Month: May 2014

The Sunscreen Guide


What Does SPF Mean?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number helps you determine how long you can be exposed to the sun before burning.

The formula is: Minutes it takes you to burn x SPF number.

In other words, if you burn in 10 minutes without sunscreen, and you apply SPF 15 – you should be able to be in the sun for 150 minutes without burning. However, you’re supposed to reapply every 2 hours. That’s why using SPF 100 is sort of pointless; it’s just over exposure to the chemicals in sunscreen. You’re not going to spend 1000 minutes (over 16 hours!) in the sun without reapplying. For most people, the range should be SPF 15- SPF 50 depending on the day’s activities.


Common Myths:

Wearing sunscreen can cause vitamin D deficiency. Few dermatologists believe wearing sunscreen causes vitamin D deficiency. Also, vitamin D is widely available in the form of dietary supplements and foods such as salmon, eggs, enriched milk, and orange juice.

If it’s cold or cloudy outside, you don’t need sunscreen.
 Up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day. This misperception often leads to the most serious sunburns, because people spend all day outdoors with no protection from the sun.

You get 80% of your sun damage before 18, so it’s too late to do anything about it now.
 If you dropped your cell phone and it got a little crack, would you then take a hammer to it because it’s already damaged? No, probably not. So wear your sunscreen.

If you have darker pigment in your skin, you don’t need to wear SPF. While people with darker pigment are certainly less likely to get a sunburn, they still need to protect themselves from harmful UVA rays that cause aging and the possibility of skin cancers.


What SPF Number Should You Look For:

SPF 15: This is the minimum you should be looking for. It’s fine for day to day activities like grocery shopping, driving, going to work, or a lazy Sunday around the house. You should be wearing at least SPF 15 every single day. UVA rays can penetrate glass, so unless you’ll be spending the day in a lead lined cave, there is no reason to not apply SPF.

SPF 30: If you plan to be outdoors for a picnic, walk, or working in the garden – you need to up your SPF. If you’re going to be in water, or you might be sweating, consider getting something waterproof as well.

SPF 50: This is as high as you need to go. Keep in mind the ingredients that are blocking UV light are chemicals not health products. If you’re going to the beach and are very sun sensitive, you may want to go this high; otherwise SPF 30 will be sufficient.


SPF Ingredients:

You want to choose a sun protection product that is broad spectrum, meaning it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The number on the front of the bottle usually only refers to the protection factor from UVB, so you want to be sure you’re getting UBA protection too. UVB’s are the rays that cause burns, where as UVA’s are the rays that lead to aging of the skin. I keep it straight by thinking A for aging and B for burning.


UVA Sunscreen Ingredients

  • Avobenzone
  • Benzophenones (Oxybenzone, Dioxybenzone, Sulisobenzone)
  • Mexoryl SX, also known as Ecamsule
  • Menthyl anthranilate, also known as Meradimate
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

Of these, Avobenzone, Mexoryl SX, and Zinc Oxide, provide the most extensive UVA protection.

UVB Sunscreen Ingredients

  • Aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  • Benzophenones (Oxybenzone, Dioxybenzone, Sulisobenzone)
  • Cinnamates (Cinoxate, Octocrylene, Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
  • Menthyl anthranilate, also known as Meradimate
  • Mexoryl SX, also known as Ecamsule
  • Salicylates (Homosalate, Octisalate, Trolamine Salicylate, Octisalate)
  • Padimate 0
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

These sunscreen ingredients all provide extensive UVB protection.

Here is a visual breakdown:




There is some concern about chemical sunscreen components. This chart can help you understand the possible effects of the sunscreen you choose:



The Bottom Line:

1. Wear sunscreen every single day. Period.

2. Apply liberally.  1-2 ounces of product for your whole body.

3. Choose a broad spectrum product that will protect from both UVA and UVB with an SPF between 15 and 50.

4. If you want to use a physical instead of a chemical sun protection, look for Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

5. Buy new sunscreen every year. It does expire!

6. Enjoy some time outdoors!


As always if you have any questions please send them to, and check out the fan page at

See you next week!


What Moms Wish They Knew When They Were Younger


Mom and Me

Me and my beautiful momma!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Experience is the greatest gift of age, and I’m so thankful for everyone in my life who has shared their experiences with me so I didn’t have to find out for myself.   The saying “Mom knows best!” really does ring true often! So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some pearls of wisdom I’ve gained from the moms in my life. These are 5 things they wish they knew when they were younger.


1. The tan is not worth it.   I remember hearing tales, from my mom and aunts, of covering their bodies with butter or olive oil and lying in the sun. While the memories of their youth are fond, if they could go back, all of them say– skip the tan. A tan completion wasn’t popular until the 1920’s, when fashion icon Coco Chanel got an accidental sunburn on her vacation to the south of France. When she returned to Paris, with tanned skin, it became a status symbol to be tanned. It’s almost 100 years later, lets let that one go!


2. Apply your moisturizer (and other products!) to your neck and décolletage – not just your face.   Do you ever see people with faces that look 10 years younger than their neck and chest? Yeah, it’s not a good look. Pay attention to your neck and décolletage before it becomes a problem.


3. Your children are important, but so are you! Often I hear mom’s say they have no time for taking care of themselves. It only takes 2 minutes a day to do everything you need to take care of your skin. Take that time for you. Often the better you look, the better you feel!


4. Start using eye cream early. Don’t wait until you start to see the fine lines and crows feet. It’s much easier to prevent than it is to undo.


5. Relax. Get some sleep, let go of the things you can’t change, and don’t worry so much! All that anxiety ages you, and can cause other health problems. Life is good, enjoy it!


Thank you to all the mothers out there for all you do! You are beautiful and loved!


As always if you have any questions please send them to, and check out the fan page at

A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Many of us have read lists of wardrobe must haves: Little Black Dress(LBD), pearl earrings, white button down shirt, nude heels… etc. So, I wanted to share my list of must have makeup items!

I have a lot of makeup. If Sephora or Ulta sells it, I’ve probably tried it. Not only do I have makeup for myself­­, I have makeup to suit almost any complexion, because I’ve freelanced as a makeup artist. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say I’ve used thousands of products, but my favorites can easily fit into a small makeup bag. So, if you’re looking to try something new, all of these items can be used by almost anyone, and flatter most skin tones and types!

Inner Light Aveda

Aveda Tinted Moisturizer: As a rule I don’t use heavy foundations, but I want something that can provide some coverage if needed. My skin can be sensitive, and break out easily with most facial makeup. I also hate to feel makeup sitting on my skin. I love this product because it checks all my boxes! It’s light, never breaks me out, and always looks great – even when my skin is struggling. It comes in a variety of colors (my color is beechwood) to suit most skin tones, and a tube for $28 usually last three months. I follow it with a light dusting of Aveda Inner Light mineral loose powder, and it looks great all day!

Nars blush

NARS Blush: You’ve probably heard of a NARS cult favorite blush called Orgasm. It’s wildly popular for its claim to leave you with a post…fun…glow, but I actually prefer a slightly lighter shade called Deep Throat. Hey, I don’t name them!  I’m actually blushing a bit just writing this. Hmm…maybe that’s part of their ploy? Anyway, NARS makes a fabulous product with 31 gorgeous shades. They last forever, don’t crumble easily, and are worth every penny of their $30 retail price.

Naked Basics Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette: Six neutral shades that can create a simple natural look – all the way to a sexy smoky eye.   If you’re traveling light, and need a simple palette that can do it all, this is it. I actually discovered it when I realized I left my makeup bag at home, after arriving for a week at the beach. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, and $28 later I was set for the week!



Lancome Definicils Mascara: You want length? You want volume? I know you do. Especially for your lashes, right? With this mascara you get both! Practically fake lashes in a tube. At $27.50, it’s much more cost effective than lash extensions and goes on beautifully. If you really want to boost the lengthening of the lashes, apply Lancome’s Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base before your mascara.



MAC Cremesheen Glass: Sticky lip-gloss is a big pet peeve of mine, but that can be a trade off for shinier lip-glosses. This gloss gives a beautiful shine, without having to pry your lips apart every time you need to open your mouth. It’s also kiss friendly, and comes in a variety of fun and sexy shades to compliment different looks. You can pick it up for $18.50 anywhere MAC products are sold!


So those are the makeup items I can’t go without, and I hope you love them too! As always if you have any questions please send them to, and check out the fan page at