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Best Face Forward
Comments () | Published July 1, 2009

Masks Matter

Weekly masks help clean pores, exfoliate, and balance and refine skin.

“I like clay masks for oily skin,” says Walia, who uses SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque ($42 at skinceuticals.com), “and vitamin C masks for dry or combination skin. Vitamin C attracts water to skin, so it’s a good hydrating agent.” If your skin is normal or dry, ask your dermatologist—which is the only way you can get it—about SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Firming Masque, a Walia pick that hydrates and soothes sensitive skin and minimizes redness.

Feeling more shiny than dry, we went for Bliss Steep Clean Professional-Strength Facial Mask for All Skin Types ($54 at Nordstrom), Boscia Clarifying Detox Mask ($25 at Sephora), and Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask With Pink Clay ($28.50 at Nordstrom).

Sunscreen, Sunscreen

Broad and spectrum. They’re the two most important words to look for in sunscreen. Broad spectrum means you’re covered for both ultraviolet A and B rays.

Dermatologists were once more concerned with UVB rays, the chief sunburn culprits. But, says Alster: “we’ve learned that UVA is just as damaging or more so, because the rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are primarily responsible for aging and loss of elasticity.”

Remember it this way: UVA is aging, UVB is burning. You can get both in the shade or on an overcast day, and even underwater, where rays intensify.

“UV rays bounce off the air and onto you even if you are in the shade,” says Walia.

Nor are you immune as a person of color. “We may not burn and blister as easily,” says Walia, who is of Indian descent, “but we’re not necessarily protected.”

Says Alster: “Pigment-producing cells produce more pigment in people of color, so you can tolerate more exposure without burning—but not without aging. And you can get skin cancer.”

According to the American Cancer Society, there are more new cases of skin cancer annually than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers combined. The American Academy of Dermatology says one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime; fair-skinned people who sunburn easily are at particularly high risk.

“Unless you spend your life in a cave,” says Green, “you need the highest SPF you can get.” He recommends SolBar Zinc SPF 38 by Person & Covey ($12 at personandcovey.com) and SkinMedica Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 30+ ($40 at skinmedica.com).

Pay particular attention to the left side of your face and shoulders, Green says: “I see a lot of cosmetic problems there from people driving. Glass doesn’t screen UVA.”

Lips and Hands Can Burn

Walia says skin cancer is rampant on and around the lips: “So use a medicated lip balm with SPF.”

We recommend Kiehl’s Lip Balm SPF 15 ($9.50 at kiehls.com) and Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner SPF 15 ($20 at Nordstrom). Stiles likes Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15 ($17 at Macy’s).

For hands we liked Boscia Daily Hand Revival Therapy SPF 15 ($16 at bosciaskincare.com), Clarins Age-Control Hand Lotion SPF 15 ($30 at Nordstrom), and Prescriptives Intensive Rebuilding Hand Treatment SPF 15 ($38 at Nordstrom).

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Posted at 05:00 PM/ET, 07/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Articles