This face has spent A LOT of time in the elements! I mean, those miles laced up in my runnings shoes… cold, windy Minnesota winters rainy springs, humid summers, cool, refreshing falls. Barkley and I were outside running, no matter what.
And now, with the exception of San Diego’s May Gray and June Gloom, this face is taking even MORE of a beating with solid months of sunshine. (Not that I’m complaining, but I actually loved Minnesota seasons.)
I remember a visit to my doctor just before joining Beautycounter’s mission in August of 2016. I suggested I might look into a chemical peel for all the sun damage I had amassed on my cheeks and forehead. My wise doctor/friend who knew better (she was a Beautycounter consultant!) advised me against it, saying it would be an aggressive treatment for a condition that could be safely remedied.
Here’s What I Did Instead
I started to wear a hat or visor for every run to protect the top half of my face. As it turns out, hats and visors also reduce the need for sunglasses. Who knew? For the bottom half, I wore Beautycounter non-nano zinc sunscreen. It’s safe for our coral reefs as well as human health. Double win.
I began infusing my skin with clean products containing vitamin C. My regimen varied with the seasons (mostly Countermatch), but the cult-following Cleansing Balm from Beautycounter consistently made an appearance. Packed with vitamin C for brightening and raspberry and cranberry seed oils for hydration, this multi-tasker is a must for any lover of the outdoors.
Overnight Resurfacing Peel instantly became my BFF when it launched in 2018. I apply 2-3 nights per week after cleansing and head to bed to let its active ingredients do the dirty work of clearing away dead skin cells and brightening my complexion.
What Was that Reef-Safe Sunscreen?
Countersun Mineral Sunscreen that comes in several formats.
The kids’ and husband’s preference is the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist, which, because it’s bag-powered, not aerosol, does not pose the inhalation concern that many of us parents have for our littles and sprays.
My preference for larger areas is Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, also available in a travel size.
Vitamin C is your clean swap for hydroquinone, a known carcinogen found in lightening and brightening skin care products. They’re commonly found in product marketed to women of color. It’s a hard no from me.
Mineral sunscreens contain UVA and UVB blockers non-nano zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They form a physical barrier between the sun’s rays and our skin and are reef-safe. In other words, they do not bleach the coral reefs. Read more on this desecration of the reefs here.
Two common sunscreen ingredients have recently been banned from Hawaii and Florida beaches: Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. In addition to harming our reefs, they are also disrupting the hormonal health of those of us who use them. These are chemical sunscreens: They create a chemical reaction in our skin’s cells, absorbing the sun’s rays, to protect us from UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. Additionally, many of these sunscreens contain synthetic fragrance which further disrupts our endocrine system from its normal functioning.