12 Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun

Before I moved to Southern California, my skin rarely saw the sun. My skin was so unaccustomed to the sun that I would actually break out in red welts when the sun finally reared it's hot head. Fortunately, those days are behind me (knock on wood) but I'm very conscious of protecting my delicate skin from the harsh rays of the sun. I hate the feeling of the sun on my skin (a sun-baby I am not!) and do my best to protect myself. Along the way, I've developed some habits and tips for having fun while staying safe in the sun. When looking for a place to sit outdoors, I opt for the shady spot and I recently had my skin checked for suspicious growths (all clear! thank goodness!). 

In the summer, my go-to outfit is a casual dress that keeps me cool paired with things that will protect me–a hat, sunnies a bag to tote around my SPF products and a button down for a little extra coverage when the sun feels too hot. Read on for my top 12 tips for staying safe in the summer all year long.

Top row, from left:  Striped Dress  //  Dot Button Down  //  Sunglasses  //  BB Cream  //  Bare Minerals SPF Powder

Bottom row, from left:  Straw Bag  //   T-shirt  //  Straw Hat  //  Sunscreen  //  Lip Balm  //  Short Sleeve Dress

1. Sunscreen first, then clothes

It can be hard to apply sunscreen right to the edge of you strappy summer dress without missing a spot or getting goop all over your clothes. Instead, before you put on your clothes, slather on some sunblock and you'll be safe for a few hours. After I get out of the shower in the morning, and I'm applying body lotion and face creams, I like to put sunscreen on my neck, chest, shoulders and arms as well. Those areas get the most sun exposure so why not add a little more protection?

2. Makeup with SPF

So, I'm assuming you're already using a daily face moisturizer with SPF but did you know there are tons of foundations, cream and powder, with SPF? If I have a choice, I'm always going to choose a product with SPF which is just one of the reasons I love Dr. Jart BB Cream and Bare Minerals Powder. The Dr. Jart BB Cream has great coverage that covers my red areas and leaves a matte finish so nice I don't really even need powder. I've loved the Bare Minerals products for a long time for their coverage and gentle treatment of my sensitive skin so I was really excited when they came out with some that incorporated a few years ago. HSN also has some great skin care products, including a number of makeup brands with SPF!

3. Pucker up

Don't forget your lips! Have you ever had a sunburn on your lips? Really, it can happen, so choose a lip balm with SPF and keep your lips kiss ready. This one by Supergoop has SPF 30.

4. Big Sunglasses

Did you know that your eyes also need protection for the sun? It's true. Damage from the sun can cause eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. So, buy sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection. And while you're at it, choose an extra big pair that will also shield the area around your eyes. I always look for the biggest, darkest pair I can find and of course, store them in my DIY Sunglasses Case

5. Put a hat on it.

My great-aunt has a saying, "When you're wearing a hat, you don't need to say anything else." A hat makes such a fashion statement that you really don't need to worry about the rest of your outfit. Plus, with a nice, wide brim will protect your face, neck and chest from the sun. So, be bold and put a hat on!

6. Powder your part

Have you ever tried to put sunscreen on your hair? Um, not so easy. So if you're not going to wear a hat, add a little bit of SPF powder to your part and protect that strip of exposed skin on top of your head.

7. Left side!

If you're anything like me, you spend a lot of time driving and your left side is a shade or two darker than your right. So, favor your driver's side arm and put some extra sunscreen on it every time you jump in the car. I keep a bottle of sunscreen in the door pocket of my car and apply an extra dose while I'm at a stoplight. Once you make it a habit, it's not hard at all to remember. 

8. Snow Protection

If you've ever been skiing on a sunny day, you know that the sun bounces off that shiny, white snow and can do a real number on your skin. So, when you're hitting the slopes this winter, don't forget to slather some sunscreen on your face and lips. Even if it's cloudy, you're still getting some intense sun exposure so just do it and you won't have regrets later.

9. Don't forget your feet

So you probably know that your face, shoulders, chest and arms get the most sun exposure but did you ever think about your feet? Those strappy sandals are gorgeous but they do leave your feet exposed to the sun's rays. So, while you're putting some sunscreen up top (see tip #1), add some to the top of your feet.

10. Think about fabric and cut

Fabric naturally gives your skin a little bit of protection from the sun. To get extra protection from your clothes, wear more modestly cut clothing that covers more of your body. If you're noticing freckles popping up on your shoulders or chest, maybe it's time to opt for a cap sleeve or high neck blouse. There's also some evidence that dark colored clothes provide more protection than light colored ones.

11. Set a timer

Are you the forgetful type? If you're going to be outside for a long time, set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Set it and you won't forget it!

12. Buy in bulk.

Every year, I buy a bulk load of sunscreen from Costco. I have multiple bottles for storing in my purse, car and bathroom. Stocking up means I don't have an excuse not to use it. Every time I'm packing to go on a day trip or vacation, I throw in a bottle and I'm ready to go. 

What are your tips for staying safe in the sun?