Oh, sunscreen. Much like dental floss, you are a doctor-recommended product that will almost certainly improve (or save) my health later in life but totally unappealing to us young folk. I haven't been proud to whip out a bottle of you since Coppertone came out with disappearing purple sunblock when I was in elementary school. Sunblock/screen is for losers! I am woman, hear me roar! I can brave the sun and come out unscathed! Well, actually, that is incredibly untrue.
For most of my life, I've been the palest person in the room. I have some natural color, but it’s mainly reddish undertones because my blood shows through my near-translucent skin. I have a very fair complexion that does not get along well with intense sunlight. As such, I've had to bite the bullet and finally take the advice of one Dr. Sexter (the best pediatrician in DC!), and add some SPF to my daily routine.
In the last few years, I've tried several different facial sunscreens, ranging from drugstore brands to ones recommended or prescribed to me by a dermatologist. But it wasn't until I found Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock that I really had a winner. There is talk about how, past SPF 45, the protection-level number on sunscreen bottles amounts to marketing bullshit (see WebMD ** ***). Fully acknowledging this, I still buy into what they're selling; it can’t hurt to buy the highest SPF available, which seems to be SPF 100+.
And here's what I can tell you: there have been no sunburn sightings since I started slathering 100+ on my face and body! Huzzah! The cream's lightweight and—as the name notes—super dry feel allows it to go virtually undetected in my makeup-application process. No white sheen on your face, no wretched sunblock smell, no worry that it will slowly melt off your skin and find its way into your eyes. Offer me a $200 alternative and all I’ll say to you is, “No, thank you!” Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, I am yours.
** *** WebMD is a dangerous website. You almost always discover that you've got some sort of cancer and/or will be dying soon. At least, that's what I’ve found. But I'm a hypochondriac.
Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.