When the sun is shining and the sky is blue I am at my all time happiest. I even feel more confident in my own skin during the summer months. I wear less make-up, I leave my hair in a lioness main, and you’ll usually find me in my bathing suit.

While I love getting more freckles and sun kissed skin, after getting a bit of a sunburn this past week, I thought it might be good to have a sun protection refresher. With our skin being the largest organ in the human body it’s important that we take good care of it. So, I did a bit of research and compiled a few important tips to keep you protected while you’re having fun in the sun.

1. Apply First Thing

If you know you’re headed out into the sun for the day don’t wait to apply your sunscreen until you’re already outside. Most bottles will tell you in their directions to apply 15-30 minutes before sun exposure. Try to get in the habit of applying it first thing in the morning before you get dressed. It will help you to protect your whole body rather than just what isn’t covered by a t-shirt and shorts.

 2. Don’t Forget About Your Head

Often times it’s so easy to just run out the door with your sunnies and a towel and be good to go. But the beach isn’t going anywhere so remember to grab a hat on your way out. It’s so easy for your scalp to burn and most of us don’t really want to put greasy sunscreen all through our hair. If you’re really not a hat person try and use a spray sunscreen and mist it onto your scalp.

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3. Stick to SPF 30

I looked into SPF protection and found an article where James M. Spencer, MD a dermatologist located in Florida, recommends SPF 30. According to Spencer, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays. There isn’t going to be an SPF out there that blocks 100% of the UVB rays so SPF 30 is going to cover the basics for you.

4. Reapply

Don’t just put your sunscreen on in the morning and leave the bottle in your beach bag for the rest of the day. Your first sunscreen application is only going to last a few hours. Make sure you step inside or out of the sun, reapply and let it soak in for a bit before getting back out in the sun. Also keep reapplication in mind if you’re swimming or sweating out in the sun! You’ll need to reapply even more frequently.

5. Out With The Old

I’m talking to all you hoarders out there. If you have been using that same bottle of sunscreen for 3 summers now, throw it out! Make sure you are checking expiration dates and that you are keeping your sunscreen fresh.

It’s just so important to be careful out in the sun. You don’t want to get badly burned as it can increase the risk of getting skin cancer. Also remember to stay hydrated. Reusable water bottles like the one I am using below are great to bring along to the beach or out by the pool. If you have any tips that you use to stay protected from the sun, share them in the comments!

Yours truly,

Melissa Alyse