Let’s Talk About Sunscreen

Sunburn is no fun and can spoil your vacation in a hurry. It also increases the risk of skin cancers and melanoma.  Research shows that 5 or more blistering sunburns throughout your life more than doubles your risk of melanoma. It is of the utmost importance that you protect your skin from sun exposure.

FDA Sunscreen Protection Guide

Sunscreen can be one of the most importan items you pack for summer travel.  I keep a basket  at home of various types of sunscreens and after sun products.  When I know that I will be in the sun, I choose a product based on what I think my needs will be.

  • If I am going to be out for a long amount of time, I make sure to bring sunscreen with me so that I can reapply it every few hours.
  • For longer or more intense exposure, I choose a higher SPF product.
  • If I am going to be swimming, I use a waterproof sunscreen that doesn’t wash off as quickly.  You still need to reapply every few hours.
  • I even use foundation makeup that has a low level of sunscreen for just normal day to day sun protection.
  • Even though you use sunscreen, it’s a good idea to pack some after sun products for your day trip to the beach or your vacation.  Just in case.  Sometimes we get involved and forget to reapply or the sun is more potent than the SPF we have selected.

When applying sunscreen, make sure to apply to ears and feet while avoiding contact with the eyes.  Use at least an ounce of product and cover evenly to avoid sunburn blotches in missed areas.  Some people like to use color changing sunscreen so that they can easily see any areas that have been missed.

TIP: Hats, umbrellas or small shelters are also great during peak sun time to provide additional protection.  Sunscreen can only do so much.

My Summer Sun Go Baggie

These trial sized items fit nicely in a snack sized zipper bag that I can drop into any bag for easy access.  Sometimes you don’t realize you are going to be out in the sun and it’s helpful having these items ready to go.

  1. Spray Sunscreen – If I am not wearing my trademark bucket hat, I spray my head because my hair is sort of thin and my part might get sunburned.
  2. Hair Elastic – If I start to get overheated, I can quickly put my hair into a pony tail or bun.
  3. Lip Balm – Your lips can get sunburned just like the rest of you.  Sometimes too much sun on unprotected lips can lead to fever blisters.  Those sure aren’t fun so I always use sunscreen lip balm when out in the sun for any length of time.
  4. I usually use a higher level of sunscreen like this Beach Defense 70 SPF to prevent sunburn on my face.

 

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Reef Safe Sunscreen

A whole new concept for me is Reef Safe Sunscreen.  Living in Michigan, we don’t get a lot of opportunity to visit the ocean.  Hawaii is the first state in the US to ban the sale of sunscreen containing the coral-harming chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.  Since we are going to Hawaii in October, I have been researching which brands have products that meet the guidelines.

Reef Safe Sunscreen Guide

 

Happy and Safe Summer Adventures!

How many times have you regretted deciding not to use sunscreen because you thought you would be fine, only to end up with a sunburn.  Don’t let a sunburn ruin your summer fun. Take prevention seriously and make sure you have the right product for the type of exposure you will have.  Do Not skip reapplying!  You may think that you are doing ok, but sunburn can sneak up on you because it darkens with time.

And don’t forget to nag the men in your life (who are the worst at using sunscreen) to wear a hat and use sunscreen when they will be mowing, golfing, boating, etc.  I have seen a lot of gentlemen with head and face melanomas from long term exposure to the sun without protection.

Be Sun Safe and have a Fabulous Summer!