Don’t skimp on the sunscreen: These luxe SPF products won’t leave you sticky or stinky

Getty Images

August in Kansas City is synonymous with soaring temps and high humidity.

Maybe you’ve run out of SPF and are hesitant to buy another bottle — summer’s almost over, right? Surely your base tan will protect you for a few more poolside sessions... Nope, not even close.

I’m here to save you from sun damage, KC! So let’s start by clearing up a few sun-related myths right now:

  • A base tan is sun damage, plain and simple. It doesn’t offer you any real protection from the sun. Experts say a base tan might be equivalent to a SPF 3 or 4; the standard recommendation is at least an SPF 30.
  • You need to wear sunscreen all year long. This is the big one! SPF isn’t just for lake days, ball games and beach vacations.

Why wear sunscreen every single day? The short answer: because the sun is wreaking havoc on your skin and too much of it makes you look older than you are. I don’t know about you, but I’m not here for that.

The UV rays in sunlight interrupt the way the skin grows, repairs, and thus, appears. It destroys connective tissue, making your skin less elastic. This leads to sagging, lines and wrinkles. Sun damage causes hyperpigmentation, further contributing to a less-than-youthful visage. The scariest part: UV light infiltrates the skin at the cellular level and changes its DNA, which can cause skin cancer.

Protecting your skin from UVA/UVB rays is the best and easiest way to prevent sun damage. You need SPF on cloudy days, or even days when the most sun exposure you get is through the window of your car on the way to and from work. It all adds up.

I know the idea of slathering yourself head to toe in a thick layer of classic Coppertone isn’t appealing. So let me share the products I use to make my sun safety routine painless:

  • A primer and/or moisturizer with sunscreen. Not only does this piggyback onto an existing layer of my typical makeup routine, my skin gets the protection it needs. Lately I’ve been using a primer from Tizo that goes on super-smooth.
  • A powder sunscreen for touch-ups. This is truly a life-saver when it comes to reapplying. It goes on flawlessly and helps matte the skin (which is great for sweaty summer days) without mussing makeup. I also use this on my neck, chest, and backs of the hands when I need an SPF re-up. The powder sunscreen from Colorescience is lightweight with a big SPF punch.
  • A SPF that doesn’t smell like a SPF. While I love a good beach-ready fragrance, I don’t want to walk around smelling like sunscreen. I also want a formula that absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave my skin sticky or tacky. Coola Mineral Body Sunscreen is fragrance-free and absorbs quickly.
  • Don’t forget to protect that pout. A lip balm with a little SPF is a brilliant way to keep lips hydrated and protected from the sun. This Marc Jacobs balm has SPF 18 and goes on like butter.