We asked for summer and here it is, folks! Here.it.is. I live in DC where bodies of water are not sexy. I mean the Chesapeake Bay is nice, but it’s a nice, long drive. May be worth it, but it’s not all that glamorous. There’s the Potomac River, which skirts the city, but that’s as dingy as an unkempt stable. You don’t want to go near that. But, when it’s 93F out and you can’t think straight enough to care about the effects of the ambiance you just want to be near a splash. Any liquid splash will do the job of cooling you off. And while truthfully, the real thing to do in that kind of torturous heat is to just stay indoors, covered by glorious air conditioning, it’s inevitable you’ll be outside at some point.
The heat is stifling. It’s borderline unhealthy, but no one ever rejected a day at the beach because of it. No one. But if you’re going to be out there, you do have to be smart and take care of yourself. You have to protect that beautiful, unbroken skin you have. Subjecting ourselves to high heat indices and super powerful rays is a sure way to cause damage down the road. Protecting our skin, especially our faces, is key to having a enjoyable time, no matter what you’ve got going outdoors. Wrinkles are not sexy – we all know that – but skin cancer is nothing to even play with. Wrinkles never killed anyone. Cancer does.
While I’ve not been the best at applying SPF and totally regret not doing so when I was younger, especially because we spent most of our childhood outdoors, now I’m attacking the effects by being overzealous in my application, no matter what. It’s like buttering my favorite loaf of bread – I add butter before making a grilled cheese, right — same here — I’ll lather up my entire body – even the most invisible parts – with at least 50 proof. It’s about protection and prevention.
Because if you didn’t know, melanoma ranks top in cancer killers. It’s bad. Really ugly kind of bad. So why not take easy steps to keep yourself in good health? Here are some of this summer’s (and some cameos) affordable lotions, sprays and creams to keep your mind free of stress – at least while you’re at the beach.
Avon Sun+ SPF 25 Spray. I prefer prays over lotions, but even this could use a higher level. But it’s water resistant and broad spectrum, which you want in any protectant. $6.99
Neutrogena Cool Dry SPORT Spf 70. This one is perfect for the active person exercising outside. There’s simply no way around wearing it. It’s what I apply when cycling and its claims to evaporate sweat is very true. 2 non-stop hours on the bike, in 92F weather, is a good test. It passed. $8.
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection for Face/Body 50+. This is on the more luxe end, but it works and one of my faves. It’s the 2nd year on my list because of the consistent nature. I featured it on TV here. It feels great, doesn’t leave white film – so not sexy on the beach and causes your eyes to itch (worse thing ever, especially when sweating) – and smells light and airy. It’s a spray, so win-win. $36.
Lancôme Benefit UV 50+ Sunscreen. I love this here! I swear by this and Artistry Beauty’s little purse-size bottle for every day. It’s my default morning routine sunscreen, but I also carry this in my purse just in case I find myself staying outdoors longer than I anticipated. I love most how light it feels, leaving no trace of white film. And, it doesn’t smell like you’re going to the beach instead of the office. $40.
L’Oreal Advanced Sun care Silky Sheer Lotion. Another option to consider this summer but with super added benefits. The entire collection, which boasts invisible sprays (not tried) and dedicated face lotions (not tried either), is not only about skin protection but education, too. While the lotion is just that — very silky and non-invasive, it serves a purpose. $9.99
The brand has partnered with the Melanoma Research Alliance for the next three years. Their contribution will be to donate $1 to the MRA for every advanced suncare product sold here in the US. I think that’s pretty nifty.
Protecting our skin while providing research for cancer prevention?? I’m all about supporting brands that support bigger causes. Plus, with the different sizes available, notably the 3oz. size, it’s perfect to travel with.
And ladies with brown skin… don’t be fooled. We’re not 100% in the clear from sun ray risk and damage. Our beautiful melanin offers a priceless layer of protection, but it’s not enough. Take the extra step and keep glow really healthy, superficially and underneath. So yeah, girls, while you’re out about the summer, do yourself a favor, treat yourself right, and get sexy up and all of that goodness. Your later years will thank you for it.
Make sure to get a lotion or spray with broad spectrum; meaning it covers both UV and UB rays. All of these choices are.
Get water-resistant and ones that last at least 80 minutes. My suggestions meet this standard. Yet still, it is recommended you apply 15 minutes before sun exposure, then every two hours and 80 minutes after you’ve been swimming, been sweating or have towel dried.
** L’Oréal Paris will help fund the melanoma research through sales of its line of SPF sun care products, Advanced Suncare. Through December 31st 2015, for every Advanced Skincare product sold in the U.S., L’Oréal Paris will donate $1 to the MRA to fund the L’Oréal Paris-MRA Team Science Award, up to $250,000.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.