, the light-reflecting qualities of pearl powder make your skin look luminous and minimizes the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.
Whichever sunscreen you choose, remember to enjoy some sunshine every day this summer for optimal vitamin D production. As with most things, moderation is key, and now you have no excuses to not wear sunscreen!