Keys to a SUNsational Summer!

ML's girls on the beachYou 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?

Anna Claire and her sunscreen2. The Birthday Suit Slather

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!

Kate and her sunscreen4. Go Broad Spectrum

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!

What are some of your sun safety tips?

Mary Lauren Eubank
Mary-Lauren is a curly-haired Texan in the trenches of motherhood with two sassy and entertaining daughters. A busy body in the truest sense, she teaches fitness classes all week at Define Jacksonville. To stay sane, Mary-Lauren requires a daily dose of dark chocolate, unwinds with a page-turner and folds laundry watching just the kind of reality TV that she will forbid her girls from watching in the future. A wannabe foodie, she loves to learn about, prepare, experiment and indulge in all things food…well except the shopping part with kids in tow. She blogs about all things fitness from debunking the latest trends to goal setting, Mary-Lauren is passionate about being active, being real and being healthy!


  1. ML, thanks for writing about this important topic! I too am a fan of the EWG rankings, and after much trial and error, I finally found a SPRAY sunscreen that rates well with them for having low toxicity. The holy grail! It’s not cheap, but I do think it’s worth it. I’ve done a lot of trial and error with several very thick, incredibly-hard-to-apply, non-toxic sunscreens and was so relived to find KINeSYS. It’s a pump sprat bottle, not aerosol, but still a million times easier than cream. This is the kind we’ve tried, but they have a few other variations that also rate highly. Happy summer!

    • Awesome, Erin! I have my eye on a Kiss My Face Mineral one in a spray bottle (I have the tube right now) that I plan to order so I’ll try that too!

  2. ML – great article. I worked in the dermatology/plastic surgery field (in sales) for 5+ years and you hit all the major points regarding sunscreen. Minerals are better than chemicals, and sprays are better than nothing!

    I would add ANTIOXIDANTS to you summer skin regimen, though. While sunscreens protect the outside, antioxidants protect the dermis. A quality vitamin-C product can penetrate cells and protect them from UVA and UVB induced damage. I worked for SkinCeuticals (so I am partial) but any serum with pure L-Ascorbic acid and/or Phloretin are going to give you maximum protection. You can read more on!


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