A Twist On An Essential

August 31, 2020

swatches of Kari Gran Essential Tinted SPF

By Contributing Writer, Michael Monicatti

What’s the number one concern I’m met with when I speak to clients about their skin? Aging. And of course, it is. We’re all a little vain and we still care about how we show up in the world, even underneath our masks.  Although most of us, in time, learn to respect our fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots for the laughter, wisdom, and years that have created them, we still strive to delay those signs of aging as long as we possibly can.

Sourcing unheard-of, exotic ingredients and rattling off claims that seem too good to be true, many skincare brands continue to exploit our aims and anxieties about anti-aging with new launches and gimmicky marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to believe in a magical elixir that can turn back the clock. Who wouldn’t? But those things just don’t exist. Kari Gran Skin care takes issue with that way of doing business and does things a little differently. To quote their founder, “we under promise and overdeliver.”

Talk to any Dermatologist and you’ll discover the number one recommendation they make for delaying the signs of aging? Sunscreen. Electromagnetic radiation from the Sun in the form of ultraviolet (UV) waves triggers oxidative stress which prematurely ages our skin. Sunlight contains a variety of UV light waves and for our purposes, we’ll hone in on the two most-studied, and most-impactful ones: UVA, and UVB.

Today’s science lesson! Sunlight consists of about 95% UVA and 5% UVB. Remember UVA as UV-Aging! UVA goes deep and works the hardest and most discreetly, to age us. UVB can be recalled as UV-Burning, this wavelength affects our outermost skin cells and often results in a delayed reaction of burning. UVB is more often credited as the cause of different skin cancers. 

I know what you’re thinking. All this talk of radiation and skin cancer is not fun, sexy, or inspiring. But know this, Kari Gran Essential SPF is.

Oil lovers rejoice! Kari’s pioneering Essential SPF is back and better than ever with the addition of three new tints: light, medium, and dark. Kari launched the untinted, original formula years ago and it’s one of a kind. Utilizing FDA-approved Uncoated, Non-Nano, Zinc Oxide in a base of moisturizing, luxurious, antioxidant-rich oils of Red Raspberry Seed and French Plum, this advanced formula fortifies and shields the skin from the most damaging catalysts of aging. Originally Named Three-Sixty-Five, this SPF should be used every single day of the year. Why? Because even during unpredictable and overcast seasons, you are being exposed to scattered UV radiation. I’d wager a bet that the majority of the long-term damage done to the skin happens during those cooler, shadier months of the year when we aren’t being as thoughtful about our sun exposure. So lather up because regardless of the season or whether you’re indoors juggling work meetings and your kid’s zoom classes, you’re being exposed. I hate to break it to you but you know those windows, like the one in your kitchen and right by your workspace? They only filter out UVB, so without ever seeing tell-tale signs, you’re experiencing loads of UV radiation without even thinking about it.

One of the most important things about this SPF is that it uses the only safe and FDA-approved forms of broad-spectrum sunscreen, Zinc Oxide, which provides barrier technology to reflect and scatter away UV radiation from the environment. As a mainstay in topical salves and ointments, Zinc Oxide also benefits the skin by soothing inflammation and calming sensitivity. In 2020, if you’re still using a form of sunscreen that isn’t Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, I need you to do a double-take. A little 411: many states and locales rich with aquatic wildlife have taken to banning chemical sunscreens from being sold and distributed due to their devastating impact on the habitat. In addition to being safer for the environment, you don’t have to worry about the absorption of those same chemicals into your bloodstream. Peace of mind for the body and Mother Nature.

Science Lesson: have you ever sliced an apple for your family or made a big bowl of guacamole for taco night? Maybe you gobbled both down in their entirety while rewatching The Devil Wears Prada in pajamas on your couch. (No judgment!) Next time notice the turn in color, after a few minutes, hours, and days left on their own. Your apple slices and guacamole will brown and lose their vibrant color. This is a result of oxidative stress. The same thing happens to our skin when exposed to sunlight. 

Science Experiment: Next time you’re meal prepping, squeeze fresh lemon juice on those foods. Notice how they stay fresh for longer. That’s what happens when you safeguard your produce, or your skin, with key antioxidants. Lucky for us, Kari packs her Essential SPF with loads of them from the plant kingdom, some even being considered by scientists now for their individual, naturally occurring SPF potential. How cool is that? 

The untinted Essential SPF was a centerpiece in my skincare regimen, but I am beyond thrilled to incorporate a tinted mineral sunscreen into my daily ritual. Unlike a foundation, the Essential Tinted SPF offers only light coverage and won’t have thirty shades to be a perfect match for everyone out there. Instead, the tint simply helps to neutralize the white cast which you experience when you apply Zinc Oxide topically. Yes, this hero ingredient that supports our age-defying actions and keeps your bodies and Mother Earth safe and happy, is very white. Now, all skin tones and complexions can enjoy the modern, radically simple skincare benefits of this product without having to mix in mineral makeup or waiting for the formula to sink in and settle. 

My Italian olive skin tone loves shade Medium, it fades right into my skin and isn’t noticeable when I skip my neck. Untinted will remain great for those who love it and for those who don’t really tan much in the Summertime. Light will be perfect for those of us, fairer in complexion who do get a little warmth and rosy color during this time of the year but don’t get golden. For darker skin tones and for those of us who like to look like we just returned from that trip we had planned to Hawaii that got canceled, Dark will do the trick. It’s gorgeous, deep, and gives the most coverage of the three but is catered to someone with a darker complexion or sun-kissed, golden undertones. 

At $53, this water-free, (yeah I said it, check your ingredient labels for water) formula will quickly become a pillar in your regimen and a key component to fighting the often-invisible battle against skin’s worst enemy: UV radiation. The world is complicated enough as it is, it should be simple to take care of your skin. With the Kari Gran Essential SPF and system, you’ll be empowered to do just that. Now get outside, get moving, soak up the sun, and enjoy what’s left of this saving-grace Summer.



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