If I’m being honest, I really didn’t start wearing sunscreen regularly until my mid-20s. Growing up among sun-loving Mexican women, I was raised with the belief that golden, baked, sun-kissed skin was the key to true beauty. I remember laying out in the sun with my cousins on our annual family camping trips, all of our bodies glistening with thick layers of baby oil, grilling until my fair skin turned pink. Terrifying, I know. It wasn’t until I started my career in the beauty industry that the perils of sun exposure were drilled into my brain.
Now, at 35, my facial sunscreens are the most precious and carefully guarded items in my beauty arsenal. I can live without foundation, blush, and even mascara. I cannot live without my sunscreen. While I don’t object to my family’s devotion to sun-kissed skin, I definitely reject our traditional methods of achieving it. Pass the faux tanner and bronzer, please.
As I’m in a truthful mood, I’ll admit my obsession with SPF is very much vanity-based. I’m not getting any younger, and while I accept that, if I can block the main culprit of premature aging, I’m going all in. I also have no interest in putting myself at risk for melanoma, which will gain about 106,110 new cases this year, according to the American Cancer Society. It truly is better to be safe (and radiant) than sorry.
Now — in true obsessive Scorpio form — when I latch on to something, I really run with it. So, you know my sunscreen collection is extensive. I have an SPF formula for every occasion — my outdoor runs or extra active days, formal events, quick touchups, and even workdays spent indoors (my desk faces a window that gets direct sunlight). I like to think of myself as a sunscreen connoisseur, if you will.
Ahead, my favorite SPF formulas for all of my summer needs. They’re all special in their own right, but feature an SPF of 30 or higher. I’m not messing around with this face.
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Instead Of Foundation
Because I’ve been going more minimal with my makeup in recent years, I’ve found myself using an SPF-infused tinted moisturizer or serum in lieu of heavy foundation. If I need a little extra coverage, I’ll build upon my application or supplement with some concealer on any blemishes. The key with sunscreen-makeup hybrids is to go with lightweight formulas that absorb well and don’t sit heavy on the skin.
You should be reapplying sunscreen every couple hours. On days I have a full face of makeup and do opt for foundation and all the beauty bells and whistles, I don’t love to reapply with cream-based SPF. This is where powder-based and spray formulas really shine. I actually like to keep a powder sunscreen in my purse at all times as I find they offer some light matte coverage on those extra sweaty and shiny summer days.
For Active Days
With Los Angeles opening back up, my in-person meetings and events are back in full force, as well as my desire for outdoor running sessions. On these super-active days that find me I’m out and about for hours on end, I typically reach for sunscreen with some oomph. Water- and sweat-resistant, broad-spectrum, and an SPF of 40+. I need a formula that can literally take the heat.
For your run-of-the-mill quiet workday that consists of desk work, the occasional walk with my precious pup Molly, and maybe a quick drive to the grocery store or lunch with friends, I use an easy and lightweight SPF that feels like second skin. No frills, no fuss, no problem.