Smarten Up

The temperature continues to rise, and summer is (hopefully) on its way, so naturally we are being bombarded with ads and articles about sunscreen and the best warm-weather skin care available. After reading approximately 13 different articles about the importance of protecting your skin – and taking notice of a few irritatingly persistent crinkles around my eyes – I decided it was time to step up my skin care routine. After all, I’ve been slapping on the same SPF 15 tinted moisturizer every morning for years, and, as much as I hate to admit it, my skin is beginning to change with age. Plus,  prevention is huge in the battle against aging skin. So, excited to find something new, I did my research and headed out to find my best bet.

I read about Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer in several articles, and was intrigued by a lengthy advertisement that promised Smart Essentials would help a busy girl like me protect her skin while looking fresh-faced and bright. I found a bottle at my local Walgreens (for $6 less than the posted price at Rite Aid, I might add!), and brought it home for a trial.

After one day of using this moisturizer, which features an SPF of 30 and comes in a cheery yellow and orange bottle that for some reason increases my confidence that it will brighten my tired skin, I noticed a nice glow. Not only that, but it kept my face from getting shiny, a problem I’ve been battling lately. This surprised me, because I often find that products containing sunscreen often leave a greasy feel on my skin – not so with the Smart Essentials moisturizer. It has a light scent, absorbs quickly, and, in my opinion, left my skin tone looking more even and less blotchy than my trusty old tinted moisturizer.

I saw one of my best friends a few days after I started using it, and she told me I looked fantastic, and that my skin looked dewy. Dewy – not shiny. I thanked her and told her I was using a new moisturizer that was changing my life. And hopefully it will – sun damage and dull skin is no laughing matter. So for now, I’m officially making the switch to SPF 30.

It’s a smart choice.

Protect it!

As I write this, the sun is shining gloriously through my window, lighting up the new spring leaves and making everything warm and beautiful. And while I do love the sun, its warmth, and the cheerful shine it brings to life, I do not love the wrinkles, sun spots, and cancer that lounging in the sun unprotected can cause.

I’ve been watching a good deal of trash television lately, and I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Over-tanning! Jerseylicious features a lot of big hair, bad eyeliner, and over-the-top tans. Over the weekend I watched a health show about people who are addicted to strange things, and one girl tanned so often that her skin was orange and she no longer resembled her family members. Why? In a time when the health risks associated with tanning are widely known and much too real to be ignored, why are people still (literally) baking themselves in the sun?

Now, I’m not saying we should all march around looking pasty and pale. There are plenty of sunless tanners out there that look natural and are actually good for you skin. (Check back later this month for a post on self-tanning!)

A lot of people just love being outside in the warm weather, and I don’t blame them at all. It’s wonderful, and getting out to enjoy nature and the fresh air is a perfectly healthy thing. Just please, think of your skin. It holds you together and can make you look radiant and youthful or saggy and old. So protect it!

In the warmer months, I don’t leave home without some SPF. Many beauty products, from powders to glosses, contain sunscreen that you can apply without thinking about it. But as soon as I get out of the shower, I slather on a body lotion with SPF from head to toe. My current favorite? Vaseline Aloe Fresh Protecting Lotion. It smells fresh, smooths skin, and keeps me safe from daily sun damage, all at once. As for my face, I vary the moisturizer, as long as it has SPF 15 or higher. I’m liking Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Protecting Lotion. It soothes redness while also providing protection from the sun.

A tip to keep in mind when applying sunscreen: don’t forget your neck, chest, hands and feet. These parts are often neglected and can give away your age. Nobody wants a youthful face to be accompanied by a turkey neck.