For more than 30 years, Judith Koritsas has given her clients facials — as well as stern warnings to protect themselves from the sun. With her fair complexion and English upbringing, the owner of Celadon Spa in downtown D.C. understands the importance of shielding oneself from harmful rays.
But not everyone takes her advice. Including her husband.
“He never dreamed something could happen. But it can happen to anyone,” says Koritsas, whose husband assumed his Greek heritage gave him license to soak up the sun. He learned that wasn’t true when he visited a dermatologist to remove some skin tags five years ago. During the appointment, he was diagnosed with melanoma and had to undergo surgery immediately to remove lymph nodes under his arms.
Although he has since recovered — and now religiously visits a dermatologist twice a year — the incident rattled Koritsas.
So she’s been nagging her clients even more, particularly each May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Summer fun is on the horizon, which makes it an important time to consider sun protection. It’s especially crucial this year: “After such a long, dreary winter, of course you want to feel the sun on your face.”
Before you head outside for a jog or bike ride, Koritsas just wants to make sure you’re prepared with the right products. Here are her suggestions for what you should be putting on along with those shorts and tank tops.
Persuading her son to slather on sunscreen before running off to play soccer is usually a losing battle, so Koritsas is a fan of this clear, unscented spray from Coola ($32). “It’s so much easier to just spray kids,” she says. The formula is 70 percent organic, which Koritsas appreciates. Even better: It’s water- resistant for 80 minutes. She also recommends Coola’s Liplux SPF 30 ($12), which moisturizes and protects lips.
Anyone who’s had a brush with skin cancer is concerned about it, but typically, people are more worried about looking older, Koritsas says. So she steers them to this daily moisturizer ($65) from Dermalogica’s Age Smart line. It’s SPF 50, as is the brand’s new Protection 50 Sport ($32), a lightweight and water-resistant sunscreen. Don’t wear either? You might need After Sun Repair ($32).
The reason kiddie tear-free sunscreen won’t make you cry is that it’s made with zinc oxide — aka that really white stuff lifeguards smear on their noses. This eye cream ($30) was engineered to turn that same ingredient into an attractive tint that actually evens out skin tone, so it doubles as a concealer, Koritsas says. The brand also makes Sport UV Defense SPF 50 ($40), which will keep the rest of you covered.
Even male customers dig these powders ($58) that provide SPF 30 protection, Koritsas says. “A lot of men don’t have hair up there,” she says, pointing to her head. They can just click the end of this wand and quickly brush powder all over their pate. “And it dries sweat, so it’s practical,” she adds. Other brands produce mineral powder sunscreen, she notes, but they package it in a small pot that can open and create a mess.
Fitness Protection Program
Secret service agents have been doing at least one thing right: wearing sunglasses. A new report from The Vision Council found that only 16 percent of D.C. residents wear sunglasses every time they step outside. That’s well below the national average of 27 percent — and not smart, given that the District ranked 32nd last year among U.S. cities with the highest UV index. By reading this, you can fix another problem: More than half of adults (51 percent) don’t know if their shades protect against UV radiation.