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Summer Skin Survival Guide

6 products your skin can't live without -- plus, no more excuses about wearing sunscreen.

Why we skip sunscreen

We may joke about how tan man George Hamilton treats his skin, but only 30% of adults wear daily sun protection, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Why aren't 100% of us using it? Ah, let us count the ways -- that is, the excuses. We consulted leading dermatologists for the top excuses their patients give to justify avoiding sun protection --  and asked them to prescribe solutions, so their patients and you no longer have any reason to leave your skin exposed. 

1. "I forget."

Replace your face and body washes and body lotion with products containing SPF. Rub on Eucerin Everyday Protection SPF 15 body lotion ($9.25/13.5 oz) or Jason Fragrance Free Hand and Body Lotion SPF 15  ($7.99/8 oz) when you get out of the shower. And wash your face with St. Ives Elements Protective Cleanser ($7.99/4 oz) or Freeze 24-7 Ice Shield Facial Cleanser ($48/4.2 oz); both leave an imperceptible layer of SPF behind. You should still wear a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF of at least 30. 

2. "Sunscreen makes me break out."

First, seek out an oil-free or gel formula labeled noncomedogenic, meaning the ingredients will not clog pores. And look for options containing acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid. Neutrogena Visibly Even Moisturizer SPF 15 ($11.99/1.7 oz) contains breakout-fighting salicylic acid. The mineral particles in bareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen powder ($28/.14 oz) are less likely to seep into your pores, so the powder sits on top of the skin to deflect rays with a smaller risk of breakouts. 

3. "I look better tan."

Despite Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and other gorgeous women shunning the sun, the attraction to a golden glow hasn't shown signs of fading. This is one instance where it's OK to be fake. Try a self-tanning lotion that contains sun protection, such as L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion SPF 15 ($8.49/5 oz) or Palmer's Cocoa Butter Sunless Tanner and Instant Bronzer SPF 15 ($8.99/5.25 oz). 

4. "It feels greasy."

Fair enough. No one wants to feel like she's been dunked like a lobster in melted butter. Sunscreen makers realize this, too; that's why active formulas are usually designed to dry without an oily film. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 55 ($10.69/3 oz)  quickly absorbs and won't run once you start sweating. Also try Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 33 ($33/3.3 oz). The lightweight milky consistency feels much more comfortable than a heavy cream going on. 

5. "It takes too long."

An aerosol formula is ideal for those with a Twitter-length attention span. The mists go on in seconds, dry quickly, and don't require rubbing. Keep in mind: A mist offers spotty coverage unless you really lay it on thick -- think of coating a pan with cooking spray. One of the most appealing formulas is Coppertone Oil-Free Quick Cover Lotion Spray SPF 30 ($9.69/6 oz) because it's fragrance-free and waterproof as well. Or try Banana Boat UltraMist Continuous Spray Sunscreen Sport Performance SPF 50 ($9.49/6 oz) containing alcohol to speed drying time and panthenol for greaseless hydration. You shouldn't breathe in the spray, so for your face, mist your hands, then blot your skin.  

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