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I’m finally back on the island, and feeling slightly suffocated from the intense heat and humidity. On one hand, I’m glad to be back in my daily routine (I’m exciting like that), but on the other hand,  I’m missing the frigid conditions back in my 2nd home something dreadful because I’ve never, ever been a Summer kind of girl. People who enjoy the summer heat baffle me – what’s there to like about the sun? Obviously, I’m not a blithering idiot and am well aware of the benefits of the sun’s existence, but there’s a whole bunch of horrible stuff you can get just by exposing yourself for a second too long: melanoma, cataracts, premature aging, sun-spots, delusion, and the possibility of death by heat stroke .. among other things, I’m sure.

Sunscreen is important because sunlight has ultra-violet rays: prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB particles can damage your skin.

That’s why you’re supposed to lather up on sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a hat whenever you’re out in the sun. You know. Just in case.

Nobody wants to be a wandering, loony blind prune, suffering from huge headaches and extreme nausea.

What’s more is, you can’t even use that age-old excuse: ‘But sunblock makes me smell weird!‘, because they totally smell decent now. Like theLaneige Sunblock High Lasting SPF 50+++’ which is what I like to use on my arms ..when I remember to, hehee. You can slap this baby on your body and on your face, without worrying that it’s going to clog your pores and make you break out. On top of that, this Laneige sunblock smells great, has a light consistency (still a tad oily, but after years of using gucky, thick sunscreen, the consistency of this one doesn’t really bother me), and best of all: it doesn’t leave white streaks on your skin when you apply it! LOVE.

Yes! This product is living proof that times have changed. Gone are the days when sunscreen felt like muck, and smelt like dirty feet that have been dipped in chlorine! These days, cosmetics companies are stepping up their game and producing sunblocks that smell great without that gooey thick consistency that most of us grew up associating with sunscreen. More and more companies are incorporating sun protection into their products, like tinted moisturizers, foundations (liquid AND pressed powders), BB creams, day creams, even lip and eye products now feature an SPF. You’d be pretty hard pressed to find many day creams on the market now that don’t have at least an SPF15 so really, you don’t have much of an excuse to not use a sunscreen.

Personally, my vanity is overflowing with products that are laced with various levels of SPF because I believe in one-step beauty, so I always have my face protected from the sun even if I sometimes forget about my arms. You guys should know by now, I’m the Multi-Purpose Nazi .. largely because it’s nice to never have to worry about remembering to apply a million and one things on my skin also, I already have enough crap I load my face up with so anything that helps me cut a few corners in the morning is GREAT.

Although I should probably mention before I forget, that there’s no point layering (for example) a product with SPF15 over another product with SPF15, because they don’t add up to SPF30. As much as I’ve dreamed and hoped this to be a lie, it simply isn’t. It’s like some mystical law of sunscreen: an SPF15 is exactly that – an SPF15. Layering an SPF30 over an SPF15 just means you now have SPF30 protection on, instead of an SPF45.

Ridiculous, but worth knowing rather than living a lie.

“That’s Hot.”

And in case you’re wondering what’s the dealio with SPF and why I keep mentioning it every few seconds – it stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the number accompanying it refers to the strength of the SPF present in the product. Now comes the fun part (choke). I hope everybody’s good at basic multiplication, because otherwise you’re going to have to whip out a calculator.

To find out how much protection you’re going to get from any given sunscreen of your choice, you have to multiply the amount of time it takes for you to start to burn (say, 5 minutes) by the SPF number on the product bottle (example, SPF50). 5minutes x SPF50, and you get 250 minutes of sun protection! After the time of which, you have to reapply the sunscreen. Or, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Then again, there’s studies that show you’ve got to reapply it every half an hour, and other studies that claim that you’ve got to apply it every 2 hours. It’s horrible and confusing, so I go by the SPF strength calculation method, because I don’t like changing my habits, and that’s just how it is. I hope this part made sense, and if not, comment and ask me! I promise I don’t bite.

As for the plus-signs following the SPF rating.. I really wish I had a clue what they meant, but I don’t. I’m not a scientist nor am I a beauty professional. I just buy the one that has the most plus-signs on the bottle .. because I’m Asian. And that’s the only reason for it. Either way, I really don’t think a few extra plus-signs ever hurt anybody. Ho-hum.

Having said that, I don’t think it matters what SPF you’re slathering on yourself (because there’s been so much hoo-ha about this too), so long as you’re actually doing it – and here’s the MOST important part that everybody either ignores or doesn’t know about: YOU SHOULD ALWAYS REAPPLY YOUR SUNSCREEN! This is sad and annoying, but true. Just because you applied a sunscreen once doesn’t mean that it’s a magical concoction that gives you 24 hour protection (although somebody should invent this, and soon). Also, don’t be shy with the application, because most people never put enough on in the first place. Remember: more is always better than less!

I know it’s annoying and a bloody chore, but you’ll thank me for nagging you when you’re 50 and still looking daisy-fresh (and lucid).

Promise.

So, what’s your favourite sunscreen? Comment and tell me – I’d love to know!

xo, minty

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