It’s summer and I like to be outside. Hey, I spend enough time inside during the year that you are going to have to try very, very hard to get me inside! The sun is out and so am I! Well, as lovely as the dear sun is (bring it on Vit D!), our friend high up in the sky might just be a wolf in sheeps clothing.
Most stories have a back-story, and this one certainly does too. You see, one day, about 10 years ago, I went to the beach with my friend. She is Egyptian and darker than me. Silly me thought that I could match her colour if I just stayed in the sun long enough. And guys… I got burned… really, really bad. So bad in fact that I still have marks on my chest from the sun damage that day. Not cool. Lesson learned – I am now a self-proclaimed sunscreen queen.
Since I am sure many of you will be enjoying the outdoors this summer I want to pass along some of my favourite sun protection tips.
Get out there, enjoy the summer… but be smart about it! Take good care of yourself.
Your face and chest are the most fragile parts of our skin. My daily facial moisturizer has SPF 15 and, as the name indicates, I wear this every single day. Even in the winter. Even on days that I don’t plan on leaving the house. When I know I am heading out and will be in the sun, I put on a higher SPF (like 45 or even 60). At the drugstore the other day the sunscreen was on sale and I picked up an SPF 70. Not sure if this is any better than 45, but I like to be safe! And it was on sale. (SPF 15 blocks 93% of the sun’s incoming UVB rays). I always buy the “Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen” because it is not shiny and greasy like some other kinds tend to be.
- Remember to put sunscreen on your neck and chest too. These parts are very sensitive and often exposed. Since the sun ages you, I want to take good care of my neck and chest too.
- Remember to apply the sunscreen on all the way up to your hairline. I noticed a while back that I would do a very thorough job of covering my face, but neglecting my hairline. Cover it all
- Not only will your lips get dry or chapped from sun exposure, you can get skin cancer on your lips too. There are many amazing lip balms on the market with SPF protection. Pick up a couple and have one ready in your car and each of your purses. Your puckers will thank you!
Another part of your body that often gets forgotten. Judging from the females in my family, sunspots on my hands await me in the future so I take extra care. Too bad sunscreen tends to be sticky, especially on the beach when sand sticks to it – yuck!
If you have ever had sunburn on your feet you will never forget to lather them up with sunscreen too. I have a very funny story about sunburned feet. Let’s just say “someone” got very badly sunburned feet and we were part of a resort’s photo shoot in the Dominican Republic. The whole crew had to wait because the hot tub was too hot to get into with burned feet. And then when we finally got in, the wind started blowing the foam everywhere and the shoot had to be moved indoors. Haha!
Since the day I proclaimed myself the sunscreen queen, hats have become the crown on my head. Baseball caps when I am out running, or big floppy hats when I chill out on the beach.
Cover up! I am still on the hunt for a light, breezy blouse. I’m thinking a chic white one or a blouse with a feminine flowery pattern. I could wear it with my favourite shorts when I walk to get ice cream, or throw it over my bathing suit at the beach. Covering up doesn’t mean you have to be hot – a nice breezy cotton will offer sun protection and keep you cool.
If you are out all day – keep a lookout for shady spots. Derek and I went to the beach last weekend and I ran to the store to buy a cheap0 $12 beach umbrella before we left. It was awesome to get a few shady breaks and it made the whole experience more bearable. As I was laying under the umbrella I was watching a group of young girls in front of us lather themselves up with bottles of baby oil (to help them tan, I suppose). I was mortified and almost wanted to pull a mom on them and go over there with a wagging finger telling them about the dangers of suntanning. But I didn’t. Any chance they will read this and learn?
We all know this one, but it is worth repeating. Plan your day so that you are not in the sun during the hottest time of day (generally between 10 am and 2 pm). If you are heading out for a hike, go early in the day when it is still fresh out, and then come back for a nice big breakfast when the sun is fierce. Or arrange for your volleyball gang to get together at 4 pm instead of noon.
If you are out in the sun, you will get dehydrated very fast (especially if you have a few beers). Make your water bottle your best buddy and drink water throughout the day. Rehydrate with nutritious smoothies or juices and you will find that the sun and outdoors don’t sap your energy.
Get out there, enjoy the fresh air and a bit of sunshine, but remember to take good care of yourself! What are some of your favourite summer sun survival tips?