Friday, May 26, 2006

How I Aged 20 Years in One Day.

I know about sun damage and because of a horrible, fry-your-face//peel-you-back itchy sunburn, I now always use sunscreen.

Here's the scenario. I went to the St. Martin for my honeymoon (15 years ago). Weeks before my trip, I was constantly carded in New York City clubs and Atlantic City casinos. Everyone thought I was in my late teens. (I was much older)

But in the hot sub-tropical sun, I stubbornly refused to use sunscreen. I was having one of my macho moments and thought my skin was strong enough to take the punishment. UGH! I fried; I burned; I peeled. It was not the best day of my honeymoon.

And my poor face!!! I had deep, deep wrinkles in the inner and outer corners of my eyes. No one asked for my proof of age. People started calling me Ma'am and madame.

I aged decades in one afternoon of hot sun.

I reversed some of that damage with an expensive sunscreen, but my skin has never been the same and I've learned my lesson: USE SUNSCREEN.

Forget Botox, facelifts, collagen, acupuncture treatments and expensive skin creams!!!!

Millions of dollars are spent annually on cosmetic procedures and expensive anti-aging treatments.

But for far less money ($5 and under), we can buy cheap but effective preventive facial/skin care. THINK SUNSCREEN.

On a personal level, I know the power of sunscreen. For the last few weeks, I've been out of my favorite anti-aging skin creams. I use inexpensive; but effective drugstore potions. I've been too busy to clip coupons and pick up more. But I've slapped on some sunscreen --important in Miami--and my skin has been looking great. Less is more, especially if you remember the sunscreen.

The latest crop of women's magazines -- Real Simple, First, For Me -- have written some interesting pieces about the frugal and effective power of sunscreen. On the low end, decent coverage can cost $5 (or less). Here's one cheapie that's gotten rave reviews:

Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces & Tender Places SPF 50 $5 (rated best stick protection by Real Simple)

On the higher end: Lancome Soleil Ultra Expert Sun Care SPF 50 Sunscreen Face and Body Lotion $32.50....rated best cream by Real Simple.

Real Simple offers these sunscreen tips