BY VISHAKA ROBINSON
Dr. Robin for Kids ($24). Pottery Barn Kids, The Grove, LA, 323-549-9344. Intense Hydrating Treatment, Moroccanoil ($27). New Beauty at Fred Segal, 500 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-394-8509. Crème de la Mer, La Mer ($395). Saks Fifth Avenue, 9600 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-275-4211. Hydra Life BB Creme, Dior ($56). Sephora, Beverly Center, LA, 310-657-9670. No Concealer Concealer, Perricone MD ($45). Sephora, Beverly Center, LA, 310-657-9670. Cellular Rejuvenating Concentrate, Kaplan MD ($295). Neiman Marcus, 9700 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-550-5900.
“When you live in LA, the cornerstone of your skincare routine is a great sunscreen,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Stuart H. Kaplan. “It’s either summer or nearly summer all year round, and most the patients I see have issues relating to too much sun exposure.”
These days we are all hyperaware of the importance of dodging UV rays; first and foremost because one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime—but also for vanity’s sake. There’s little point in diligently applying the latest DNA wonder cream or antioxidant-stuffed potion if all the benefits will be undone by one sun-soaked afternoon at Zuma.
So the FDA’s rethink on sunscreen labeling—which went into effect in June—has been welcomed by experts. “I think these new guidelines are long overdue,” says Beverly Hills pediatric dermatologist Dr. Robin Schaffran, who is known for her children’s skincare line. “Previously, sunscreens only had to post the SPF value, which is a measure of UVB protection (but not UVA), but thanks to the new guidelines, when a sunscreen claims to be ‘broad spectrum’ it must protect against both UVA and UVB rays.”
Other key changes include no more SPFs above 50 (the increased protection gleaned from numbers higher than 50 has been found to be negligible); a ban on the words “sunblock,” “sweatproof,” and “waterproof” (the FDA found that no product can block out all UV, just as no SPF is totally waterproof—now look for 40- and 80-minute guarantees on “water-resistance”); and finally, deeming that products with an SPF between 2 and 14 can only claim to prevent sunburn.
“People are now more aware of having a separate SPF rather than just relying on tinted moisturizers and foundations that include it,” says Space NK founder Nicky Kinnaird. Kinnaird also notes a growing trend toward sunscreens that offer skincare benefits in addition to protecting against sun damage. Nia24 Sun Damage Prevention UVA/UVB Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++, for example (the best-selling sunscreen across all four of Space NK’s LA stores), contains niacin, a form of vitamin B3 proven to stimulate DNA repair. And Elizabeth Arden recently launched a broad-spectrum SPF 50 version of the runaway hit Prevage, allowing users to reap all the wrinkle-reducing benefits of the antioxidant idebenone while warding off UV rays.
But shielding your skin from the sun is just half of the equation; your routine at the end of the day is also key. “It’s incredibly important to remove sunscreen properly,” says Mila Moursi, Jennifer Aniston’s go-to facialist and founder of LA’s Mila Moursi Skin Care Institute & Day Spa. “You should double cleanse, first with a cream cleanser and hot washcloth and then with a foam cleaner.”
When it comes to recharging skin and repairing damage, certain essential oils are proven to help the skin rebound after exposure to UV rays. Kaplan cites argan, acia, and vitamin E oils as great go-to ingredients, while Moursi claims to see the best results with hyaluronic acid, Matrixyl (“it’s hugely effective for firming and eliminating roughness”), and resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. After all, there’s really no safe way to worship the sun, but when Malibu beckons, we can at least be properly prepared.
photography by david hamsley (products); bell soto (model)
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.