Break out the firecrackers + sparklers…the 4th of July has come and gone, and summer is really HERE. I swear I’ve been hallucinating when I walk to my mailbox that I’m really walking towards the ocean…here’s hoping I don’t try going for a swim. HA. 😉 TBH, summer isn’t my favorite. I’m not a fan of being hot with no relief. I hate feeling like I’m melting and sweating from places I didn’t even know could sweat. But really, it’s just this whole adulting thing. Is there anything worse than being stuck in an office all day on a gorgeous beach day?! Um, no. And before y’all jump to “But you’re not stuck in an office, E!”…I am. Cos let’s be real. Do I have the self-discipline to get work done if I’m NOT actually in work mode? No. No I do not. If I am not in my office and instead hang out at a pool, I FULLY plan on having a margarita in one hand and a book in the other. No technology in sight. What a dream, amiright?!? Summer is fabulous when we get to take *full* advantage of the sunshine + hotter temps.
But the sun ain’t all sunshine all the time – every rose has its thorn, and the sun’s thorns are UVA + UVB rays. Ya know ’em, ya hate ’em. They’re notorious for causing early skin aging and cancer, and ain’t nobody got time for cancer. Cancer sucks. Beat cancer!
I cannot stress enough how so insanely mega important it is to be smart + safe in the sun all year long – but especially right now, in the thick of summertime. Yannno how much summertime sadness abounds when you come home from the beach lookin’ like a lobster? Yeah, no bueno. Couple that with the increased risk of cancer and the general blah that may ensue as you age with dark age spots + wrinkles and you might end up regretting it if you OD on the Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil.
Today I’m partnering with my friends at Allstate to chat all things fun in the sun + UV protection. Cos there’s nothing fun about sunburn or melanoma. Let’s make this summer fun, shall we? Here are 10 *essential* tips for UV protection, along with my favorite products loaded with SPF!
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UV PROTECTION TIPS
- First thing’s first: Sunscreen. Meaning, make it the first layer! Whether you’re adding makeup or bug spray on next, make sure the SPF is layer numero uno. Give it a hot sec to sink in, too, before applying any further products or clothes. A safe formula is applying 15-20 minutes before sun exposure, so bump that up an *additional* 5 minutes if you’ve got more things to add before heading outside. If your sunscreen has zinc in it, that’s a good thing! Zinc is used in many diaper rash creams; if it’s safe enough for your baby’s bum, it’s a safe bet for you, too. 😉
- SPF errrrr’thaaaang! From your head to your toes, literally. Your scalp can get burnt (even with a head full o’ hair), and the tops of your feet can get burnt. Really, everything can burn. And I learned that the hard way last year, when I got the most RANDOM burn on the sides of my boobs, literally. Nowhere else was burnt. Just on my sideboob. Who burns like that? Apparently, I do. SPF 30 should be the absolute bare minimum you’re using as sunscreen! Really, the higher the better. Better safe than sorry.
- Learn the language. UVA? UVB? SPF? They’re all important. So much so that I talked about ’em here last year, and I’m talkin’ about ’em again here so that ya don’t forget it! 😉 UVA = Ultraviolet A. These rays can even pass through glass (meaning you’re not even safe in your own house or car without sunscreen), and can lead to basal cell carcinoma (bad), squamous cell carcinoma (bad), and melanoma (bad). UVB = Ultraviolet B, and these bad boys are more likely to blame for melanoma. They cause sunburns, but cannot cross through glass. SPF = sun protection factor. When in doubt, higher SPF + more often. Especially with a changing environment (hello, global warming), you’ve gotta stay on top of the atmosphere!
- Reapply generously. Especially if you’re in water. When you apply, always take a shot. …No, really! Every single sunscreen application should equal about an ounce – enough to fill a shot glass. And you thought sun protection was boring. 😉
- Watch the date. Sunscreens can expire just like any other body or beauty product! And while they might not sour like your milk, they’ll definitely stop working as well…which is kinda sorta the whole point. So be sure to double check dates every year and just buy new bottles if in doubt!
- Watch the clock. The sun is strongest from 10 am to 4 pm – avoid those hours when possible, or at least add extra protection. AND, watch the clock to know when to re-apply! *Especially* when it comes to water-resistant products, you’ve gotta be cognizant of when you’re due to add more product. Otherwise, it’s like not even wearing any at all!
- Shade yo’self whenever possible! This post from Allstate calls out the importance of making shade happen if/when you’re lacking with some awesome ideas for hooking up your home for the summer. But no worries…if ya can’t just up and build a gazebo tomorrow, no problemo. Still be aware of what you’re wearing – now’s the time to stock up on fun floppy hats, reflective sunnies, and cute cover ups.
- DO. NOT. USE. TANNING. BEDS. Seriously. The *ONLY* safe tan comes in a bottle. If you’re dying for that golden glow, pleasepleaseplease nix the tanning bed – that’s like cooking cancer on your epidermis! Nix laying out at the pool, too. As relaxing as it might feel in the moment…how relaxing is melanoma? Yup, didn’t think so. Protect yo’self! Don’t strive to be a golden girl. Strive to make it through your golden years
- Stock up on SPF favorites. I’m linking my favorites below…
- Know how to treat a burn (the RIGHT way). Which doesn’t actually include aggressively peeling away burnt skin (ew). 😉 If you end up with a sunburn (boo!), first off, cool down the skin via a cold compress or cold shower. Then, moisturize moisturize moisturize! Aloe vera lotions + gels work wonders here. If/when you do start peeling, this is natural – the dead stuff has gotta come off somehow! Instead of vigorously picking it away with weird fascination like kindergartners with Elmer’s glue (we’ve all #BeenThereDoneThat), gently slough it off via dry brushing or with your loufa in the shower, and focus on rehydrating your skin.
Favorite SPF products for great UV Protection:
- Paula’s Choice Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense (SPF 30) – This gem is supposed to visibly reduce wrinkles + dark spots while basically acting as a natural tint for any skin tone. I lovelovelove using this as a one-and-done product in the summertime on days when I’m really not feeling any makeup at all.
- ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer (SPF 30) – (Also here) The really cool thing about this product, I think, is its duality. It’s got this 12-hour time-release antioxidant component to really protect your skin for an extended period of time. And it really works as both a sunscreen and primer, which I thought was totally impossible prior to trying it out myself.
- IT Cosmetics Anti-Aging Armour, Super Smart Skin-Perfecting Beauty Fluid (SPF 50) – What a mouthful amiright??? If I’m not using the Paula’s Choice Wrinkle Defense, I’m using this Armour! (As seen in this post) I actually think I might be addicted to this stuff, no joke. This one’s more tinted than the PC, which I need if my skin is a bit more red than usual, or if I’m battling a breakout. It’s got enough coverage to count as a light foundation, but it’s really so dang light! I use this year round.
- It Cosmetics CC+ Color-Correcting Full Coverage Cream + Anti-Aging Hydrating Serum (SPF 50) – Are y’all sick of hearing me talk about this stuff yet??? 😉 (As seen here and here) It’s just SUCH a good product, and the fact that it’s SPF 50 means I obvi had to include it here, too! Another year round gem, too.
- It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact Skin-Transforming Full Coverage Solid Super Serum (SPF 50) – TBH, this is my least-frequented of the It Cosmetics SPF products here, but it’s still SPF 50 and worth mentioning. The only reason I don’t reach for it as often is the application process. Because it’s in a compact with a little spongey applicator that I don’t use, I have to bring along a brush or makeup sponge to apply it best. So, total first world beauty problem, but it’s just an extra step compared to the two above that can be easily applied with your hands quite quickly. It is a bit fuller coverage and thicker formula than the others, FYI.
- Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment with Coconut Oil & Lemon Butter (SPF 25) – Don’t forget your pucker! There is nothing worse than sunburnt lips. It can be hard enough to keep everything fully exfoliated, hydrated, and kissable. Add in sunburn? …Yeah, no thanks. This Butterstick from Kiehl’s is super hydrating + has a good SPF. I have the Untinted version and also the Rose version (cos, duh), which has a pretty pink-ish tint to it. It’s more like a just-bitten glow, I think, so it’s PERFECT for traveling to just swipe and on and go whenever you’re going from the pool to dinner, or from beach to boardwalk.
- Physician’s Formula Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil BB Cream (SPF 30) – What the heck is a BB cream?? Glad ya asked. 😉 BB creams are basically a hybrid product – hydration of a moisturizer, coverage of a light foundation, and sun protection of a sunscreen if they’ve got SPF.
Allstate ALSO has this super comprehensive guide to having a kickass summer outdoors, from sun safety to grilling and from swimming to patio-ing! Check it out if you’re on the hunt for helpful, pin-able tips + tricks across the board. Their *entire* blog is so full of helpful things, I swear you’ll get lost for a hot sec in there. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya… 😉
How do you handle UV protection all summer long?
What are your favorite SPF products? How do you treat sunburn if it happens? If you’ve got any tips + tricks that work, drop ’em in a comment, wouldja? UV protection ain’t no joke, and ain’t nobody got time for skin cancer. Be smart + safe all summer long, friends!
*This UV protection post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. As always, all thoughts and opinions presented are entirely my own. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!