Welcome to sunblock season

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month-is your skin getting all the protection it needs? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, non-melanoma cases of skin cancer have increased more than 350 percent in the last 15 years. To explore how to help prevent sun damage and look great, we spoke with Frances DeNike, health and beauty specialist in our Santa Fe store.

"The sun introduces free radicals into the body through the skin," says Frances. To prevent free radicals from causing damage, she recommends mineral sunblocks that provide a physical barrier between you and the UVA rays that break down your skin's elastin and collagen. "Collagen is like a brick wall, and the elastin is like the mortar, but they both break down as we age," she says

Where chemical sunscreens absorb the sun's rays before they can cause damage, "physical" sunblocks actually block and deflect rays. And since they sit on top of the surface of the skin, they're also much less likely to irritate sensitive skin or cause allergic reactions. Look for one with a good zinc content, which can help heal the skin while it protects.

For long days in the sun, slather on sunblock lotion and continue to reapply after swimming or sweating. (And while you're limiting your exposure, make sure you're getting adequate Vitamin D through supplementation.) For quick trips to and from work, consider combining your sunscreen with a moisturizer or foundation that you'd wear anyway. It makes for a simple way to ensure you're getting consistent coverage.

"jane iredale mineral foundations are a really nice way to protect the skin," says Frances. iredale's SPF foundations combine a dry sunscreen with good coverage, hiding age-revealing evidence like uneven skin tone, age spots or redness. Infused with titanium dioxide and zinc, they can help heal while giving you a great glow, unlike many powders that are talc-based and thus absorb light. Plus, they're among the Environmental Working Group's top-rated makeup-sunscreen combinations, and are even recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Frances says iredale's products are perfect for women near in Santa Fe who don't want to feel like they're wearing much makeup but do want to protect against aging. "It's like a two-in-one-makeup that's good for your skin," she says.

Stop by an upcoming Spa Day at a location near you to learn more about iredale mineral makeup and to get professional color-matching services from one of Pharmaca's licensed estheticians.

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