In New England, we only get 2 months of summer and they go by faster than you can say "Cape Cod." We have to take advantage of any chance we get to be outside and, naturally, we want to maximize the time we spend under the sun. After all, what's better than sandy toes and a sunkissed nose?
I would never ask you to minimize your sun-days, that would be like asking a marathoner to stop running or a poet to tone down her metaphors. What I will do is offer you some advice on how to minimize your exposure to damaging UV rays.
I know, it's an obvious one, but let's dive a little deeper into what SPF is and what makes one brand better than another.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The difference in SPF numbers is not the amount of time it will protect your skin but the number of UV rays your skin will be protected from. Let's make one distinction here: there are two types of UV rays that damage your skin. UVB rays cause sunburns and skin cancer while UVA rays cause skin damage and aging. SPF usually guards against UVB rays. A SPF 15 typically blocks 93% UVB rays while a SPF 50 will block closer to 98% of UVB rays. When shopping for sunscreen, select one labeled with "broad spectrum" as this will offer you protection against both UVB and UVA rays.
What makes a sunscreen work well is its combination of chemical and/or mineral compounds. Chemical compounds typically penetrate into your skin. They work by absorbing UV rays and dispersing them as heat away from your skin. Mineral compounds, mainly zinc and titanium dioxide, sit on top of your skin and reflect UV rays away. There are pros and cons to both sunscreen options. Chemical sunscreens absorb into your skin like a lotion but the chemical ingredients in them can be harmful and upset sensitive skin. Mineral sunscreens are typically all natural and oftentimes organic but the lotion can be thick and sticky on your skin.
My advice: when possible, go au naturale and mineral. Here are some highly recommended natural sunscreen options:
Badger Mineral Sunscreens | A local favorite with options for active lifestyles, kids, etc.
Farmacy Green Defense | Invisible broad-spectrum SPF 30
COOLA | Full spectrum 360 Mineral Sun Silk Creme Organic Sunscreen
Umbra Drunk Elephant | Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
Rule #1: no matter where you are or what you are doing, apply SPF every single day. According to skincancer.org, the best practice is to apply 30 minutes prior to going outside and again every two hours. If you are swimming or sweating, reapply as soon as you dry off.
I know, two hours is often and it's easy to forget when that beach beer leads to a beach nap and time slips away from you like a bathing suit when skinny dipping. Wear one of our Rayminder bracelets or necklaces as a reminder that UV rays are always reaching your skin. Watch the UV sensitive bead change from clear to color. It's most important on those overcast days when you think you don't need protection and end up with the worst sunburn of your life. Yes, I am speaking from experience. We have 12 different semi-precious gemstone options that you can choose from. Style a bracelet stack and necklace to compliment your new beach outfit this season.
Speaking of cover ups, cover up! Wear hats to protect your face and clothing that will act as a barrier between your skin and the sun.
For clothing, the darker the better and the tighter the weave of the fabric the better. If you spend endless hours under the sun, consider investing in clothing with intentional UPF ratings, (UPF = Ultraviolet Protection Factor). There are great brands out there today making clothing specifically for UV protection, such as: Coolibar, USkinz, and Solumbra.
When you can, find shade from the sun. If that means investing in a Business & Pleasure Co matching beach chair and umbrella set, I say do it! I hope my fiance is ready this ;-) ...
The sun is hot and whether or not you realize it, it will dehydrate you. When your skin gets dry, it looses properties that help protect it from ultraviolet rays making you more vulnerable to the sun. Good news is there are so many benefits to staying hydrated, like increased energy, that you are going to want to make drinking water frequently a habit. Buy yourself a fun water bottle that you want to carry with you anytime you head out of the house. Personally, I like HydroMates because they range in sizes up to 1 gallon, perfect for sharing at the beach, and have motivational statements about drinking water. Hey, it's the small accomplishments that get us through the day!
You have 5 easy and actionable steps to protect your skin from the sun everyday:
2. Reapply, frequently
3. Cover up
4. Find shade
Let's start having fun under the sun, safely.
Love the rayminder
Love the rayminder
Love the rayminder