Before you put on all those fashion-forward summer garments, don’t forget the most important item of all: sunscreen. With all the options out there, the selection process can get daunting. We’ve compiled a few tips, with the help of Allure beauty director Amy Keller, to ensure a confident decision.
We’ve also coordinated an easy-to-remember mole check list. Local dermatologist Dr. Darlina Manthei of Skin Clinic clarifies whether you should be worried or not.
sunscreen, straightened out
1. Look for the words “broad spectrum.” In the past, SPF products only protected against UVB rays. Now, broad spectrum products protect from both UVA and UVB rays.
2. High SPF numbers actually do make a difference. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Neutrogena introduces an SPF 85 this year. “It sounds high. but little increased protection adds up to a bigger cumulative effect over the years,” Allure’s Amy Keller said.
3. Higher SPFs indicate the length of time you’re protected. That said, dermatologists still recommend reapplying every two hours.
4. Waterproof? Doubt it. According to Keller, waterproof and sweat-proof products should actually be titled water-resistant and sweat-resistant because they can’t completely withstand either.
5. You’re never too old for sunscreen. Damage, be it wrinkles or cancer, can rear its head at any age. There are other benefits, too. “If you start putting on sunscreen (at a later age), your skin starts to naturally repair itself,” Keller said.
6. Makeup with SPF isn’t enough. You have to reapply SPF every two hours. Unless you plan to do that with your foundation, then you’ll need sunscreen, too.
7. There’s no such thing as a healthy tan. (Unless it comes from a bottle or spray gun.) “We won’t even print those words (in Allure) anymore. Not even if it’s a quote,” Keller said.
8. A dark complexion doesn’t exempt you from needing sunscreen. Yes, lighter skin tones have a higher risk but the sun’s rays don’t discriminate.
If you have a mole and don’t know whether it could be a sign of something more serious, here’s an easy way to figure out whether you need to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. These are the ABCDs of moles, as provided by Dr. Darlina Manthei of Skin Clinic.
• A stands for asymmetry. “You should be able to cut your mole in half and find a mirror image,” Manthei said.
• B stands for borders. They should be smooth, not jagged.
• C stands for color. It should all be uniform.
• D stands for diameter. “It shouldn’t be bigger than a pencil eraser,” Manthei said.
Stylist: Susan Stapleton, Review-Journal
Stylist’s Assistant: Ashley Bowman