Whether it’s summer or winter, sunny or cloudy, our skin always needs protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. That’s why MDSolarSciences, founded by noted dermatologist Dr. Robert J. Friedman (also a clinical professor at NYU School of Medicine), has developed this line of highly effective skin care solutions that can be used year round to prevent sunburns, skin aging and skin cancers. Here’s more about how and why to protect your skin.
Know your rays: UVA and UVB
Ultraviolet light rays that travel from the sun can be classified by their length; the long-wave rays are UVA and the short rays are UVB. Together they make up the spectrum, but individually each damage our skin in different ways, the experts at MDSolarSciences tell us.
UVB: Causes burning
These short, intense rays cause painful sunburns on the top layer of skin. In the summer these rays are stronger—and they’re also stronger at higher altitudes (which is why you can get a sunburn while skiing!).
UVA: Causes aging
These rays feel less intense than the UVB rays that cause sunburns, but they make up 95 percent of the radiation that reaches the earth. Since UVA rays are longer, they penetrate the skin more deeply, which leads to noticeable signs of aging like brown spots and wrinkles. While you might not feel these rays burning your skin, UVA rays are consistent throughout the year and can pass through clouds and glass.
Since we need protection from both types of rays, it’s important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. “If it doesn’t say broad-spectrum on the label, you’re basically wasting your time,” Dr. Friedman says. Don’t rely only on high SPF numbers, either—SPF tells us how long you’ll be protected from burning from UVB rays, but it doesn’t measure UVA protection. Only a broad-spectrum product keeps you safe from both types of rays.
MDSolarSciences: Broad-spectrum, reef-safe and feels good
When MDSolarSciences began formulating their products, they considered common reasons people don’t wear sunscreen, and ultimately developed high-quality products that can easily be integrated into your skin care and beauty routine year round.
To that end, they chose ECOCERT certified .17 percent zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which earn a top safety rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and provide the highest level of broad-spectrum sun protection. MDSolarSciences products never use oxybenzone or octinoxate, two chemicals commonly found in sunscreens that can irritate skin and have been proven harmful to coral reefs. MDSolarSciences’ proprietary formulations are oil- and fragrance-free, silky-smooth, water-resistant and lightweight, and won’t leave a white, chalky film like many mineral-based sunscreens.
Popular products to try
Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 or Mineral Creme SPF 50 (non-tinted)
A natural hint of color or a primer under foundation
These lightweight, silky creams come in lightly tinted or non-tinted formulations. A matte finish makes these perfect primers to use before foundation, and they’re non-irritating even for the most sensitive skin types. Added antioxidants, including vitamin C, green tea, cranberry fruit and pomegranate extracts, help repair sun damage by fighting the free radicals that can speed up skin aging.
MD Crème Mineral Beauty Balm SPF 50
Protect and perfect
This multi-tasking mineral BB cream helps even skin tone and reduce discolorations while providing broad-spectrum protection and sheer coverage in two shades that work on all skin tones. It’s packed with anti-aging ingredients, including caffeine and niacinamide, that firm and brighten skin while diminishing brown spots. Antioxidant vitamins C and E, CoQ10, green tea, cranberry fruit and pomegranate extracts also help repair sun damage.
Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30
Broad-spectrum mineral alternative favored by men and women
For those looking for an alternative to mineral sunscreens, this lightweight moisturizing lotion offers broad-spectrum protection. It provides continuous time-released hydration with natural humectants and moisturizers that draw water in and plump up fine lines and wrinkles. Ceramides, humectants, chamomile, seaweed extract, niacinamide and caffeine help calm, brighten and repair skin for a more even-toned look.
Evening Facial Repair Serum
Powerful treatment that repairs UV sun damage
As diligent as you are with sunscreens now, the effects of prior years’ exposure can still show up on your skin. This .75 percent retinol (near-prescription strength!) lightweight moisturizing serum reduces wrinkles, fine lines, pore size and redness while you sleep. It’s infused with a host of antioxidants like vitamin C, rosehips and green tea extract, while calming chamomile and seaweed extracts repair skin and leave it radiant and glowing.