Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Annual Sunscreen Soapbox Rant

Photo Credit: Sephora
There's an article circling through Facebook right now, and it's one I think we all need to read. The gist of it is a young woman, Glenna Kohl, passed away from skin cancer brought on by tanning. There's more to the story, including a misdiagnosis that played a huge role in her eventual death, but the long and short of it is that tanning--even in tanning beds--is dangerous, and not something to be messed around with. Now, I know it's Spring Break season, and Summer is just around the corner. I don't want to be a killjoy and tell you that you can't look pretty and golden in your new white sundress. What I do want you to do is be careful: wear sunscreen, and get your bronze from a bottle. Technology has advanced so much since the days of "Fake Bake Orange", and you can (really! I promise!) get a decent tan from a can. Lord knows, that's the only way this Irish lass avoids going from Casper to Lobster in .0001 seconds.

I've already posted about most of these products before, so I'll just link to my original thoughts. These are some fantastic ways to stay safe without having to sacrifice style.

Sunscreen: For face, I'm digging Walgreen's Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion. Normally, I wear makeup that contains an SPF, but if I'm laying out by the pool (ha! Like that happens often), this is one that doesn't clog my pores. Oddly, I've not reviewed it. I thought I had. Whoops. For body, my absolute favorite is Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect. Yes, it smells like suntan lotion, and that's unfortunate, but it looks so darned gorgeous on that I can deal.

Sunless Tanner: The best self-tanner I have ever had the pleasure of trying (and there have been a lot) is the Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy Instant Self Tan Lotion With Tint. There's practically zero odor, and you end up with a light shimmer instead of disco glitter, and a beautiful natural bronze that you see right away, but deepens over the next few hours. It's also very reasonably priced. You can't beat it.

Airbrush Tanner: Again, I'm going with Victoria's Secret. This is body makeup, not self-tanner, and it will wash off in the shower. If you're looking for a temporary tan, this is your product. As with the Sunless tanner, there's no offensive odor, and you look naturally bronzed. This is a great way to knock the chill off your legs for shorts or skirts.

Lip Balm: Pick your poison on this. I looked up "Lipbalm SPF" on drugstore.com and got 98 results. There is, literally, something out there for every preference. Just do me a favor and wear it. Lips are so often overlooked when slathering on lotion, and they burn so easily. I've witnessed a lip sunburn up close, and it's not pretty, but it is unbelievably painful. Just put something on. Anything.

For the Undecided: Lastly, if you have no clue what you're looking for in suncare, and my choices just aren't doing it for you, Sephora has an amazing kit for you: a train case filled with 14 deluxe samples of every kind of sun protection and tanner imaginable. It's $30, which is five dollars more than last year's, but you get three more samples and a nicer case, so it's worth it. I'm about to order one, myself. The samples are perfect for travel and purses. Bonus: 100% of profits benefit the Skin Cancer Foundation. As my Mom always says: Pretty is as pretty does.

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