May 21, 2014

Sun Care Tips For A Painless Summer

by

Sun Care

To kick off summer, Whole Foods invited me to the store by my house to learn first-hand about the sun care products they carry. Phoenix has already had its first 100-degree day for 2014. It came and went with a few people taking note. For most of us, though, it was just another day. While fall, winter, and spring blend together, come May we’re ready for summer. Across the country though, the weather has been a bit weird. Snow in Denver, 101 in Los Angeles, rain in the south. Surely, summer will be here soon!

Years ago I took a hard look at the sunscreens I was using. Like you, I’d head to the store and just buy what’s on sale. But as I spent more time outside with BabyGirl I started turning to more natural types of sun care. While at the sun care seminar at Whole Foods, several brands shared why we should be more aware of what goes in to making sunscreen and how it works.

I learned a lot about choosing sunscreen, but I’d like to share these two with you because they tend to be the most important but cause the most confusion.

Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen – Chemical sunscreen works by absorbing the sun’s rays while a physical sunscreen actually blocks the UVA and UVB rays from hitting the skin, although even then not all physical sunblocks protect against the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. Think back to your childhood that white goop lifeguards wore on their nose. Zinc Oxide, that white stuff, is one of the tried and true physical sunblocks. But most people didn’t like that white pasty look after using a physical sunblock so chemical sunscreens were created. Chemical sunscreens have to be applied about 20 minutes before sun exposure so your body can be prepared to block the rays. Physical sunscreen starts working immediately. Both are good options, but you may want to figure out which may best for you and your family in different situations.

Know your number – Most people think the higher the SPF the more protection they’re getting. Or they think it lasts longer. In reality, the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) only applies to UVB rays and a theoretical amount of time your skin is protected while slathered in product X as compared to when your delicate skin is exposed to the same sun without any protection. Most dermatologists will tell you to use an SPF 15 or SPF 30 because an SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93 percent of UVB radiation, while an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks nearly 97 percent.

Now that you know these, here are

4 Sun Care Tips For A Painless Summer

1. Wear sunscreen – No matter how old you are, the sun will damage your skin. And even if you’ve neglected it in the past, there is anecdotal evidence that wearing sunscreen now may help your skin repair. Also, if you don’t wear sunscreen why should your kids or nieces/nephews? Sunscreen is one of the top ways to protect our skin. Most importantly, follow the directions on the product to make sure you’re getting the most benefits. Try a natural sunscreen like Goddess Garden Organics to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals.

2. Cover up – OK, this seems completely the opposite of what I just said. But what I mean here is that while a tan might seem healthy, we both know that’s not true. For long periods of time spent outdoors, sunscreen just isn’t enough. Add a cute hat for everyone in the family, and put on a long-sleeve shirt while hiking. Even if you’re just sitting by the pool, wearing a cover up will keep you looking cool while staying cool and protected. And don’t forget to protect your eyes! A cute pair of sunnies or even goggles for the kids who refuse to get out of the pool can really help.

3. Don’t Burn, Baby Burn – If you can see redness, you’re already facing a sunburn. Sun reflecting off the water is more intense, and if you’re not reapplying sunscreen or using the right kind you’re in for some pain. While we may be more vain and not want to have that chalky white tint on our skin from a physical sunscreen, it’s a good way to see if your child is being protected. A product like Badger After-Sun Care Balm can help your skin after a day in the sun.

4. Pay Some Lip Service – That’s right, give your lips the same love. Many women reach for lipstick, but if it doesn’t have enough protection, you’ll end up with dry, cracked, or sunburned lips. Get a sunblock lip balm that’ll work for the whole family.

Few of us can say we’ve never had a sunburn. And if you’ve ever had to soothe a child with a sunburn you know that’s not easy. Years ago I spent a day at the beach and had my hair pulled back. When I got back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, I thought I was going to die when I went to wash my hair. My scalp and my ears were sunburned. In actuality, I was pretty much sunburned all over. And my fun beach vacation was no more.

Flash forward to a few years ago and we spent the day at the waterpark when we were at Disney. I was that mom constantly applying sunscreen to BabyGirl. At the end of the day, as we waited to be seated for dinner, there were some very unhappy kids and adults. It wasn’t particularly hot that day, but the sun was intense. There were a few parents making plans to hit the gift shop for anything that would help ease the pain.

Kids aren’t going to ask for sunscreen. We know this. So it’s up to us to make it a priority. Not just for them but for us too. It’s no fun having a sun burn. It’s less fun getting one on vacation or when it cuts in to the fun activities planned.

Over the years I’ve began using more and more natural products, and sunscreen is one of them. With chemical sunscreens being absorbed into the skin, I’m concerned with the effects of the ingredients. Natural sun care products give me peace of mind. They also smell good and include ingredients that are known to be less toxic. If you’re watching what you put in your body like I do, then we should also watch what we put on our body.

If you need to stock up or want to try a new way to protect your skin, head over to Whole Foods Market May 23-26 and save 30% off all sun care products. If you’re not sure what to buy, ask your store associate or you can tweet with Whole Foods Phoenix before you go.

Disclosure: I have a business relationship with Whole Foods. This article was not reviewed or edited by a third-party. All thoughts and opinions are mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sara

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