This Is The One “Summer” Beauty Product Trinidad’s Best Aesthetician Swears By

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Everything You Need To Know About “Summer” Skincare (But Didn’t)

By RACHAEL TELEMAQUE    JULY 19, 2017

You’ve probably heard your mom say it a million times over; stay out of the sun! As an aesthetician, I can assure you that mummy was right. The sun and its UV rays are your skin’s absolute worst enemy.

So while we’ve all been that kid by the pool with our faces white with sunscreen and embarrassment, it’s time to thank mom (20 years later!) for her efforts.

No matter how fleeting the summer sun is where you live, exposing your untreated skin to it has disastrous consequences. We don’t expect you to give up your one-off beach tanning sessions, but just to be a little bit more mindful before you step out into the sun.

Here are six burning facts (see what we did there?) about sunscreen you’ll be glad you know!

How Does Sun Damage Work?

Let’s break it down.

What you think of as ‘sunshine’ is actually a combination of three different kinds of ultraviolet rays – UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not enter the atmosphere, so you don’t have to worry about them. However, both UVA and UVB do penetrate the atmosphere and play an important role in conditions that we could really do without (like premature skin aging, eye damage, cataracts, and skin cancer).

These rays damage both the outer and inner layers of the skin. UVA rays – the more abundant of the two forms – are generally less intense (but no less damaging). They penetrate deep into the dermis – the skin’s thickest layer – and lead to premature skin aging, wrinkling, and a suppressed immune system. Meanwhile, UVB rays burn the shallower layers of the skin – the epidermis – and are responsible for skin reddening, sunburn, and over time, skin cancer.

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So How Do You Protect Yourself?

Sunscreen!

Get your hands on a “Broad Spectrum” sunscreen/sunblock with an SPF or Sun Protection Factor of 15 to 50 and make it your best friend. Choose an SPF rating of 15 to 20 for daily use, and save the 30 to 50 one for those sunny weekend trips.

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That’s Great, But What On Earth Is SPF?

S.P.F stands for Sun Protection Factor, a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to do its job and prevent harmful UV rays from damaging the skin.

Here’s how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours.

So if a sunscreen with SPF 15 can protect you for 5 hours, can one with an SPF of a 100 protect you for…33 hours?

Turns out, not quite! Yes, an SPF level of 30-50 is much stronger than one that’s 15-20, an SPF level greater than 50 will not give you much additional UVB protection. In fact, there are several problems with SPFs over 50!

For one, higher SPF products have higher concentrations of sun-filtering chemicals that are more likely to cause allergic skin reactions. High SPF products may also lull users into a false sense of security, and tempt them to apply too little sunscreen and frolic in the sun for far too long.

Don’t believe us? Here’s something to consider. An SPF of 50 blocks 98% of ultraviolet rays, while an SPF of 100 blocks 99% of ultraviolet rays.  Don’t think that extra 1% is worth all that risk.

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Is There A “Right” Way To Wear Sunscreen?

You bet your bottom dollar there is.

While mom may have slathered you in sunscreen, the recommended amount is actually around one fluid ounce (the size of a shot glass) for the whole body. So while applying it as war paint might not do you any more good, applying a pea-sized amount might not do enough.

Remember to apply sunscreen least 30 minutes before you head out, and reapply every 2 hours or after exposure to water. Sunscreen should be the one of most important tools in your beauty arsenal.

That being said, you don’t have to hide from the sun completely. Most dermatologists recommend getting about 10-30 minutes a day of sunlight without sunblock to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D (essential to grow and maintain strong bones).

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What Else Can You Do?

Sunscreen aside, there are several things you can do to minimize the effect of the sun on your skin.

Try wearing protective clothing and sunglasses during the hours of 9:30 am and 4 pm when the suns rays are strongest. Make a large hat with a minimum of a 2-inch rim your best accessory. Tint the glass of your car (to the darkest shade allowed by the law). And make sure to eat a healthy diet full of antioxidant-rich foods, to prevent sunburn.

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What Makes A Good Sunscreen?

Not all sunscreens are created equal. When shopping for one, look for brands that contain zinc oxide – a key ingredient in blocking UVA and UVB rays. Natural ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E and almond oil are also great in sunscreen and do the double duty of nourishing and protecting your skin.

Make sure that you sunscreen does not include ingredients like OMC (Octyl methoxycinnamate), xxybenzone, and Vitamin A (also packaged as retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol). While Vitamin A is great for combating skin aging, it’s also highly photosensitive, i.e. not to be used in the presence of sunlight.

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Recommended Products:

Here are some of my top picks for brands that really give you your money’s worth:

  • Glymed Plus SPF 15 and 30+ protection gel. Non-oily and a lovely smell!
  • Glymed Plus SPF 15 and 30+ photo age protection cream. Good for normal to dry skin types.
  • Dr. Mercola Sunscreen, SPF 15 Broad Spectrum. Great for sensitive skin
  • Vanicream Broad spectrum SPF 30. Also great for sensitive skin
  • Sisely Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Yup, great for sensitive skin
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Face Cream SPF 30 Broad Spectrum
  • TomFord Face Protect Broad Spectrum S.P.F 50
  • Supergoop Sunscreen Mousse S.P.F 50 Broad Spectrum. This one is light in texture for those of you who don’t like the sticky feeling!
  • IT Cosmetics “Confidence in a Compact” SPF 50. This is an anti-aging solid foundation and sunscreen
  • Coola Matte tint SPF 50. Great for face and body (specific formula for both areas)
  • Beautycounter SPF 30. Great for face and body and contains amazing antioxidants and anti-aging properties.
  • Banana Boat Dry Balance SPF 30. Great for the body
  • Sheseido Sports BB Broad spectrum SPF 50
  • Waxhead Sun Defense Tinted Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Stick SPF 30
  • California Kids Super Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30+
  • Juice Beauty SPF 30. Great for the body – water resistant for 80 minutes and perfect for an active lifestyle

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About Rachael Telemaque

Rachael Thomas Telemaque was born in St. Georges, Grenada to a cosmetic manufacturer (Bon Genie) and a Health Club owners. So it came as no surprise when she decided to pursue a career in health and beauty. Rachael trained under the renowned Champney’s Beauty College in Hertfordshire in the UK, and worked at the famed Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon. It was at the same time that she also began an illustrious modeling career that saw her become a Trinidad and Tobago Miss World.

In Trinidad, Rachael has co-founded the The Academy of Health and Beauty – a training school for aestheticians, founded the Institut De Beaute – a total body health, wellness, beauty and medi-spa experience, and now serves as the founder and chief aesthetician at the Salon De Beaute. It offers a host of treatments including bespoke skincare, non-invasive body contouring/lipo, laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation, LED-light therapy, ultrasonic facials, micro-dermabrasion, lash extensions, lash lifting, threading, waxing and more.

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