Summer is in full swing and we have been enjoying the beach and pool as much as we can. Of course, sun safety is of utmost importance to protect my family’s health. Through the years, we have tested a handful of items that protect from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Below are summer essential must haves and sun safety tips for sun protection while out and about.
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1. Sunscreen – We’ve used several brands of natural sunscreen and we’re not done trying. This is a staple in my purse and diaper bag. Make sure that you pick a sunscreen that protects from both UV A and B, and with an SPF rating of at least 15. Natural sunscreens come in a variety of application: cream/lotion, spray/mist, continuous spray, and even a wipe. A multipurpose sunscreen, one for all over the body, is great. Sunscreens specifically for the face and lips are also available.
2. Sunglasses – Not only can this be a fashion statement, but it’s great at protecting your eyes. A friend recently announced that she has irreversible damage to her eyes due to sun exposure. I’ve been guilty of forgetting to use sunglasses while out and about. However, after my friend made her announcement, I now have one in the car AND in my purse. Before buying sunglasses, look for the UV sticker on the lens. Even inexpensive sunglasses have UV protection.
3. UPF swimwear – Ever since we discovered UPF swimwear, I now only buy these for the kids. There are UPF swimwear out there for adults as well, but nothing too fashionable. I think the cutest one I found for women was the capkini; it’s definitely more sporty than sexy. The great thing about UPF swimwear is that the protection doesn’t wear off, it’s built in.
4. Hat – Who doesn’t love a wide-brim sunhat? Even my husband wears them. Before leaving for Costa Rica, he purchased a semi-wide brimmed hat at a sporting gear store. (Definitely not like the one pictured here; more manly, kind of like a fisherman’s hat). He wore that thing the entire time. Whether it’s made of straw, cotton, nylon, UPF fabric, or other material, a hat is a great way to increase sun protection.
5. Glass water bottle – People often forget that drinking water is part of sun safety. It helps hydrate the body and prevent heat exhaustion. Keep hydrated by carrying a reusable water container. Any container will do, but I totally advocate for glass bottles for many reasons. Read my feature on glass water bottles and maybe you can find your favorite.
6. Umbrella/Canopy/Cabana – The CDC recommends seeking shade when possible. Since you can’t always find shade everywhere, the next best thing is to bring it along with you. We have several types of gear that provide portable shade and absolutely love them, from umbrellas to pop-up shelters and canopies. Some are made with UPF material for added protection.