Once you’ve gone under the knife, your thoughts of the sun change.
Last year, I lost a chunk of eyelid. Basal cell carcinoma. They didn’t get all of it the first time, so I had to do it all over again. A month of eyelid stitches later, I became a creature of the shade.
“A classic spot to get skin cancer is the area around the eyes,” said my dermatologist. “People will put on sunscreen, but they never get it to the very tip of the eyelid; they are concerned about keeping the sunscreen out of the eyes. And the skin around the eyes is thin.”
Sunglasses are an accessory I don’t leave home without. And I’ve been on a search for a non-greasy sunscreen with a high sun-protection factor, or SPF, as it’s called.
“I work all the counters, so I have tried all the different types,” said a cosmetics customer-service lady at Macy’s. “I have sensitive, white skin,” she laughed. “My favorite is the Clinique Sun SPF 50 Face Cream [$21]. If you’re going to wear sunscreen, make it good, go for the high SPF. This stuff doesn’t make you look like a glowing, shiny alien,” she added.
“I’ve been using Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 for about 15 years,” explained Nona ($45 for 1.7 ounces at Sephora). “I also just got the Coola from Birchbox last month. The best way to spend $10 per month [Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35 Citrus Mimosa, $36 for 3 ounces at coolasuncare.com].” Birchbox delivers beauty samples to your door for a monthly fee (birchbox.com).
“Our family likes the Alba Botanica brand,” offered Katie ($10.99 for 4 ounces of Natural Kids Very Emollient Sunscreen SPF 30 at Sprouts). “It’s important to us that we use products that have the fewest harmful chemicals as possible. In addition to it being paraben-free, it has a wonderful, light scent with a non-greasy finish. The regular kids’ SPF 45 has provided great protection over the years, including water use. We used to also buy the specific water-resistant sunscreen but it was more greasy, and we came to realize that their regular sunscreen is also water-resistant for 80 minutes, so we stopped buying the swim version.”
“Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch!” answered Lorraine. “It has SPF 45 and it makes your face really soft and leaves no residue [$7.97 for 3 ounces at Walmart].”
“Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch,” agreed Bernice. “This is the only one where the kids don’t complain when I put it on their faces. It’s very fast absorbing and waterproof, and it really does have a weightless, clean feel so you don’t feel like you are wearing sunscreen.”
Tracy recommended Murad Essential-C Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($60 for 1.7 ounces at murad.com). “I second the Murad Essential-C,” concurred Aneta. “I have tried many and that one works, and it reduces my freckles that I have had for years. Go figure.”
“Check out Paula’s Choice,” suggested Anna. “It’s one of my favorite lines and is also well priced. I’ve been pretty satisfied with the results [Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non-greasy SPF 50 is $14.95 for 5 ounces at paulaschoice.com].”
“Unbeknownst to many people, most sunblocks are chemical ones,” said Christine. “My mom put us onto it years ago to look for natural ones, particularly zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are the active ingredients in the ones I use. MD Solar Sciences has chemical-free creme sunscreen [SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB is $30 for 1.7 ounces at mdsolarsciences.com]. I order it online. I also use Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby 60 SPF, but it’s a little greasy [$9 for 3 ounces at Target].”
“I don’t wear sunscreen often,” admitted Molly, “so I don’t want to spend a lot on a bottle that is likely to expire long before I use it up. The reasonably priced Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30 I’ve been using hasn’t seemed greasy to me [$9.99 for 4 ounces at Walgreens].”
And, finally, “Aveeno Natural Protection Lotion Sunscreen SPR 50,” suggested my friend Jill ($10.99 for 3 ounces at aveeno.com).