Tag Archives: Sunscreen

Certain Sunscreens May Harm Corals

Coral reefs

You’re finally going on your Hawaiian vacation. You’re going to party the week away eating kalua pork and huli huli chicken, working on your hula moves and drinking exotic cocktails from coconuts with umbrellas sticking out of them. You’re going to go snorkeling in the crystal waters of Waikiki Beach and you’re going to hit the white sands of Honolulu running. And of course, you’re going to slather on that sunscreen. Right? Well, you may want to think again.

You know that your Hawaiian vacation would not be complete without checking out those amazing coral reefs. Not only are these beauties responsible for housing 500 species of algae which provide food and sustenance to Hawaii’s vast marine life, they’re also going to keep you hangin’ 10 by creating those big Hawaiian waves. Unfortunately, when it comes to these natural wonders, your sunscreen may be doing more harm than good.

Dangers of Sunscreen to Corals
Although sunscreen may be fully beneficial to humans, it may be anything but for the coral reef. Chemicals in sunscreens that wash off the body off beach goers wreak havoc on the precious reefs, bleaching the coral, hindering its growth, and often, outright killing it. In the aim of damage control to one of Hawaii’s most profitable natural resources, Hawaiian Senator Will Espero presented a bill to congress on January 20 that would ban sunscreens with octinoxate and oxybenzone from the Hawaiian island.

Sunscreen Harms Corals
The chemical and mineral filters in sunscreen, used to block the sun’s radiation are the most damaging to the reefs. They wash off the skin of surfers, swimmers, spear fishers, and even those using the beach showers, and find their way into the ocean. Oxybenzone, concentrations have been measured at 30 times the concentration level safe for the corals. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources says, “(These chemicals) cause deformities in coral larvae making them unable to swim, settle out, and form new coral colonies. It also increases the rate at which coral bleaching occurs. This puts coral reef health at risk, and reduces resiliency to climate change.”

Woman on a hammock

Craig Downs, researcher on stunted coral growth at Haereticua Environmental Laboratory in Virginia says that oxybenzone “kills (coral.) It turns them into zombies if it doesn’t kill them outright. It makes them sterile and you do not get coral recruitment.”

Not Just A Hawaiian Problem
Hawaiian corals are not the only ones being endangered. In fact, about 80% of all corals in the Caribbean Sea have died within the past 40 years. Although factors such as temperature anomalies, predators, pollution from cruise ships and coastal runoffs all contribute to the endangerment, the fact the approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen has been found to wash into the world’s ocean each year is not helping matters.

The Other Side
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Sunscreen manufacturers, such as L’oreal uphold the benefits of their products and oppose the ban claiming there is not enough supporting evidence. However, Espero rallies, ” We have advocates and science on our side. Fisherman, boat owners, ocean sports enthusiasts, ocean-tour operators, and environmentalists rely on the ocean for recreation and jobs. Opponents will be out there, but supporters as well.

What Can You Do?
If your wondering how to keep these creatures safe without risking your delicate complexion, you can check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide to safe sunscreen, but be aware that they do advise, “Sunscreen should be your last resort,” and urge you to consider long sleeved shirts, Uv blocking attire, sunglasses, shade and well time jaunts into the sun to keep exposure to a minimum.

So what do you think? To screen or not to screen? Let us know where you stand!

Key Anti-Aging Ingredients

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just click a button and magically stop our aging in its tracks? Well, of course, that would be amazing but unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury. We DO however have the ability to consume a number of ingredients that will help us slow down the aging process and look our best over time!

Woman applying sunscreen

First and Foremost. Sunscreen.
Sunscreen is easily overlooked and passed by day after day. Many of us think that sunscreen is only necessary when we are going to be in the sun for extended periods of times. But, we are so, SO wrong. Sunscreen should be part of your daily “getting ready” routine. Yes, that means before your makeup and before you leave your house for a “normal” day that may not even include any outside time. The sun’s harmful rays have a way of getting to our skin even in very short amounts of time. Using sunscreen daily helps prevent and slow the development of wrinkled, aged skin. As a result, your skin appears smoother and has a healthy glow rather than the leathery look the sun can cause.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are the Next Best Option to Save Your Skin!
How would an acid prevent aging?!? Well, not all acids are bad for the human body. Alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs have been around for quite some time but recently there has been more attention brought to them for their lasting effects on keeping your skin young! AHAs are found in nature, specifically in fruit and milk. These acids work to break apart the intercellular glue that holds old skin cells on the epidermis. Without this happening, your skin looks finer and brighter. That’s not it! Alpha-hydroxy acids also work to increase the production of collagen and elastic, both necessary for healthy looking skin. This leaves your skin feeling oh-so-soft because it allows your skin to retain more moisture. Be sure to apply your sunscreen before going into the sun if you are planning on introducing AHAs to your beauty regime. AHAs can cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun but are TOTALLY worth the anti-aging benefits.

Retinol formula

Retinol AKA Vitamin A
Retinol is one of the most effective ingredients that has a way of telling cells how to act like an un-aged, healthier, younger skin cell. In other words, retinol is able to stop free-radical harm within skin cells that ultimately results in aged, wrinkly skin. Just as Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, it also has the ability to increase collagen production for smoother skin. But wait, that’s not all! This vitamin will literally decrease the appearance of discolorations on your skin from previous sun damage. Remember when you are shopping for Retinol products to stick to products that are in an opaque, closed container as sun exposure can break down the vitamins. In addition, start with a small mix of retinol and your normal moisturizer. Retinol creams can be known to aggravate skin so it is best to gradually introduce it into your daily routine.

The Spot Remover: Hydroquinone
For those who are looking for a way to look younger by banishing those darn dark sunspots from years of sun damage, you might want to try hydroquinone. Skin bleaching is a controversial topic so this product should be used with caution. A small amount will go a long way. This product will virtually fade hyperpigmentation by stopping the enzymes that increase melanin production.

The Correct Amount of Product

Friends applying skin care products

If a little of something is good, then more must be better, right? Not so when it comes to beauty products. Use too little and you won’t get the full benefit of the products you’ve invested your hard-earned money in. Use too much and you can waste product, along with causing buildup and breakouts. Below is a cheat sheet for you to find out just how much of your most-used products to use.

Makeup Remover
If you’re looking for convenience, look no further than pre-soaked makeup remover wipes. Some wipes need to be dampened with water before use, others you take straight to your face. For those of you who prefer your makeup remover in a bottle, simply moisten a cotton pad with just enough product to saturate it, then gently remove your makeup.

Facial Cleanser
For regular liquid cleansers, a nickel-sized amount of product is enough to properly wash your face and neck. If you’re using a foam cleanser, one pump is all you need. Massaging the product into your skin first, before using a washcloth or other scrubbing device will ensure your skin is getting the benefit of the product!

Exfoliator
When using a physical exfoliator, like a facial scrub, a dime-sized amount is all you need. Chemical exfoliators (such as glycolic acid or lactic acid) can typically be used in smaller amounts; a pea-sized amount will do.

Mask
Depending on the face mask, a nickel-sized amount will be enough to cover your face and neck. Typically, masks call for a thin layer of product and using more doesn’t make the product work any better. Some masks, on the other hand, you won’t need to apply to your entire face, so start with a pea-sized amount and add more if needed.

Toner
For toners that come in a spray bottle, 2-3 spritzes across the face and neck are all you need. Regular liquid toners can be applied to a cotton pad and then wiped across the face and neck.

Serum
A serum is a concentrate of skin-loving ingredients, so a little goes a long way. Start with a pea-sized amount to apply to your face and neck and only use more if you need it.

Moisturizer
Whether you are using daytime or nighttime facial moisturizer, a dime-sized amount will suffice when applying it to your face and neck. Your skin should never feel greasy or dry after applying moisturizer, so if you find that your skin cannot absorb that much product, you may need a lighter formula, and if your skin is still dry— a richer formula.

Eye Cream
Apply your eye cream by gently dabbing a pea-sized amount of product around the corners and underneath of each eye with a pinky or forefinger to prevent tugging.

Sunscreen
This is one product most people don’t use enough of! For your face alone, use a nickel-sized amount for adequate protection. For covering the rest of your body, use the equivalent amount of a full shot glass.

Are You Forgetting Something?

Your summer checklist probably includes a few barbecues, maybe a pool party, and a juicy beach read. It’s easy for us to remember all the fun parts of summer but below are a few things to remember when heading out for your summer fun.

Woman applying hair conditioner

Hair
We don’t often think of our hair when thinking about sun care, but prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to dry, brittle strands. Plus, color-treated hair will fade much more quickly when not properly protected. There are several products on the market these days just for hair. Look for the words “UV protection” on the bottle and shop online or check out a beauty supply store for a wider selection.

Scalp Protection
You’ve likely had a sunburn on your scalp before, so you already know how painful it can be, but it’s also important to remember that skin cancer can form anywhere on our bodies, including the scalp. Sunscreens in a spray application are ideal for reaching the scalp since they aren’t greasy like lotion formulas; however, there are also powder sunscreens you can try if your hair already tends to be oily. You can also top off your look with a hat; just make sure to keep it on while you’re in the sun!

Woman wearing sunglasses

Eyes
Some of us never leave the house without sunglasses, but for those of you who are forgetting your sunnies at home, take note! The sun is bad news for eyes. Squinting, dryness, and age spots all contribute to premature aging around the eyes and repeated exposure to the sun raises your risk of eye diseases, including cancer, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Look for sunglasses that cover as much of the eye area as possible and block 99 percent or more of both UVA and UVB rays.

Ears
Did you know that your ears are the third most likely place for skin cancer to appear? When you’re applying sunscreen to your face and body, make sure to get your ears covered. Most sunscreens need to be reapplied every two hours, and you’ll want to make sure you cover your ears again at that time.

Woman applying lip balm

Lips
Parched, sunburned lips can be a thing of the past if you keep your lips protected from the sun. Keep a lip balm with you at all times that has an SPF of at least 15 and reapply often. Make sure you avoid sparkly or shiny glosses since the reflective nature of those formulas only attracts more sun to your lips.

After-Sun Care
What you do after you’re out in the sun can be just as important as what you do before. Soothing aloe vera gel or after-sun lotions can help your skin stay hydrated and promote quicker healing of burns. You can easily grow your own aloe vera plant indoors and use the gel directly from the plant!
Woman drinking water

Hydrate
You’re already drinking your eight glasses a day, and that’s great, but in warmer weather, we lose more water through perspiration and sheer exertion. Make sure you’re sipping water throughout the day and keep plenty of water-rich foods, such as watermelon, grapes, and berries around to snack on.

The summer months don’t have to leave us dried out and burnt. Keep your skin glowing and your health intact by making sure you remember these tips!

Sunburn Soothing Treatments

Woman with sunscreen Regardless of all the information we are given to protect our skin from the sun, sunburns do happen. Either we lose track of time, forget to reapply, maybe even nod off while sunbathing. Well, nobody’s perfect. And, if you do get a sunburn, you need to know that best way to treat it.

At first signs of a sunburn, you should act fast to cool it. If you are near water, you might want to take a quick dip to cool skin… with emphasis on the word ‘quick’! You don’t want to prolong exposure so it’s important to cool skin and then cover up and get out of the sun as quickly as possible. Then follow up by treating skin with cool compresses or ice water, but do not apply ice directly to sunburn. A cool shower or bath can be effective if you don’t stay in the water too long since it can have a drying effect. You also want to avoid harsh soap.

Moisturizing is also an important step in treating sunburn. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends moisturizing while skin is still damp from cooling and then follow up to keep the skin moist over the next few days. Avoid petroleum or oil based ointments which can trap heat and make the burn worse.

You also want to make sure you treat the inflammation as soon as possible. “At first sign of sunburn, taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can help with discomfort and inflammation,” says Dr. Brackeen, who practices at the Skin Cancer Institute in Lubbock, TX. You can continue with the NSAIDs until the burn feels better. Over the counter cortisone cream, and aloe vera are both topical solutions that will help to this end. It is recommended you wear loose, soft clothing to avoid further skin irritation and stay out of the sun while sunburn is still active.

While healing from a sunburn, you want to drink plenty of fluids. “Burns draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body, so you may become dehydrated,” explains Brackeen. Rehydrate by drinking extra liquids including water and sports drinks that will replenish electrolytes at the first sign of burning and as skin heals.

woman with sunburn
Seek medical help if there are signs of severe blistering over a large portion of your body. You may also want to see a doctor if you are experiencing fever, chills, wooziness or confusion. Do not scratch or pop blisters as this may cause infection. Signs of infection include red streaks or oozing puss.

Although skin will heal from a sunburn, the skin has still been damaged. Repeat sunburns put you at a risk for skin cancer and premature aging so prevention is really the best route. Covering exposed skin, limiting sun exposure, and using an adequate amount of broad spectrum sunblock with a sufficient SPF are all key in avoiding sunburn. The SCF offers, “Remember how bad this sunburn felt, then commit to protecting yourself from the sun every day, all year long. Learn from the burn.”

Keeping Your Skin Hydrated and Radiant

Woman with glowing skin

It is so important to keep your skin healthy. Your makeup will look better, and your skin will stay looking youthful if you work to prevent damage. Follow these skin health tips to keep your skin looking hydrated and radiant this summer!

Exfoliate a Few Times a Week
Getting rid of dull, dead skin will boost radiance and help your serums and moisturizers sink deeper into the skin. Using a cleansing brush, like a Clarisonic, can be great for daily use, but a gritty exfoliator once or twice can really make a difference in your skin’s texture. Chemical exfoliators also work great if you find traditional methods too abrasive. They can be purchased as a peel-off mask to use weekly, or in toners for daily use. Don’t forget to also exfoliate your body with a body scrub!

Woman drinking water

Drink Water
This tip is obvious, but is so important, so we’re including it anyway. Nothing will give you dull, tired looking skin like being dehydrated. This is especially important in the summer because you can get dehydrated faster. Make sure you bring your water bottle to work with you so you don’t forget to drink before lunch- getting dehydrated in the morning can zap your energy as well as your skin. Coffee in the morning will only dehydrate you! Making a conscious effort to drink water throughout the day can do a lot for your skin.

Try Out Some Vitamin C
There are so many products on the market right now in every price range that are formulated with vitamin C. Because it is an antioxidant, these products can prevent skin damage on a cellular level, and promote radiance and health! Vitamin C products also normally have a great citrus smell that can perk you up in the morning!

Use a Hyaluronic Acid Mask
There is no better way to keep skin hydrated and maintain its elasticity! Using an overnight hyaluronic mask will make your skin look smooth, plump, and healthy!

Woman applying sunscreen

Get Serious About Your Sun Protection
Wearing sunscreen on your face every day is the best way to prevent skin damage. Sun damage can make your skin dry and uneven, plus it causes premature aging, so commit to using a moisturizer with SPF 30 every day. Top it with a foundation with SPF for even more protection. If you want a little color this summer, stick with bronzing primers and glowy powders!

Pack on the Glow!
Now that strobing is popular, there are tons of products out there that will give you a glowing, radiant look. We recommend starting with a nourishing moisturizer (bonus points if it has sun protection). Then, using a brightening eye cream will help cancel out any dull blue circles that can pull your face down. Using a radiance boosting primer will help your glowing look last all day. Keep the glow coming with a light, dewy BB cream and a cream bronzer to give you a sun-kissed Finally, top everything off with a subtle wash of a shimmery bronzer across your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. You’ll be left with a radiant, healthy look that’s perfect for summer!

Anatomy of the skin

Collagen and Elastin

What are Collagen and Elastin?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and it is found in the skin, bones and connective tissues. This strong, fibrous tissue connects and supports tissues including your skin, bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage and organs. There are over 16 types of collagen, but about 80 percent of the collagen in your body is either type I, II or III collagen. Type I collagen is stronger than steel wool gram for gram. Collagen is the main protein in connective tissues, and your body needs it for your skin to be supple and firm.

Elastin is another essential protein that is found in connective tissue and it is another protein that is vital to your skin. Elastin is responsible for giving structure to your skin and your organs, and it allows your skin to return to its normal shape after stretching or contracting. Collagen and elastin work together to keep your skin firm and to help it retain its shape. As you age, your natural collagen levels slow – after the age of 20 you lose about one percent of your total collagen per year – and when your skin loses collagen, it also loses its elasticity. Fine lines and wrinkles appear and become far more prominent as your skin loses its collagen levels.

Woman applying sunscreen

How to Increase Collagen and Elastin
Although you can’t stop your body from losing collagen, there are lifestyle habits that you can adopt to help replenish your collagen levels.

  • Wear Sunscreen – You know that you need to wear sunscreen every day to protect you from signs of aging, but you may not know exactly how sunscreen helps you. Both UVA and UVB rays do damage to your skin by weakening the skin’s natural support of collagen and elastin. As this damage occurs, fine lines and wrinkles become more visible.
  • Use Good Skin Care – The needs of your skin change, and as you age, antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients become even more essential to your routine. Antioxidants help your skin fight off oxidative stress and they also help your skin maintain collagen and elastin levels. Retinol, the anti-aging wonder ingredient, is another important thing to look for in your skin care products. Retinol stimulates cell production, which helps to reveal newer, healthier and firmer skin.
  • Eat Well – What you put into your body appears on the outside of the body, so it’s important to fuel yourself with healthy foods. Eggs, beans and seeds are all a great addition to your diet because they all contain a high level of collagen-boosting agents. Antioxidant-rich foods like pomegranates and berries help protect damage to your body’s collagen levels.

Collagen and elastin are crucial for firm, supple and strong skin. While aging is inevitable, an overall healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise and great skin care can significantly impact how your skin responds to aging. Boost your collagen and elastin by using the proper skin care ingredients and eating a diet with collagen-building foods to see skin that looks and acts younger.

Top Summer Skin Care Ingredients

Woman enjoying the summer sun

Like your wardrobe, your skin care products most likely rotate depending on the season. For some, this is not a problem at all and changes in climate do not affect the skin at all. But, for most of us, a change in season requires products that target the specific skin concerns associated with that season. Perhaps the most common problem associated with summer skin is oil production. The rise in temperature can actually melt the sebum that is in your pores, making your skin look like an oil slick. The other major concern associated with summer skin is the level of sun protection. You should definitely be using sun protection year-round, but it is a must have for the summer months. Vine Vera has rounded up the most important ingredients to look for to keep your skin looking its best during the hotter months.

Woman applying sunscreen.

SPF
Okay, we already said it but it bears repeating, you should be using an SPF all year long not only in the spring/summer. But, with the sun being out for longer periods of time, it is especially important that you use a product that contains SPF. Depending on the type of sunscreen you prefer (chemical versus physical) the SPF ingredient you should look for will change. The most common, and beneficial, SPF ingredients to look for in summer skin care products are titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone and oxybenzone. Often, products contain a mixture of many SPF ingredients in order to provide broad-spectrum coverage. For summer, try looking for a mattifying sunscreen to help control your oil production. A great way to make sure you don’t forget your SPF is to buy a moisturizer with SPF of 25 of higher built in.

Salicylic acid molecule.

Beta Hydroxy Acid
Using a BHA (salicylic acid) can help minimize the amount of oil clogging your pores. A BHA exfoliant penetrates the pore and removes built-up skin cells that also clog your pores. This helps cut down on breakouts experienced during the summer. If properly formulated, BHA exfoliants can also drastically reduce, or eliminate, blackheads while also fading discoloration from sun damage or post-acne marks. This is a product that is great year-round for those with oily skin, but benefits those with normal to dry skin in the summer as well. Aim to use your BHA exfoliant two to three times weekly. There is one caveat that comes with using a BHA: though removing skin cells helps reduce breakouts, it also does remove a bit of added sun protection as it reveals new skin. This means that it is even more critical to be using a product with SPF.

Aloe vera plant on a wooden table.

Aloe
Even if you are diligent with your sunscreen use, applying with plenty of time to sink in and reapplying every two hours, a burn is a possibility. Aloe is an excellent ingredient for soothing sun- burned skin. That isn’t it’s only purpose though. Aloe is a natural anti-inflammatory and may help wounds heal more quickly. You can go straight to the source for your aloe needs, or, you can look for moisturizers with aloe or grab some aloe vera gel for sunburn relief.

Though your skin care needs are likely going to change from season to season, you don’t have to overhaul your entire bathroom counter. A few products with beneficial ingredients is all you need to help your skin deal with a change in climate. And we’ll say it again, even though it’s listed on here as a top summer ingredient, you should use an SPF every day of the year.

Best and Worst Sunscreen Ingredients

You know you need to apply sunscreen every day to protect against damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays. You may even be an individual that dutifully applies sunscreen before heading outside no matter what season it is. However, there are some ingredients in sunscreens that could be doing more harm than good. We’ve rounded up a list of the very worst sunscreen ingredients that you should avoid at all costs, and their counterparts, the very best and beneficial sunscreen ingredients.

Worst Sunscreen Ingredients

Chemical formula of Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone
Oxybenzone is almost always number one of the list of ingredients you should be avoiding when it comes to your sunscreen. This ingredient is in your sunscreen because it is a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin more effectively. However, while it does help other ingredients penetrate the skin, it also absorbs into the skin and can create allergic reactions or eczema-like symptoms. Unfortunately, that isn’t the worst of what oxybenzone does. Skin care experts and doctors believe that oxybenzone circulates in your system and mimics, blocks and changes the level of hormones in your body.

Octinoxate
This is one of the most common ingredients in sunscreen and like oxybenzone, it helps other chemicals be absorbed by your skin. Unlike oxybenzone, octinoxate is rarely a cause of allergic reactions, but it is still a dangerous ingredient. Most people wear sun protection in order to prevent signs of premature aging, but octinoxate may enhance premature aging as it creates free radicals. Additionally, octinoxate is another sunscreen ingredient that disrupts the hormone levels in the body.

Chemical formula of  Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl Palmitate
Also known as Vitamin A, this ingredient is an antioxidant added to sunscreens. And while antioxidants are generally great for your skin, there is a major problem when it comes to retinyl palmitate. When this antioxidant is exposed to the sun, it breaks down and creates dangerous free radicals. Free radicals are destructive and may be linked to cancer as they are toxic to cells and damage your DNA. In fact, studies conducted by the Food and Drug Administration suggest that retinyl palmitate can accelerate the development of malignant cells and skin tumors.

Best Sunscreen Ingredients

Woman applying sunscreen

Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a common ingredient in physical sunscreens. It is an inorganic compound that protects mainly against UVA rays. When used in a sunscreen, zinc oxide is a very finely milled powder and famously results in the white cast that physical sunscreens often leave.

Woman pouring sunscreen in her hands.

Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide is the other most common ingredient in physical sunscreens. It is also widely used in the cosmetic industry and has a variety of uses. The reason that titanium dioxide is most helpful in sunscreens is that it actually absorbs UV rays produced by the sun. It is a highly stable sunscreen ingredient that helps your skin remain protected from the sun.

It does not matter if you prefer physical or chemical sunscreen, but it should be worn before exposing yourself to the sun. When reading ingredients be sure to avoid the worst ingredients to keep yourself as healthy as possible. If using  chemical sunscreen be sure to apply 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every two hours or after immersing yourself in water. And, of course don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine (safely!).

Vacation Beauty Preparation

You want to look your absolute best on your vacation, but carting around your entire skin care and beauty product collection is impractical and may even be impossible. To minimize the amount of products you need to take, you can prep your skin before you travel using some of the following ingredients.

Woman applying moisturizer.

Moisturizers
Moisturizers are especially important if you are traveling by airplane because the air in planes is so dry it literally sucks all the moisture from your skin. Prior to leaving, look for moisturizers with extremely hydrating ingredients. One of the most beneficial ingredients for hydrating your skin is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid not only adds moisture, but it increases your skin’s ability to retain moisture which helps combat the dryness of plane cabin air. Additionally, you may want to look for vitamin E, which helps add moisture to your skin. Aloe, while not necessarily the most hydrating ingredient, does help soothe upset and uncomfortable skin, so it can be beneficial to invest in a product containing aloe before you travel.

Woman getting an exfoliating session in a spa

Exfoliants
Part of what keeps your skin looking it’s best is regular exfoliation. If you exfoliate regularly, you remove dead skin cells and help unclog your pores. You also stimulate cell turnover revealing newer, healthier skin cells. It isn’t just your face you want to exfoliate, your entire body can benefit from consistent exfoliation. Products with ingredients such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid help gently exfoliate your skin and can be used daily if desired. Scrubs, such as sugar or salt scrubs, should be used no more than 2-3 times each week and are most beneficial for your body. Exfoliate prior to leaving for vacation to get glowing skin before you leave.

Woman applying sunscreen in a beach.

Sun Protection
Whether you prefer a chemical or a mineral sunscreen, the fact is you need to be using sun protection. You should be using a sunscreen every single day (yes, even in the winter), but it becomes especially important in the summer months when there is increased sunshine and decreased skin coverage. While sun protection is an ingredient to look for in your moisturizers or body lotions, this is something that you need to use before and during travel. Don’t forget to protect your lips using a lip balm or conditioner that contains an SPF of at least 15.

While the above are beauty ingredients you want to look for in products prior to your vacation, there are some ingredients you should steer clear of before heading to your destination. Avoid any ingredients that increase your sensitivity to the sun, particularly if you are headed someplace sunny. The exception here is if you require a medication that may increase sensitivity to the sun in which case you should continue taking the medication as directed and increase your sunscreen application. Also steer clear of products that contain alcohol. Some people think alcohol is beneficial to the skin, especially in a toner. However, while alcohol may cut through the oil in skin, it dehydrates the skin in the process which leads your skin to produce more oil in an attempt to avoid dehydration.

Pack travel size beauty staples to decrease the amount of stuff you have to lug around. Avoid using brand new products that you have never tested on your skin before to ensure that you don’t have an adverse reaction during your vacation. Always apply sunscreen, drink plenty of water and of course, enjoy your vacation. Bon voyage!