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9 sunscreens for every situation
Think of the sun as your worst frenemy: She’s warm and friendly to your face, but you know you can’t trust her—she’s going to do damage eventually. Sneaky UVA rays age skin by increasing free radicals, which disrupt DNA and slow collagen synthesis. UVB rays target the top layer of skin, which equals sunburn. Both cause skin cancer. You know how to fight back: sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum formula (which protects against UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 30. Dr. Frances Jang, a dermatologist at Skinworks in Vancouver, recommends applying a topical antioxidant like vitamin C. At concentrations above 8 percent, it can enhance SPF because it’s anti-inflammatory and neutralizes free radicals. There’s also evidence that vitamins C and E may protect against damaging infrared rays, so expect to see more sunscreens containing these antioxidants.
Sunscreen situ “I’m interning, which means the only sun I’ll see is from my cube.”
Dream screens Even if you work in a nightclub, wearing sunscreen on the face is a must. If you don’t want to smell like a beach, try Coppertone Clearly Sheer Spray Sunscreen SPF 30 ($10, at drug stores and mass-market retailers). Fragrance houses, enlisted by the brand, came up with the spray’s “fresh, clean scent.” Or try Eau Thermale Avène High Protection Emulsion SPF 50+ ($25, at drug stores and mass-market retailers).
Sunscreen situ “I’d prefer all natural.”
Dream screens Unfortunately, you probably can’t find a plant to protect you from the sun. (Sitting under a palm tree doesn’t count.) A lot of sunscreens presented as “natural” contain a physical blocker: minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that bounce rays back. (The alternative, chemical blockers, soak up rays like a sponge.) Physical blockers are best for people with sensitive skin, but they can leave a chalky residue. Try Live Clean Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45 ($17, at drug stores and mass-market retailers) or Kiss My Face Everyday Sunscreen Mineral Moisturizer SPF 15 ($15, at drug stores and mass-market retailers).
Sunscreen situ “I’ll be in the water more than a pre-Prince Eric Little Mermaid.”
Dream screens Savvy sunscreen companies are embracing water. The Wet Force technology in Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion S Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ ($49, at thebay.com) gets stronger when skin is wet. It has a mineral sensor with negative ions that are attracted to positive ions in water and sweat. Vichy Laboratoires Idéal Soleil Sheer Lotion Bare Skin Feel SPF 60 ($29.95, at drug stores and mass-market retailers) contains water-soluble UV protector Mexoryl SX. “Water soluble” means that it attaches itself to the water in skin, providing more uniform coverage. Garnier Ombrelle Sport Endurance Water/Sweat Resistant Lotion SPF 50+ ($20, at drug stores and mass-market retailers) is also water based, so feel free to apply post-dip.
Sunscreen situ “I’ll be on the festival circuit.”
Dream screens Sunscreen is as essential to Osheaga as a flower crown and fringe. New stick formulas allow for hands-free application and ensure that your Fendi backpack stays spill-free. Try Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen SPF 50+ (from $14, at drug stores and mass-market retailers) and Sun Bum Original Face Stick SPF 30 ($13, at drug stores and mass-market retailers).