Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Let the Sun Shine In: Volume 1

This is the first entry in what I hope will be a summer-long project where I review various suncreens and other sun-protection products.

By now, every one knows that the sun is bad for you. It makes you wrinkly and cancerous. This is usually enough to scare even the most bronzed goddess into a bottle of Coppertone SPF 50. However, on a day to day basis, it's easy to forget to put on sunscreen before you head outside, even when you are as pale as I am. It takes a long time to put it on, rub it in, it makes you sticky, the list goes on and on.

Then, I heard a story about a girl who came into the hospital with skin cancer that had metathesized to her brain and she died about a week after being admitted. This story scared the living crap out of me. You might ask why, since this happens all the time. Well, this girl was 25.

That is enough to send me sprinting to the suncare aisle at CVS.

Since suncreens degrade over time, I was in need of a new summer product and one of the smartest things that this industry does is come out with new and improved formulas every year. I picked up a bottle (well, can) of Neutrogena's Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock and tested it out this weekend in the incredibly gorgeous Memorial Day weather.

A note about my testing capacities. I am extremely fair skinned. I can get burned in a matter of minutes in the direct sun and have had the misfortune of being burned in the most bizarre places. Along my part? Check. Pinky fingers and toes? Yup, yup. Tops of the ears? Yes, and those really hurt!

The spray is great, bottom line. It sprays on evenly and in a continuous stream which makes it easy to get your back and other tricky areas, like the backs of your arms. It's super easy and fast to apply. I didn't really notice that it was really all that "cooling," not any more so than anything else I've sprayed on my body. I rubbed it in a little and noticed that at the beginning, it gives you a light sheen like a moisturizer, but then sinks in and is only minimally sticky.

I have to say that I'm not wild about the smell, but I was also out walking in the sun all day and my arms stayed ghostly pale! Well, there was one spot on my shoulder that I missed and turned bright red. It was actually a good test, since the Mist was obviously very protective if that spot was the result sans screen.

The benefits here clearly outweigh the drawbacks here and I am planning on spending the summer spraying to keep the doctor away.

Neutrogena has a great suncare section on their website with quizzes and helpful tips. Definitely worth a look.

photo courtesy of Neutrogena.com