Doesn’t feel so seasonal to be writing about sun protection as fall (in the northern hemisphere) has started, the clouds are beginning to roll in, and the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter. Especially here in the Pacific Northwest, I have to admit, I start to get a little less anxious (okay, A LOT less anxious) about the possibility of the sun burning my family in the fall and winter months.
I apply a sunscreen each morning via my daily moisturizer. No matter the season or weather forecast. Admittedly, my skin is the fairest of fair, freckled, and just asking to be burned. I get sunburned just thinking about the sun. Not really, but I have been burned indoors. You just never know. It’s important to take a few sun safety steps no matter the season.
The other reason to be thinking about sun safety and protection this time of year? Travel.
We love a little escape from the gloomy grays of late fall and winter, which is precisely why we headed to Oahu recently. A bit earlier of a getaway compared to our usual schedule, but we had to plan the trip before I entered the no-long-distance-travel-zone of my pregnancy.
We hit the beach everyday. With so many amazing beaches on the north shore where we our vacation rental was located (and a sand and water crazy 3-year old), most days included 2 or even 3 beach sessions. It’s important to develop a sun preparation routine.
1. Apply Sunscreen Before.
It’s so much easier, especially when young children are involved, to apply your sunscreen before stepping onto the sand. There’s already enough to do once you get to the beach! I am ready to enjoy myself, not worry about slathering on sticky lotion while getting sand stuck all over my skin. It also gives the sunscreen a chance to soak in, and that way it doesn’t wash right off once we dive into the water.
2. Search for Shade.
If there isn’t some sort of shade, and I don’t have a big beach umbrella or shelter, the beach is just not happening for me. As soon as we arrive, I scope out the best spot. Trees and large rocks are handy, otherwise we break out the umbrella.
3. Reapply Sunscreen.
After a couple of hours (at the most), it’s time the reapply that sunscreen. Not the most fun, because, as I mentioned before, skin is often sticky and sweaty, but it’s essential as the protection power of the sunscreen has likely worn off by now. Even with waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen, after an extended swimming session, I know I need another coat to be on the safe side.
Even with tons of powerful sunscreen applied, I still think it’s a good idea to keep skin covered up where and when you can. If I’m not actually swimming, but rather just sitting or walking along the beach, I throw on a shirt (even long sleeve), or dress over my suit for some extra protection. On our most recent trip, I often rocked a button-down (open, of course) denim shirt over my swim suit to keep my back and shoulders from getting burned.
An extra layer of clothes is much more comfortable than a burn at the end of the day.
A few of our necessities:
Block Island Mineral Sunscreen Giveaway!
While in Hawaii, we had the chance to test out a new-to-us sunscreen (both in brand and type). Block Island Sunscreen is a mineral-based sunscreen that is completely free of synthetic ingredients. We were intrigued and I love that the company utilizes non-toxic components, so we decided to give it a try.
What’s to Love?
We did not get burned! We were well protected from the hot and unforgiving Oahu sun, and I also felt really good about applying a product to my family’s skin that was chemical-free. Block Island SPF 15 is appropriate for face and body, is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), and is a broad spectrum sunscreen (protects from UVA & UVB rays). The sunscreen is also water resistant, so I felt okay about us running in and out of the water for up to about 2 hours, and then reapplying.
A few notes..
- Since we had never used a mineral-based sunscreen before, some of the “side effects” were new to us. With this type of product, some white residue or film is expected because of the mineral components (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). Block Island does their best to minimize this effect, but to some extend it’s a factor when applying.
- The opening to the bottle is a lot larger than we are used to, so at first (or if we weren’t paying attention) A LOT more product was dispensed into our hands than we expected! Just a word of caution.
Interested in winning a bottle of Block Island Sunscreen? The folks at Block Island would love to send a bottle to one lucky Wild Tales of…reader. Simply leave a comment telling us you’d like to enter. If you have an extra minute–share your favorite beach destination too! Giveaway ends at 11:59 on Sunday, 10/19/14, and the winner will be announced the morning of Monday, 10/20/14!
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