The Lowdown on Sunscreens

Lowdown on Sunscreens

Summertime is here!  That means plenty of picnics, pool parties, trips to the beach, and outdoor activities!  It’s important to remember that despite all the fun in the sun that you’re having you still need to take care of your skin and be smart by protecting it from the sun by using a sunscreen each and every time you venture outside.

There are countless different sunscreens available to purchase each with different options so if you are wondering which one is right for you it’s best to first know the basics:

Just like we all have our own preferences when it comes to the types of makeup we like and what it does to our skin, sunscreen is no different.  What works on one persons skin may cause breakouts on another person and so on and so on.  Below is a breakdown of the types of sunscreen you should look for depending on your specific skin type as well as examples of sunscreens that are most suitable for you.

 

Dry Skin

  • Creams/lotions with extra hydrating ingredients (aloe and glycerin)
  • Steer clear of spray or gel sunscreens that contain aloe (they’ll just dry out your skin that much more)

Try

Murad Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 15

L’Oreal Dermo-Expertise Futur-E SPF 15

 

Oily Skin

  • Oil-free sunscreen
  • Non-comedogenic sunscreen (won’t clog pores)
  • Water or gel based sunscreens are most commonly oil-free

Try

Ocean Potion Anti-Aging Sunblock SPF 50

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45

 

Acne Prone Skin

  • Light and/or oil-free lotions
  • Sunscreens that contain the chemicals avobenzone and oxybenzone
  • Non-comedogenic sunscreen (won’t clog pores)
  • Fragrance free sunscreen

Try

Hawaiian Tropic Oil Free Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50

Murad Oil-Free Sunblock SPF 30

 

Sensitive Skin

  • Paba free sunscreen (this is very common)
  • Oil-free sunscreen
  • Fragrance free sunscreen
  • Chemical free sunscreen
  • Hypoallergenic sunscreen
  • Mineral based sunscreen

Try

Aveeno Active Naturals Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion for Face

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60

 

Active/Outdoor Skin (for those that spend a lot of time being active outdoors; sports/swimming)

  • Water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen
  • Highest SPF sunscreen available

Try

Coppertone Sport Sunblock Spray SPF 30

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock with Helioplex SPF 70

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D.I.Y. Beachy Waves Hair Spray

Beach Hair

Create your own beach waves styling hair spray with this easy D.I.Y. recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. hair styling gel (whichever you have on hand or prefer)
  • 3 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients; mix well
  • Transfer mixture into a spray bottle
  • Spray hair and gently scrunch to create sexy hair beach waves

*Always shake well before using

Sandy Foot Polishing Scrub

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Give your feet a beauty treatment….while relaxing on the beach!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. suntan oil
  • 2 tbsp. dry sand

Directions:

  • Combine ingredients; mix well
  • Massage the mixture onto feet for a few minutes
  • Let sit for 10 minutes
  • Rinse with water

Sun, Sea & Sand…..Beach Beauty Essentials & Tips for Hair

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It’s not news that the sun and salt water of the ocean causes damage to hair and skin….yet we still love it so much!  I refuse to give up my trip to the beach each summer in the name of keeping my locks from drying out (and I am sure a lot of you out there feel the same way!) so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite beach beauty products as well as beach beauty tips that I follow and have found.

Hair

Yes, the beach is the absolute perfect place to get sexy tousled beach wavy hair but it’s also the place that can leave hair ending up super dry and knotty (especially for those that swim!).

I’ve learned the hard way (unfortunately on more than one occasion) that the way you wear your hair when swimming in the waves makes all the difference between coming out of the ocean with manageable locks and coming out of the ocean with knotty disastrous locks.

I’m a big fan of the lazy messy bun on top of the head look but have found that this is absolutely NOT a winner for swimming in the ocean.  This has personally caused me the biggest and knottiest mess out of all the ways I’ve ever warn my hair while swimming.  The beating of the waves and the drying salt water just wreak havoc on my hair when I wear it like this and I always end up with a big knotty mess (and that’s after fighting to get my hair tie out).  I will never wear my hair like this to swim ever again….ever.

There’s always the option of wearing your hair down too.   This one isn’t my favorite but it is certainly doable.  The only downside for this one for me is that I find you can still end up with knotty/tangled hair if you have longer hair (especially nearer to the bottom of my hair).  I can usually remedy this problem though by applying detangling conditioner to my hair after getting out of the ocean.

My favorite way to wear my hair when swimming and the one that causes the least disastrous results is the braid.  I’ve worn my hair in one big braid down my back or in two side braids (the more childish/cute look of the two) and have always been able to swim without exiting the ocean with a big rat’s nest coming out of my head.

Recipe for Fool Proof Ocean Braid/Braids

  • Prior to hitting the beach, brush your hair
  • Apply a generous coating of conditioner or leave in conditioner to your hair (wet or dry) (my favorite is the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner)
  • Braid your hair as desired and hit the beach and swim
  • Upon exiting the ocean, gently squeeze excess water from your braid/braids
  • Remove the hair tie(s) and gently separate hair from the your braid(s)
  • Apply more conditioner or leave in conditioner and gently finger comb through your hair which should be tangle and knot free!

*I normally tote a little spray bottle of either leave in conditioner or a little bottle with some Aussie conditioner in it that I use for my hair after swimming in my beach bag.  I swear by the Aussie conditioner for after swimming because if there is any bit of tangle in my hair it instantly banishes it.  I also always shower after a day on the beach so between swimming and sitting on the beach and actually making my way to the shower it gives the conditioner plenty of time to soak into my hair leaving it super soft and smooth when I wash it out in the shower.

*If you don’t plan on showering right after the beach, apply less conditioner so your hair doesn’t look dull and overly weighed down when it dries.  I apply a lot but that’s because I wash it out before going out.

Here are some more tips for caring for your hair after spending a day (or two, or three or four, or more) at the beach:

  • Apply olive oil to the tips of hair (which gets the driest) and sleep in it – wash it out the next morning (or the next time you take a dip in the ocean) and you’ll have lusciously soft locks (this also helps to prevent split ends)
  • Apply a mashed avocado for a nourishing hair treatment, leave on for 15-20 minutes, rinse
  • Always wash hair (with shampoo, not just a rinse) after swimming in the ocean before you go to bed (the longer you leave the salt water on your hair the more it dries it out)
  • Whipped Shea butter acts as a natural sunscreen for hair….apply it to the ends or all over while sitting on the beach
  • NEVER blow dry hair after swimming (this just adds to the damage and causes it to dry out even more)
  • Hot Oil treatments are a great treat for hair after a day at the beach

My Favorite Beach Hair Products

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Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner

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Alterna Bamboo Color Care UV+ Fade-Proof Fluide

 

 

Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray

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I’m not a big fan of washing my hair everyday but I hate when it starts to look like it needs to be washed.  I started hearing a lot about dry shampoos and figured I would give it a try.

I ordered this small 0.75 oz. can of Oscar Blandi dry shampoo for $5.00 from Sephora.  Since this would be my first time using this product I decided to go with the smallest and cheapest option in the event that it didn’t work out and I didn’t like it.

I’ve used this quite a few times now and have to say that I like it.  It’s easy to use and does a great job at concealing any oils or grease that are present in your hair.  It says that it is volumizing and I think it is to an extent.  You can expect a mild increase in volume but not significant.

I apply this to the roots of my hair, let it sit for a few minutes and then brush or comb through it.  It’s a great product for traveling or when your rushing out the door and don’t have time to wash your hair and need a quick fix.

Pros:

  • Conceals grease and oils
  • Great for when your are in a rush or traveling
  • Different size options

Cons:

  • Still doesn’t beat the feeling of clean washed hair

Alterna Bamboo Color Care UV+ Fade-Proof Fluide

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I purchased this product prior to going on vacation where I knew I would be spending a lot of time out in the sun and swimming in the salty ocean.  Swimming and being out in the sun always takes a toll on my already fragile hair that is color treated.  I wanted to do my best at protecting it while keeping the color from fading.

This product seemed to do the trick for me!  I applied it every day prior to venturing out into the sun and swimming in the ocean and then re-applied it after I swam and after I showered.  It’s not a product that I actually “felt” working (like a good conditioner that you can instantly feel and notice your hair being softer from).  However, I did notice it worked though because after vacation my hair color remained and my hair was not all dried out from the sun and salt.

I still use this product even when I am not vacationing, swimming or spending a lot of time out in the sun.  I find that adding a little bit to my hair on a regular basis acts as a styling product because it leaves it nice and smooth and shiny.

It’s also very lightweight and doesn’t leave my hair looking and feeling weighed down or greasy looking.  For a 2.5 oz. bottle it’s $25.00 so it’s not the cheapest product out there but a little goes a long way and it really does work!

 

Pros:

  • Protects hair
  • Prevents hair color from fading
  • Adds shine and smoothness to hair
  • A little goes a long way

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey

Sephora Collection Two Tone Portfolio Brush Set

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I was going away on vacation and decided that rather than hauling a ton of individual brushes along with me that a brush set would be practical.  I wasn’t worried about having a top of the line brush set because I was going to be spending a lot of time on the beach so I wasn’t worried about having perfect makeup and also didn’t want to spend a fortune on a brush set.  So I found this set on good ol’ Sephora.com.

It features 6 essential brushes that are perfect for travel and comes with a buckle snap closure black case for $44.00.

Included in this set are the following brushes:

  • Blush brush
  • Powder/complexion brush
  • Eye shadow blending brush
  • Eye shadow detail brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Retractable lip brush

This set of brushes seemed to cover all the basics for me on a simple makeup day.  I was pleased with the set when it arrived.  It’s compact and isn’t too big or bulky.  It snaps shut nicely and doesn’t bulge out so it’s great for travel and is also a great set to toss in your purse for touchups, etc.

The only brush out of this set that I use on a daily basis is the blush brush because I still haven’t gotten around to getting a new one.  I have noticed that with daily use, this brush is starting to show some wear and getting a little worn out.  The bristles are starting to flare out a little and get a frizzy appearance.

The concealer brush was a let down and I was looking forward to using that one.  With each use, I started to notice that the bristles were moving further and further out from the brush.  Then, they started to shed excessively to the point where I was left with next to no bristles and had to toss the brush all together.

Aside from that issue and the blush brush getting worn out from daily wear, the case is still nice for travel.  The other brushes are holding up well and are not shedding.  I would say that this set is good strictly for travel only and doesn’t hold up well for day to day use over a long period of time.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Covers all the basic brush needs
  • Compact
  • Great for travel
  • Nice case

Cons:

  • Not for everyday use
  • Concealer brush didn’t last long at all