Safe Sun Protection

sun grass

photo credit: davedehetre

It’s that time of year when we want to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather, and soaking up some much needed Vitamin D, but we also have to be aware of the damaging effects of the sun. With skin cancer on the rise and more and more studies coming out about the harmful chemicals in most sunscreens how do we protect our children and ourselves?

Stay out of the sun. Trying to stay out of the sun when it is the strongest is the easiest step. Depending on where you live and the time of year this can vary between 11am and 4pm. For those of us with little ones this is a good time to go inside, eat lunch and hopefully catch a nap.

Learn to love shade. If you are going to be outside during these hours try to find some shady areas that will you some respite from the sun. Stepping out of the full sun for a few minutes here and there will give your skin some much needed relief from the suns powerful rays.

Wear clothes and hats with SPF protection. Rash guards are short or long sleeved shirts that are usually worn with bathing suits. They are becoming more and more popular and available almost anywhere these days. These are great as you don’t have to worry about re-applying sunscreen throughout the day and as an added bonus they dry very quickly. Companies like Coolibar are coming out with full lines of clothing that have SPF protection to wear day to day.

Find a safe sunscreen. The Environment Working Group just came out with their Sunscreen Guide for 2011. This is a great place to find out what sunscreens you can feel safe about using for yourself and your family. We have personally used both California Baby and some Alba Botanica sunscreens with success. Safe sunscreens are generally pricier than their not-so-safe counterparts, but by using the tips the above I am usually able to make a bottle last a long time while still feeling like I’m protecting my family’s skin, and it’s an investment I’m willing to make.

How do you stay safe in the sun?