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Sun Protection: The Complete Guide To Keeping Your Family Safe

Posted on June 05 2020

Family at the beach using an umbrella for sun protection

When summertime rolls around, your attention turns to lake days, pool parties, hiking trips, and so much more! To stay safe during all of those activities, you’ll also need to think about sun protection.

What does staying safe in the sun involve? A lot more than just slapping on any old sunscreen when you hit the beach. Staying safe doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer days; it just means you have to be smart about it.

In this article, we’ll tell you why sun protection is so important and list seven good ways to armor up! Here’s all the information you need to know.

Why You Need Sun Protection

There are three main reasons you need to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun: sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer.

Sunburn

Shoulder of someone whose has sunburned from not using sun protection

At one time or another, almost everyone has experienced a sunburn after too much time in the sun. Red, uncomfortable, peeling skin isn’t fun!

One reason sun protection is important is simply that it prevents sunburn. But, even if you don’t burn easily, spending unprotected time basking in the sun can damage your skin.

Premature Skin Aging

Sunburn is a short-term consequence of too much sun. Premature skin aging is one of the long-term consequences.

The ultraviolet rays from the sun damage fibers in your skin called collagen and elastin. These fibers are responsible for keeping your skin full, tight, and youthful-looking.

Too much unprotected time in the sun year after year damages collagen and elastin and results in premature aging — wrinkles, fine lines, and the like.

In addition to premature wrinkles, another negative long-term side effect of sun damage is skin discoloration (think: sunspots).

Cancer

By far, the biggest concern about too much sun exposure and severe sunburn is that it leaves you at a higher risk for certain types of skin cancers.

However, taking measures to lower your risk for skin cancer doesn’t mean you have to swear off going outside! But you should always take the sun seriously and protect yourself (and your family!) properly.

Let’s get straight to how you can do that.

7 Sun Protection Methods For Your Family

Mom applying sunscreen on child's shoulder for sun protection

So, what does good sun protection consist of? As we mentioned, it’s much more than using sunscreen when you’re at the beach.

Here, we’ll give you seven ways to protect yourself and your family from the sun while enjoying it at the same time!

1) Wear Sunscreen

This one is probably a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating because it’s so essential to staying safe in the sun: wear sunscreen!

If you’re going to be outside, this is a basic step to staying safe. But not any old sunscreen will do. You want to choose one that is both safe and effective.

Safe Sunscreen

The sunscreen you wear doesn’t disappear into thin air — it can soak into your skin (and your bloodstream) and wash off into the ocean.

That’s why safe sunscreen matters! It should be good for your skin, your body, and the environment.

One ingredient (oxybenzone) commonly used in chemical sunscreen is not safe for you or the coral reefs. When it’s absorbed into your body, it can pass through the placental barrier, wind up in breastmilk, and cause hormone disruption in both women and men.

And when oxybenzone washes off in the ocean, it bleaches the coral reefs!

For the safest sunscreen, opt for a mineral formula made with non-nano zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, like Babo Botanicals’s Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. Non-nano zinc oxide won’t mess with your body or bleach the coral reefs!

In addition, our hypoallergenic sunscreen is full of skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera and organic oils.

Babo Botanicals’s Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

As for the littlest ones in your family, keep them safe with Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Pump Spray. It’s fragrance-free and formulated for your baby’s delicate skin.

Effective Sunscreen

If your sunscreen is safe for you and the ocean but doesn’t actually protect you from the sun, it’s not much good! You need a sunscreen that’s both safe and effective at protecting you from UVA and UVB rays.

Look for “broad-spectrum” on your sunscreen bottle. That means it will block both UVA and UVB rays. When it comes to broad-spectrum mineral sunblock, zinc oxide provides full protection.

Expiration Dates

Did you know that sunscreen expires? It’s true. No matter what sunscreen you choose, don’t use it if it’s past its prime. It might not effectively protect you from the sun, and it can contain bacteria.

How do you know if your sunscreen is expired? Some bottles have an expiration date, making it easy peasy! If there’s no expiration date, try to remember when you bought it. It’s OK to use it for three years after that.

Finally, if there’s no expiration date and you have no clue when you bought it, go by its look and smell.

When expired, mineral sunscreen will separate and become grainy and runny. Chemical sunscreen might change in texture, become a bit yellow, or smell odd.

2) Reapply Frequently

woman wearing hat for sun protection

Even the best sunscreen won’t offer enough protection if you don’t apply it often enough! Whether you’re using mineral or chemical sunscreen, reapply every couple of hours — more often if you’re in and out of the water.

One extra tip from the pros: don’t skimp on sunscreen! For the best protection, apply liberally.

3) Avoid Peak Hours

The third way to protect yourself from the sun is to avoid peak hours.

We’re not saying you can’t have any fun outside on a sunny day! Simply plan for inside activities (lunch, anyone?) around peak sun hours, which is usually somewhere between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

One way to find out when to avoid being in the sun is to check the UV index. If you’re not familiar with this international scale, it runs from zero to 11+.

The higher the UV index number the stronger the sun — and the higher your chance of sunburn and sun damage! You can find the UV index on your local weather report.

4) Seek Shade

Shady area at the beach perfect for protection from the sun

It might seem obvious, but shade is your friend on the sunniest of days! A beach umbrella or the shade of a big tree will provide your skin with a break from the sun.

Protecting yourself from the sun in this way is especially important if you are outside during peak hours.

5) Wear Protective Clothing

Sunscreen is not the only thing you should put on when you head outside for fun in the sun. Protective clothing is another must, especially if you’ll be outside for a long time or in the middle of the day!

Sunglasses will protect your eyes, and a wide-brimmed hat will provide shade for your face and ears.

For more full-body protection, wear short-sleeved shirts to cover your shoulders, long sleeves for even more protection, and a breezy skirt to cover your legs but also keep you cool.

6) Apply Face Sunscreen Every Day

Sun damage doesn’t happen only in the summer or with a sunburn. It can be the cumulative effect of sun exposure day after day.

This is why wearing sunscreen every day is an essential part of sun protection! Even if you’re not planning on spending much time outdoors, show your face some TLC with a daily sunblock.

The same rules apply to face sunscreen: find one that’s gentle on your skin, safe for your body, and good for the earth. Go with a mineral sunscreen like Daily Sheer Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30.

Daily Sheer Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

This ultra-sheer, lightweight, clean, and non-greasy sunscreen is made with kahai, sea buckthorn, and argan oil and enriched with anti-aging hyaluronic acid! It adds a luminosity to your skin while also being gentle and soothing for even the most sensitive skin.

7) Don’t Forget Your Lips

Sun protection should be for your whole body. That includes your lips! Protect them from the sun with lipstick or chapstick that has SPF.

Babo Botanicals’s Pretty & Protective Lip Tint Trio SPF 15 is just what you need! Choose from three different sheer shades, and soften and condition your lips while providing sun protection with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Sun-Safe Summer Fun!

two kids playing at the beach

No matter what adventure your family is on this summer, sun protection is the name of the game!

With a little planning ahead, the right clothes, and the right sunscreen, you and your family will be able to enjoy the sunshine with no worries.

Keep safe, effective sunscreen on hand at all times: Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 for you and your kids and Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Pump Spray for the tiny ones. A fun and sun-safe summer is right around the corner!

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