Skin Care Routine - Sunscreen

Until a few years ago, sunscreen was the bane of my existence. When I discovered the alternative to chemical sunscreen, mineral sunscreen, it changed the game of skin care for me. See, I grew up in a remote area of the world with very little actual UV rays to contend with. I'd never had a tan in my life. I never needed to wear sunscreen and I hated the greasy feel. In my teens, I started working at a tanning salon (ruh-roh, old self). Then, I moved to Texas for a few years. Then...to Southern Louisiana where I call home. I never really worried about sun damage, until I started seeing it after a few gnarly burns on vacation in the Florida Keys (where I was actually wearing sunscreen). I'd tried many sunscreens, but came to loathe them, as I always broke out, they always made me greasy, always got in my eyes, blah blah blah...

I'd already been using acids on my skin, but when I noticed some hyperpigmentation, I wanted to really flesh out my preventative care and incorporate Retin-A. I knew that for it to be truly preventative, I needed to start wearing sun protection (and that I should have been already). So I went on a mission to find a sunscreen I could live with.  Pouring over reviews, I settled on one from Makeup Artists Choice (which has since been discontinued), and two from Paula's Choice. I actually liked the Makeup Artists Choice SPF 46 until I tried the Paula's Choice sunscreens. One is their Resist Daily Fluid SPF 50, which goes on thin and dries to a comfortable demi-matte finish, and the other is their Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense (mineral) SPF 30. This one is a mineral sunscreen that dries to a matte finish and is what I use as a primer under my mineral foundation (Laura Mercier's Mineral Foundation in Real Sand). It grips makeup unlike any other primer I've used (even the infamous Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer) and it's what I use when I need my makeup to stay put on hot humid summer days here in the Deep South. On days I don't wear moisturizer (sometimes, it's just too humid), the chemical SPF 50 provides a touch of hydration and actually acts like a bit of a primer. If I wear it too many days in a row, I start to break out, though. The Resist 30 is the one I wear the most often, though, as it can be applied over the thickest of face creams and still mattify my skin. When I go to wash my face at night, everything still looks the same--makeup still perfectly in place, yet it comes off easily with even the gentlest of cleansers. I recently took a nap and didn't wake up until the next morning and my makeup was still intact. The primer power of this stuff is no joke. And I never break out from it.

Another thing I recently discovered (just prior to this summer), is Heliocare Oral Capsules. It's a super potent antioxidant from the South American Cabbage Fern that is said to be like sunscreen in a bottle. I use this in addition to my topical sunscreen and this stuff is truly fantastic! Some say that it even works from the inside out to help get rid of age spots/hyperpigmentation. I was highly skeptical when I bought it, but it has proven to be a wonderful boost to our topical sun protection this summer. One of my boys is ghostly white and is so susceptible to burns on his poor cheeks, where he is constantly rubbing water out of his eyes while playing in the summer (thus, rubbing away the sunscreen). There were a couple of times that I just knew he was going to peeling the next day, but the burn just didn't develop! He didn't even tan. The one day earlier this spring when I got a burn on my back while gardening? That was the one time I forgot to use this. I have it on auto-ship from Amazon now and one bottle lives in my purse just in case. The reviews on Amazon are true, my friends. I won't be without it now.