How much did you love this past weekend of shorts and sandals and beer on decks?
In our house, the impossible occurred. In a miraculous move, the kids departed the virtual world for the real thing. The girl, up earliest to enter a charity sports challenge, enjoyed a full day of fun in the sun. Too bad she can hardly walk today. Oh ya, sunscreen.
It’s hard to get annoyed. At 15, I was the idiot holding a foil-wrapped album cover under my chin to scorch those deadly rays right into my baby-oiled face. It’s a wonder I wasn’t hospitalized.
These days, I still need reminding that my secret desire for what Nana called “a little healthy colour” is just a misguided 80s beauty ideal. In fact, I catch myself trying to get out of protecting my skin with myths all the time. As in sunscreen gives me zits. Or 50 SPF will keep me white. Or opening the sunroof doesn’t count.
Then last week, I was invited to a lunch event hosted by Coppertone, Aerius and HydraSense, and when the topic turned to summer, I listened, shamefaced, as dermatologist Dr. Sonya Cook listed many more sun myths I buy into.
No matter what I tell myself, though, I know this: While the first peek of sun feels glorious, I don’t want skin cancer, and I don’t want more wrinkles. So I’m here to spread the love.
SUN MYTHS BUSTED
*All sunscreens are created Equal.
NOPE. Check for avobenzone, ecamzule, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide – which have the best UVA coverage. And remember, because we all have different skin and sensitivities, and different lifestyles, you need the right fit. Find your personal sun care profile here.
*Nonmelanoma skin cancers are most often found on face, arms and legs.
NOPE. They are hiding in the spots you forget to protect – ears, back of neck, chest, back of hands. So don’t take any part of you for granted.
*If the bottle says Waterproof, I can swim all day.
NOPE. Reapply every two hours if you’re in the sun, and every hour if you’re in the water.
*I’m lathered head-to-toe, so I’m good to beach it.
NOPE. Sunscreen is the first step. Use a shot glass sized dollop but remember: during peak hours, you need clothing, a hat and shade.
Now that I’ve depressed you, there’s good news. You don’t have to live under a rock all summer. Here are some some tips to help keep you safe and happy outside.
TRICKS OF THE SUN TRADE
*Hate turning into grease face?
TRICK: Apply powder over sunscreen. That’ll counteract the shine and keep sunscreen from stinging your eyes.
*Always seem to miss a spot?
TRICK: Use lotion as your armour first, then reapply through the day with spray. That way, you’re covered.
*Using sunless tanner to look less pale at the pool?
TRICK: Fake tan is fine (warning: watch for signs of orange) but won’t protect. Think layers, with your sunscreen on top.
Got more sun tips or tricks? Spread the love
And for a calendar of events, outings and tips to help you choose the right sunscreen for your activities (yes, there are prizes, too), check out the Sunny Planner by Coppertone.