Irena Kaci

As with all things, sunshine too has its dark side. I’m talking about the harmful UV rays that can damage our skin or worse. Growing up, I felt it wasn’t summertime yet if my winter skin had not peeled but the past four decades have changed all that. Our skin starts to peel because the cells actually self-destruct as a way of protecting us against free radicals and skin cancer. Isn’t it about time we returned the favor?
Applying sunscreen every day rain or shine is definitely best practice, but sunshine is a pleasant reminder to stay on top of my skincare routine. We know that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and protect from sunburns, but it does so much more than that. Sunscreen also reduces skin inflammation and aids in managing skin discoloration which in turn reduces signs of aging. Now that’s something we can all get behind.

We are fortunate to live in the golden age of sunscreen. Every major beauty and makeup company, not to mention several celebrities, boast a healthy selection of sunscreen/UV ray protection products. The best sunscreen options are those that use minerals to hydrate and protect skin by either reflecting or absorbing the harmful UV rays. I would like to start by talking about some standouts in this year’s line up.
CeraVe uses only the most gentle and natural ingredients, making their CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 30 a great choice for sensitive skin. As far as safe and effective sunscreen lotions go, it is among the most affordable and is available online at Amazon and Target.

A quick second is Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Lotion for Face and Body SPF 30, which is also available on Amazon. This one is a bit pricier but well worth the money because it is especially designed for anyone with sensitive skin and needing only the gentlest touch when it comes to UV protection.
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 with 100% Mineral Active combines all of the important safety and effectiveness features of the above with an easy to apply stick system. I know that one of my greatest hurdles in sunscreen application is simply taking the time to slather and smear. This option absolutely streamlines the process without resorting to an aerosol spray. It is also blessedly small, and easy to pack in whatever corner pocket leftover for tchotchkeys. I try to sneak these in random purses and pockets so that I may rely on them in a pinch.

Of course with summer just around the corner, swimming is sure to follow. And as is often the case, sunscreen doesn’t always hold up in water. Enter Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen, designed specifically to work exactly the way it should, even while swimming for up to 80 minutes, while providing top notch protection and being gentle on your skin.
If longevity is not your priority, Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen might be the right fit for you. Even though it only protects for 40 minutes, or half the time as Juice Beauty, it is eminently affordable and still provides the same benefits, with the added bonus of helping support coral reef revitalization.
If money is no object and you want to treat yourself to a Sephora trip, check out ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40, which comes in a wide variety of skin tones. It is sunscreen and skincare in one, boasting Hyaluronic Acid as one of its main ingredients.
Summer comes and goes every year, but skin safety is here to stay.