The 8 commandments of sunscreen

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The 8 commandments of sunscreen

By sleekologist Michon Barbagelata

Here at Sleek, beauty and health is dogma. Not only do we take pride in manicuring and maintaining our clients, we love to share our knowledge and experience in beauty, health and life. Since we are halfway through summer, let’s talk sunscreen.

UV rays are the leading cause of skin cancer and play a substantial role in aging. Those warm, bronzing rays we can’t get enough of break down collagen and elastin production in the skin, bestowing upon us a future of wrinkles, sag, dark spots, and dare we say it, crust. Yup, crust. The stuff you end up constantly running to the dermatologist to get burned off. Oh, the irony.

So, let’s get real — sunscreen is not an optional accessory, it is essential. Sunscreen is the number one anti-aging product on the market, but not all sunscreens are created equally. You should be as thorough and choosy about product ingredients and efficacy with sunscreen as you are with any serum, retinol, or cream you invest in. Here are our fundamentals on choosing a sunscreen that provides optimum protection while maintaining the skin health.

1. Know your SPF

SPF means Sun Protection Factor. SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent of ultraviolet rays; SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of ultraviolet rays; anything higher than 30 remains in the 97-98 percent range. This means an SPF 15 or higher is good, with SPF 30 being the golden rule. Over that is a bit of a hype.

2. Know your ingredients

There are two types of sunscreens on the market:

  • Chemical Sunscreen

    Chemical sunscreens act by absorbing UV light and converting rays into heat. Due to the process of absorption, heat inevitably becomes trapped in the skin, causing inflammation. These synthetic chemicals can subject the skin to breakouts and damage. Tragically, the market is dominated by this form of sunscreen. Mind the ingredients.

  • Physical Sunscreen

    Physical sunscreens act by reflecting light rays. Zinc oxide is a common ingredient found in physical sunscreen. This natural mineral acts by shielding the skin from the sun by forming a protective physical barrier over the skin, blocking harmful rays. This mineral is also packed with antioxidants to support and promote the skin — bonus!

Now that you’re sunscreen savvy, we will leave you with a list of commandments sure to keep your skin divine throughout the California summer.

  • Thou shall make sunscreen a daily regimen
  • Thou shall avoid synthetic chemicals
  • Thou shall choose sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher
  • Thou shall reapply
  • Thou shall use antioxidants (It has been found that additional topical antioxidants work to reduce sun damage)
  • Thou shall seek the shade
  • Thou shall protect your children (Teach sun safety at an early age. Sun damage accumulates over the course of a lifetime — protection for children should be a priority)
  • Thou shall cover up (Keep it fashionable, followers! Rock the hats, shrugs and sunglasses)

Obagi Nu-Derm Physical UV Block
Our number one choice of sunscreen is Obagi Nu-Derm Physcial Block SPF 32 -this product is the perfect addition to your anti-aging routine. Non-greasy, with a lightweight texture, it protects the skin and leaves a smooth canvas for makeup application. (40$-60$)

Say Yes To Carrots Moisturizer and Sunblock
On a budget?Say Yes to Carrots is a great physical sunscreen option, as it is a daily facial moisturizer with a broad spectrum SPF of 15. This product can be found at Target, as well as some drug stores. (10$-20$)

Aveno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer
Aveeno Active Naturals is a fast absorbing, oil-free, sweat and water resistant lotion (80 mins) with an SPF of 50. This is a product I would high recommend for areas of the body other than the face. You can find this product on shelves at most drugstores and pharmacies. (10$)


Hey sleek-seekers: check us out at Sacramento’s TBD festival September 18-20. We’re keeping the talent primed and waxed and the crowd refreshed and fly with water, mini-facial cleanses and, of course, SPF.

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