21 July 2009

Sun Protection for 'Girly' Bicycle Riders

Bicyclists are on the high risk list for sun damage and skin cancer. Talk to a Dermatologist and they will concur that it is essential to make sun protection a critical part of your daily skin care regime. Most ladies I've seen bicycling this summer aren’t wearing hats or a helmet w/ sun visor. All that sun especially on your face has got to be just brutal!

So I'm sharing some of my sun protection tips especially with the ‘girly’ bicyclist in mind. I consider myself ‘girly’ because I‘m not the type to just go out the door with only my sunscreen on my face in hopes that once I'm at my destination I can quickly dash off somewhere private to make my self all cute with my make up kit. Really, I want to ARRIVE cute! So be it, consider me ‘girly’ then...

The Routine

First thing going on my freshly clean skin is my daily moisturizer. So use whatever moisturizer you're in the habit of using. Next comes the most importation part…It’s SUN BLOCK.

*BurnOut Sunblock
After years of searching, I've found the ultimate sun block for me. I love it because it is a physical sun blocker as opposed to a chemical sun blocker. Why I use it? Did you know that sun block is one of the biggest contributing factors to coral bleaching and the death of our coral reefs? I live by the ocean and when I go for a swim I want my sun block to be ocean safe and this one is. It is also paraben and petroleum free. Remember to use a dime size dollop for your face. It goes on quite white mask like until it all gets absorbed in.

*Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Stick
I am addicted to portable sun block sticks. I use it (often applied at home on top of my BurnOut Sunblock) specifically on all my high spots (nose, cheeks) plus I take it on my bicycle with me. I like this particular one because it too is a physical sun blocker. It’s formulated for super sensitive baby skin by containing the least amount of chemicals in it. (I wish BurnOut Sun Block came in a stick form and I'd be ecstatic. Until then I use this Neutrogena one.) Important: reapply it for continuing sun protection maintenance when you’re bicycling out in the sun all day. This is so important; so many people forget to reapply sun block.

*Mineral finishing veil
I like using mineral veil because it departs light reflecting luminosity but has no color pigment per se. The one I use is an organic mix of pure mineral powder and some cornstarch as well. I’ve also used 100% pure mineral powder which is great too. (You can also start with a pigmented mineral powder first and finish with the finishing veil.) I always take my mineral veil with me. I use it for touch ups. It will absorb excess shine. I even work it into my hair line to combat a damp forehead/hairline. Mineral powders also work as a physical sun block to varying degrees. Check around, some mineral powders contain a decent SPF factor all on their own.

*Mineral bronzer
I use this to impart a little kiss of color. I may or may not bring this with me.

*Organic Flower Hydrosol Mist
Depending on what climate you live in this can be used several different ways. If it's a dry hot day and my mineral finish is looking a little dry and cakey, I add luminosity by using a light mist of it on my face. (For years make up artist have been using a fine mist to set make up). If it’s hot and muggy I use light a mist to cool off with. The trick is to use just a light mist, don't shower with it. I also like it because depending on the floral infusion, I can get a nice aromatic scent to my self with out going the (chemical) perfume/cologne route. I love to use it on the back of my neck with my head and hair flipped over as I blogged here about it. Quite refreshing.

*TerraTint lip balm18 SPF
This comes in so many light sheer tints. I use it through out the day to keep my lips moist and sun protected. When I want a more POW look I use a good lip pencil underneath the tint.

* Facial Blotting Paper
I use Jane Iredale’s 100% all-natural, flax seed blotting papers.
For those super hot, sweat drenching days this will absorb the excess and give you a matte finish. To save money and packaging costs I just buy the refills.

*Drink lots of water. This keeps your skin looking nice from the inside out.

Summary: What goes in my bag:
Portable Sunblock stick, mineral veil powder, small portable make up brush, tinted lip balm SPF 18, floral hyrdosol mist, facial blotting papers, facial wipes and/or small micro fiber facial cloth. Optional bronzer powder or a cheek stain blusher.


Possible questions you may have:

When you’re out all day in the sun do you use your portable sun block stick on top of the mineral powder?

Yes. I apply it right over the already applied mineral powder when I know I’ve been in the sun for a long time and need a reapplication. I then brush on a little extra mineral powder to absorb excess shine as well, if needed.
Please note the kind of ingredients contained in your mineral powder. Look for 100% pure mineral powder or organic mineral powder which is pure mineral powder with added organic ingredients. The purer, the less likely you will have problems using it layered, as in this instance as in layering additional sun block on top of it.

What about make up brushes for applying the Mineral powder?

I like using a makeup brush as opposed to a compact type puff for the application of mineral powder. I use a big brush at home and then pack a small portable one. You can also look for a pump brush that is easy to use. The important thing is to clean your brushes regularly with soap and water, then an alcohol wipe finish to inhibit bacterial growth, especially in summer.

You didn’t mention mascara, primer or foundation?

I do love mascara; I apply it once in the morning then forget about it. I also use a primer on occasion. I rarely use a liquid foundation, I prefer my mineral powders. Excuse me, but in this area I claim no strong opinion because I’m guessing everyone has their own preferences as to what type, how little or how much make-up they want to wear or not, so it’s up to you!

You didn’t mention sun protection for any other parts of the body?

I use the sun blocks mentioned here for the face on the rest of my body too. I like using the portable stick for the tops of ears and the back of my hands too.

What if it’s really, really hot will any of this really work anyway?

Well I’ve already determined I’m not leaving the house barefaced with the intention of making my self cute later on. So on the worst, worst days I do bring back up facial wipes… (in my case scent free, hypoallergenic, travel pack baby wipes.) What I do is pat my face down very, very gently. I’m thinking of switching to a small micro fiber clothe instead. I’d mist the micro fiber cloth with floral hydrosol mist and employ the same technique of blotting up the excess sweat, taking care to pat and not swoosh it over my face. I don’t want to be swooshing off the sun block! Reapply some mineral veil then. Come to think of it, I think in the ‘old days’ one of the reason ladies carried hanker chiefs was to blot a damp and fainted brow with!

Can a guy use any of this advice?

Why yes. Just skip the mascara, bronzer, colored lip tint and floral hydro mist. Use instead a clear (unpetroleum ) SPF 18 lip balm. And instead of using a mineral veil look for the 45 SPF mineral sunblock by Peter Thomas Roth. You can also try a Vichy, Avene, Evian water mist if you don’t like floral scents. Other wise it’s pretty much the same. Use the Sunblocks, it's the key thing.

Updates: here are some links/ resources I though might be interesting and useful

Face Book Page for Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

EWG (Environment Working Group) Sunscreen Guide