So Cushions have become a major thing in the US – maybe not quite as massive as the impact from their originating countries, but they’ve definitely taken off in the last couple of years. The formulations cover the gamut of beauty and color cosmetics, to skincare, so you can bet at least a few of your favorite products can be found in this format.
Take UV protection for example… How adorable is this Etude House Sun Blind Cushion? It’s nod-to-nautical stripes and bright white base make the compact itself something you wouldn’t mind pulling out. What I love is that this precious little package packs an SPF 50+ / PA +++ punch.
In case you aren’t sure of the designations (let me say first, I am not a dermatologist, but this may help at least explain the terminology!):
- SPF refers to the protection from the sun’s UVB rays
- The PA rating refers to the UVA protection level
- UVA = Long wave Ultraviolet A rays. These can penetrate deeply into the dermis (our skin’s thickest layer.) UVA therefore can lead to photo aging – premature wrinkling and aging of your skin – as well as immune system suppression. No thanks!
- UVB = Short Wave Ultraviolet B rays. These can burn the surface of the skin (superficial), potentially contributing to conditions like skin cancer
The PA is not regulated by the FDA, and is a Japanese and Korean designation. These days the best way to be sure you have both covered is a “broad spectrum” or “full spectrum” on the label. Still, it does indicate that the product offers at least some UVA protection – PA +++ is the highest grade of UVA protection available, with a Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) rating of more than 8.)
In any case, the Etude House packaging makes taking care of your skin – in Summer or any other season – a cinch. It’s incredibly easy to tote around, making for quick and easy reapplication. With skincare, ease of use always helps makes applying the proper amount more a habit, and less of a chore. NICE.
So I’ve rambled on about sun protection before – it’s HUGELY important. We generally don’t apply enough, nor as frequently as we should – I do wear SPF 30 on my face every day, but then there are hands, necks, ears, and other exposed areas that are forgotten about by most of us!
With that said, the easier to use, the better – I love mists for that reason, so this one – UV Perfect Aqua Essence City Mist SPF 50 – caught my eye. L’Oreal has an incredible R&D team and definitely spends on getting products right – so they are a name I trust when it comes to skincare (including suncare.)
(Not sure of photo attribution – if you know, please share! 🙂
This particular product is designed to be ultra light, refreshing, and long-lasting (it says 12 hour UV protection but that feels like a generous statistic.) The details, per L’Oreal, include:
- 3 seconds spray-on
- Can be applied over makeup
- Hydrates skin
I haven’t seen this in the States as yet, but it appears you can get it in the UK already!
I can’t express how important sun protection is – whether you are training outdoors regularly, or someone who just has exposure on a regular basis. It isn’t just about aging – pesky lines and spots – either! It is about being preventative with you skincare so as to avoid dangerous conditions as much as possible.
I used to train (figure skating) on an outdoor rink all winter as a child – for YEARS. I was also a rollerblader who would frequent the beach trails or 10-mile outdoor paths in one go. We didn’t know as much at the time, and I’d not be surprised if I had forgone my sunscreen back then. These days, I still need to be better about arms, neck, shoulders, ears (the generally exposed areas when it’s warmer), but I ALWAYS have at least 30 SPF on my face. Even then, I could reapply more frequently, but I definitely do make an effort.
I recently saw this new Sincere products from Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula at Target. I love their regular Cocoa Butter (the scent reminds me of cookie batter!), so I was excited to see that SPF has been added to these.
I also love sprays because they are much easier to maneuver for the tough-to-reach spots like the back, back of neck, back of shoulders etc.
Whether or not you like THIS brand, or others, it’s worth checking out the sunscreen aisle – yes, ALL times of the year. Your epidermis will thank you, as will your body down the line.
High tech is hitting skincare in yet another innovative way. My UV Patch – a sticker with a thickness of half a strand of hair – is designed to become a “second skin” the moment you apply it.
Christian Kettiger / La Roche-Posay
Now the patch isn’t used in PLACE of sunscreen...its purpose lies in measuring the amount of UV you are being exposed to. There are a number of products being marketed which do the same thing, but they differ in that they are more like technologically-advanced jewelry – a bracelet or band, as an example (not so unlike fitness monitors. not necessarily bulky, but still an obvious wearable with weight.)
These slim stickers also have the advantage of being able to work with product – you can apply your sun protection over it without any issue. Wearers can get their UV reading in 1, 2, 3! The sticker will change color, indicating your level of exposure. All you need to do is snap a photo of it and upload to get your stats (so yes, you will need an App for this.)
The idea behind My UV Patch is to give you a better sense of what you are being exposed to on a regular basis, presumably encouraging you to take appropriate preventative measures going forward.
It is still in Beta, but I’m curious to hear more about it. I do hope they accept some feedback in the meantime – I don’t think most men want to traipse around wearing a heart sticker, frankly. And to be honest, neither do I. Maybe they’ll make skull-shaped ones?!