As a sun-worshipper from a famously rainy part of the world, it takes an extreme amount of discipline for me to sun safely overseas. In honor of National Skin Cancer Awareness month, I’m in need of a sun-safety reality check!
Test your sun-safety IQ. The American Cancer Society has a 9 question sun-safety quiz to get a true grip on where your sun-safety knowledge level is at. Suffice to say, this dispelled a few urban legends for me – check it out.
Never leave home without good, natural sunscreen. Even though you can often buy it wherever you are traveling, bringing your own ensures the quality & protection level. If you have sensitive skin like I do, it also allows you to try it first and be sure you won’t break out in flaming red hives or something.
The TerraSport sunscreen is my all-purpose, down-and-dirty play-all-day sunblock, as it’s designed to dry fast and stay long, and it contains zinc oxide, which provides the fullest spectrum of coverage. I also love that it’s PABA-free and not tested on animals.
The Kiss My Face sunscreen is formulated specially for face and neck, and it’s a godsent because it doesn’t make me break out in nasty zits the way greasy sunblock can. This stuff has nice ingredients like green tea extract and lineolic ester, which they claim actually helps fight wrinkles. It offers UVA and UVB protection (TerraSport does too), is 100% biodegradable and contains no gross chemicals.
Turn to nature for after-sun care. There’s nothing like good old aloe vera to soothe sun-exposed skin. Even if you managed not to get burnt, an application of aloe vera after a day outside will help hydrate and restore your skin. Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera Gel contains no artificial thickeners and come in a recyclable container.
Use your head to protect your skin. Take the time to wade through the common misconceptions about sun exposure and learn the facts. Medline Plus recommends wearing an SPF of 15 or higher, staying out of the sun during the hottest times of the day, and wearing wraparound sunglasses that provide full UV-ray protection among it’s basic safety measures. The CDC also has a very informative page about sun exposure, tanning and burning.
Woman tanning photo by chente922
Aloe vera photo by Powerhouse Museum