Here Comes the Sun

By now, we all know that a “healthy” tan isn’t so healthy after all. Sun worshipping is out, but despite dermatologists’ best efforts, much of the population still doesn’t lather on sunscreen before heading to the beach or the golf course—or simply to the mailbox. Skin cancer remains the most common form of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. With more than one million cases diagnosed annually, skin cancer outnumbers the combined incidences of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer in the U.S. According to the National Cancer Institute, one million new cases of skin cancer in 2009 will result in about 1,000 deaths. Skin cancer is dangerous and deadly. It’s also highly preventable. With the sunny days of summer quickly approaching, it is a fitting time to take a look at new innovations in suncare and to help protect skin and repair sun damage. “Spas educate consumers on healthy skincare, and a major factor in that is sun protection,” says Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association (ISPA). “There are so many great choices at the spa to help prevent and restore skin from sun damage.” And unlike pasty, chalky sunscreens of the past, these products go on smoothly and feel silky on the skin. They absorb better and don’t leave a white residue behind. They’re also lightweight and breathable and can smell like jasmine and grapefruit. Some companies—like Wallaroo Hat Company—even combine sun protection and fashionable accessories. So, there’s no excuse for your clients to suffer from sunspots and wrinkles, let alone skin cancer. As summer rapidly approaches, sample new suncare products, learn about the technology behind them, and let the sun shine in—with proper protection, of course. 

The New Face of Sunscreen
“Dermalogica’s take on suncare led us not to call our line suncare anymore,” says Annet King, director of global education for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica. This is why Dermalogica’s Solar Defense became Daylight Defense. The line, including Solar Defense Booster SPF30, Solar Shield SPF15, Multi-Vitamin Body Block SPF20, and After Sun Repair, utilizes UV Smart Booster Technology, a microcapsule that bursts open upon contact with UV rays, releasing vitamins C and E for free-radical protection. “We are on a mission to get the user to understand that it’s not about just being in the sun; it’s about daylight protection during the hours that there is light. People think, ‘I don’t need to wear sunscreen in the winter or every day.’ But we know eighty percent of the aging we see on the skin is sun-related.”

Other skincare lines are also using new technology to boost sun protection—not to mention the look and feel of their sunscreens. Skindinavia recently launched a weightless spray moisturizer, Summer Moisturizer, an alternative to heavier creams. In addition to offering SPF8, it reduces shine and keeps makeup in place for 16-plus hours. Ilike Organic Skin Care’s Organic Tomato Suntan products use the antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, as well as titanium dioxide, which reflects the rays back from the skin’s surface and herbal ingredients to calm the skin. SkinCeuticals launched its Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF50 in April. “This sunscreen is truly groundbreaking,” says SkinCeuticals’s Raquel Klugman. “It is first to market with an ultra lightweight, mattifying fluid with a transparent finish, all-physical broad-spectrum sun filters, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, high SPF, high UVA protection, paraben-free formula. It is appropriate for all skin types as well, even very sensitive or post-procedure skin.”
For consumers who want suncare and makeup all in one, companies like Jane Iredale, Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics, and Éminence Organic Skin Care provide mineral makeup that promotes healthy skin and provides sun protection. Éminence SPF Sun Defense Minerals, for example, offers chemical-free, water-resistant, SPF30 sun protection while vitamins A, C, and E provide age-defying, healing nutrients. “It’s a quick one-step process to get you looking healthy and radiant while protecting your skin from dangerous UV rays,” says Éminence’s Meaghan Cochrane. “It also contains naturally healing and calming organic ingredients to promote soft, supple, revitalized, beach-ready skin.”

The Anti-Aging Benefits
While sun damage, or photo-damage, is a key factor in premature aging—simply wearing sunscreen will help protect against wrinkles and fine lines—many companies are combining SPF protection with anti-aging ingredients, such as green tea and other free-radical neutralizing ingredients. Dermalogica’s active vitamins fight free radicals, while Ilike uses lycopene and other antioxidants. Desert Essence Age Reversal Mineral Sunscreen protects skin again UVA/UVB exposure and has vitamin E, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and grapeseed extract, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent signs of aging. Correctionist Daily Light Moisturizer with SPF15 not only shields delicate skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays but also helps to protect the skin from future sun damage and premature aging with detoxyl (to repair skin damage) and matrixyl 3000 (to reverse deep wrinkles). Sanítas Solar Block guards against UVA (the aging ray), UVB (the burning ray) and UVC (the pure cancer-causing ray), and it’s also loaded with zinc oxide and antioxidant-rich anti-aging vitamins A, C, and E. “Vitamin A helps stabilize skin cells while soothing and protecting the skin,” says Lisa M. Crary, CEO and owner of Sanítas. “Vitamin C is very healing and encourages healthy collagen production, and vitamin E conditions the skin and offers biogenetic sun protection. The blend of these vitamins works synergistically to ward off free radical damage that can lead to early wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer.”

Darphin recently launched Vitalprotection SPF50, which features the antioxidant-rich edelweiss. According to Jaklin Idris, director of education for North America, it also provides full-spectrum protection against UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. Other companies expand anti-aging properties to include DNA protection. Decléor’s Aroma Sun Expert collection’s Egyptian jasmine and vanilla from Tahiti boost the skin’s defenses and guarantee the integrity of the cells’ DNA, while essential rose oil completes the anti-free-radical cocktail. Sothys’s Cellu-Guard complex and jasmine flavonols protect and preserve skin cells while boosting the skin’s anti-free-radical defense system. “Sothys Cellu-Guard Sun Care Line is a three-phase sun program,” says Caroline Rushworth, director of education. “It prepares the skin before sun exposure, protects the skin during sun exposure, and repairs the skin after sun exposure.”

Comprehensive Suncare
In fact, most companies offer before, during, and after sun products. Decléor’s Aromessence Solaire Tan Activator Serum helps to prepare the skin for the sun by boosting its natural defenses and can be followed by After Sun Soothing Cream (for the face) and After Sun Soothing Milk (for the body). If and when spa customers spend too much time in the great outdoors, Decléor’s High Repair After Sun Balm alleviates burning sensations, reduces redness, and prevents the appearance of aging. Similarly, Dermalogica’s After Sun Repair contains Japanese alder, which scavenges free radicals and accelerates repair of UV-induced DNA damage. Algae extracts, hyaluronic acid, and glycolipids restore skin’s lost moisture and a blend of herbs help reduce irritation, redness, and pain.

Marketing Tips
Still, it takes creative marketing to sell suncare in your spa. While spa products may feel more luxurious on the skin and smell more exotic than cheaper sunscreens, in today’s economic climate, it can be a tough sell to convince consumers to pay top dollar for what they perceive to be the same item they can purchase for less money at their local drugstore.

Selling suncare starts with education. Estheticians must educate consumers—about the difference between UVA and UVB radiation, avoiding the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., applying sunscreen 30 minutes before heading outside, and applying the proper amount of sunscreen to achieve protection (2 tsp. for the face, neck, and décolleté and an additional 2 tbsp. for the rest of the body). Estheticians can also recommend products according to customers’ skin and type of UV exposure while explaining that spa products typically have additional skin benefits—anti-aging, repairing, and soothing benefits—other than simply preventing sunburn. Spa products cost consumers’ more because they cost companies more to research and develop, says Darphin’s Idris. “The newest and most innovative technologies are expensive, and it’s a big investment for companies to buy these technologies and ingredients.”

She compares high-end spa suncare products to using the best fabric for clothing or the best ingredients in a meal. “They cost more,” she continues. “Take vitamin A, for example. Drugstores use a lower end version where as we and other companies use a higher end one, which is the first extraction of vitamin A. Drugstore products aren’t bad, but lower grade ingredients can be more irritating to the skin, especially for people with sensitive skin.” 

Education doesn’t have to be boring, say suncare experts. King suggests hosting suncare events, inviting spa clients and friends to learn the dos and don’ts of sunscreen, the latest statistics and research about skin cancer, and how to care for children during summer months. “The consumer wants to be educated,” she says. “They want to try before they buy. Events and sampling are really important, because people can try the products and feel the difference in the sophistication of the formula.”

Offer “sun treatments” to get clients ready for sun exposure, and include one or two take-home products for use at home after the treatments, says Decléor’s Cindy Willette. “Tie a sun treatment to a pedicure, because people always come in for a pedicure before they go on vacation or as soon as the weather turns warm. Use an SPF product in manicure and pedicure treatments and explain how important it is to use SPF on the hands and feet.”
Apply sunscreen after a facial or body treatment, and offer a gift card that gives 10 percent off the suncare products, suggests Ilike’s Szilvia Hickman. “The natural aromas and silky effect of the product will do the rest of the work for the spa professional.”

Made in the Shade
Sun protection isn’t just about applying sunscreen anymore. With companies like Athleta making everything from long-sleeve T-shirts to hoodies and jackets with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) 50+ ratings, it’s easier than ever to look good out in the sun while keeping the skin looking good after the sun. Take sun hats, for example. They shade delicate facial and scalp skin from the sun, but some innovative—and stylish—hats like the UPF 50+ hats sold by Wallaroo Hat Company, which are available in spas around the country, block out 97.5 percent of the sun’s UV rays using the highest level of sun protection available in clothing. “They prevent you from getting skin cancer or harming your skin, for that matter,” says Wallaroo cofounder Lenya Shore. “The hats block UV rays, not only protecting the face but also the scalp. Also, hair follicles won’t become fried from the sun soaking the moisture out of your hair. Besides looking fashionable for men, women, and kids, they come with sun-blocking benefits all year round.”


Suncare 101
Want to offer your clients the latest in spa suncare? Check out innovative sun solutions from the following companies.

(800) 644-4831

Botanical Science
(800) 668-7546

Correctionist from American International Industries
(800) 621-9585

(800) 540-4151

Decléor Paris
(888) 414-4471

(800) 611-SKIN

(800) 213-8100

Desert Essence

(800) 443-4890

Éminence Organic Skin Care
(888) 747-6342


Eva’s Esthetics
(800) 765-7597

GlyMed Plus
(800) 676-9667

(800) 932-9873

Ilike Organic Skin Care
(888) 290-6238

Image Skincare
(800) 796-7546

Jane Iredale
(800) 762-1132

(888) 686-8723

(877) 777-2305

Pevonia Botanica

(800) 248-7546

Rhonda Allison
(866) 313-7546

(888) 855-8425

Skin Authority
(866) 325-SKIN

(800) 771-9489

(877) 212-SKIN

Skin 2 Skin Care
(877) 754-6790

Sonya Dakar
(877) 72-SONYA

(800) 325-0503

Yon-Ka Paris
(800) 533-6276

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics
(800) 216-6133