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Boy, not only is that sun starting to get hot, but it’s also hanging around later into the evening. More sun means more sunblock! Now, we know sunblock is essential all year long, but as the days get longer and the sun’s rays are more intense, sunblock is even more pivotal to good skin health.

In fact, we think sunblock is so important we have dedicated our product of the week to the entire category of UV protection! We’ve also knocked on the door of skin care expert, Dr. Gretchen Frieling, to give us the hard and cold facts of why sunblock is one of the basic necessities of skincare. We picked this skincare expert’s brain, and this is what she had to say about the importance of sunblock.

Why Sunscreen?

  • One in Five American will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
  • Snow, sand, and water ALL INCREASE the need for sunscreen because they reflect the sun’s rays.
  • Skin cancer does not discriminate, and EVERYONE should use sunscreen!
  • There is no “safe” way to tan. PROTECT your skin with not only just sunblock but UV hats and sunglasses.

How to do Sunscreen

  1. Choose a BROAD spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that protects against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
    • UVA “aging” rays. (These rays can pass through window glass and cause aging, wrinkles, and dark spots on the skin.)
    • UVB “burning” rays: These are the primary culprits for sunburns and do not pass through window glass.
  2. Use at least SPF 30 (blocks 97% of UVB rays).
  3. The rule of thumb is that you need 1 OUNCE of sunscreen to reach all the exposed areas of the body.
  4. Apply this ounce of sunscreen to DRY skin, 15 to 20 minutes before going outside.
  5. Sunscreens are NOT waterproof, but most are water-resistant for approximately two hours. Make sure you choose one that clearly states “water-resistant” on the packaging. Reapply EVERY two hours for continuous protection!
  6. Even if you’re not in the water, re-application is essential. The number of SPF (SPF 30 versus SPF 100) does not change how long it lasts!

Dr. Frieling also notes that using sunscreen may decrease your body’s production of Vitamin D. Talk to your primary care if you think this might be a concern. You can always take a supplement. Also, the FDA approves sunscreens and requires that they maintain their potency for at least three years. Be sure to check the expiration date on your bottle; time can fly!

Sunscreen Recommendations

SkinMedica Essential Defense Sunscreen

Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 35 $38.00

SkinMedica hits a lot of home runs with their products. The Essential Defense Mineral Shield $38.00 is one of those out-of-the-park beauty staples. It won’t clog your pores, is hypoallergenic, and safe for post-procedure skin. If you’re using products or getting professional peels to remove hyperpigmentation, you want to invest in this stuff to keep away those sun spots!

Cle de Peau UV Protective Cream

Cle de Peau Beaute UV Protective Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, 2.1 oz. $130.00

For you high-end ladies, this Cle de Peau Beaute broad-spectrum sunscreen is as luxurious as the price tag suggests ($130). We love the moisturizing and anti-aging properties. During the summer months, you can forgo a heavy cream and just use this over a daily serum or dry face oil. It might be pricey, but a little lasts a long way. And, the fact that it doubles as a daily moisturizer is pretty awesome.

SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair Tinted Sunscreen

SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 34 (Tinted) $68.00

For those of you who want skin protection and a little bit of coverage, we have another sunscreen from SkinMedica. At $68.00, their Total Defense and Repair Sunscreen has a light tint that cuts down on your time in front of the mirror. Besides, who wants to wear heavy foundation makeup during the spring and summer? This light formula covers flaws and protects your skin from any potential new sun damage.


Dr. Frieling is a Harvard-trained Dermatopathologist with over ten years of experience as a leader in the dermatology and pathology fields.  She combines her artistic eye, a steady hand, perfectionistic qualities, and medical and anatomical expertise, to give her patients impeccable, unmatched results. When it comes to cosmetic procedures, specifically injectables, Gretchen has mastered the art of re-defining and re-vitalizing the face by eliminating fine lines and wrinkles and re-establishing volume with her “less is more” approach. She listens to patient’s requests and concerns and explains the optimal procedures to meet each unique situation. Dr. Frieling believes in prevention and is passionate about helping others achieve their best self, both inside and out! Dr. Frieling is dedicated to establishing and maintaining genuine and unique relationships with her clients, with utmost trust and confidentiality. 

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