SPF To Go!

With temperatures in the triple digits it is a no brainer to apply sunscreen before heading out for some fun in the sun, but do you think about sun protection while you are out for your daily commute?

While many of us associate sun damage with outdoor activities. We do not often think about the UV damage we are receiving while sitting in rush hour traffic, at the office or sitting on the patio for lunch. according to Skincancer.org "Dermatologists have observed that patients in the US often have more sun damage (which can lead to wrinkles, leathering, sagging, brown “age” spots and even skin cancers) on the left side of their faces than on the right. Why? Research increasingly points to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation penetrating through car windows.

UV radiation from the sun, associated with about 90 percent of all skin cancers, reaches the earth as long- wavelength UVA and shortwave UVB rays. glass effectively blocks UVB, and windshields are specially treated to block UVA as well, but a car’s side and rear windows allow UVA to penetrate.

UV exposure is cumulative, and research has proven that skin exposed to sun shining through window glass, even in the office, can over time lead to significant skin damage. The UV exposure we receive driving a car especially adds up. In a US study by Singer, et al, the researchers found asymmetric photodamage (sun- induced skin damage) on the face, with more brown pigment (color) and deeper wrinkles on the left. The more time subjects spent driving a vehicle, the more severe their photodamage on the left side. Reinforcing this research, in countries where the driver’s side is the right side, people tend to develop more sun damage and skin precancers on the right. Certain precancers can turn into squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer."

Being fair skinned I am prone to burning quickly, I have received more than my share of sunburns from being in the car. Until a few years ago when my mother in law shared this tip with me that I am now sharing with you! Sunscreen sticks! You will rarely find me without one of these tiny little gems. Pop one in your hand bag, kids backpack, car console, at your window front desk, anywhere! Apply to all exposed skin, I especially focus on applying it to the back of my hands when driving. after all hands are usually one of the first places to show age. Bonus tip, apply to the back of your hands and fingers when getting a gel manicure!

You can purchase sunscreen sticks anywhere at any price point, for babies, kids and even in waterproof options. I usually pick up one of the two Neutrogena ones pictured when I am at the drugstore or grocery shopping.

Stay cool out there!

Bonus tip, apply to the back of your hands and fingers when getting a gel manicure!
— Amber Joy
Images are not mine

Images are not mine

Do as the French do!

My admittedly extensive and ever evolving skincare regime is something I look forward to morning and night. Skincare fascinates me, I can get lost in research on skincare products and the ingredients within. Sadly, so many are confused and frankly undereducated when it comes to this subject matter, This goes for face, body and scalp. The skin is our largest organ, yet so many fail to properly care for it.

Lets speak on a consumer level for a moment. We have all experienced walking in to our local drug stores or beauty supply stores, down the skin care aisle(s) just to experience an overwhelming confusion. The vast array of mass market products can be just that. All the flashy packaging by brands claiming their product is the best for anti aging, acne, minimizing pores, sun protection, products claiming they are all in one, then you have skin types oily, dry, acne prone, sensitive, combination! And lets not forget all the pesky skin allergies out there with products geared toward them as well. Overwhelmed yet?

So how do we know what is right for our skin and what do you need to be doing to properly care for it to achieve the beautiful skin we all want? Pro artists, or consumers, the answer, Do as the French do!

I think this applies to all things beauty and fashion related, especially skin care. I have yet to travel abroad but my European obsession has served me well over the last few years. The people, the culture, lifestyles, the fashions refined and elegant. Everything appears minimalistic, yet a closer look shows everything is fundamentally entrecôte. luxurious really. Our skin care regime should be the same way.

An excerpt from Refinery 29 says it best "They don't call it je ne sais quoi for nothing. Not to get all philosophical on you, but in order to understand the look, one must first understand how a French woman views herself.

A French woman harbors no illusions about her beauty. She celebrates her imperfections as iconic assets: the gap in Vanessa Paradis’ teeth, the delicate crow’s feet around Isabelle Huppert’s eyes, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s prominent jaw line. From adolescence to old age, her beauty is understated, yet dynamic, sexy yet unpredictable. Most importantly though, a French woman never takes her beauty for granted. It is tended and maintained, hydrated and coddled, but, above all, it's enjoyed. A French woman revels in her beauty and relishes her seductiveness, which is, in France, both ageless and priceless.

By contrast, many Parisians see American beauty as an excess; something that is too much, overdone and over-the-top. This is a direct contrast to the unspoken rule of French beauty that one should always err on the side of understatement — calculated, polished understatement."

Like many artists before me, European gems are staples in my kit, I frequent these products on the job and in my daily use. Sadly, most local consumers do not know what their missing out on! I will be posting products I use both personally and in my kit with lite reviews and product details over the next few months.

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