Here in Los Angeles, it's sunscreen weather year-round, but now that the summer heat is sweeping across the country, it's time to talk sun protection. (For the record, even when the sun's not out, you should make sure to lather up on the SPF. You're still getting rays on those cloudy days.) I'm compulsive about using sunscreen every day—as a pale girl, it's a necessary beauty step to keep me from burning. And, I don't mind a few extra minutes added to my morning routine if it means my skin isn't hurting for days.
Each morning, before I put on any makeup or skin care products, I apply Neutrogena's Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 55. I'm a big fan of all of Neutrogena's facial sunscreens because they excel in every category for me. They're reasonably priced (especially when using coupons from your local drugstore or online), they're easy to find (drugstores, supermarkets, ULTA, Target...) and best of all, they just work. I think I've tried them all, but the one I keep coming back to is the Clear Face Liquid Lotion. Not only does it prevent breakouts, but it rubs on easily and doesn't leave a white ring around my face (so tragic!). Most importantly, it protects my skin. I've been wearing it for over a month now (this time—I've tried it before) and my skin is as pasty as ever. (Is it weird that I get so excited by that? Probably, but thanks to Twilight, maybe not as weird as I'd think.) It's priced around $11, which is money well-spent, and one bottle should last you quite awhile. I keep a spare bottle under my sink that's ready to go in case of an impromptu trip or vacation. Finally, something I'm always prepared for!
For my body, I'm obsessing about L'Oreal's Sublime Sun Sheer Protect Sunscreen Oil Spray, SPF 50+. I find it really hard to apply regular sunscreen lotion on my back or other difficult-to-reach places, but this spray makes it easy to cover everywhere. I've been hiking a lot and it's perfect for covering my exposed arms (and sometimes legs) to protect them from the glaringly bright sun at the top of the mountain. If you're thinking, "Oil. Blah."—don't! I used to think the same thing because oily usually means greasy, but this product is not too oily. And, like the Clear Face Liquid Lotion, the 50+ SPF completely protects my skin. After a recent hiking trip in 99-degree weather (never again!), I started to panic, thinking a sunburn was inevitable. It wasn't. And, I'm sold.
Lastly, don't forget to protect those precious lips. Slide on some lip protectant with an SPF included. My favorite at the moment is LAVANILA's The Healthy Lip Screen SPF 30. It's got a great peppermint-vanilla scent, and it contains zinc oxide to protect and keep lips well-moisturized. You can use this one year-round, too, making it a purse essential.
Now that I've got my sunscreens covered, it's time to start testing out self-tanners. Stay tuned!