You can’t have summer without the sun in Florida, I mean we are the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, you can get too much of a good thing and nothing ruins a fun day at the beach like a nasty sunburn. We all fawn over a baby’s perfect skin because it is so smooth and soft. As moms, it is our job to protect our babies’ skin and keep it that way. Here are my top tips for a sunsational summer!
1. Lead by Example
Yes, I am going to be your mama too. You are not too old for sunscreen. EVER. Kids like to do what grown ups do, so make sunscreening a family affair. Afterall, sunscreen is the best (and most affordable) wrinkle cream on the market and though your daily moisturer with SPF is a good start, it is not enough! Don’t act like it’s a chore or roll your eyes, this is one of the easiest ways to potentially save a life. It takes about the same time as brushing your teeth and you wouldn’t skip that would you?
To be effective, sunscreen must be applied 15 minutes prior to exposure and you really and truly absorb dangerous rays (see below) just driving in your car. Don’t believe me, compare your right arm with your left. Bet it’s either a shade darker or has a few more freckles. Now I know kids are wigglers, I’ve learned the best way to avoid missing a spot is to apply sunscreen in their birthday suit. What kid doesn’t like streaking so it makes slathering it on hilarious. Are you an OCD mom worrying about the mess? Do it inside your bathroom or shower. As a few of my closest friends always say when we are caught in humorous (and/or trying moments with our kiddos), we are making memories!
3. All Sunscreens Are Not Created Equal
Since becoming a mother, I care a lot about what goes into and what goes on my family’s bodies and I find the Environmental Working Group site full of good information, including their annual sunscreen recommendation list. Okay, so they may not endorse spray sunscreen as the most effective or safest out there but don’t jump ship! I’ll be the first to admit that I keep some in my car because it’s just so convenient. I liken it to the organic fruit and vegetable debate. I prefer organic over conventional but I strongly believe it is better to eat fruits and vegetables period then not eat them at all! No matter what kind you of sunscreen you prefer, wear sunscreen!
Why do you need protection from UVA and UVB rays? Well, UVA’s are the ones that give you a tan but that’s because they are doing some major damage below the surface. Over time, the UVA’s leave lovely brown spots and wrinkles. UVB’s hit the outermost layer of our skin and leave us red and hot to the touch! The bottom line is both are harmful rays that cause cell mutations and cell mutations are the building blocks of skin cancer. Protect yourself by purchasing a sunblock that says broad spectrum!
5. Cover Up!
Wear a hat, visor or dare I say a rashguard. The effects of the sun are cumulative. Even if you lather on sunscreen every day each time you go outside, you will get tan lines. They are proof you are absorbing those harmful rays. This may be very un-Floridian of me but then again I’m not a native, you don’t have to bare it all everytime you hit the beach! Believe me, I like the sun-kissed look as much as the next gal but I can’t deny the risks!