It seemed like it would never (ever) come. But summer has finally settled in on the Island. And along with checking out the foodie fun at Jones Beach, trolling the wineries out East and enjoying backyard parties comes the need for an upgraded skincare routine. All that sun, surf and chlorine—especially sun—can do a number on the dermis.
When choosing a product with SPF, make sure to look for the term “broad spectrum” on the package. That means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, which is a must. While a UVB-inflicted sunburn is the most obvious sign of skin damage after a long day at Robert Moses, what the “deep-diving, free-radical forming” UVA rays deliver is every bit as bad, said Estee Williams, MD, a Manhattan-based dermatologist. “Chronic UVA damage causes wrinkles and melanoma.”
The SPF rating should be at least 15. But remember that whatever SPF value the product has on the label is dependant upon your putting on a generous coat, added Williams—and reapplying every two or three hours, especially if you’re swimming.
Physical sun blockers are better for those with sensitive skin, added Williams. “If you’re allergic to sunscreen, or have noticed that your skin gets red or itchy when you use it, your best bet is to stick to physical, or mineral blockers—namely, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.”
I sussed out six of the best new skin saviors this season.
Meaningful Beauty Environmental Protecting Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen
Laced with melon extract, an antioxidant, this skin defender is designed to not only protect from the sun, but work against free radical damage from other environmental stressors. ($65; ULTA stores and ULTA.com)
Algenist SUBLIME DEFENSE Ultra Lightweight Defense Fluid SPF 50
What makes this oil-free sun protector stand out is how fast it absorbs into skin, and it’s silky lightweight texture. Those who can’t stand that “sunscreen feeling” may want to check out this botanical-rich product, which can be used over other skin products and under makeup. ($28; Sephora stores and Algenist.com)
Christie Brinkley Authentic Beauty Forever Flawless Professional Finish Foundation SPF 40
Our hometown girl has crafted a moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen in one that attracts and binds moisture to skin for a dewy finish. This + dark shades + chic sun hat = one fabulous Sunday stroll along the shore. ($28; Kohl’s stores and HSN.com)
Bare Republic Mineral SPF 30 Whipped Mousse
It’s a well-known fact that most people don’t put on enough sunscreen to get full protection. That seems unlikely with this luxurious, thick mousse. Loaded with hydrating antioxidants, it’s a pleasure to put on. Oh, and it smells like coconut-vanilla ice cream. ($17; exclusively at ULTA stores)
Alba Botanica Fast Fix Sun Stick SPF 30
Sticks are also great to have on hand, especially for touching up burn hotspots throughout the day, such as noses. Plus it tucks into the smallest nook in your bag with no worries about the 3oz liquid carry-on rule. This one glides on super smooth and leaves a dry, almost powdery finish. ($9; Whole Foods Market stores and Albabotanica.com)
Softsoap Limited Edition Body Wash
Hot, sticky days covered in sunscreen means showers…sometimes twice a day. Make that time a treat with a sudsy, seasonal body wash. The Coastal Sunrise has a sweet citrus smell; Seaside Rush boasts a fresh lily and bergamot scent. ($2.97, Walmart stores through September)