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beauty (125 posts)
In a world where you have opportunities to check yourself out at every turn—in a store window, a rearview mirror or a particularly shiny piece of cutlery—it's hard to imagine not seeing your reflection for a day, let alone a month. But that's exactly what Marianne Power did—she describes her experiment in the Daily Mail as "mirror detox."
[Read more about why it's worth it to take a vacation from your face]
If having the wind in your hair and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" cranked up on the radio is more appealing than baggage fees and stripping down to your socks for airport security, then an all-American road trip might be your best bet this summer.
But before you take off, you might want to know that hitting the highway might put at least half of you at risk—researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle, discovered that 52 percent of melanoma cases and 53 percent of Merkel cell carcinoma cases occurred on the left side of the body, or your driving side (as reported by Time.com).
Rolling the windows up doesn't necessarily keep you protected, says Heidi A. Waldorf, MD, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "UVB rays are blocked by the glass, but UVA rays still get through unless your windows have a special UVA coating." Bottom line: Even if you're not a truck driver on the road 365 days a year, before you buckle up, slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 during the spring and summer months (SPF 15 is adequate for the rest of the year), says Waldorf. Look for UVA protective ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone or mexoryl.
[Next, how choices you make can affect the acne you get]
The old rule: Sunscreens are stamped with an SPF value (anywhere from 4 to, in recent years, 100+). This number tells you only how effectively a sunscreen can protect you from UVB rays (the ones that turn your skin red and cause skin cancer). Many sunscreens are also labeled "broad spectrum"—meaning they protect against UVA rays (the ones that age the skin and cause cancer) as well. Manufacturers don't have to prove this claim, though, so the protection may not be adequate.
The new rule: Only sunscreens that pass a new test of UVA protection can be labeled "broad spectrum," a claim that will indicate that the product protects equally against UVB and UVA rays. Sunscreens with an SPF over 15 that earn the "broad spectrum" designation will be allowed to claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and slow down the skin aging process when used properly (applied 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours). Sunscreens with an SPF under 15, or that do not give equal UVB and UVA protection, will have to carry a warning that they haven't been shown to slow skin aging or help prevent skin cancer.
Next: Will "sweatproof" SPF disappear?
More than half (56 percent) of women who use anti-aging facial skincare say they're not sure these products work, but they use them anyhow, reports the marketing research company NPD Group. This is a sad state of affairs, don't you think? Here's one way to be sure to get what you pay for.
If you find at-home haircolor intimidating, you're in for a neat surprise. With the new foam formulas, the process is quick and simple. Follow the instructions to mix the dye; squirt the mousse into the palm of your hand and apply it just as you would shampoo. Because of its unique, frothy texture, the foam evenly coats hair; dripping is minimal. In 20 to 30 minutes, you'll have vibrant new color—and no cleanup! Try L'Oréal Paris Sublime Mousse by Healthy Look ($10; drugstores), John Frieda Precision Foam Colour ($13; drugstores) or Clairol Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam ($10; drugstores).