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For When I Need A SPF Higher Than 30

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There is not a day that goes by when I am not wearing SPF. Yes even in the winter, even when it’s cloudy and even when I am in the car. Since I am so fair, it’s a necessity, but when I began blogging and learning about the damage that the sun can cause I increased my use from once in a while to daily. I know the skin still needs its Vitamin D so if I am going out in the sun for 10-15 minutes only or for a nice walk around the block then I probably won’t put it on. But most of the time I am out all day long so it’s necessary to protect my skin.
I usually go for an SPF of 30 but increase it to 50 or even 60 when at the beach. The reason I never used to use a higher SPF during the day under my makeup was that most of the formulas years ago were so uncomfortable and greasy on the skin. I could tolerate it at the beach or pool, but on a daily basis – no way. Thankfully that is not the case anymore as brands have really stepped up their game when it comes to SPF formulations and now they feel more like moisturizers and less like an old school sunscreen. Typically I wear an SPF 30 during the winter months, but when the spring and summer come I like to step it up since I will be spending more time outside. And especially for a trip like we are currently on where we spend the majority of the day sightseeing, I reach for an SPF 50 or higher that I can wear under my makeup. I have recently come across three new formulas that were welcome additions to my routine.
1. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ – I am already a huge fan of this sunscreen from Shiseido and use it as a makeup primer because of its incredible mattifying properties. I will admit when I first felt this new one from Shiseido, my mind immediately went back to images of those old school runny, greasy sunscreens that I couldn’t stand. And I actually put off trying this one until I had tested the other two. But knowing how well this one wore on my skin, I knew I should give it a shot. Thank goodness I did because it is gorgeous! It does have a more matte finish so I have been loving it under makeup, but it can have a slight whitish cast when first applied, though it disappears quickly once the product absorbs into the skin. What I love about this one is I can wear it for daily errands under makeup, but because of it’s waterproof properties I can also bring it to the beach with me! The perfect versatile sunscreen.
2. Revive Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen – Immediately after swatching this on the back of my hand I knew I would love wearing this sunscreen. It has a creamy moisturizing feel to it that doesn’t leave the skin feeling tacky. In fact, I wouldn’t even know this was an SPF unless I saw the bottle – that is how wonderful the texture is on the skin. This gives a natural finish to the skin, though not as matte as the Shiseido. I don’t find that it makes me shiny throughout the day so I enjoy wearing this in the warm weather, and will probably use it in the fall and winter as well because of its hydrating properties. In addition to the sun protection provided, it is formulated to help improve skin firmness and elasticity while still leaving the skin feeling well hydrated.
3. La Prairie Cellular Swiss UV Protection Veil Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – As with the Revive SPF, this one from La Prairie blends both anti-aging properties with traditional sun protection. There is a slight tint to this one that doesn’t provide any coverage on my skin, but I find that it helps to even out any areas of redness on my face. In fact, I have been using this sunscreen alone on the weekends when I want to run a quick errand because it gives me the SPF I need while helping to slightly even out my skin tone. It leaves my skin with a natural matte finish and wears beautifully under makeup.
*pr samples included
Shop more of my sunscreen recommendations:

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My Favorite Facial Peels

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There is little I love more in life than a good facial peel. A little tingling, sometimes a bit of stinging but the result is always the same – glowing, fresh, radiant skin. Peels can help to break up hyper-pigmentation, exfoliate at a deeper level than granular scrubs, reduce the appearance of fine lines and give clearer/brighter skin. Though I can never resist trying a new peel, I do have my all time favorite peels that have made the biggest impression on me. Here are my five favorite facial peels:
1. Revive Glycolic Renewal Peel – This is definitely the strongest peel that I have and is saved for when I want to really bring out the big guns. Serious hyper pigmentation, rough skin texture, remnants from a bad breakout, dull lackluster skin – any of these (or all of them – ugh) make me reach for this peel. Because it combines both peel pads and an exfoliating gel afterwards, the two step system is what really makes the difference for my skin. The gel does tingle so make sure you test it first to make sure your skin can handle it, but if you can your skin is in for a treat. This gives me near perfect skin afterwards – pore appearance is minimized, skin is smoother, and fine lines are almost non-existent. *round of applause* Because my skin can be a bit red after, I do not use this on a night I am going out but rather save it for the evening before. Even using it a full 24 hours before a big event, I still have stellar results. This peel is by far the closest thing I have to an at-home spa treatment. Robe and cucumber water not included. 
2. Perricone MD Blue Plasma – I’ve been singing this product’s praises for years now. Not only can it be used daily both morning and night, but it gives the most gentle exfoliation without any of the side effects that come with peels. I had no redness, no irritation, no tingling and no stinging and my skin always looks better when I use this regularly in my routine. It’s easy to add into any regimen and works with almost any product mix I am using at the time. It has now secured a place in ‘Maree’s Skincare Hall of Fame’ (if there was such a thing). 
3. Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel – The first time I used this peel, I did not know what to expect. And then after about 10 minutes, I removed the gel from my face and stared at my skin for what seemed like forever. It was absolutely glowing, and so hydrated which is rare for a peel! In the list of peels that I mention in this post, it is probably my second strongest one so I only use it once or twice a month. But when I do, I am guaranteed gorgeous glowing skin for the next week or two. I rarely get ready for a big night out or special event without doing this mask the same night – because my skin never fails to look its best after. There is a bit of tingling and stinging with this one so be prepared, but for me, I don’t mind it. Because the results are soooo worth it. Bring on the sting!
4. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads – As I have said over and over again, there is not one product from the First Aid Beauty range that I don’t absolutely love. And these pads are no exception – in fact they were the first product I ever tried from the range that got me hooked. I love them because they are incredibly gentle and suitable for every day use. Using them at the toning step of my routine is how I found them to be most effective since they give a light exfoliation right after cleansing. I then follow up with a hydrating mist, toner or essence, to help replenish the moisture in my skin and keep it balanced. And since these pads are so gentle, I find that they can work for almost any skin type, even sensitive (though you should always test things first to be sure). My skin regularly looks brighter and more even-toned when using these pads. And I have noticed a distinct difference in how my foundation wears on my face when using these pads – it seems to almost glide on with little to no pulling on dry patches, caking up or looking too heavy. It’s almost as if these pads were made for gals who love a full face. 
5. m-61 Power Glow Peel – When I feel I want to amp up the results from my First Aid Beauty pads, I switch to these from m-61. They are a bit stronger and I typically use them every other day so as not to irritate my skin. I find that these help me prevent stubborn breakouts, and have had a significant impact on any hyper pigmentation that I may be suffering from at any given moment. These were all I used after the summer was over to help erase any lingering sun damage that managed to get through my SPF. Rude. But regardless of the sun’s ruthless ways, these pads worked to help fade the dark spots and make my skin return to it’s non-patchy appearance.

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