Practicing Sun Safety, Summer 2010.
My fair skin is practically translucent. I have no choice but to pile on sunscreen or an SPF foundation on my face and neck before I go out, every month of the year. In the summer, I double up and I annoy other people by asking if they would like some. To add to my skin insanity, not all sunscreen is vegan. There are so many brands out there and many of them contain less-than-nice ingredients or a non-vegan beeswax.
So what does this compulsive member of the vegan sunscreen police look for?
1. Something that blends well. There's nothing worse than spying that dried sunscreen dust or chalky streak after an application. Sunscreens with oil tend to absorb more easily into the skin.
2. A small on-the-go tube to stash in your bag for re-apps later in the day. While many of us are religious about putting it on before we go out, how many of us actually apply more after we sweat, swim, or after we've been in the sun for hours? A balm is preferable because it's easy to do a quick swipe.
3. Non-toxic ingredients. This goes for anything that I am putting on or in my body every single day of the day. Here is a list of sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone or other harmful ingredients, which are linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. If you sort by score, you can find a list of safe sunscreens.
4. SPF 30, but not necessarily higher. Anything above 50 doesn't really matter.
5. Unscented or pleasant scent. Most sunscreen smells like Teen Spirit. I'll pass.
Badger is a great vegan option, unscented. It doesn't blend well on dry skin and can give you that white-ish look if not rubbed in carefully. But it's usually fine if you moisturize regularly.
SPF 40+ Infused with Argan Oil bottle is both moisturizing and available in small containers that fit in your bag. I use it as a primer for my lightweight Josie Maran Matchmaker Foundation. My 2-step routine is Sunscreen-Primer + Foundation. Lightweight, barely-there feel.
Josie Maran Body. I recently discovered that Maran makes a 30+ sunscreen for body that is the most moisturizing sunscreen that glides on smoothly. It is my new favorite and is what I will be wearing all summer.
Glacier Creme. Local. This sunscreen is very unisex. I saw the look Josh gave me when I showed him the Josie Maran stuff. You could tell he was iffy about putting it on, and he is generally the picture of a secure male. But Glacier Creme is very marketable to just about anyone. It's a mineral-based formula that is more matte than Maran, for the serious sun-bather or outdoor sports enthusiast. It isn't going to melt off on you. The only problem I found is that the pump bottle can get stuck if you don't use it every day and has to be cleaned out regular with a toothpick.
Lip Balm. Don't forget the lips. Tarte's SPF 15 Lip Balm is like your adult Lip Smacker.
Hair Veil. Keep your color crisp and scalp protected. Especially all my baby blondes out there. Aveda's Hair Veil is cruelty-free, smart thinking.
[josie maran sunscreen image via sephora.com]