A Silver Medal and Sunscreen

Yesterday I achieved one of my New Year’s goals by completing four laps in the Crystal City Crystal Ride, and getting a silver medal. I wasn’t really feeling it the night before or that morning, but I was pleased with my performance (well, ours, since I dragged The Mechanic, of course). Last year, after only having my first bike a month and it being a heavy comfort bike, I entered and completed a respectable 3 laps, which awarded me the bronze.

Newbie at the 2011 Crystal Ride – yes, even with the basket!

This year though, on a proper road bike, in proper bike shorts and in a proper jersey, I felt like I belonged. The route was longer, 15km, so our four laps were just under 38 miles. With two brief stops, the entire thing took us 2 hours 40 minutes. Unlike other rides in the area which will remain nameless, this one was great – nice course, not too many cyclists, and perfect weather. We were both really pleased with the entire event.

2012 Silver!

There is one thing I also got from the event that leads into another topic I wanted to mention – I got a sunburn!

Eek a sunburn! (I don’t know why my camera always makes my skin so red, but I swear that’s a sunburn!)

This isn’t a big deal to most people, but I am a long-time sunscreen connoisseur, so for me it IS a big deal. I revel in my porcelain-whiteness, and can spout off lists of sunscreen brands the way other people do football scores. I bought myself a sunscreen sampler set from Sephora (which sells out surprisingly fast) for my birthday – it has samples of several high-end sunscreens, ones I normally couldn’t afford, plus some other related products like lip balm and mineral face powder. All of the proceeds from the Sun Safety Kit benefit the Skin Cancer Foundation. 

In addition to these lovely samples, I have several other options, mostly for my face. My favorite is CellCeuticals PhotoDefense SPF 55.  I love the regular one – smooth coverage, not sticky, not powdery dry, very light… If I could afford to, I would use it for my daily body sunscreen too, but it’s definitely out of my price range, so I hoard what I have for my hands. The tinted one, the Color Radiance, is my daily work sunscreen/foundation. I don’t use foundation anymore – no need with this stuff! Same silky feel, but with a tint. It’s surprisingly not too dark for my fair skin, and has enough coverage to not miss foundation. J’adore!

Can you tell how well loved they are?!

Naturally, I test different things, and here are my other two favorites:

Neutrogena and Garnier faves

I am a Neutrogena loyalist, and this Healthy Defense moisturizer is great because it is very moisturizing, has an SPF30, and the color sinks right into my skin. If I don’t use the CellCeuticals Color Radiance, this is what I use.

Considering the amount of attention BB Creams have gotten in the last year or so, naturally I had to try them. However, most of them are again, out of my price range, so I tried the Garnier Skin Renew SPF 15 in Light/Medium. I definitely like this, but it’s only an SPF 15, so I only wear it on days when I know I won’t be outside very long. It’s too bad it’s not a higher SPF, like the Dr. Jart + Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++, which I got as a sample in my Sephora Sun Care Kit, woo hoo! I won’t go into technical details, but the mineral sunscreens are often considered better because they provide a physical block, rather than a chemical block.

Speaking of physical blocks, I’ve been using a zinc oxide sunscreen on my face when I know I’m going to be on my bike for several hours.

My sporty sunscreens

This Coppertone Sensitive Skin Faces sunscreen seems to work great, although I have to really work to blend it, because yes, it is very white and I look dead if I don’t. But I’ve been putting it on the tops of my thighs before a long bike ride, and although I’m sadly still gaining a bit of color, I didn’t have the same sunburn issue on my legs yesterday that I had on my shoulders! I guess I need to replace my Banana Boat with a good zinc oxide sunscreen. And yes, I do try to reapply, and yes, I usually wear a jersey with short sleeves, then add my sun sleeves in addition, but I did neither during the Crystal Ride, and now I know I need to do both. Bummer.

So despite my coveted silver medal, I learned a lesson about sun protection – I have to be hyper-vigilant when I’m going to be out for more than an hour or so. Skin cancer is a preventable cancer, so I want to do all I can to protect myself. And frankly, part of the reason why no one can believe how old I truly am is because I’ve been religious about sun protection since I was a teenager.

And no, I’m not going to tell you how old I really am.

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