Protect Yourself: Pointers and Products for Summer Sun Defense

Sun damage and the need to protect our skin looms large in our lives. We’ve all heard it. We all know it. We all do the best we can. We can all do better. I was talking to a dermatologist friend the other day who reminded me that sun can even create damage through windows. She mentioned a famous case in her medical text book that showed the before and after photos of a woman who worked at the same desk in an office for decades where her left side faced the window. After all that time, the left side of her face showed a drastic amount of aging, while her right side had aged at a normal pace. That story made an impression on me, and spurred the subject of this issue’s Haute Beauty. Folks, in small doses we need sunlight, but let’s be careful. Let’s take care of our skin. 

To whit, we’ve created a compendium of tips and products sure to inspire sun safety. First some advice compiled exclusively for Haute Living San Francisco from Dr. Marc Hurlbert, CEO of the Melanoma Research Alliance. Dr. Hurlbert is a pharmacologist by training and previously served as the MRA’s chief science officer.

5 Things to Know about Sunscreen & Sun Safety From Dr. Marc Hurlbert

There is no such things as a “healthy tan.” A “tan is a sign that your skin is already in distress. A tan provides minimal protection. 

Seek out shade where possible when outside. This is particularly important during the hours 10am-2pm, when the sun is at peak intensity.

When choosing a sunscreen, the best one or you is one that you’ll wear every day. That said, we suggest looking for three things when shopping for sunscreen. 1) Broad spectrum protection (so that you know it will protect your from UVA rays which cause aging, and UVB rays which cause sunburn; 2) SPF30 or higher, and ; 3) While no sunscreen is waterproof, look for one that offers water resistance. 

Yes, you do need to wear sunscreen on cloudy days. Up to 80% of UV rays are able to penetrate cloud cover. Also, UV damage is cumulative, so every day counts.

Even the best sunscreen in the world cannot protect you if you’re not applying it correctly. For proper protection, you should be using about one ounce—or the size of a shot glass—for your body, and reapplying every two hours or after you get out of the water. 

Some Products We Recommend

Eclipse SPF 50+

An ultra-sheer, fast absorbing, water resistant formula with a weightless finish, Eclipse SPF 50+ by Innovative Skincare combines transparent Titanium Dioxide and micronized Zinc Oxide with Vitamin E for stunning results in two shades. 

UV Damage Rescue After Sun Calming Serum 

From Violette_ FR, this soothing, hydrating holy grail in a bottle harnesses naturally occurring Polyglutamic Acid for deep hydration, Centella Asiatica extract to calm and support reparative skin cells, and Melitane Peptide to reduce inflammation and boost protective melanin.  100 % of users reported improved skin after two days of use.

Ombre Del Sole

Petaluma and Bay Area-based Benedetta Skincare has your back. Always on the lookout for clean and non-toxic skincare alternatives, they created the Ombre Del Sole series (Defense & Repair Duo and Creme) to combat oxidative stress where it starts—deep within the dermis. The products naturally filter UVA and UVB rays, while encouraging healthy cell renewal and regeneration.

This 100% reef-safe sunscreen, made with 15% non-nano zinc oxide hydrates as an oil free lotion. Its vegan powered extracts melt into the skin to help protect against the sun’s broad-spectrum UVA and UVB rays, as well as blue light.

Bondi Sands SPF 50 Fragrance Free Sunscreen 

Tested in Australia, this star powered sunscreen hydrates and protects with SPF 50 UVA and UVB protection. Free of fragrance, the non greasy formula remains water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Expect to feel moisturized for a full 72 hours.

Pavise Dynamic Age Defense SPF

The brainchild of Sophie Bai, a Harvard and MIT educated scientist, this unique product line been the talk of the suncare market. It uses patented DiamondCore Shield Technology to scavenge and neutralizesUV-generated Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that age skin and cause hyperpigmentation. An all-in-one elixir Dynamic Age Defense SPF treats, moisturizes and sheaths the skin with protection.

Weekend Skin Warm Glow

This 2-in-1 UV fighter from Iris&Romeo combines a pot of gold duet with two skincare steps in one product. With age-reversing and brightening vitamin C and a transparent mineral SPF, the serum-like, glow making lotion can be used daily to even skin tone, soften wrinkles,  prevent sun damage and suffuse the skin with golden hour glam.\

From Europe’s number one professional skincare brand Babor, founded by a biochemist in 1956, Doctor Babor Protect RX Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 works fast to soothe and protect skin. Providing a filter with Zinc Oxide 18.22%, the clean, blendable formula is moisturizing and can be used by all skin types.