Today’s post kicks off a new weekly series called 5 Things You Need To Know About…. Each week’s post will highlight a different topic that I’ll investigate and, along with the help of experts and professional sources, cull together five tips that will hopefully serve up some fresh ideas, facts and angles on topics you want to know about!
Summer is fun, but sunburn is definitely not! Who wants to look as red as a boiled lobster? It’s not pretty to look at, and for the person who has it, it’s pretty painful.
Sunburn is not always immediately apparent. Symptoms usually start about 4 hours after sun exposure, can worsen within 24–36 hours. Sometimes it can take up to 3-5 days to resolve itself. Typical symptoms include red, tender and swollen skin, and more severe cases can have blistering, headache, fever, chills, nausea, fainting and fatigue.
So here’s a primer on how to not ruin your skin, get wrinkles and increase your chance of skin cancer. Gathered from information from the Skin Cancer Foundation and National Council on Skin Cancer, these tips should be followed on daily basis to prevent sunburn, not just during the summer and even on cool, cloudy or hazy days. And both organizations also remind us not to forget and be extra careful around water, snow, ice and sand because they also reflect the sun’s rays and can give you a sunburn.
5 Things You Need To Know About…. Preventing Sunburn
1. Cover Up! Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection. The more skin you cover, the better so opt for long sleeves and pants in either bright or dark (not white,it reflects and causes you to get more sun!), tightly woven fabrics are best when possible.
2. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Choose a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap to not only protect your face , but your scalp because it burns too (hair doesn’t protect it from the sun. Wrap around sunglasses work best but look for ones that state that they block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
3. Moisturize you skin with a lotion or moisturizer. You always want to keep your skin as moisturized and hydrated as possible. Sunburn is usually caused when the skin has no more moisture due to direct contact from ultraviolet light. That also means to keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water throughout the day.
4. Avoid prolonged contact with the sun. It’s recommended not to spend more than 3 hours of direct contact with the sun. Seek out the shade – either indoors, under a tree, a covered porch, a canopy or even an umbrella, especially during the peak hours of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. Take advantage of early morning and late afternoon to indulge in outdoor activities. Keep infants and young children out of prolonged and direct sun at all times. Just one severe burn in childhood doubles the chances of developing melanoma later in life.
5. Use a sunscreen or sunblock. A sunscreen’s SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, measures how long unprotected skin can be exposed to the sun’s shortwave, ultraviolet B (UVB) rays before burning, compared with how long it takes to burn without protection. Most dermatologists recommend using a SPF of 30. So for example, if used correctly, a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 prevents sunburn 30 times longer than if sunscreen wasn’t used. And look for sunscreen that protect against a broad spectrum of rays.
You need to apply 1 ounce, that roughly equals 2 tablespoons, of sunscreen to your entire body for 30 minutes before going outside. You need to reapply every two hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating.
Getting both of my kidlets to wear sunscreen is one of my biggest outdoor/summer challenges, but it is especially so for my daughter. She has very fair skin and some freckles on her face. She could get a burn in less than a half-hour when exposed to summer sunlight during peak hours. But she hates the way sunscreen feels on her body, especially on her face. She fights both me and The Hubs whenever we try to put it on her.
So I look for fun ways to get it on her, such as playing a game or finding fun products. So when Australian Gold recently sent me a care package featuring some items from their fun and fruity line of sun care products that feature that famous feline, Hello Kitty, I knew my daughter would be game to try it!
I prefer to use lotion over mists for sunscreen/sunblock on my children because I can better see what parts of their skin I’ve got covered! So the Hello Kitty Mineral Sunscreen Lotion in Sweet Starfruit is perfect. It’s a safe and gentle mineral lotion formula that’s PABA-free and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It protects against a broad spectrum of UVA and UVB rays and has a SPF rating of 50.
I’ll be using it in tandem with two of their new sun care products — Hello Kitty SPF 30 Lip Balm which helps to prevent sunburn and protects dry, chapped lips and Hello Kitty Frozen Aloe After Sun Cooling Spray which helps to moisturize dry and parched skin with soft little snowflakes that absorb quickly into skin.
These products retail from $1.99 for the lip balm (.15 oz) to $6.99 for the cooling spray (6 oz) and $9.99 for the sunscreen lotion (5 oz).
Hello Kitty by Australian Gold products are carried by most major retailers, including Walgreens, cVS, WalMart and Target as well as www.australiangold.com.
Next week I’ll highlight tips to protect yourself and your kids from ticks when camping or playing outside.
If you have a suggestion for a future “5 Things You Need To Know About…” column, let me know by posting in the comments!
Now it’s your turn to share. When swimming do you prefer a pool, a lake or the ocean?
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