This weekend is supposed to be 75 and sunny for at least one day. I could cry I’m so excited because I think we’re finally at the end of the tunnel… and maybe I’m celebrating prematurely? But we made it!
Yes, these are photos from the Bahamas trip still. (Kind of love how much we shot because it made coming back to snowy/rainy/freezing NJ a little less stressful, at least blog-wise.) But the bathing suit is actually a preview of summer, so it’s not available just yet. (Although if you can’t wait, J. Crew has a similar high-waisted option.)
With warm weather finally around the corner, I wanted to do my annual sun safety post! I feel so strongly about staying safe in the sun. It’s the easiest way to take care of your skin longterm and reduce your risk of skin cancer. Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in females age 15-29. The statistics are staggering, but the bottom line is, even ONE sunburn is one sunburn too many.
As someone who burns unbelievably easily, I have to be extra cautious. But just because you might not sunburn easily doesn’t mean you’re not at risk. Tanning alone is still damaging and you’re still exposing yourself to harmful UV rays.
The best ways to play it safe:
1. Avoid the sun. Ugh. I wish I could be like one of those turtles who perches on a rock and just lays out in the sun all day, every day. Of course, though, the best way to avoid damage is to avoid being in the sun. Now that’s generally not practical and I do believe in moderation as a rule of thumb for life. A life spent in a bubble would not be one worth living.
It’s generally recommended to avoid the sun during the hours at 10 am and 4 pm, which is a huge window of time if you’re trying to enjoy a day outside. This is not scientific and only my personal choice, but if I can, I avoid being outside between, like, 11:30 and 2 pm. When the sun is beating down directly overhead, I find it harder to find good shade!
Another tip? Look up the UV index. You can search for this on your phone before heading out for the day so that you know what you’re dealing with.
2. Find shade! Want to be outside but don’t want to put yourself at risk? The next best thing is to find shade. This is a good idea for a lot of reasons (like staying cool) and if you’re setting up an outdoor activity (like a party or a pickup soccer game), try to bring a tent or something of that nature that everyone can utilize.
3. Suit up. I am ALL ABOUT HATS in the summer. I have a giant collection and as cute as I think they are to wear, they’re really a fantastic way to keep the sun off my shoulders and face. You can also find a bunch of clothing nowadays with UPF built in. Look for coverups that have UPF in the fabric like Cabana Life.
4. Sunscreen tips. Even if you’re not ~going to the beach~ I still think it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen. I wear sunscreen on my face (either SPF under my makeup or makeup with SPF). If I’m wearing something where my arms are exposed and I know I’m going to be outside, I’m putting on sunscreen.
– Apply sunscreen in the nude. This is something I’ve been doing since I was a kid and it’s really the only way I can guarantee full coverage. When I apply it everywhere, I don’t have to worry about straps moving a little bit or even forgetting a spot. I work methodically from my face to my neck, then my shoulders, arms, torso, back, and legs. I have the system down pat.
– Pack it everywhere. Don’t let not having sunscreen be an excuse for not wearing it. I try to tuck a bottle of sunscreen in every beach tote (I know I’ll use one of a couple that I own) and even one in my car. I’ll check a bag even if I don’t need to, just so I can make sure I have my favorite sunscreen while traveling.
– CHECK EXPIRATION DATES. I know I sound like I’m preaching about sun safety, but I am the first to admit that I’m still not perfect. I have the best intentions but sometimes I come up short. Case in point. Last May, I went out for a picnic on the pier with my boyfriend and some friends. It was the first super warm day and I, naturally, applied the sunscreen. It was from a spray bottle, which I typically avoid, AND it was super expired, which I didn’t realize. The burn was the worst I’ve had in my life. My knees swelled and became very stiff; it took a few days before they looked normal and before I could bend without pain. I. Still. Have. Tan. Lines. I’m worried it’s permanent and I kind of hate myself for being so stupid.
– Reapply often. Just because you put it on in the morning doesn’t mean you’re safe throughout the whole day. I try to reapply as much as I can (and force my friends to put some more on too). My favorite face sunscreen also comes in a tiny bottle which is easy to keep right in my purse.
The sunscreens I love:
Kiehl’s Super Fluid for face
Image Skincare for neck/chest/shoulders
BUT QUESTION! What are your thoughts on fake tanning? I kind of think this falls into the same category as dying hair. Everyone has their own opinion and should do their own thing. I actually have gotten an airbrushed tan… once. But I didn’t look like myself at all! I think because I am just so fair and my hair is so dark that I ended up looking like a completely different person. (This wasn’t some major airbrush either, it did, in my opinion, look like a “good” tan, I just didn’t look like myself.)
Just as I’m trying to embrace my natural greying hair, I am working on embracing my natural skin. It’s hard because there’s such an emphasis on tans in the summer. People feel like you look better and healthier with a little color, right? But what’s so wrong with what you’re born with?! Every year I contemplate trying a tan again and I’m not going to say I’d never do one, but I do try to embrace the skin I’m in!
Would love to know your thoughts on this too!