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The best way to reapply sunscreen when out and about.

by Cheryl Fork

An Intellectual Style Newsletter, with tips for living your best (real) life.


In this issue of Soap AF, I’m sharing the best way I’ve found to reapply sunscreen throughout the day that is actually practical.

Dear Reader,

I mentioned this topic in my very first newsletter intro and have been meaning to tell you about it ever since: the best way I’ve found to reapply sunscreen throughout the day that is actually practical.

I will assume if you’re reading this that, despite recent headlines hyping a return of the tanning bed (yikes)*, the importance of minimizing UV exposure and wearing sunscreen every day is a given. If you’re into skincare on the most basic level, you know the best possible thing you can do for the health & beauty of your skin (even more than any creams, serums, or treatments) is to consistently protect it from the sun.

With that said, if you read your sunscreen labels closely, they will tell you that you need to reapply at least every 2 hours to live up to the full sun protection that is touted on the bottle. Now, with the exception of when you’re out on vacation at the beach or lounging at the pool, there is just no way that anyone is doing that. Especially for those of us who wear any makeup at all, this idea of re-doing your face every 2 hours is just not realistic. It’s actually so unrealistic to the point that I don’t know why they even bother to put it on there (other than as a CYA).

Back when I was going into an office every day, I would consistently put on my sunscreen in the morning, put whatever minimal makeup I was into on after that, and head out the door. Other than possibly a quick powder touchup or lip gloss reapplication, I wouldn’t think about changing anything on my face until nighttime, when of course I would dutifully wash my face before bed every night (followed by my subsequent skincare routine). I didn’t think much more about it, especially because I was spending most of my time indoors most days.

But now my schedule is all over the place. Having my own business, working mainly from home, and having a young child means I could be spending time outdoors at almost any time of day. Gone are the days when I have ample time to fully “get ready for the day” in the morning, and then not look back until the evening. These days it’s often more like: what can I throw on this morning to drop E off at school and then work from home and be comfortable the rest of the day, but still look somewhat put together and ready if we end up going out to run errands or meet with friends or any number of other things once I pick her up? Or: what can I throw on that will work for an outing to the park or the library or playdate or a kids class this morning, until we have to be home for E’s nap, at which point I will then get an actual shower and get ready for a work or social event I have that afternoon or evening? Or any number of other similarly jumbled scenarios. Because of this, I’m often showering at random times of day, which means that if I want to have any sunscreen on at all, I have no choice but to put it on multiple times per day. And as I continue to age (blurg**), I’m progressively more conscious of wanting to protect my skin. So even on days when I’m not showering in the middle of the day, I no longer trust that if I put sunscreen on that morning, it will still work well enough if I want to venture outside in the afternoon.

I am constantly in optimization mode, and among the countless other minor and major problems I am constantly trying to solve and things I am trying to optimize, this sunscreen conundrum (of not wanting to waste precious minutes & dollars in the day applying extra things to my face) was rolling around in the back of my head. Then one day late last summer I was out on a boat excursion celebrating a girlfriend’s birthday. Most of us were wearing dresses or similar, and while I had remembered to apply my face sunscreen as a part of my regular routine, in the chaotic process of getting ready and out the door with a toddler at home I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my exposed shoulders/décolletage. One of my very best and most generous friends pulled out a portable (magical?) powder sunscreen from her purse and passed it to me so I could easily swoosh it around and get some sun protection. I didn’t even have to worry about getting liquid or spray on my dress or necklaces because the powder was so easy to apply and not messy. We all had a wonderful time being out on the boat, with no sunburns in sight!

Since then, I’ve been loving using the powder sunscreen on a regular basis. It’s so easy to do a quick swoosh in the morning on top of my moisturizer when I’m running out the door for school drop-off. Or if I put on my liquid sunscreen earlier in the day and I know I will be outside later in the day, it’s a 2-in-1 benefit of giving my complexion a quick boost as well as a boost in sun protection. It can be reapplied over your initial sunscreen, skincare, and/or makeup at any time of day. And it doesn’t spill, so you can keep it in your bag with you at all times. I have used a different powder sunscreen in the past but didn’t use it very often because it left a white cast on my face, similar to many liquid mineral sunscreens. It also came as a loose powder that had to be used with a separate powder brush – definitely not practical to bring on the go. There are several different powder sunscreens on the market now, but this one by Colorescience (who is randomly actually headquartered right here in Carlsbad) seems to be the best one by far in terms of ingredients, ease of use, the way it looks on your skin, and sun protection***. It’s won multiple awards and has been chosen by several mainstream beauty experts and publications as the best one, which I was surprised by because the brand is not as well known.

The sunscreen formulation is 100% mineral (vs chemical) which I prefer, and in addition to UVA/UVB protection, it has something they call EnviroScreen® Technology that protects you against blue light****, pollution, and infrared radiation. I love the blue light aspect since we are all pretty much forced to be on screens to participate in our modern world, and the blue light emitted from screens has been shown to accelerate the aging process. I hate wastefulness in general – so I like knowing that if I put this sunscreen powder on and then don’t even end up going outside because E changed her mind and is immovably adamant that she’d rather stay home and paint watercolors rather than go to the park like she told me she wanted to do 2 minutes ago, I’m still getting protection from blue light when using my computer/phone/tablet later that day even though my skin never saw the sun…blurg!

This brand makes a few different versions so you can choose the best one for you: they have their classic one that is tinted in multiple shades, a clear one with a matte finish if you have more oily skin, a glowy one, and a bronzing one. They have a bundle where you can mix and match, or you can even buy 2 and get 1 free. I also just ordered one of their liquid sunscreens so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Simple. Clean. Chic.


cher wearing white sunglasses with white and blue top.jpg__PID:59d58ffb-6f78-4322-9b60-f537ca100783

*Along with so many other trends from the 90s and early aughts, tanning beds and ‘tanning mania’ are supposedly making a comeback. But with age (hopefully) comes wisdom, and I’ll leave tanning beds fully in the past, thank you- yuck! I don’t need to tell you, my health-conscious reader, about the serious health risks. I also think being overly tan, via any method, is not chic.

**This is the closest word I could come up with that might connote a similar feeling to one of my favorite emojis that I use on a regular basis in real life: the sideways-leaning-cross-eyed-face-with-tongue-hanging-out. Lol.

***According to their website: “All Colorescience Sunforgettable™ brushes are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as effective broad spectrum sunscreens”, and it is, “The only powder sunscreen recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation for active use.”

****Speaking of blue light, I haven’t yet had a chance to devote the time needed to finalize my choice for my next pair of glasses, but when I get to it I’m going to make sure the glasses have blue light protection!

^Image of me at the aforementioned birthday boat party last year with my Colorescience powder sunscreen on :)  Not in high-def purposefully this time because who wants that.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and nothing in my newsletter is meant to constitute or substitute for medical advice. I am sharing my personal experiences with hope that it is helpful, and for general informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. FORK & MELON and its affiliates shall not be liable for any information provided here. Always seek the help of a medical professional for your individual health needs!

Please note, any products I share are things I actually use and/or are genuine recommendations of mine. I may earn some money if you purchase through one of the links above. If you enjoy this newsletter and decide to purchase one of the items- using my links helps to support the continuation of this newsletter at no cost to you, so please use them! :)

If you ever want to see all my picks in one place, click here.

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