Sunscreen is essential for protecting our skin while we’re down on earth, but when you’re thousands of miles closer to the sun in space, it’s even more of a must-have, and Astronaut Joan Higginbotham agrees.
According to a recent article from Glamour, the former NASA engineer—she currently works for an aerospace company in North Carolina that supplies equipment for the International Space Station—has recently teamed up with Tide to create a clean-laundry solution for astronauts, as water is a scarcity in orbit.
The 57-year-old works on sustainability in her day-to-day life, but she also incorporates that practice into her beauty routine. “I don’t use a lot of products, but what I do, I like a lot,” she tells Glamour.
While she had to narrow down her products in space—a cleanser, a moisturizer and some makeup made the cut—she uses a little bit more when on the ground. To cleanse, Higginbotham reaches for Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($15) and at night, she uses Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($5) to wash off the day. Before bed, she applies L’Oréal Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ($30). For her moisturizer, she reaches for Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream ($26), which she says keeps her skin hydrated without being super shiny. “I’m a drugstore girl! Why mess with what works?”
Next, the space expert talks sunscreen: “I use the Black Girl Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($16) because it doesn’t give you that white or grayish ghostly look,” she says. “Especially for my face. I should have used it more in space, because you see 16 sunrises every day. We travel at 17,500 mph, so that means we go around the world one time every 90 minutes, so that’s roughly 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets. And when the sun comes through the shuttle window, it is bright and beaming. The heat coming in was pretty serious.”
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