I have never put much effort into my skin care and at 41 years old, that’s probably not a great thing. When it came to moisturizer for my face, I never used any. I always thought my skin was too oily to need it and it would only make my skin and any breakouts worse.
As for body lotion, if I put much on at all, I would occasionally maybe do my elbows and my legs but it wasn’t a regular occurrence, and the full body was ever rarer. And when it came to sun protection, I usually ended up burnt a couple of times each summer. Because of my paler skin, I always thought I looked better with a little bit of color, so I’d get the bright idea to spend some time outside in the sun without protection. Usually I’d misjudge it and end up burnt, which would stay red until it went away and I was pale again. I just rarely actually tan. And even when I did apply sunscreen when we were going to be out and about or at the pool, I’d usually apply once and then never remember to apply again. I’m probably lucky the kids haven’t been burned more than they have.
But with my new interest in beauty and makeup, I’m finally realizing how bad I’ve been to my skin. (I know, I’m a little slow, but better late than never.) I am learning that moisture is good, even with oily skin (just pick the right stuff), and any amount of sun directly on your skin is bad.
So this summer, I have been really focusing on protecting myself and my family from the harmful effect of the sun. That means hats when possible, sunscreen on the face, neck and ears, lotion instead of spray when possible, all over the body, reapplied every couple of hours. And that leads me to the Products I’m Loving:
This is my first year using Sun Bum sunscreen and I’m loving it! I’ve used it for a field trip to the zoo and for the pool, and have not had one hint of a burn. It provides both UVA and UVB protection, is paraben and gluten free, vegan, and cruelty free. It’s not greasy or oily and has a nice, light, summery smell. It says you are supposed to be able to use it for 80 minutes of swimming and sweating before having to reapply it,* which is usually perfect for our time at the pool.
I also purchased the Sun Bun Sunscreen Lip Balm in both banana and coconut to keep our lips soft and protected. The only problem I find with these is that I kind of keep licking my lips because they actually taste like banana and coconut. Like the sunscreen, you are supposed to be able to wear it for 80 minutes while swimming and sweating – assuming you don’t lick it all off in that time, which is great!
*On one 3 hour trip to the pool, when for some reason I didn’t even think about reapplying, I did end up with a bit of redness, but it wasn’t terrible and only lasted a day or so. I definitely suggest following directions and reapplying after 2 hours.
St. Tropez Self Tan Classic – Bronzing Mousse ($32 at Sephora here)
Since I’m no longer allowing myself to attempt to tan, I wanted to invest in a better self-tanner. While I was a Sephora awhile back, I picked up the St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, along with the St. Tropez tanning application mit – and I’m very glad I did! It is a bit pricey, but the bottle actually seems to be lasting awhile because I’ve been able to make a little bit go a long way.
It is recommended that you exfoliate 24 hours before applying, and to exfoliate and moisturize regularly to make it last longer and look better. The first time I tried it, I used it all over my body and made sure to rub it in good like lotion. I did it at night before bed, let it dry for a few minutes, then put on pj’s and went to bed. The next morning, I didn’t notice any transfer onto my clothing which is a plus, and I took a shower to remove the smell and any potential excess that needed to go. It doesn’t have an overwhelming self tanner smell, but it was noticeable enough to me that a good shower was in need. Plus, while it wasn’t overly sticky, I still couldn’t shake the feeling of it on my skin, and it was noticeable with the water that some of the product was washing off.
I do believe the bronze glow was noticeable, but not fake or orange looking. I also did find some spots I could have rubbed in better, but it wasn’t terrible and a good learning experience. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like the tan lasted terribly long, but I’m not sure what I was expecting. I think maybe it’s only supposed to be a week or less with proper care (moisturizing and exfoliating) and that’s understandable.
The second time I tried it, I applied it differently. Instead of rubbing it in good like lotion, I left a little more on the surface so the color was more noticeable. And realizing that there are several parts of my body that nobody but I will see (like my stomach) I focused on my legs, arms and decolletage. Again, I did it right before bed and let it dry for a few minutes before putting on my clothes. This time, when I woke up in the morning I did notice there was a little transfer onto my clothes, but this could be because I dressed too quick, or maybe because I left more at the surface than the first time. I showered again and once again noticed some of the color in the water runoff, but I felt like maybe this time it was a little more noticeable, without being orange or cakey or totally fake looking.
Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer – Cocoa Radiant ($5.99 at Target here)
It’s a continuous spray moisturizer that absorbs in seconds and smells like chocolate! I mean, what could be better? It’s non-greasy and quick and easy to apply. I’ve been TERRIBLE about moisturizing in the past, but with this stuff I do it after every single shower. I love the smell of this stuff, but if you don’t like the smell of cocoa, there are also other versions — Essential Healing Spray, Aloe Soothe Spray, and the Advanced Repair Unscented Spray. While it might seem like a light spray wouldn’t really do much, I have been really impressed with the way my skin feels, especially areas like my elbows which tend to be really, really dry. I’m actually really anxious to us it this winter, when my skin gets even more dry and scaly. I will let you know how it does then!
I am loving discovering new beauty and skin products this year…what have been your favorite products this summer?