My Favorite Top 4 Sunscreens

Coming back to my another favorite topic (after fitness) – skincare. I am not to going lecture on the importance of sunscreen today, since you must know it all, by now (if not, Read this). Today, I am sharing 4 of my personal favorite sunscreens. If you are wondering why the number ‘4’ or she could have easily added one more and titled the list as ‘my favorite top 5’.. etc.. etc.. Well then, I tried, but I just couldn’t find a fifth favorite! These are the only four sunscreens that I really, really like. What can I say..?!!

Anyways.. I have used them (in fact still using all of them) and the reviews are based on my personal experiences. Just putting them in random order.

Sunscreens

  • Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40 – It’s slightly tinted and tends to leave a white residue on skin if not properly blended. So I really blend it well and massage it in to the skin. I use this one mostly on the weekends when I plan to spend my day outdoors. Again, this is not a substitute to a foundation. Link
  • Clarins UV PLUS Anti-Pollution Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – Big fan of the milky texture of this one and fact that it is lightweight and sheer when applied. At first I got a trial size at Sephora, but then I loved it so much, I decided to buy the full size. Similar to the previous one, I like to wear it when I am headed outdoors, for a long day. I could say  that I love wearing sunscreens more than moisturizers.. haha!! Link
  • Benefit Dream Screen SPF 45 – Personally I feel the texture of this one is very close to a primer. It’s very light weight, easily gets absorbed and leaves skin so silky smooth, it’s hard to believe! I like using it daily while going to work. Link
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 – This French brand does skincare like no other! Anyhow, this sunscreen was recommended to me by my dermatologist last year, when I had major skin troubles. Since then I am hooked on to it. I use it majorly in extreme summers due to the high SPF value. It’s texture is milky and leaves my skin quite moisturized. It’s creamy texture is really good for anyone with dry/dehydrated skin. Link

Now I see how all my favorite sunscreens are at least SPF 40 or higher. Ideally, one should re-apply sunscreen every two hours, but I am guilty of not doing so! But I’m getting there folks..!!! So that was all about sunscreens, do you have any favorites to add?

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All about Sunscreens

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Sunscreens can be tricky, if you don’t know what to look for when buying one. In this post, I am drafting all that I know about sunscreens. Again – this is based on my personal experiences, what my dermatologist suggested me and what I have learned through blogs etc. Please consult your doctor if you have skin issues before changing anything major in your skincare regime.

Sunscreens are very, very, very, very (add 5 more) important. You do not want to skip applying a sunscreen before heading out.

  • Make sure to buy a sunscreen which provides both UVA and UVB protection. Certain sunscreens also call it ‘Broad Spectrum’ which is also the same thing.
  • UVA and UVB – Still not sure what is the difference between UVA and UVB rays? Well, UVA rays make your skin age faster; they harm your skin in the long run. So you may not see wrinkles and dark spots popping on your face overnight, but know that the damage is being done. However, UVB rays harm the skin instantly (think skin burn, redness, rashes etc.). Hence you need protection from both which is why you need to choose your sunscreen smartly. Indian (brown) skin tones (like mine) are more prone to damage by UVA rays; however if you have white skin – well  I am sorry to say, both UVA and UVB are your enemies.
  • Don’t rely on moisturizers containing SPF. Because usually they only protect from UVB, it’s like protecting just half way. For that matter, don’t rely on any makeup item which ‘also contains SPF’ in it. This is a selling gimmick – like an added benefit! Think this way – You can’t just drink tea/coffee thinking the water in it will suffice the water requirement of your body. You still ‘need’ to drink water. Pure, plain, simple water to quench your thirst. In the same way – your skin needs good old, authentic sunscreen, not some foundation or moisturizer which ‘also contains’ SPF.
  • Apply generously – You can’t get away with just a tiny drop of sunscreen. Make sure to apply it generously covering your face, neck and ears. And then blend it nicely as some sunscreens leave a thin white film on the skin which if not blended, looks quite ‘cakey’.
  • Its for everyone. {Men – *I am looking at you*} You need sunscreens too. You have skin just like us women do and need sun protection, unless you love wrinkles, dark spots with dry and patchy skin! I know men tend to be lazy and sometimes ignorant when it comes to skincare. Anyhow, ladies if you can convince your male friends/brothers/fathers/husbands etc. to use proper sunscreen, that would be great! The best way is to just buy and simply gift it to them. 😉
  • Re-stock it. Buy a new one every year. As other skincare products, this also expires and should be replaced timely. Please don’t keep using the same old tube which you bought 3 years ago!

In another post, I will share my favorite sunscreens! Till then.. take good care..

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How to Make Your Skin Glow

My photographer, my partner in crime not being with me all the time has made me a ‘selfie-pro’ (if that’s even a term)! Anyhow, I am getting good at it. As I said before – past weekend was hot and amazing! I went city surfing all by myself (I am not one to sit at home just because I don’t have company)!

However this post is not another rant about how my weekend went! Lately I have been asked umpteen of questions by my family members, friends and even blogger friends about the ‘sudden’ glow in my skin! Is it make-up, a dietary supplement, a medical treatment or something else! Well today, I am answering all those questions here –

So I have made some major changes in my lifestyle. Its been only 2 months, however, the results are amazing! This post is purely based on my personal experiences.

  • First of all, what you eat reflects. If you eat junk, you will look like junk. I cook all my three meals at home. I love Indian cuisine, and that is what I eat everyday. Chapati, Curry, Rice, Salad, Green vegetables – everything.
  • I do not smoke, drink alcohol or any kind of carbonated beverages (even the ‘diet’ or ‘zero calorie’ ones are toxic). I limit my coffee intake to just 1 cup a day.
  • I don’t eat deep fried food. And if I do, it has to be cooked at home (by me 😉 ). So no chips, wafers etc. for me. And trust me I don’t crave for it either!
  • I have ‘doubled’ the amount of water I drink. This has made a HUGE impact on making my skin look supple (which you can see here). 🙂
  • I cook most of my food in good ol’ classic mustard oil. And I generously smear Desi Ghee (clarified butter) on my chapatis! This is very important for digestion and keeps my skin hydrated from inside.
  • I have massively reduced sugar intake. Now I drink my coffee and tea without sugar. Yes – it took me a good two weeks to get used to the taste, but now I love it so much that I can’t imagine putting sugar in my coffee/tea.
  • I eat an apple and a banana everyday. I make sure I eat at least two kinds of fruits every day.
  • Thankfully I don’t crave for sweet or sugary stuff. I hate candies and also not a big fan of desserts. But I love dark chocolates. I eat one small piece every other day.

These were my dietary changes. Now comes the cosmetic part –

  • I chucked out all foaming face washes from my bathroom. The foam strips the face from its essential oils, makes it look dry and patchy. It’s very bad for the skin (even oily skin). Now I wash my face only with balms or cleansers which do not foam. (Read more on how to cleanse skin properly).
  • I apply a very generous layer of sunscreen all over my face and neck before going out. SPF 30 is the minimum and SPF 60 is the maximum that I use.
  • I don’t touch my face all day. And if I have to, I make sure to use a fresh tissue instead of tocuhing it with my bare hands. The idea of transferring all the germs from my hands to my face just grosses me out! But yes, this has helped reducing my breakouts.
  • I scrub my face only once in 3 weeks. Srubbing irritates the skin,  which is not good. And I use a very, very mild scrub whenever I do.
  • At night, my face ritual takes 15 minutes (sometimes even more). First I cleanse my face twice, and then tone it with a salicylic acid toner. Toning is very important – as the toner will stop the breakouts even before they pop up!
  • Then I apply an under eye cream following with a serum all over my ace and neck. After that using 2 -3 drops of a facial oil, I massage my face and neck for 30 seconds and leave it on for the skin to absorb it completely.
  • Then after 30 minutes or immediately before going to bed (which ever happens first), I apply a night cream all over my face and neck. This ‘time gap’ gives the facial oil and the serum to absorb completely, so that my night cream can sink in as well!

So that’s it! Oh yes, and I workout – the sweat is also important! So I have been doing all this for 2 months, and frankly I love the results.

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How to Cleanse Skin Properly

This post was long due.. I guess! I keep talking about the importance of acne free and clear skin on the blog and haven’t actually mentioned about what are the do’s and don’ts yet (according to my experiences). Though I did write about my skin routine recently (which keeps changing.. haha)! Please remember the fact that I am not a specialist in any way to claim what is right or wrong. I am only sharing what I have learned from following the advice of doctors, specialists, bloggers etc. and my own personal experiences! But trust me, what I am going to mention below really works. It’s no rocket science, just plain common sense and has worked wonders for me and may also help you! (plus there is no harm in trying, right?). So here it goes –

  1. First and foremost, I strongly suggest you to chuck out all the ‘foaming facewashes/cleansers’ from your bathroom. No matter what kind of skin you have (oily, normal, dry or combination), they do no good if your aim is to have clean, acne/blemish free facial skin. Opt for a cream/non-foaming cleanser instead. Something which doesn’t lather.
  2. Use a muslin cloth to wipe your face after cleaning. Please don’t use the same hand towel which everyone in the family uses after they wash their hands, feet, face etc. Ewww.. That is just plain gross! Always, always and always keep a separate face towel/muslin cloth for your face. Don’t wipe anything else with it, just your face and neck.
  3. Use a different facial cloth every day. Yes, every single day. Just like you shower everyday, eat food everyday, change your underwear everyday! I suggest buying good quality cloths in bulk and using a fresh and clean one everyday. At the end of the week (or whenever you do the laundry), just toss them all together in the washer/dryer and then re-use it. Easy, economic and hygienic.. huh!
  4. Ditch all your make-up cleansing wipes/towelettes. Go old school – use water. No matter how expensive those wipes are, they DO NOT clean your face properly. The best way is to clean your make up is with a good quality make up cleansing balm/oil (something like this).
  5. What if I told you – you haven’t been cleaning your face properly all this time.. all these years? Do you know the sunscreen doesn’t come off with just one wash? (yes, you may feel fresh and clean after lathering your face with a foaming facewash, but in reality it is only stripping your face from the essential oils and not actually cleaning it). I had the same shocking (WTF..??) expression when I first came to know about it. But then, I researched more and it’s actually true. A sunscreen is designed to stay on your face for longer hours. The more SPF the longer it stays. It’s like that water-proof makeup which needs extra attention and effort at the end of the day. So do yourself a favor and start cleansing your face twice in the evenings (or before going to bed). TWICE – yes, you read it right. And no, this won’t dry your skin since you won’t be using a foaming cleanser.
  6. Eye make-up (specially mascara and kohl) doesn’t clean in one cleanse. Specially when it’s water-proof. Use a water-proof eye makeup remover. Make sure it’s all off at the end of the day before applying your eye/facial creams. There is nothing worse than left over makeup. It only looks good in magazines (where they suggest to leave the eye-makeup on and wake up with a smudged look). But in reality it’s just plain gross, unclean and bad for your pores. So clean it ladies!
  7. Scrub those lips. Don’t just keep applying chapsticks and lipsticks on and on.. Scrub your lips at least twice in a week (thrice if you wear mostly red lipsticks). Moisturize your lips after scrubbing, it will prep them to look soft and plump!

These changes in my routine have really made huge difference in my skin tone and texture (which by the way feels like a baby’s bum these days.. no kidding – check the picture below)! Oh my god, I have so much more to talk about! So in the next beauty talk post, I will document a step by step procedure of properly cleaning the skin. Deal?

Till then.. have fun (and start looking up for cream/non-foaming cleansers).

How to cleanse skin properly