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Aug 3, 2009

Kissed by the Sun...

Photo courtesy of Laura Lee Zanghetti-Sassy Three

Black women and the sun...not a bad combination. We are already blessed with a variation of melanin which blesses us with all those colors of brown. But although we are indeed lucky, we have to be careful just like anyone else. This means, sunscreen....

Honey, Black people get skin cancer too, and according to American Cancer Society that number is increasing. So, we need to step our sunscreen up. Don't get caught out there without it.

Use sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher. Be sure to use enough--a palmful for your whole body. And put it on again every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days. For it to work best, sunscreen should be put on before you go outside.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that because you're using sunscreen, you can stay out in the sun longer. Staying out longer because you're using sunscreen just means you'll end up getting the same amount of UV light as you would otherwise. You won’t reduce your melanoma risk that way.

This is arguable, of course. But even dermatologists we've read tout La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Lait SPF is the best sunscreen in the world. I've read many who say they use it themselves. Why does this sunscreen work so well? Because of the chemical "Mexoryl," well-known all over the world to protect skin from wrinkle-causing UVA rays. (Most sunscreens only protect against UVB rays). How good is Mexoryl? "It produces a product which gives us almost perfect protection against sunshine," said Dr. Vincent DeLeo, chairman of dermatology at Columbia University to ABC News.

Best Sunscreen for the Face -- La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL tinted creme

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL tinted creme was created just for the face. Unlike the lait version (No. 1 above), the tinted creme won't cast a white pall over the face. Plus, it's SPF 50+ so you know you're being protected. Dermatologists agree you need at least 30 SPF to protect the face from the sun. There's some debate over whether super high numbers can be trusted, but I have worn this religiously and have yet to sunburn. Downside: The price. At $47 this is pricey, but the product does go a long way and it's small enough to fit into a purse (sunscreen must be reapplied throughout the day if you are out in the sun). While I wish it was a little more product for the money, a few pea-sized dots will do you.

Best Body Sunscreen -- Bull Frog Superblock

We told you about the best sunscreens for the face. But what about the body? Experts swear by Bull Frog Superblock Sun Block. Its long-lasting lotion protects even the fairest of skin types.

Extra tip: Sunscreen isn't only for the face. We read in O magazine that dermatologists report seeing too many women with hands, necks and chests that looked 20 years older than their faces. These women were diligent to keep their faces out of the sun but forgot to protect their hands, necks and chests as well.

Best Facial Moisturizer with SPF for Dry Skin -- Eucerin

If you can't afford the $47 pricetag for La Roche-Anthelios XL tinted creme, I highly recommend Eucerin Extra Protective moisture lotion SPF 30 Eucerin combines sunscreen with moisturizer. If you have dry skin, it's a solid bet. It contains the "gold standards" of skin protection -- microfine zinc and titanium oxides. This will guard skin again aging UVA rays and skin-cancer causing UVB rays. My father (he's 65-plus) uses it and raves to his peers that it smoothes his wrinkles. No word on whether he's won over any converts, but I'll keep you posted.

Best Facial Moisturizer with SPF for Oily Skin -- Aveda

Don't like those heavy creams for your face? Try an oil-free, noncomedogenic sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. We hear good things about Dual Nature Face Protection SPF15 Skincare by Aveda 1.7oz.

Best Facial Moisturizer with SPF for All Skin Types -- L'Occitane

Moisturizers with SPF protection are great time savers. A great bet is L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Moisturizing Day Care SPF 20.

But be careful, it's very thick. Another great bet is Clarins Hydration-Plus Moisture Lotion SPF 15, which combines sunscreen with Clarins' all-time bestselling moisturizers. Compare Prices A top favorite of dermatologists is Olay Total Effects UV Protection . Compare Prices

Best Tinted Moisturizers With SPF -- Laura Mercier

Tinted moisturizer is lighter than your average foundation but provides a soft coverage. It's great for women with almost flawless skin because it evens out skin tone without "cake face," otherwise known as "pancake makeup."

Foundations or tinted moisturizers with SPF ensures you are getting not only great coverage, but SPF as well. Hands down the best tinted moisturizer with SPF on the market is Laura Mercier.

Best Organic Sunscreen: Dr. Hauschka Skincare Sunscreen

For you "green girls," you won't find a better organics company than Dr. Hauschka. This sunscreen is a favorite of Jade Jagger's and comes in a variety of SPFs.

Best Drugstore Sunscreen: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock

The reviewers over at rave about Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock. It goes on lightly, doesn't turn an oily face into a greasepit and best yet, it won't cast "ghost glow," the annoying white cast that some sunblocks give.

Neutrogena products are now made with Helioplex, which, like Mexoryl, offers ultra protection from the sun's UVA rays. Most sunscreens on the market only offer protection from UVB rays, but it's the UVA rays that can wreak havoc deep within the epidermis and causing some bad skin cancers.

*Sunscreen list taken from*

Stay Blessed & Happy Locing!

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