I know that protection from the sun’s damaging rays should be a year-round concern but there’s certainly more chances of sunburn during summer. Kids are out of school, families are on vacation at the beach or braving crowded amusement parks, picnics, hiking, the list goes on. To be honest, I didn’t take consistent care of my skin when I was younger, specifically the application of sunscreen on a daily basis. I come from a Pacific archipelago of islands….the sun was a constant in my childhood years but I don’t recall my mother ever applying sunscreen on me….I shudder now thinking about it. But then again, I hardly ever actually stayed out in the sun for extended periods of time except when playing outside – we weren’t ever allowed to stay outside too long I guess because it was too hot. Still, I wonder how much damage was done on my skin all those years. I have very fair skin so I’ve always been afraid of the sun – I do burn if I go out without any sunscreen for any longer than 30 minutes, then the burn turns into a slight tan. Although my legs can use some color (see pasty white legs below), I’m not much for tanning but I might give the spray tan craze a try…hope I don’t end up looking like a dirty pumpkin.
Nowadays, I slather on sunscreen (preferably SPF 30 or higher) all over and wear a hat if I’m going out in the sun. With my kids, I’m also more vigilant about their exposure to the sun. I carry sunscreen with me during the summer just in case. Awareness of sun damage and skin cancer is more prevalent now than when I was younger, some even fear that some kids are vitamin D deficient because of sunscreen wear (read more about Vit D deficiency here). Hmmm…skin cancer or bone damage? The choices are grim but obviously Vitamin D can be absorbed through yummy foods as well like salmon.
Now let’s talk sunscreen – the choices are endless…lotion, cream, spray, oil, SPF 20, 25, 30 thru 100+, UVA/UVB protection, etc. This article from the New York Times blog provides the New Rules of Sunscreen – very helpful in navigating the sunscreen aisle at your local drug store. For me, I prefer lotions with an SPF of 30 or higher. I recently discovered the Aveeno Active Naturals All Natural Active Protection Broad Spectrum Sunscreen ($10). It’s not greasy at all and easy to apply and of course, the all natural ingredients speak volumes for me.
So before you head out into the beautiful summer weather, be sure to protect your skin and those of your loved ones, not just with sunscreen but with a hat. You can look cute while protecting your skin – wear a nice wide brim/floppy hat or a trendy fedora or Panama hat – here are some affordable choices I found at my local retailers (click the small images at the bottom to view/purchase). Enjoy the summer in style!!