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Ditch the Sunblock Excuses

Stay pretty and protected all summer long with these new head-to-toe defenders and dermatologists' secrets for preventing sun damage, burning, and skin cancer. Now go out and play!

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woman wearing a sun hat
Amy Postle
Denise Crew
Ericka McConnell
Sarah Kehoe
Denise Crew
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Skip-It Excuse: "Sunblock Is Too Greasy to Wear Under Makeup"

Sunny Solution

It's risky to rely solely on the SPF in your base: Derms say that to get the full SPF value listed on the packaging, it would require seven times the amount of foundation and 14 times the powder you normally wear. "Women don't put enough on, and the makeup's pigments may dilute the sunscreen," says Joshua Fox, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Pair makeup with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that's tailored to your complexion concern. Have dry skin? Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50 ($30, drugstores) contains moisturizing peptides. Want to prevent lines? Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 35 ($30, is packed with antioxidants. Looking to fade spots? StriVectin SH Age Protect SPF 30 ($49, Macy's stores) is infused with niacin to repair damage.

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Skip-It Excuse: "Sunscreen Irritates My Sensitive Skin"

Sunny Solution

Physical blocks, which contain naturally occurring minerals, such as titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, are gentler than chemical versions because they're free of harsh fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, says Amy Wechsler, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. If you have rosacea, try an ultramild shield, such as Aveeno Baby Natural Protection MineralBlock SPF 30 ($11, drugstores). If you're breakout prone, use a noncomedogenic protector, such as SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($30, No matter what type of skin you have, "it's just as important to take off SPF at night with a cleanser as it is to put it on in the morning," says Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. "Sunscreens left on overnight can aggravate acne and redness."

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Skip-It Excuse: "I Don't Reapply SPF After I Go Outdoors"

Sunny Solution

Seventy percent of women have this problem, according to a Neutrogena survey. "If you wipe away sweat when you're working out, you can reduce the value of an SPF 30 to a much lower, less effective SPF," Dr. Fox warns. To protect skin, apply a shot glass's worth (many women often slather on a quarter of this amount) head to toe and reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. A higher SPF isn't necessarily better. "You're safer putting on an SPF 30 every two hours than you are applying an SPF 100 once a day," Dr. Fox says. Try new formulas, such as Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray SPF 50 ($10, drugstores), which can be applied directly to damp skin, and Own Products SPF 30 Orb ($15,, a clear zinc oxide formula that doesn't rub off. Dust a powder SPF, like Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Loose Powder Jar SPF 50 ($40,, along your part to shield your scalp.

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Skip-It Excuse: "I Don't Have Time to Slather on Sunscreen from the Neck Down"

Sunny Solution

Only 14 percent of women wear sunscreen daily, according to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. But even if you're chained to your desk, chronic exposure to UVA rays through windows can accelerate signs of aging by years. When it's overcast, 80 percent of UV rays zip through clouds, Dr. Wechsler says. Wear sunscreen 365 days a year by spritzing on a mist, like Clarins Sunscreen Care Milk-Lotion Spray SPF 50+ ($30, Don't forget your legs: Melanoma occurs most commonly on women's calves, Dr. Gohara says. In addition, treat clothes with SunGuard ($2,, a laundry product that adheres to fabrics and absorbs 96 percent of the sun's rays. Lastly, seek shade, which reduces your UV intake by 50 to 95 percent.

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Skip-It Excuse: "Wearing SPF When I Work Out Makes Me Feel Sticky"

Sunny Solution

Studies have found that outdoor exercisers have a greater risk for melanomas than those who get fit indoors, Dr. Gohara says. Perspiration may render sunscreen less effective, thus making you more vulnerable to sun damage. Try lightweight formulas, like fast-absorbing Coppertone Oil Free Foaming Sunscreen Lotion SPF 75+ ($10, drugstores). Apply an SPF-infused stick, such as Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Targeted Sun Defense Stick SPF 50 ($20,, around your eyes. "Its waxy texture acts as a barrier, so your sunblock won't drip or run," Dr. Gohara says. Also, look for the Skin Cancer Foundation's new "Active" label on sunscreens. Products with this seal are required to have an SPF of 30 or higher and proof of both UVA and UVB protection and water resistance.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2011.

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jspicker wrote:

I really like that crocheted hat on the model! Do you have any information about where it came from and how one could find and buy one? Thanks!

6/10/2011 10:20:00 AM Report Abuse

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