Category Archives: Sun Protection

Face - Sun Protection

Summer SPF tips from Dr. Howard Sobel of DDF

May 20, 2013

It’s always easier to prevent than treat when it comes to your skin. Wondering how much SPF is enough for maximum protection from the sun’s harmful rays? DDF founder and leading dermatologist, Dr. Howard Sobel, answered some really great questions about SPF below — take a look:

DDF Protective Eye Cream SPF 15

Is SPF found within makeup sufficient protection for an average day?

No, SPF within makeup is not sufficient protection for an average day. It would require 7 times the normal amount of foundation to provide enough coverage, so it’s important to wear a separate moisturizer with that offers SPF protection.

What level of SPF should I use?

Sunscreens with SPF 15 or greater should always be applied to the skin daily. Be sure to pick a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection against harmful both UVB rays that contribute to damaging outer skin layers, or receiving a sunburn, and UVA rays that damage deeper layers of the skin contributing to fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re hitting the beach, I recommend increasing your protection to an SPF of at least 30 and be sure to reapply every two hours.

How effective is sunscreen with SPF 50+?

The SPF rating measures the time it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed to the time it would take with sunscreen on. SPF 15 blocks about 93% of the sun’s rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 45 blocks 98%, so doubling the number and applying SPF 50 or higher doesn’t double your skin’s protection and none offer 100% protection.

What’s the best way to protect the eye area?

In addition to wearing sunglasses, opt for a light-weight eye cream with SPF protection such as DDF’s Protective Eye Cream SPF 15. Sun damage is the number one cause of fine lines and wrinkles, and it’s important not to forget about the delicate eye area where crow’s feet begin to appear over time if the skin is not protected against harmful rays.

Are there any foods or supplements that can help increase your body’s own SPF?

Anti-oxidants are a great way to boost your body’s natural sun protection. Tomatoes, red bell peppers and watermelon all contain the powerful antioxidant, lycopene, which helps block the action of free radicals found in the sun’s rays.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Skin - Sun Protection

Cosmopolitan’s Practice Safe Sun Awards (plus 5 sunscreens to try this summer)

July 3, 2011

Cosmo's team with the honorees showing off their Cosmo/MRF bracelets

Cosmopolitan hosted their annual Practice Safe Sun Awards last week with honorees Laura Linney, Giada de Laurentiis, Sean Avery, Dr. Jennifer Stein, Cara Biggane. The five award-recipients demonstrated an active role in spreading skin cancer awareness. They also awarded their very first Cosmopolitan/Melanoma Research Foundation’s Practice Safe Sun Research Grant to Cynthia Cooper, PhD, of Washington State University. Over a lunch of grilled-watermelon salad and salmon, we heard everyone speak about why the cause was so close to their hearts.

Me with fellow blogger, Jill Seiman of

Cosmo EIC, Kate White

Cosmo Publishing Director, Donna Kalajian Lagani

Giada de Laurentiis talks about losing her brother Dino to skin cancer at the age of 29

NY Rangers Sean Avery. His short and sweet speech: Asking for someone to help apply sunscreen is a good way to pick up girls

I imagine most of you will be outdoors grilling or poolside for the long weekend, so the Awards ceremony (hosted at the Hearst Tower) was a good reminder to layer up on sunscreen. Especially considering the facts:

* 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
* Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in America
* Melanoma is the #2 killer of women in their 20s and the #1 cancer.
* Tanning beds increase your risk of skin cancer by 75%.
* If caught in the earliest stages, melanoma is entirely treatable with a survival rate of nearly 100%. If untreated and allowed to spread, there is no known treatment or cure.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite sunscreens to grab if you haven’t gotten yours already!

Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock/Sunscreen Spray (you can apply it on damp skin so it's great for you swimmers...or sweat-ers)

MD SolarSciences Quick Dry body spray -- love its easy application

Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunblock with SPF 70 -- light and non-greasy

MD SolarSciences SPF 30 Mineral Screen Tinted Gel -- this goes with me everywhere

Sunbow Dora and Spongebob sunscreens for kids -- love these!

While we’re talking sun protection, I’m obsessing over these new sunscreens for kids from Sunbow, who partnered up with Nickelodeon to feature Diego, Dora the Explorer, and SpongeBob SquarePants! A couple weeks ago, I was invited to have breakfast at Imperial No. 9 at The Mondrian Hotel to learn more about Sunbow, and I was absolutely smitten.

Sunbow products at Imperial No. 9

Diego blue sunscreen from Sunbow

They go on in color (yellow, pink, or blue) but rubs in clear, which is fun way for kids to get them into a habit of applying sunscreen early on.

Sunbow's sunscreens go on in color, but dries clear

Sunbow products are made with SPF 30, contains antioxidant protection, is water-resistant, hypoallergenic, and contains sun-protecting zinc oxide which is safe for kids. Plus, it has a fun bubble gum scent…I can only imagine how much kids would love them if I’m this fascinated by it!

Also, if you donate $10 to Melanoma Research Foundation, you’ll get this bracelet, courtesy of Cosmo and MRF:

Cosmo and MRF Practice Safe Sun bracelet

Keep reminding others to “practice safe sun” this summer!


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body - Face - Skin - Sun Protection

What I’m using: MD SolarSciences quick dry body spray

May 25, 2011

MD SolarSciences Quick Dry body spray

{Feel free to ignore my messy window in the background}

Weather in NYC today: 75 degrees and S-U-N-N-Y, or otherwise what I consider to be perfect.

I’m off to grab a tea with a friend, but with this sun flooding my room, I had to remind myself to apply some extra SPF before heading out. I have full bottles of my creamy sunblocks, but since I’m in a rush (and since I love their tinted face gel so much), I decided to go with MD SolarSciences Quick Dry with SPF 40. It’s a serious mist that’s full-bodied but LIGHT (no liquidy mess from a spray). I love that it’s not greasy at all and for you active bodies, you’d probably appreciate the fact that it’s very water resistant. MD SolarSciences sent me their line to try and it hasn’t taken me long at all to really love the quality of their products. The biggest thing for me as far as sun-protecting products go is texture and consistency, and these haven’t failed me on either so far. They’re not heavy but offer broad spectrum protection.

Oh, and most importantly about this body spray is it dries REALLY fast. So fast in fact that I was able to take a picture, upload it, and write this post before heading out ;). Enjoy the sun today!

What SPF are you wearing right now?

MD SolarSciences Quick dry body spray, $21.


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Fashion - Gift Guide - Skin - Sun Protection

Gift Guide: Baby clothes from K&J

November 30, 2010

Sun protective clothing from K&J

I guess because I’m a soon-to-be-aunt, I’m going gaa gaa over kiddie clothes. I was so excited when I found out Yale dermatologist, Mona Gohara, who has been BATF‘s resident expert on skin issues like dry skin and acne, just launched a sun protective clothing line with her husband called K&J (named after their sons).

While she believes sun protection should start at birth, sun protective lotions should not be used on babies especially under six months. This line is made of 100% cotton and has been tested at the International UV Testing Laboratories in Auburn, AL, to show that they block 99% of the sun’s rays. They also come tagless for the sensitive and eczema-prone tots.

K&J clothing sell for $20 on their website (


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face - Skin - Sun Protection

Dry skin in summer — isn’t that not supposed to happen? 6 Products that can help

July 27, 2010

Dry skin in summer?

As soon as summer hit something really weird happened — I felt like my skin was feeling drier than usual. Especially my hands. I would slather on the moisturizer every time I would get to my desk. I thought it was just me but then a few friends started complaining about the same thing. It seems counterintuitive — when it’s warm and sunny, don’t you think..well..sweaty? Maybe we were just not hydrating ourselves enough, which could very well be the case for. I’m known to never drink enough water (I’m working on it!!).

Other people credit flakey or “scaley” skin to sun burn (this is the part I yell at you for not using SPF when hanging out in the sun!!). OK seriously though, I wanted some expert advice so I turned to Dr. Mona A. Gohara, assistant clinical professor of the department of dermatology at Yale’s School of Medicine, who says many people simply fail to moisturize as diligently in the warmer months.

“Don’t rely on Mother Nature to be your skin’s humidifier in the summer,” she says. “It’s not uncommon to notice dry, itchy arms and legs (or worse yet, a few unsightly pimples) as a less than cute accessory to that perfect little sundress.”

To keep your skin glistening, she suggest using the following, which are not only easy to find, but quite reasonably priced as well:

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion and cleanser

Cetaphil moisturizing lotion and cleanser

Olay’s Regenerist Lotion

Neutrogena Salicylic Acid Wash (once a week for exfoliation and acne prevention,” Dr. Gohara advises!).


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - Sun Protection

5 Ways to Protect Your Hair This Summer

July 11, 2010

By Melissa Stephans

Summer can be brutal on hair. Sun exposure, styling, saltwater, and tap water all contribute to damaging healthy hair.

Here are five glorious ways to prevent bad hair days this season:

1. Buy a water softener or purification system. If you live in an area with hard water, your hair is likely absorbing the metals–like copper and iron. Buying a water purification system/filter for your shower is a great solution for the dull, dry hair you probably combat. Some of these systems can be expensive; however, filtration systems that hook up to your shower head are easy to install and a cheaper alternative to pricey methods such as salt treatments.

2. Protect your hair by wearing a hat or scarf. Duh. Having “hat-head” may make you grumpy, but it’s better than the anger you will feel at the end of the summer when your hair stops behaving and looking healthy. If you simply can’t stand to wear anything on your head, then try to only wear a hat or scarf on the days where you will be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. Try these: BCBG Max Azria or Eugenia Kim. Otherwise…

Phytoplage Protective Sun Veil

3. Use a product with UV hair protection. Invest in products with ultraviolet reflectors to block UVA and UVB rays. Shampoos and conditioners with UV protection don’t rinse away completely, so they guard the hair shaft from damaging rays. Rinse away products will give you less protection, of course, than anything you leave on the hair. So amouse, spray, or oil treatment should do the trick. I’m partial to Moroccanoil’s Treatment Oil or Phyto’s Sun Care line.

4. Condition it up when going to the beach. If you plan on going into the ocean, then prior to your adventure you should wash your hair with a very gentle shampoo (such as Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Shampoo), and then drench it in a conditioning treatment that is not easily dissolved by the saltwater, such as pure grapeseed or olive oil. These can be tedious to use on a regular basis, but when you plan to do a lot of swimming, oil keeps your hair from getting dry and tangled. Douse your hair with oil then slick it back into a ponytail. Make sure you don’t end up like a Soul Glo commercial from Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America by washing with a clarifying shampoo afterward. I am not a big fan of Redken products, but they do have a great Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo. Don’t let the “cream” part fool you; it is very efficient at removing product buildup, minerals, and oil.

5. Keep heat styling to a minimum. According to Matrix, 87% of women use heat to style their hair, and of those, 36% use at least two different tools to do so. Yikes. Not the best idea when you are fighting summer’s harsh elements. Try embracing your natural waves instead by using something like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray. If you detest your the shape of your natural curl (that would be me), then try manipulating only the bangs or the pieces that frame your face. Those of you who have a death grip on your styling tools should probably look into a ceramic or tourmaline blow dryer, such as the T3 Pro, or some seriously sturdy styling products. Biolage has a new heat-activated styling line that includes a Biolage Thermal-Active Repair Cream and a Biolage Thermal Active Repair Gloss, which uses ceramides, mango seed and coconut oils to provide high temperature protection against future breakage.

What are your summer hair protecting tips?