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Memorial Day weekend is here, and you know what that means, the summer season has officially begun! Time to toss those layers of bulky winter clothing into storage and set free the flowing, light-weight clothes from last year, (plus, of course, a few new items just for fun). Lighter clothing, however, means more sun exposure and we find ourselves trying to determine how much sun is good and how best to protect our complexions. Being out in the warm weather is wonderful and so healing for those of us with packed, hectic schedules, but from dark to light complexions, we all need to protect our skin from extended exposure to both direct and indirect sunlight. We’re all aware that we shouldn’t bake unprotected in direct sunlight, but we tend to think we can skip the sunblock when sitting in the shade or being on or near the water on a cloudy day. Unfortunately indirect sunlight is tricky and covertly harmful. Though we may not feel the direct sunlight, it is there, reflected from the water. Even a hat with a 3” brim, though helpful, isn’t enough and sunblock is still essential. In short, if you’re wondering whether or not you should be wearing sunblock, ask yourself this question “Am I outside?” If the answer is yes, start applying and learn how to get the most out of your SPF with these tips!

Even a hat with a 3” brim, though helpful, isn’t enough and sunblock is still essential.

  • Leave your SPF alone: Dual purpose makeup/SPF and moisturizer/SPF products sound like a good, convenient idea, but they clog the pores, often causing breakouts without even providing sufficient coverage for extended sun exposure.  
  • Create a barrier: Sunblock, as necessary as it is to protect the skin, is still irritating and should always be applied over an SPF free moisturizer. This protects the skin from the irritants in the sun block itself.lineofcreams2
  • Zinc Oxide is your friend: Only Sunblocks with Zinc Oxide fully protect from both UVA and UVB Rays.
  • Watch out for botanical sunblock: Baby sunblock sounds gentler, but if it is botanically based, it can be too strong and should be avoided.
  • Apply regularly: All sunblock should be reapplied every 1 1/2 hours.  
  • Cleanse thoroughly: After being outdoors with sunblock on, cleanse thoroughly with at least 2-3 extra cleansings to fully remove the sunblock from the pores. Often, the skin is extra sensitive after this sun exposure so using gentle, but thorough cleansers like ÀTOI’s Soothing or Clarifying Cleansing Milks are best.IMG_0345
  • Cleanse with distilled or alkaline water: If you are one of the many whose skin gets irritated from sunblock and sun exposure, incorporate alkaline or distilled into your daily cleansing routine. Apply it to a cotton pad to remove your cleanser instead of irritating tap water. Your skin will calm down immediately.
  • ÀTOI Recommandations:
    • Elta MD makes an effective, non-irritating sunblock which comes in a variety of clear formulas which are great for darker complexions.   
    • THINK SPORT Sunblock is also a favorite because it is so gentle; but it has a thick white consistency and should be rubbed in.  

As always, enjoy the time off in the sun, just make sure your skin does too! Protect your skin and care for it properly when your fun in the sun is over and you’ll enjoy a beautiful summer glow!   

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