13 Tips To Be Sunscreen Savvy

“The sun isn’t that strong right now, there’s shade where I’m sitting, I’m just jumping in the water to refresh myself, I won’t be in the sun long”…and the list goes on. When it comes to putting on sunscreen, it’s easy to play the excuse card, especially these days. I put out a request to friends on Facebook, asking for advice on the best all-natural sunscreen. I said I was tired of trying out expensive sunscreens only to find out they either made us look pasty white, or super greasy. I wanted suggestions.

And my feed went crazy.

So many great suggestions and detailed answers, that I felt it was time to re-address the whole sunscreen issue.

Like it our not, sunscreen is a necessity that should be implemented into your daily family skin care routine. When it comes to sun protection, I take it very seriously. With a history of skin cancer in my family, I have been seeing a dermatologist from a young age and know the dangers of the sun.

When you are armed with knowledge, complaining about whether or not to wear sunscreen fades away. I accept no whining from the boys with regards to sunscreen. Lately, though it’s been hard with the all-natural disasters I’ve brought home. Normally, I don’t like to write negatively on brands, but save yourself the hassle of trying Green Beaver’s mineral based spray. It doesn’t work and leaves the skin greasy.

Thankfully, I found a few through suggestions and they are easily available at Well.ca. This is the first time I’m plugging this affiliate I have. And I’m telling you because I want to be honest. I figured it was as good a time as any to announce my affiliation, given this is such an important topic for all us mamas, protecting our families from the sun.

  • The top suggestion I had was Goddess Garden, by far. We have tried it, and it goes on fairly thick. I’m not a big fan, but some wear by this brand.
  • I recently purchased the Ombrelle SPF 50+ 100% mineral for kids and so far we enjoy it. It goes on smooth with a slight white tint to it, but it fades it pretty well. Also, it is fragrant free, which I appreciate.
  • I was recently recommended Coppertone Clearly Sheer by a fellow mama friend. She has four kids and they are all using it regularly (going to order some today for us).

If your kids are complaining or if you don’t feel the need for protecting yourself, here are 13 tips for being sunscreen savvy:

  1. Look for a sunscreen that is paraben-free. Some mark it right on the front of the bottle, while others you will have to read the fine print to be sure.
  2. UVA and UVB is needed – There are two types of ultraviolet rays that we need to protect ourselves from. UVA rays are the cause of premature aging and wrinkles. UVB rays can give a delayed tan and sunburn. Both rays are harmful to the skin and can cause skin cancers, so you need to find a sunscreen that will protect from both UVA and UVB rays, also known as a broad spectrum.
  3. What does SPF stand for? Sun Protection Factor is what is means, most people are in the dark when reading the number beside the SPF of sunscreen bottles. Did you know that the difference between an SPF 15 and an SPF30 is only 5% more protection? It’s true. The higher the SPF the more the sunscreen will block out UVB rays, however no SPF will give you 100% protection. The key is to find the right SPF for you based on your skin type and the amount of time you will be in the sun. I have lots of freckles and burn easily which makes me a skin type 1. Anyone with a skin type 1, as well as children who have more sensitive skin will need a high SPF.
  4. Water resistant does not mean set for the day – While it’s a great idea to get a sunscreen that is water resistant if you plan on going in water or if you sweat easily, it is so important to reapply sunscreen. Sunscreen is only good if it is applied well and reapplied frequently.
  5. Your sunscreen, your style – Whether it’s a spray, lotion, or mousse, it’s up to you which sunscreen best suits your lifestyle. Remember, this is a product that should be part of your daily routine, so find one that you are happy putting on. I do not endorse aerosol-type sprays because little ones can ingest the spray by accident. As well, they are dangerous in hot places.
  6. To Keep Or Not To Keep – pulling out the sunscreen you kept in your medicine cabinet for the last six months to slather on your first day at the beach may not be the best idea. Check the expiration date on your sunscreen to be sure it will protect you the way it should.
  7. Do not, I repeat, do not keep sunscreen in your car. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can ruin the effectiveness of sunscreen.
  8. Generally, UV rays are the strongest between 11am and 4pm (at a level 3). It’s best to avoid those times to be in direct sun.
  9. Shade or no shade – Seeking shade in high UV ray times of day (11am – 4pm) is a great way to protect yourself from the sun. But remember, UV rays can pass through cloudy skies, so sunscreen is always a good idea on cloudy days.
  10. Sunscreen is definitely not just for the summer months. The sun bounces off rays from sand, snow and water. In fall months, when sports activities are still going on outside, sunscreen is just as important for the kids playing as it is for the parents watching on the sidelines.
  11. UV rays pass through glass, so if you drive your car a lot, it’s a great idea to put on sunscreen before your commute.
  12. Arm your kids with sunscreen before the school day. Recess and lunch is not long enough for any kid to sit and apply sunscreen. Get them prepared before school so they are protected at break time.
  13. Accessorize for sun – Protecting yourself with a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, and light clothing to protect your arms and legs are all good ideas if you are sensitive to the sun.

*note* sunscreen is not recommended for babies six months and younger. Their skin is very sensitive, and not fully developed, so keep them out of the sun as much as possible and cover them up when they are in the sun.

I hope this information helps and I hope you find a product you and your family enjoy. Let me know in the comments below what are your favourite sunscreens.

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