Despite all we know about UV protection and taking care of your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, we all goof up and get burned. I admit, (see pic) that I did. On one vacation a while ago, I got a pretty horrific burn, so I implore to you – don’t lose to bad judgment like I did, and fall for the (common) excuses people make to procrastinate putting on protection. Have you fallen victim or used any of these excuses? Well don’t. If a picture tells a thousand words, may the photo of me here be that one. Ouch.
“I’m only in the sun for like, 2 hours. No biggie” Wrong. I was only out in the sun for 2 hours too when I got this burn.
“It’s cloudy out. I don’t need protection, I won’t burn.” Wrong. UV rays still pass through the atmosphere, rain or shine. Plus, burning isn’t the first sign of sun damage, it’s usually the 3-alarm fire point as the damage started much earlier.
“I already got the tan, I won’t burn.” or “My skin is darker, I won’t burn.” But you’re still getting the same amount of damage whether you burn or not! And yes, you still can burn! (Had enough of my ‘you can burn!’ jingle yet?)
“I’ll have another drink on the beach, please…” Sounds like the dream vacation, but be careful with that one – if you get burned, dehydration commonly comes with it. When you drink alcohol, you can become dehydrated and it can exacerbate the sunburn. I was at a wedding the evening before, and was dehydrated the next afternoon when I went to the beach. Plus, I was in the water for almost 2 hours – a double whammy of UV rays + dehydration seriously leaving me open to bake – an added risk for beach swimmers.
So – help yourself protect yourself. Many of us DO apply sunblock – just not enough, nor often enough. So here are some tips to keep you on your sun protection game more easily:
1. Carry a small tube of sunblock in your purse in an often visited pocket so you have no excuse not to apply, or reapply every few hours. Get a higher SPF than you think you need, because chances are, you’re not applying enough so your SPF won’t be as effective for as long as you think it is. (Ie: Too little of the SPF 50 might work more like an SPF 30… Too little SPF 15, and it might not work at all…) My personal favorite sunscreen brand: La Roche Posay. Also, they’re having a “Save our Skin” campaign, raising awareness about sun protection and reducing skin cancer here. Join the cause of SOS from La Roche-Posay, and they will make a donation, and to organizations like the the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) and The Skin Cancer Foundation, that also educate the public regarding proper sun safe behavior.
2. Wear a hat, or carry one with you when you go in the sun. Too bulky? Check these rollable visors out, poppable in your bag and they’re not cheesy! Not a replacement for sunscreen, but it’s convenient added protection with fashionable benefits.
3. For you product junkies out there, try different sunscreens that you know are good and keep them in often visited locations – and keep sampling! It makes applying sunblock fun, like you’re shopping for your favorite sunscreen! (Did I like the one in the office better, or the one at home? Hmm, need to try again, and again…) I flip between my Garnier, La Roche Posay, and ROC, compare scent, texture, feel, it’s fun.
4. Take the remembering out of reapplying – set daily alarms on your phone/blackberry/iphone for several times a day to remind you to put on sunscreen. You can get creative with your messages, “For eternal youth, reapply sunscreen NOW!” And with that tube in your bag, should be no problem. Or do it via post-it notes in places you visit often before leaving a building (medicine cabinet at home, office computer, work locker, etc.) You can also make fun notes for your friends/family that way too
5. Pass this to a friend – make a pact when with friends to commit to helping each other stay protected! When you reapply that you email/text/call them to remind them to do the same. Don’t you all want to stay youthful looking?
Note: Beachgoers need to reapply more often, especially if you go into the water. And for every colorful alcoholic drink you have, make sure to drink several glasses of water to rehydrate!
Side note: I also get asked “Do you have anything that can help my burn?” The answer is YES – The Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner is an excellent cooling and hydrating, (oil free!) serum to soothe and calm burns). That was my savior!
Any tips you have to make staying sun-safe fun?