I am a member of the generation that came of age believing that nothing was prettier than a beautiful tan. Throughout my early school years, I swam competitively, and I was in the sun, either training or playing most of the time during the summer months. During those years, I tanned slowly over the summer.
Things changed during college - and immediately after - when we dedicated time to achieve a golden tan, the darker the better. I don't recall there being any such thing as self-tanners. Some gals achieved a sun tan effortlessly after a few hours in the sun. Others, like me, worked hard to achieve a golden look, spending hours lying on beach towels anywhere we could (even on the roof of the dorm). We didn't believe in sunscreens; we used baby oil, reputed to help us tan. We slow-baked, something like food coated in oil and placed in the oven for hours to develop a crisp skin.
I still remember the blisters from sun poisoning (radical sunburn) and painful recoveries - all self-imposed in a quest to look as good as my dark-skinned friends. It was accepted; it was what we did. No one told us that the damage from those sessions would lay dormant until later - that one day we would awaken to notice spots on our chests and arms, but worse on our faces - spots ranging from dark freckles to large patchy areas of hyperpigmentation. That word came later, as the medical profession began to warn of the dangers of the sun's rays and our parents' generation began to develop melanoma and forms of skin cancer.
Today, no one can claim to be unaware of the sun's dangers. The only questions that remain are how much protection is enough, and how to adequately protect against both UVB and UVA rays.
AVEENO has some new sun-care products I like. They offer a wide range of products with photo-stable technology and broad-spectrum protection. They are convenient to use - my favorite feature. One line, Hydrosport Sunblock with Natural Lotus Complex, is available three formulas.
- Hydrosport Sunblock Spray with SPF 50
- Hydrosport Sunblock Spray with SPF 85
- Hydrosport Sunblock Lotion with SPF 85
Hydrosport harnesses the unique water-repelling ability of the Natural Lotus Complex, a special blend with naturally-derived ingredients (you've seen it in hair products to protect against humidity). This exclusive formula provides long-lasting UVA and UVB protection and withstands water and sweat, two elements that will wipe out your sun protection in a jiffy. Lightweight and non-greasy, these revolutionary sunblocks form a thin, breathable shield that will cling to the skin, even when it gets moist.
You need to remember that AVEENO recommends reapplying your sunscreen whenever you go in the water, just as the U.S. federal government recently warned. It's nice to know that you'll have some protection when the sweat starts to pour off your skin - when it's so hot and humid it's unbearable (maybe on the golf course if not in the garden?) - but it's better to reapply than assume your protective barrier is still in place after swimming or a couple of hours in the sun. A spray makes it easy to reapply without getting all gooey. Most dermatologists recommend application of a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every two hours while outside.
The new government rules about sunscreen claims go into effect next year. You'll see changes in labeling (you may see SPF 50+ for protection factors higher than 50, and you are likely to see the "++++" system phased out for UVA protection). Companies will be required to prove that their products offer UVA protection. As the industry starts to give us more information, you can bet AVEENO will be at the forefront of the leaders providing sun care in the mass market. They work hard to ensure that their products combine nature and science to protect your skin - gently and effectively. As an AVEENO Ambassador, I've had opportunities to talk with their scientists, and I'm impressed by their dedication to make AVEENO products best in class. We are actually expecting some new information on the sun care from AVEENO soon. When I get it, I will share it with you.
For now, I'm sticking with my AVEENO sprays when I pop outside to pull weeds. I don't need any more of those ugly spots on my skin!
Photos and product courtesy of AVEENO