It’s time to tell you the most important part of any jetsetter skincare routine: sunscreen. Not conveniently included in every makeup and moisturizer sunscreen, pure SPF 45+ for the purpose of protection.
This month I fell down the rabbit hole of filtering my skincare products for harmful ingredients. The verdict? Quite terrifying. Having adopted a religious skincare routine while living in Europe, I never thought about ingredients (in my defense, Europe is leagues ahead in banning harmful, carcinogenic ingredients). The American skincare industry is a mirror of its pharmaceutical industry: lobbying against the banning of harmful ingredients for the sake of profit margins. It’s up to the consumer to find the safest options possible.
Three SPF Facts to Know:
- Thorough coverage is the most important. I use three different SPFS: a more luxurious product for my face/neck, a more cost-effective brand for other sun-exposed areas (so I’m not skimpy with coverage). And a lip balm with SPF (not sure how clean mine is, so not recommending that yet).
- Don’t be Fooled by Super High SPFS (50+). This is a trick used on consumers to increase sales because of course we think: The higher the number, the better the protection. False. SPF 30-50 sunscreen blocks 98 percent of UVB rays while SPF 100 blocks around 99 percent. Marginal. It’s seemingly easier to find clean, non-toxic sunscreen in the SPF 30-50 range.
- Avoid Vitamin A in sunscreens and daytime moisturizers; it’s linked to skin cancer. Many sunscreens and moisturizers are developed and advertised with Vitamin A (yes, that includes the anti-aging keyword: retinol). Several scientific studies have shown when Vitamin A / retinol products are used in sunlight, there is a link to development of skin cancer lesions. Takeaway: use anti-aging products at night, focus on moisture/protection during the day.
I’m excited to dive more into clean skincare and my exact routine on Modern Jetsetter, all while recommending the safest and most effective products I can find (though nothing is perfect). SPF is indisputably the most important step to my routine. I have fair skin and if southern women have taught me anything, it’s aging well trumps chasing a tan all year long. I’ve tested about 20 sunscreens in the past few months, and here if my official report and my two recommendations (yes, only two):
For Face & Neck: Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Sunscreen SPF 30
My luxury favorite is from one of my most trusted skincare brands, Korres, and is formulated using Greek Yoghurt. I’ve looked forward to putting this on my face every morning since I discovered it in desperation in a Greek pharmacy in Santorini. Ever since, I’m a loyal devotee. This sunscreen is seriously soothing to sensitive skin and locks in moisture, especially during summer. It is lightweight, insanely nourishing and leaves skin soft and protected. This is more of a splurge at a $35 price point. If you haven’t adopted a strict SPF routine, invest into this one and it will forever change your relationship with sun protection. As for Korres, their US presence is growing and you can easily nab their product online. When in Greece, bring an empty suitcase to stock up for major savings.
For Hands & Body: Alba Botanica Emollient Pure Lavender Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45
The heavenly aroma of this one is pure lavender fields. This brand works for the face and when I run out of Korres and am too lazy to order, I gladly wear Alba Botantica sunscreen (soothing lavender edition) everywhere. I even find this to double as a face moisturizer (AKA miracle product). The price point is unbeatable, so slathering it everywhere where the sun touches is one of the first things I do before walking out the door every day. This entire brand is built on the foundation of non-toxic, clean, responsible skincare for approachable prices; explore it.