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Beauty FACT or FICTION? - SPF

Wearing SPF on a regular basis can save your life.

FACT - Sun exposure is the #1 cause of skin cancer, and wearing sunscreen (or any product with SPF regularly) can cut the chances of you getting skin cancer in half.  There are MANY types of skin cancer, and not all of them are obvious.  Check your body often for any odd looking spots or discoloration on your skin, and notify your doctor ASAP if you find any.  Sun damage is also the #1 cause of premature aging - wearing a moisturizer with SPF can help keep your skin soft and supple for longer!

You only need to wear sunscreen when you’re going to the beach.

FICTION - There’s a reason cosmetics companies are putting SPF in everything nowadays.  UV rays can penetrate your skin EVERY day… in the winter, when it’s cloudy, when you’re walking to your car, while you’re sitting next to a window… so it’s smart to protect your skin no matter what it is you’re doing.  

One ounce of sunblock is the correct amount for your entire body.

FACT - An entire ounce of traditional cream sunscreen is the recommended amount for covering the average person’s body to achieve the amount of Sun Protection indicated by the SPF on the bottle.  That’s a LOT more than you’d think (most foundation bottles contain only 1 ounce of product)… in fact, it’s kind of impossible to glob on a layer that thick.  But, the less sunscreen you use, the less effective and more spotty your sun protection will be. Avoid the headache by simply layering your SPF… smooth a thin layer all over your skin, allow it to dry, and then apply a second layer.  This will help the SPF absorb fully, so you get all the protection without all of the grease!  Bonus Fact:  It takes a full tablespoon to cover just your face properly!

Waterproof sunscreen isn’t actually waterproof.

FACT - Although “waterproof” sunscreens will hold up better on the beach than non-waterproof versions, you will still have to reapply your sunscreen every time you get out of the water.

The SPF you apply in the morning is good enough to last you all day.

FICTION - Read the back of any product that contains SPF, and it will tell you that you must reapply every 2 hours in order to maintain adequate sun protection!  That seems like a lot of reapplying, I know, but if you’re going to be out in the sun, reapplying is very important!  Pick a lightweight sunscreen or makeup product with SPF so that layering isn’t a difficult task throughout the day.

SPF 15 gives maximum sun protection.

FICTION - SPF 15 protects against 93%* of UV rays.  SPF 30 (it seems like it would be double the protection, right?   Nope) protects about 97%* of UV rays, and SPF 50 gives 98%* protection.  With anything above SPF 50, the difference is minimal.

*  - Statistics from the Skin Cancer Foundation website

You can layer SPFs to create a higher level of SPF.

FICTION - Putting on an SPF 15 over an SPF 30 isn’t going to give you SPF 45, you will only get the coverage of the highest SPF (in this example, 30.)  However, layering SPF is going to give you a higher concentration of your SPF, protecting you more thoroughly.

SPF causes breakouts.

FICTION - It’s not the sun protection that’s clogging your pores.  If you’re experiencing breakouts after using sunscreen, chances are you’re just using a product that’s not right for your skin type!  Just like with moisturizers, SPF products aren’t “one-size-fits-all”.  If you feel that your sunscreen IS causing you to break out, switch to an oil-free version that’s more lightweight, and/or intended for your face.  These are a thinner texture, are non comedogenic, and allow your skin to breathe!

SPF can make your face look white in pictures.

FACT - Foundations and powders with SPF in them can cause white flashback in flash photography.  The iron oxides in sunscreen (which are what helps to prevent sun damage) have a reflective quality.  For special events, pick a matte foundation without SPF, or use bronzer to counteract the ghostly effect.  You will still be able to use an SPF underneath your makeup without having to worry!

People with dark skin don’t need to wear sunscreen.

FICTION - Dark skin tones are still affected by the sun’s damaging UV rays. Darker skin can still develop skin cancer (in fact, certain types of skin cancer are ONLY found on people of color), and UV rays will age dark skin just as much as light skin.  It’s important to protect yourself!  If you’re worried about white, creamy sunscreens turning your skin ashy looking, pick instead an oil sunscreen - they’re just as effective, but are colorless and absorb quickly into the skin.

CLICK THROUGH FOR PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS AND MORE TIPS!

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HIGH FIVE: TRAVEL-FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN

You won’t be seeing red anytime soon.

This summer, make it your goal to see beach bonfires burn—and not your skin. We want to make sure no matter where you travel this season, you’re set on sun safety. Below, we rounded up five portable sunscreens in varying formats you’re sure to love. JESSICA VELEZ

Format: All-over lotion

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children

 
There are two types of people in this world: those who lounge by the pool with a book, and those that dive right in. Luckily, inner mermaids with delicate fins don’t have to worry about rays while practicing their backstroke. Shiseido’s Wet Force line now comes with a face and body protector specially formulated for sensitive skin. So just keep swimming—but be sure to reapply the fragrance-free formula every 80 minutes…or whenever you’re sick of playing Marco Polo.

Format: Spray

Supergoop Defense Setting Mist

Supergoop created a sunscreen and setting spray in one, thus saving us from melted foundation and crab face—aka, summertime sadness. After your last cat eye flick, mist on this refreshing minty spray to lock everything in place and get a dose of SPF 50. Here’s the real kicker: You can reapply all day, err day without disrupting your strobe in the slightest. Now if only we could say the same for BBQ sauce…

Format: Stick

Fresh Sugar Sport SPF30

Everything about Fresh Sugar Sport SPF30 screams summer—from it’s neon packaging to its orange ice-pop scent. In true Fresh fashion, the formula is sweetened up with skin-nourishing sugar. It’s also perfect for surfers outfitted in wetsuits since it’s meant to be applied to exposed areas like lips, face, and around the eyes. Plus it’s water resistant. But it’s suitable for anyone with a competitive spirit, since it’s a clear winner in our eyes.

Format: Balm

Coola Liplux

“Thanks, it has SPF” is what you should say when someone compliments your supple lips. Coola LipLux’s creamy (read, not waxy) formula has more than usual, clocking in at SPF 30. Why do your lips need sun protection? It helps prevent photo-aging and burning, which aren’t things you want to kiss hello to anytime soon. Coola’s version comes loaded with nutrients and antioxidants to keep your lips smiling.

Format: Brush

Colorscience Sunforgettable® Loose Mineral Sunscreen Brush Broad Spectrum SPF50

A SPF-infused tinted powder that fits in your clutch? Genius. ColorScience’s Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF50 comes in a purse-friendly tube for easy reapplication. Think of it as a way to shine-proof your complexion while also protecting your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. That’s what we like to call a win-win.

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Sunscreen Roundup

You scream. I scream. We all scream for sunscreen. 

Literally. 

Sunscreen. You all want to hear about it. As you should. Good job. It’s quite possibly the best beauty product you can buy, (followed by waterproof mascara.) But really, good SPF is something I am passionate about, and think should be invested in as well as investigated. I am picky, I have sensitive skin. I love being in the sun and surf. 

So here’s what passed the test. And am actually currently using.  

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HOUSE OF SUNSCREEN: INNOVATIONS IN SUNCARE

Meet your sunscreen dream.

“My first sunscreen was the one with the little girl and the dog pulling her swimsuit off,” recalls Gaby Giron, Sephora Assistant Skincare Merchant. “I just remember the smell. It was definitely memorable, but not in the best sense.” Thankfully, the days of chalky, greasy, weird-smelling sun protection are over—along with excuses not to wear it. New innovations in formulas and formats now offer a wealth of solutions to old problems, and, often, additional skincare benefits. Read on for the answer to your sunscreen dreams.  MELISSA LANE

THE DREAM:  TINTED SUNSCREEN FOR ALL-DAY TOUCH-UPS

THE ANSWER: AMOREPACIFIC CC CUSHION COMPACT SPF 50+

Safeguards on the go in a complexion-perfecting tint that can be reapplied throughout the day with the included puff.

THE DREAM: SUNSCREEN THAT SETS MAKEUP AND CONTROLS SHINE

THE ANSWER: SUPERGOOP! DEFENSE REFRESH SPF 50

Keeps makeup looking just-applied, minimizes oil, and refreshes skin in a cooling rosemary oil–scented mist.

THE DREAM: SUNSCREEN WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

THE ANSWER: COOLA CONTINUOUS SPRAY SPF 30 IN UNSCENTED, FRESH CUCUMBER, AND TROPICAL COCONUT

Formulated with 70 percent certified organic ingredients (and packed with antioxidants).

THE DREAM: RADIANCE-BOOSTING SUNSCREEN

THE ANSWER: PERRICONE MD FACE FINISHING MOISTURIZER TINT BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30

Delivers a healthy glow with microcapsules that burst on contact with your skin.

THE DREAM: COMPLEXION-PERFECTING SUNSCREEN

THE ANSWER: ALGENIST SUBLIME DEFENSE BLURRING ANTI-AGING SPF 30

Blurs imperfections and moisturizes for a more youthful appearance.

THE DREAM: WATER-RESISTANT SUNSCREEN THAT’S NOT GREASY

THE ANSWER: VITA LIBERATA DRY OIL SPF 50

Stands up to surf and sweat in a dry oil format that’s not greasy—and works on face, body, and even hair.

THE DREAM: SUNSCREEN THAT ADDRESS DARK SPOTS

THE ANSWER: DR. DENNIS GROSS DARK SPOT DEFENSE SPF 50

Targets hyperpigmentation and dryness, plus defends against free radicals.

THE DREAM: AN ANTIAGING SUNSCREEN

THE ANSWER: CLARINS SUNSCREEN MULTI-PROTECTION BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 50

Combats signs of aging with antioxidant-rich cantaloupe melon extract while also setting a matte foundation for makeup. 

SHOP OUR SUNSCREEN BUYING GUIDE >

Packing List: Hawaiian Island Vacay

I wouldn’t trade New York for any other city, but right about this time of year I start to miss the ocean like whoa. I’m headed to Hawaii this week to visit family and get my fix of palm trees, sand, and spam musubi. (Not kidding—don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.) Here’s what I’m packing for my tropical escape. 

1. La Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleanser: I’m a big proponent of face wipes, both at work (key when product-testing) and when traveling. These hydrating wipes have both aloe vera and vitamin E—they’ll come in handy on the 12-hour flight as well as any beach adventures.

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protect the skin you're in

While I am here at the beach and soaking up the Miami sun, there is nothing more important than protecting my skin. So this new sunscreen line I discovered is the perfect summer accessory, especially because of its easy and hassle free packaging. Super Goop Sunscreen Swipes are like baby wipes but with sunscreen protection.

This means that it is perfect to have inside he handbag everyday and it is super easy to apply. Apart from their cute packaging, its formula has green tea that calms the skin and reduces any irritation than can be caused by sun exposure. Available online, at Sephora and here in Miami at Babalú (come back tomorrow to know about this!!!).

           

               

Images from supergoop.com

HOUSE OF SUNSCREEN: THE BEST SUNCARE FOR YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

Pick the perfect protection.

Think sunscreen is one-size-fits-all? Think again. The choices abound in a cornucopia of formats, formulas, and feel-good benefits. So, how do you choose? “It all depends on your lifestyle,” says Gaby Giron, Sephora Assistant Skincare Merchant. “Some people are active; some are in the city; some are baking in the sun all day. We’re all so different. But, luckily, there’s a sunscreen for everyone.” Below, the best sun protection for the demands of your day (and oh-so-subtle personal preference). MELISSA LANE

ACTIVE, STAY-PUT PROTECTION

Stand up to sun, sweat, and surf with these sporty sunscreens.

SHISEIDO ULTIMATE SUN PROTECTION LOTION

Especially for you if you like: a silky-smooth texture.

KORRES YOGHURT VEIL FOR FACE SPF 30

Especially for you if you like: the nourishing properties of yogurt.

VITA LIBERATA NEROLI & ARGAN MILK BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 50

Especially for you if you like: the non-greasy feel of dry oil.

MAKEUP-FRIENDLY FORMATS

Perfect your protection—and complexion—with these powders, mists, and creams.

COOLA MAKEUP SETTING SPRAY

Especially for you if you like: organic ingredients.

AMOREPACIFIC CC CUSHION COMPACT SPF 50+

Especially for you if you like: to touch up on the go.

PETER THOMAS ROTH RADIANT INSTANT MINERAL BRUSH-ON BRONZER SUNSCREEN SPF 30

Especially for you if you like: subtle shimmers.

MULTITASKING FORMULAS

Address a host of other concerns while safeguarding your skin.

SUPERGOOP! CITY SUNSCREEN SERUM

Especially for you if you like: fighting signs of aging.

JOSIE MARAN ARGAN DAILY MOISTURIZER SPF 47 PROTECT & PERFECT

Especially for you if you like: a healthy, youthful glow.

MDSOLARSCIENCES MINERAL TINTED CRÈME BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30

Especially for you if you like: a matte, universal tint.

SHOP OUR SUNSCREEN BUYING GUIDE >

Want To Prevent Crow's Feet? Supergoop's Eye Cream Is Your New Best Friend

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no one reading this blog is more careful about sun protection than I am. Sure, many of you might be just as careful, but I can guarantee that no one is taking even more precautionary measures. (I would happily be proven wrong. Fellow SPF nuts, drop me a line in the comments below!)

My daily routine always includes one of two Supergoop products, either their City Sunscreen Serum or their Everyday UV Lotion for Face and Body and to give you a sense of just how careful I am, if I’m indoors on a sunny day and seated near a big window, I will likely reapply. But get this: Despite my best efforts, it turns out that my SPF routine was lacking one major component. 

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     You could accurately compare my purse to Mary Poppins’ infamous bottomless carpetbag. I am still not sure if it is a good thing, or not, that I carry everything with me. I like to know that if I am in dire need of let’s say.. floss, or kleenex.. I have it! We all have those random moments of dry lips or a snagged nail. I mean, what would happen if I had an asthma attack or allergic reaction to something?! No, even worse, what if I am at a bar and need a beer coozie? Life can be unpredictable, therefore I am always ready.        So, here goes… let’s take a step into my bottomless purse. Good luck, you might not be able to escape! 

     I always carry travel size makeup for just in case touch-ups & day-to-evening wear. I also like to prepare for the worst, like an unexpected rainstorm could wash away my freshly-applied makeup (I live in Florida so it is very likely to happen).

     In my purple Ipsy GlamBag:

     Within the muck of stuff, I also carry 4 beer coozies. It’s not quite what you are thinking, yes I am an alcoholic, but I only carry these for marketing purposes. The coozies are from my parent’s bar in Okeechobee. Our 33-year-old family-owned business. You can check out their Facebook here. I love to have them just in case we stop somewhere and I get the chance to whip them out & give them away.

     Living in FLorida, sunscreen is a MUST. I also have this habit of sporadically fleeing to the beach. Therefore, I always keep sunscreen & sunglasses handy. Personally, my favorites are COOLA SPF 30 Cucumber Face Moisturizer and Supergoop! Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist with Vitamin C Broad Spectrum SPF 50. I carry a couple of different sunglasses just in case I have a wardrobe change, or one breaks (I am pretty clumsy, what can I say?).

     Since I am almost blind, I always carry my prescription glasses and cleaning cloth (from LensCrafters).

     Usually, I have extra lipstick hidden in the sides of my purse. Today I am carrying Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm (in Heftiest Hibiscus). For those moments in which I doubt the effect of my breath, I top it off with Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in Mint flavor. 

     Last minute, I always throw in random objects like a flashlight, Zyrtec, Benadryl, a pocket knife, hand sanitizer, extra pens, and a notepad. You never know when you need to get all MacGyver savvy. 

ps- The blue purse is from Francesca’s Collection, you can find a similar one here.

Inside the April 2013 Birchbox and May 2013 Birchbox
I struck Birchbox gold in April and May. Both months delivered absolutely fabulous boxes full of wonderful deluxe samples and even a couple of full-size products.

Here’s a look at the items I received!

April 2013 Birchbox –







May 2013 Birchbox –








Supergoop CC Cream, Cargo Beach Blush in Tenerife

The standout product from this bunch is certainly the full-size Cargo Blush, which offers a gorgeous, pinky bronze shade when swirled together. I’m excited to incorporate it into my summer beauty routine.

I also really enjoy the Supergoop eye cream. I brought it along with me when I traveled to Seattle last week and I found that it worked really well, offering both hydration and protection for my under eye area.

HIGH-FIVE: EYE CREAMS WITH SUNSCREEN

Five ways to protect your eye area—and one tip to skip the sting.

There’s nothing worse than getting sunscreen in your eyes. It burns like crazy, and if you’re nowhere near a sink (like, say, on the bus, with nothing but a half-empty soda), the situation can get dire. So, it’s not surprising that many of us default to not using anything in that region. Oh, but what a mistake this is! Nothing ages you like the sun, and if anything is a visual odometer for your years, it’s the skin around your eyes. Below, we look at five new eye creams that not only deliver steadfast protection, but also a slew of antiaging benefits and distinct advantages. Regardless which one catches your eye, steer clear of the waterlines when you apply it, and completely avoid the area around the tear duct, which is where sunscreen usually gets in. Then, peek out from behind your sunnies with impunity—you, my friend, are covered. MELISSA LANE

Supergoop! Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
POWERED BY: 100% natural oat peptide complex.
PROTECTION: SPF 37
PLUS: Soothing.
While providing robust broad spectrum protection, this milky eye cream offers instant hydration, brightening, and soothing with a cool, metallic tip applicator. It also depuffs, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and improves the look of firmness and elasticity. Not bad for a little cream powered by oats.

AmorePacific Future Response Age Defense Dual Eye Creme
POWERED BY: Green tea, pine mushroom, and Chinese plum.
PROTECTION: SPF 25
PLUS: A night creme that picks up where the day one leaves off.
Get around-the-clock defense with daytime protection from UV rays and nighttime recovery from free radicals and other aggressors. Thanks to what reads like a Chinese herbalist’s grocery list, it imparts a nice dose of antioxidants to minimize signs of aging and inflammation, all in a pretty iridescent sheen. (Green tea fans, rejoice—it is not only concocted with extracts of your favorite beverage, it smells like it, too.)

Clinique Superdefense SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream
POWERED BY: Antioxidant-rich complex of essential lipids, sodium hyaluronate, and trehalose.
PROTECTION: SPF 20
PLUS: Hydration.
This fresh-scented number instantly hydrates with moisture-binding superheroes sodium hyaluronate and trehalose, while antioxidants rally against free radical damage. With just a hint of pink, this delicate sunscreen imparts a nice, subtle pop to the eyes. 

Boscia All-In One B.B. Eye Brightener Broad Spectrum SPF 20
POWERED BY: 4.5% peptide complex with Matrixyl 3000, Eyeliss, wakame, sea fern algae, jojoba leaf, and wilowherb.
PROTECTION: SPF 20
PLUS: Concealer.
This multitasking marvel conceals, brightens, and protects your eye area, and prevents the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and pigmentation. With an SPF of 20, this self-adjusting shade, adds one more notch to BB cream’s belt.

Ole Ultimate Lift Eye Gel
POWERED BY: Red micro algae, cucumber and Persian silk tree extract, biopeptides, and hyaluronic acid.
PROTECTION: Post-sun cooling.
PLUS: Firming.
Too much fun in the sun? Keep this cooling gel on hand (in the fridge, if possible), and dab on right before bed. It lifts the look of the upper lid, improving the overall appearance of firmness, elasticity, crow’s feet, and wrinkles. Bonus: The cucumber scent will send you off to slumberland dreaming of spas.

SHOP EYE CREAMS>

3Floz.com Makes Traveling A Lot More Beautiful

We obsess over travel-size products, so naturally we were fast friends with the founders of 3Floz.com, a online resource that carries luxury products exclusively in TSA-approved sizes. We sat down with one of the co-founders, Kate Duff, to chat about her booming business as well as her best jet-setting secrets. 

Jet-set girls weekender kit, $67.50, 3floz.com

Birchbox: What’s the backstory behind 3Floz.com

Kate Duff: The idea for 3FLoz.com came to Alexi Mintz, my co-founder, and I when we were working at Archipelago Botanicals in Los Angeles and traveling a lot. After a few business trips together, we quickly realized that we had very different traveling styles. Alexi would forgo her beauty regimen while she was traveling and show up with a small carry-on while I, on the other hand, would travel with two huge suitcases so I could look my best while on the road. We soon realized that there was no easy way to get all the beauty products we use regularly in convenient travel-sizes. The idea for 3Floz.com was born. 

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