DeMystifying Beauty Product Labels

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Summer is right around the corner, and The June issue of Women’s Health (on newsstands now) has tips and product suggestions to keep you protected and looking great head-to-toe and helps you decode the labels on the bottles you use every day. Women’s Health has shared some “sun-sense must-know” information with The Advice Sisters, and we think this is a “must-read” so please feel free to send the following to all your friends!

Make sense of the fine print on your sunscreen tube – Chemical Sunscreens-Ingredients like benzophenones, salicylates, snd cinnamates form a protective film to absorb UV rays before they penetrate the skin’s surface. Physical Sunscreens-These work by reflecting the sun’s UV rays. Look for zinc oxide or titanium oxide.

What Do These Beauty Terms Really Mean?

Photoaging-Skin damage caused by sun exposure—like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and the leathery texture seen on folks playing shuffleboard in Boca Raton.

SPF (Sun Protection Factor)-The number that tells you how much longer a sunscreen will keep you from burning than no protection at all. Say you normally turn pink after 1 0 minutes without sun block. SPF 15 would shield you 15 times as long as that—or for 150 minutes—before you start to burn.

UVA-Ultraviolet rays that penetrate deep into the skin and cause photoaging and skin cancer.

UVB-Rays that affect the outer layer of skin. Shorter than UVAs, they’re responsible for sunburns and contribute to skin cancer.

Star Rating- It’s not the new reality show voting scale, it’s a new sunscreen-labeling system the FDA has in the works. Stars on labels will indicate the level (1 = lowest, 4 = highest) of UVA protection offered.

Water-resistant-Sunscreen whose SPF remains effective after 40 minutes of immersion. “Very water- resistant” sunscreens remain effective after 80 minutes in water

WaterproofNo sunscreen is waterpoof; the FDA has suggested removing this term from labels.

…..and what about other ingredients in popular beauty products? They may sound scary, but knowing what they are makes you a savvy consumer:

Stay Sun Safe. The Advice Sisters “What Works” Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion review column will feature TONS of sun-safe products–the column will be up at http://www.advicesisters.net/whatworkscol3.html the first week in July). Meanwhile, here are some other suggestions.

Lips – Since lips don’t contain much melanin, they’re super-vulnerable to sun damage. Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15. It’s like Ray-Bans for your mouth. $14, clinique.com

Legs – When the sun and wind parch and chap your skin, replenish moisture with Olay Body Quench Mousse, a moisturizer in foam form packed with hydrating glycerin and antioxidant-rich green tea. $8 for 7.1 oz, drugstore.com ]

Face – The Body Shop Flawless Skin Protecting Foundation has a nearly invisible cream-to-powder formula plus the benefit of SPF 25. $25, thebodyshop.com Heels – Make sure strappy sandals don’t rub your feet the wrong way: Dr. Scholl’s for Her Miracle Shield balm prevents friction that causes blisters. $6, drugstore.com

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