This weekend we are starting our road trip/move from Colorado to California (where I'm from). I knew we would be driving west all day directly into the sunset for hours and the sun would super direct. I planned ahead with a few key items — enter SPF and UPF!
Sun protection is serious business around here. I find myself turning more and more into my mother + a Korean 아줌마 (ajumma, or middle aged woman 🙃) and I’m really okay with it.
Nivea Water Sun Gel - One of the best body SPFs out there. A Japanese chemical SPF that is a gel consistency with a super quick dry down, SPF 50 PA ++++, and a pump! It does contain alcohol, which helps with the dry down. This isn't an SPF that will moisturize or hydrate, but it will allow you to reapply every few hours with no tackiness or texture buildup. Another SPF that proves that non-American SPFs stay superior. go through these often. I get mine on am*zon because it’s not always accessible through other retailers. ~$13-15
Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF - On the topic of Asian SPFs, here’s my favorite k beauty one (on the left). I talk about it all the time because it’s just that good. Also SPF 50 PA++++ with a fantastic hydrating gel texture. This doesn’t have the dry down feeling of the Nivea, but it absorbs nicely and hydrates the skin. Suitable for dry to oily skins IMO, and layers on top of other skincare very well. I layered this on every 2 hours yesterday with no pilling or gross feeling. Just hydrating goodness. $21 on YesStyle but often goes on sale!
Wallaroo Montecito hat in Camel - I’ve been getting more serious about investing in UPF (sun protective) clothing and wardrobe items. Lab Muffin Beauty Science (@labmuffinbeautyscience) has a fantastic YouTube video on the science of UPF as well as product recommendations.
The one qualification I would make to the brand’s description is that the hat is not as packable as they claim. When I received it in the package, it was rolled up like a taco almost. I only got some of the wrinkles out by steaming and now it’s in perfect shape. I would throw it in a bag only by packing soft clothes around it, but I personally wouldn’t fold it up again (even if I’m sure I could steam out the wrinkles again).
Coolibar Ouray UPF 50+ Gloves — Okay, this is where I turn into a Korean ajumma. Hear me out. I wear UPF protective gloves for 2 occasions: gel nail polishes (under the UV light) and on road trips. It’s true that hands show age quickly! We often forget to apply SPF fully to our hands, and we also wash our hands so often that SPF doesn’t always stick around. For driving especially, I don’t want to get sunscreen all over my steering wheel.
Coolibar makes both full gloves and fingerless UPF 50+ gloves. I have the fingerless ones For breathability, but in winter I’d invest in full gloves. I don’t always wear these for shorter drives, but they’re great for road trips when you know you’ll be getting a lot of sun exposure while your hands are on the wheel. They also have some grip which feels nice for long hours of driving.
I got these in XS because I legit have child size hands and they fit perfectly. Comes in lots of colors! $26.
Coolibar Sanibel Everyday Beach Shawl UPF 50+ — Coolibar also makes a UPF 50+ scarf in multiple colors. I got the white to help deflect some heat in the summer. It’s a super soft jersey knit scarf. I don’t have any UPF clothing but I wanted something versatile I could throw across my shoulders, arms, neck, or even around my head or face. Would also totally get this in black. $34.
Anycosy UPF 50+ Bucket Hat in Black - I wanted a UPF hat option I could wear while I was driving, so I picked up this super cute UPF 50+ black bucket hat. It gives me just enough shade to make me feel good while still allowing me to see the road. It also has an internal drawstring and is made of breathable flax cotton. This one is packable. It does wrinkle in packing but steaming takes care of the wrinkles, and I don't mind doing that because it's cotton. It’s $15 and comes in lots of colors! The brand is called Anycosy on am*zon.
One extra — How many times have you sunburned your lips because you forget that lips burn too? The Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30 saved my lips yesterday! I have the shade Petal Pink which does give my lips a fresh pink tint. This was gifted to me y the brand — if I were to repurchase (which I will) I think I’d prefer the Untinted or Naturally Nude. It does migrate a bit outside of my lip lines when I reapply several times so something closer to my natural lip color would make more sense.
I haaate tasting SPF in sun protective lip products. This has none of that taste and it’s also super hydrating. I’ve been on the hunt for high SPF lip products and I’m eyeing the Colorescience Lip Shine or their Lip and Cheek Balms, as well as the Brush on Block Lip Oils that Dev of @devsday shared recently!