My Tips on Sunscreen

Ok, first off. I have sunburn. So posting this is partially a point in what I should have done to prevent this from happening. But, I am also lucky in that it is already turning into a tan. I guess this means I need to find some sunless tanner for the rest of my body so that it doesn’t look so crappy where I got burnt. I’ll explain how I got burnt at the end of this post.

1. Always keep a hat to cover you. At the very least, wear a baseball hat. The absolute worst place to get burnt is on your scalp. Whenever this happens to me, I end up looking like I have a scalp and skin problem. Since I already have an issue with a dry scalp that looks like I have a bad case of dandruff, this is not a good situation to be in. Even better is to get a small, brimmed hat. Best of all is to get a big, floppy hat. Mine is a broad floppy hat that is black and white striped. Last year, I got picked on about it by certain people. This year, I got the last laugh by showing them that it was in magazines as the fashion. Oh, it also does very well in shading my shoulders along with my face.

2. Wear sunglasses.  If you have glasses, then I recommend that you get either transitions or a pair of clip on shades. Seriously, that is sunscreen for your eyes. Look for the highest UV protection on them. Also make sure that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. They are different forms of ultraviolet rays that affect different parts of your skin and eyes. It is very important to have both repelling. If you wear contacts, still wear sunglasses because the UV protection will only cover your iris and pupil. Your cornea is still unprotected.

3. When you apply sunscreen, do two layers. This will make sure that you do not miss any spots. Since it blends in so well, you can easily miss a spot with a single layer, or you may have spread it too thin for the amount that you put on your face.

4. A face sunscreen tip. Start from your forehead down. Most people remember to put sunscreen on the nose, but sunscreen on the forehead can be pretty close to forgotten. If you have bangs, you may think that you don’t need to worry so much, but you do. Your hair does almost no protection, no matter how thick or dark those bangs are. Slather some more sunscreen on your forehead.

5. Do not forget your scalp. I normally carry a sunscreen spray to do my entire scalp. I have been known to move my hair just to make sure that it all is covered. Think about it this way: do you really want to fade that color that is in your hair now, if you color it? Call it an added discount on the amount of money you have to add for color sessions.

6. Don’t miss your ears. Take an extra squirt and smear it all over your ears. If you want to think about it, it can be an ear massage for yourself to add relaxation for a moment. Many doctors have discovered skin cancer forming behind the ears because so many people forget to put it on there.

7. Read your sunscreen bottle carefully. All sunscreens are not made the same. All sunscreens have a certain SPF. Some sunscreens are water resistant. Some are sweat resistant. The bottle will tell you how long it will last under certain conditions. These conditions can be longer or shorter than you would think for putting on your protection. Also, look to see which type of protection you are getting in your bottle. The latest recommendations are for a mix of both physical and chemical active ingredients.

8. Remember to reapply. Apply every day, even when it is cloudy and rainy. Those rays are still getting through. Hey, even apply in the winter. I have actually gotten sunburn in the middle of winter when it was snowy and cold. I learned my lesson on that. We always need out sunscreen. If you need a reminder to reapply, set an alarm on your phone for the amount of time that the bottle states to reapply. When it goes off, you reapply and reset the timer.

9. Do not rely on your makeup or clothes for total sun protection. Light fabrics only have a natural SPF of 10 max. Dark clothes are maxed out at 5. Yes, I have seen SPF listed clothes out, but you still need to put sunscreen on underneath all of that. Remember, you do not reapply moisturizer on your skin every other hour, so you should not look at that as the end all be all of sun protection.

10. Sunscreen SPF does break down with age. If you have a bottle from the previous year, halve the SPF for efficiency. This means that the old bottle will need to be reapplied twice as often as if it was made for this year. But, it can still be used. In fact, that’s a good reason for it to be used faster.

11. Get lots of variety of sunscreens. I, personally, usually have a solid stick, a spray on, and the lotion. This year, I plan on putting a variety in every purse I can possibly carry.

12. Drink fluids. Yes, it will make you sweat in the summer some more. It will keep you from getting dehydrated. Also, it will help you keep moisturized under that sunscreen. Or, if you do get burnt, it will help you replenish the skin to heal better. Talk about a glowing skin.

13. If you do get burnt, add aloe vera gel. Or, use an aloe plant leaf on your skin. They grow so easily and are pretty hard to kill. They can be, but it isn’t easy. Unless you are Mischief, who killed mine from last year by leaving it out in the first frost of the fall. So, I got another aloe plant as a Christmas present. But, use it. If it is hurting, also keep some burn relief spray to take away the sting. In fact, many now have aloe with the spray to keep the skin moisturized.

So, here’s what happened for me to get sunburn. I was working yesterday and Murder had a softball game. I was picked up to go to the game, but we had to get the planter that one of my coworkers bought from the kids for 4-H. I went home, changed into a tank top because I was so hot, and immediately was told that it was time to go because the plant was waiting and it was close to game time. I did not get time to grab my hat or any sunscreen. So, I was not properly protected. It hurts today, but I have my sunscreen for today’s outing in the garden. I also have broken off a couple of my aloe leaves to help keep it moist. This is why I am planning on buying many more lotions and sticks to keep in my purse for the summer.

Keep safe this summer.