BEAUTY ADVENTURE Sun­screen goes high-tech.

The next-gen­er­a­tion sun­screen that’s mak­ing a splash.

Elle (Canada) - - News - BY VANESSA CRAFT

here’s how you’ll spot me on the Ba­hamian beach: Look for the woman un­der an over­sized sun um­brella who’s wear­ing a wide­brimmed opaque floppy hat and ap­ply­ing sun­screen ev­ery hour on the hour. As a beauty edi­tor who has spent years in­ter­view­ing der­ma­tol­o­gists and skin­care ex­perts, I know that the sun, much like a Real Housewives marathon, may ini­tially feel re­ally fun to be around but ul­ti­mately is so very bad for your health.

I’m in the Ba­hamas to road-test Shiseido’s new Wet­Force Ul­ti­mate Sun Pro­tec­tion Lo­tion, which takes sun­screen’s mor­tal enemies—wa­ter and sweat—and uses them to boost UV pro­tec­tion. While I watch a cute cou­ple laugh and splash around in the salty ocean waves, I con­sider the many con­ver­sa­tions I have had with der­ma­tol­o­gists about stay­ing safe in the sun. They of­ten use se­ri­ous-sound­ing terms like “ef­fi­cacy” (how well a prod­uct works) and “com­pli­ance” (is the con­sumer us­ing the prod­uct as di­rected? Is he or she ap­ply­ing it as fre­quently as rec­om­mended?) be­cause that’s the tricky thing: You can build the per­fect sun­screen, but if peo­ple don’t ap­ply the proper amount or reap­ply reg­u­larly and fre­quently (es­pe­cially af­ter swim­ming or a sweat-in­duc­ing ac­tiv­ity), the prod­uct won’t be as ef­fec­tive as when it was cre­ated in the lab.

This is why Shiseido, which claims that Wet­Force’s UV pro­tec­tion be­comes stronger the wet­ter it gets, might be a real game changer in the realm of sun pro­tec­tion. But how does it work? Sit­ting in the shade of my sun lounger, I shoot off an email to Satoshi Ya­maki, a re­search sci­en­tist at Shiseido, to find out. Ya­maki spear­headed the new tech­nol­ogy and ex­plains that, tra­di­tion­ally, sun­screens be­come less ef­fec­tive when wet be­cause of two mech­a­nisms. The most ob­vi­ous: Wa­ter sim­ply rinses away the protective “film” of sun­screen on the skin. But even if the film has a high enough re­pel­lency level to fight be­ing washed away, “it doesn’t have the abil­ity to keep its struc­ture, so the state of [the film] be­comes rough,” ex­plains Ya­maki. This re­duc­tion in uni­for­mity is what di­min­ishes UV pro­tec­tion—and it’s prob­a­bly why so many of the guys I see play­ing beach vol­ley­ball af­ter their af­ter­noon swim have red shoul­ders.

Ya­maki says that the idea for this next-gen­er­a­tion sun­screen came af­ter he delved into re­search that cen­tred around South Asia’s hot and hu­mid en­vi­ron­ment and— here’s a sur­prise—ionic hairstyling tech­nol­ogy. Hair-care com­pa­nies are cur­rently fix­ated on the way that pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ionic charges work to­gether to make hair look smoother.

Wet­Force uses what is called an “ionic min­eral sen­sor,” which forms a film with high wa­ter re­pel­lency by at­tract­ing min­er­als found in the wa­ter or sweat. “This re­sults in a sun­screen that is more uni­form and smoother later than when it is first ap­plied,” says Ya­maki. The more even the sur­face the bet­ter pro­tected the skin is.

Armed with this knowl­edge, I join the fes­tiv­i­ties and spend a very ac­tive last day in the Caribbean sun. I play a rig­or­ous game of ten­nis, go for a dip in the deep-turquoise sea and take sev­eral walks in the sun­shine back and forth to the bar. I’ve got my liq­uid courage. ■

I know that the sun, much like a Real Housewives marathon, may ini­tially feel re­ally fun to be around but ul­ti­mately is so very bad for your health.

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