Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Does Brush On Sunscreen Give You Any Sun Protection? May 24, 2012

The first post I ever wrote for my blog was entitled: Brush-On Mineral Sunscreens – Do They Give Enough Protection?.  In this post I went over the pros (portable, good way to reapply sunscreen over make-up) versus the cons (expensive, perhaps really not giving you enough sun protection) of using mineral brush-on sunscreen.  I concluded the post by recommending these products as a great way to reapply your sunscreen over make-up during the day and while you were on the go.

As much as I have been a devotee to these products for about three years I always had this nagging suspicion at the back of the head that perhaps they weren’t really giving enough protection at all.  One thing that clued me in to this was when I would try to demonstrate on the back of my hand how these products work to a client or a friend you couldn’t even see that I had anything on the back of my hand.  I was also hard pressed to even tell how much product was coming out of the container or if any product was coming out at all.  Additionally though I was a devoted, daily user of my brush-on sunscreen the product was used up very, very slowly which lead me to believe that nothing was really coming out when I was applying it.  So how much sun protection was I really getting?  (On the other hand,  since these products are so expensive that wasn’t such a terrible thing)  Since I also always caution people to never rely solely on their make-up with spf in it for their sun protection needs how different are brush-on sunscreens from make-up really?

While these suspicions were percolating in my head I came across the following from Future Derm in her post The Ugly Truth About Makeup and Moisturizers with SPF:

Why SPF Powders Aren’t Giving You the Protection You Think

Any powder product requires about 14 times the amount of normal powder application to receive the SPF listed on the package.

You see, the average face is about 600cm2 (although that varies from person to person, of course). This means the average woman needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product’s label. However, most women only apply about 0.085g of powder at a time – fourteen times less than you need to get the SPF listed on the package!

Of course, there are always two sides to every debate.  In the June issue of Vogue they write the following about brush-on sunscreens in a mini article entitled Summer Skin Savior: Sunscreen in a Brush (page 119):

The fact that sunscreens lose most of their efficacy after approximately 90 minutes in the sun is something most of us prefer not to think about, since we feel we’ve done our duty applying a thin film, under our makeup, at the about 8:00 in the morning.  Is anyone really going to slather on another layer over foundation?  (Exactly.)

This summer, salvation comes in a brush.  The new powder sunscreens – lightweight mineral blends that provide chemical-free broad-spectrum protection (ideal for sensitive skin) thanks to micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – are the ultimate multitaskers.  They dust on invisibly over makeup (some even come with a hint of bronze), and ingredients like silica and cornstarch absorb excess oil, leaving a smooth matte finish.  “I use them a lot because I hate a four o’clock shine,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist.  She’s also a fan of the high levels of zinc: “Physical block is like wearing a shirt on your skin.  You really get so much more protection.”  Plus, she adds of the slim tubes, “it’s something you can throw in your bag, and it won’t spill because it has a brush.”  Reapplying just got really easy.

Reading what Vogue has to say does make for an interesting argument, but as for what they have to say about these powders not being messy that simply isn’t true.  I’ve tried a few of the brush-on sunscreens and had the tubes crack and break causing the powder to pour out all over my car and bag.  Not fun, definitely not mess free.  But also the Vogue blurb reads like an ad for the sunscreens as opposed a well researched and science backed article.

Because of the reasons stated above in the Future Derm post, I started experimenting with reapplying cream or lotion sunscreen mid-day over my make-up and found that this worked fine.  My make-up stayed intact.  I still have a brush-on sunscreen in my bag for on the go touch-ups, but I’ve decided that I shouldn’t rely on it even as a way to just reapply sunscreen during the day since I wasn’t really sure how much, if any, sunscreen protection I was getting when using the powder.  Instead I have it with me for emergency reapplications of sunscreen and for cutting down on mid-day shine.  I still do think that using a brush-on sunscreens is better than not using anything at all and going out in the sun without any protection, but I definitely would advise my readers to use a lotion or cream sunscreen first before using this kind of product.

In my search to find a quick, easy, and effective way to reapply my sunscreen I decided to purchase Shiseido’s Sun Protection Stick with SPF 35.  This is a solid and very portable sunscreen that you can just swipe across your face making reapplication a snap, and in my opinion, you also are getting real sun protection when using this product.  (I heard about this product from one my favorite blogs Scatterbraintures so thanks Rae!)  I decided to get translucent shade and was actually disappointed when I got the product and tried it for the first time since it actually looked white on my face until I rubbed it in well.  I’ve used this stick sunscreen on my son and niece as well and you could definitely see where I had applied it on their faces.  The so-called translucent shade left a distinct white cast on their skin (on the plus side, using a stick sunscreen on a child is very easy)  So I suggest perhaps getting one of the tinted ones.  The tinted shades can also be a perfect, light make-up for some people so that is an added bonus.  (I also just discovered Sun Bum Sunscreen Stick which is oil-free but haven’t tried it yet)

I think that life is only worth living if you are constantly learning, and learning comes from questioning.  So dear readers – after much thought and research I have to conclude that purchasing a brush-on sunscreen isn’t such a great idea.  Carry your lotion (or stick) sunscreen with you and reapply as needed.  That is the only way you will be sure that you are really protected from the sun.  Save your brush-on sunscreen for getting rid of mid-day shine.

Image from thesnowmag.com

 

Great Post Worth Reading from Future Derm February 16, 2012

Though I highlight great posts from other blogs in my blog I can’t remember the last time I devoted an entire post in this blog to a post from another beauty blog.  I just finished reading the following post from Future Derm, one of my favorite beauty blogs, entitled: How Do You Estimate the Amount of an Ingredient in a Skin Care or Beauty Product? and realized the post was just too good not to share with my readers.

I’ve already blogged about how to read a skincare label, but this post takes the subject a whole step further by actually explaining how to you may be able to figure out the percentages of ingredients in skincare products from the ingredient list and has in-depth information about ins and outs of reading a skincare label including what “active ingredients” means on a product label.  The post also explains how companies are able to misrepresent the percentage of ingredients in their products for their own benefit.

An informed consumer is the best consumer so taking a few minutes to read this post will truly help you expand your skincare product knowledge.  You’ll feel better prepared the next time you are faced with making a skincare product decision.

And for further information on the same subject see the following post from The Beauty BrainsHow Can I Tell the Percentage of Ingredients in Cosmetics?

My Related Posts:

Image from sodahead.com

 

Pore Strips – Ok to Use? November 3, 2011

Filed under: Acne,Skincare products — askanesthetician @ 5:49 am
Tags: , , , ,

Pore strips are irresistible if you have blackheads on your nose.  Simply apply to your nose, press, and remove.  Viola!  Your blackheads are gone.  But is this really the best solution for removing blackheads?

According to FutureDerm pore strips are among 4 common beauty products to stop using Now:

The pore strip was my original skin sin: I applied it to my face, thinking I would have clear pores. One box of pore strips later, and I have been succumbed to a lifetime of needing to clean out my pores.

The reason?  Pore strips contain a hairspray-like substance on one side. It sticks to the material within your pores, but when you rip the strip off, it stretches the pore. Over time, this leads to enlarged pores, in which material collects, leaving you with a nose filled with blackheads

Paula Begoun has even harsher words for pore strips (pages 256-257 in The Beauty Bible, 2nd edition):

 Pore strips in all their varying incarnations are meant to remove blackheads.  You place a piece of cloth with a sticky substance on it over your face, as you might do with a Band-Aid, wait a bit for it to dry, and then rip it off.  Along with some amount of skin, blackheads are supposed to stick to it and come right out of your nose.  There is nothing miraculous about these products, nor do they work all that well.  The main ingredient on these strips is a hairspray-type ingredient.  If the instructions are followed closely you can see some benefit in removing the very surface of a blackhead.  In fact, you may at first be very impressed with what comes off your nose.

Unfortunately, that leaves the majority of the problem deep in the pores.  What has me most concerned about pore strips is they are accompanied by a strong warning not to use them over any area other than the intended area (nose, chin, or forehead) and not to use them over inflamed, swollen, sunburned, or excessively dry skin.  It also states that if the strip is too painful to remove, you should wet it and then carefully remove it.  What a warning!

On the flip side listen to what Dr. Jessica Wu has to say about pore strips in her book Feed Your Face (page 71):

 Go Ahead, Try It

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, the popular “blackhead removers” that look a bit like nose bandages, do work.  When you pull off the strip, you’re removing the top layers of dead skin cells as well as oxidized (“black”) oil.  They won’t prevent blackheads because they have nothing to do with your skin’s oil production, but they can temporarily make your pores look smaller.

So whose advice should you follow?  Personally I would recommend staying clear of pore strips.  They are a temporary fix at best so it is better to invest in a salicylic acid product or a retinoid for a long-term solution.  For more tips on how to get rid of blackheads see my post (aptly titled) How to Get Rid of Blackheads.

Further Reading:

 

 

 
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