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Why To Wear Sunblock in 2008 (And How to Make It Easy)

I know, I know—it's weird to be talking about sunblock in January. And yet, when you think about it, there's no better time. The absolute best thing you can do for your skin this year is to start wearing SPF every single day. Don't believe me? Well, let me tell you a little story.

In high school, I worked at a beachside shop. One day, two sisters came in to try on swimsuits. One looked like a high schooler, and the other looked about 26. When they came to the checkout counter, the older sister opened her wallet. "That's really nice of you to buy your sister a swimsuit," I said. Both sisters started laughing, because they weren't sisters—they were mother and daughter. Crazy! When I asked the mother how she looked so young, she said, "Well, I've been wearing sunblock every day since I was a teenager."

Look, there's no other way to put it: The sun will make you look older. It won't if you wear sunblock. Wear it every day, and you'll prevent most of the spots and wrinkles associated with aging. And on a less frivolous note, you'll be maintaining the health of your skin by minimizing the risk of UV-related cancers such as melanoma. Summing up, then: Wearing sunblock keeps you looking young and prevents cancer. Skipping it... doesn't. Seems like a simple choice, right?

For tips on how to make wearing sunblock a habit you'll easily keep,


Read the label
Look for a sunblock with SPF 15 or 30, and look for a broad-spectrum product that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the ones that cause your skin to age more quickly, while UVB rays are potentially cancer-causing. Also, look for ingredients like Mexoryl, octocrylene, titanium dioxide, Helioplex, and zinc oxide—all of which are ingredients that won't break down in the sun.

Use a sunblock that's also a moisturizer
Simplify your morning routine by using a combination product. I don't recommend relying on a SPF-infused foundation or a primer alone. Instead, look for a moisturizer that's also a sunblock. I've tried dozens, but I always come back to Anthelios SX ($29). The lightweight lotion sinks into your skin quickly, doesn't leave any weird white residue, and isn't greasy.

Try it for two weeks
If you're not used to wearing sunblock, stick a Post-It note on your bathroom mirror. (If you really want to be nutty, print out this picture as a reminder of why you're doing this.) After two weeks of daily sunblock application, I bet you'll find it becomes a habit.

Be patient
Sunblock is one of those beauty products that doesn't reveal its full benefits immediately. But with constant use, it'll really begin to pay off when you're in your late 20s and 30s. And even if you're already at that age—or past it!—you'd be surprised to see what a difference it can still make into the decades to come. You'll have to trust me on this, but I promise you won't regret the sunblock.


GucciGurl GucciGurl 9 years
I have been trying for weeks to find an oil-free moisturizer with an spf of 25 or more..but i can't find 1?..i tried neutrogena PureGlow w/ spf 20..but it had like a glittery shimmer in it?..i didn't like that effect so ive stopped using it..bout a norwegian formula moisturizer with spf 15..but its for dry skin and i have really oily skin..has anyone got any suggestions for me? btw i live in ireland so pleas if they could be products available over here?..great article bella btw!
yvi yvi 9 years
ok! a sunblock is easy to use? or what???try it this summer
imeesagad imeesagad 9 years
this is really informative.
lilsimon76 lilsimon76 9 years
I wear somme Double Defense over my moisturizer and I love it
BeautifyMyLife BeautifyMyLife 9 years
Amen! I am constantly harping on my friends and family to be better about the sun. It KILLS me when I see people not wearing any sunscreen, or wearing a very low SPF on the beach. I always tell people that I've given up on tanning, I'm going for the Nicole Kidman look ;)
shannon_jonas shannon_jonas 9 years
Yeah, I'm always thinking about how I should wear sunscreen but i need one with a moisturizer but i don't wanna buy one and have it be a waste of money because its greasy... Anyone know a good moisturizer/spf that is non expensive and non greasy??
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I use sunblock everyday...and I am in love with Benefit's You Rebel...which is a moisturizer with SPF 15. Good Reminder!
oh-cecilia-baby oh-cecilia-baby 9 years
and, hahahaha, wow. in the link to the picture bella suggested we print out, i was kind of hoping to see a dixie wetsworth-esque photo: mad tv... cabana chat, hehe!
oh-cecilia-baby oh-cecilia-baby 9 years
yes, sunblock seems like a no-brainer to me when i get ready each morning. i'm all about taking care of & protecting my skin... and i hope it pays off when i'm older ;)
horsegirl horsegirl 9 years
Sunscreen is so important
Trendy-Wendy Trendy-Wendy 9 years
It's true...wearing sunblock will keep your skin looking young and healthy for years to come. Drinking lots of water also helps. What's great is so many cosmetic products have SPF in their foundation such as Bare Essentials make up. Take it from someone who used to worhip the I've got hyperpigmentation to deal with! Not fun! :(
peachesncre4ms peachesncre4ms 9 years
how much should we put on a day? like for every 2 hours, do we have to reapply?
jmcg4334 jmcg4334 9 years
I've been wearing sunblock everyday now for years and I think it's helped keep away those nasty signs of aging. It's definitely worth the time and effort to apply.
ModelBehavior ModelBehavior 9 years
I'm definatly getting sunblock
proudly-morena proudly-morena 9 years
great article, Bella. i live in the Philippines so i always wear sunscreen even if it's about to rain. i'm using Hamilton Everyday Face SPF 30, a product of Australia. i can only get it from my dermatologist. i love that it is tinted and provides a sheer matte finish but my face gets oily especially during the summer. thanks for the tip about Neutrogena; i'd love to try one of their sunblocks once my Hamilton runs out. :)
katies104 katies104 9 years
I plan to be the girl at our high school reunion who doesn't look like a wrinkly speckled prune. Since my girlfriends still deny that indoor tanning does any harm (tsk tsk) and I always wear the spf I think I'll be okay. I enjoy being a fair skinned lady!
actorgirl21 actorgirl21 9 years
You don't have to wear spf at night... have two seperate moisturizers, one for the day with spf and another with treatment for night
carm123 carm123 9 years
sunblock is very important and now a lot of products have it. like moisturisers, makeup primers (smashbox one), foundations, compact powders and so on. You'll never forget to put it on!
leemireenae leemireenae 9 years
winter is actually a great time to talk about sun block. I tend to use sun block pretty regularly in the summer...but by the time winter rolls around I'm out of the habit again. But If you live where there's snow...those reflected UVA and UVB rays are just vicious! Sunscreen is just as important all year round.
TracieMB TracieMB 9 years
I like aveeno with sunscreen. I know you can go higher price for a good product, but this is cheap and seems to do well with my very sensitive pale skin. I have been using sunscreen since I was about 15, and I'm 26 now and look about 20. I have no crow's feet or even the subtle wrinkle lines that come around people's mouth by the end of their twenties or beginning of their 30s. I definitely think it is important and wear it year round. I started because my complexion is the type that never could have had any type of tan anyway and it would look weird on me to have one. I have some freckles I was born with, I think, only a few, and I use sunscreen on my arms to protect my skin there, too, where it is easy to have exposure. I hear that some women don't use any on their neck and the area of their chest that may show with your typical shirt.... this is definitely an area to remember as well as your throat and back of neck.
febe febe 9 years
better go to the store and buy some perfect sunscreen.
acara1 acara1 9 years
do you use a sunblock or a body moisturizer with spf everyday?
makeup_love makeup_love 9 years
I have a red hair & fair skin that sunburns easily, and I live in Australia and Go to the beach every weekend.This means I have to be extra careful so I use clinique UV Response body spray. Because it is a spray it is so easy to aplly and my hands dont get that oily sunscreen feeling.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
If you're starting sunblock at 19, trust me, you will be in great shape in 10, 20 years. :) I'm 10 years older than you, and people mistake me for a college student. That's why I usually dress a little more womanly than girlish, but that's another story!
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