Despite elegant new formulations and innovative packaging that makes sunscreen application a snap, too much skin is still going uncovered. In a 2008 survey by Coppertone, nearly half of respondents admitted they didn't wear sunscreen at all. Until now, that is. Prepare to excuse-proof your sunscreen use!
Excuse: "Sunscreen breaks me out"
The Truth: Fear of aggravating acne is the No. 1 reason women shun sunscreen, says Dr. Robert A. Weiss, president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. But guess what? Protecting skin from UV light curtails future breakouts. "The sun stimulates oil glands and thickens skin, so pores become blocked," explains Weiss.
Problem Solver: Keep breakouts at bay with a lightweight, nonoily lotion like Coppertone NutraShield Faces 70+ SPF with Dual Defense ($10.50; drugstores), which is proven not to clog pores.
For more health tips, check out the latest issue of Prevention, on shelves now!
Excuse: "It's Messy to Reapply Sunscreen Over Makeup"
The Truth: Not freshening your sunscreen is akin to committing skin suicide. Here's why: The potency of sunscreen decreases after a couple of hours, and a mere 10 minutes of daily exposure to aging UVA rays is known to cause changes that lead to wrinkles and brown spots within a few months.
Problem Solver: A brush-on tinted mineral sunscreen powder such as BareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen ($28; bareescentuals.com) is perfect for quick touch-ups before dashing out to lunch or running errands midday. Besides helping to even out your skin tone, the minerals naturally diffuse light, so your complexion looks smoother and more luminous.
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Excuse: "I sweat it off so quickly"
The Truth: This lament, common among outdoor athletes, has merit: Sweating decreases the effectiveness of sunscreen, and so does wiping the skin to remove the sweat, says Dr. James Spencer, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Look for a sport sunscreen labeled very water resistant or very water/sweat resistant--that means it's proven to protect for 80 minutes. Still, to be safe, reapply often.
Problem Solver: In addition to being very water/sweat resistant, Banana Boat UltraMist Sport Performance Continuous Spray SPF 85 ($10.50; drugstores) sprays on clear, so hands don't get greasy rubbing it in (a boon for golf and tennis players). A nozzle that works at any angle makes coating hard-to-reach places a breeze.
Excuse: "My skin is sensitive"
The Truth: Chemical sunscreens, which absorb UV light, can be irritating. Instead, opt for a physical sunblock that reflects UV rays; these products contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which rarely upset sensitive skin. Even better, because sunblocks don't allow skin to get as hot as sunscreens do, they're less likely to aggravate redness from conditions such as rosacea, says Weiss.
Problem Solver: Some sunblocks create a whitish cast, but the ultrafine zinc and titanium in Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+ with PureScreen ($10; drugstores) quickly vanish into skin. It's also fragrance free, further reducing the chance of irritation.