August; flowy dresses, watermelon everything, falling asleep to the sounds of the cricket orchestra just outside the open window. But also, frizzy hair, thigh rub, and sunburn from that one time you forgot to reapply sunblock. While the summer is entering its twilight, September is still blazin’, so don’t forget to protect your skin.
Back in the good ol’ days, my neighbor used to apply baby oil and sunbathe on her roof, perfectly perched on a sheet of tin foil. Even my own mother would hand me a bottle of Coppertone Suntan Oil as I headed off to the beach. My skin hurts thinking back on those years when tan lines were considered the best back-to-school accessory.
Nowadays, it’s best to steer clear of the sun during peak hours (10AM - 4PM) which, for us reclusive vampires kinda works. For the rest of the population, you have options. SPF, hats, and hydration will keep you burn-free until Labor Day arrives.
Slather on the SPF every day / every few hours. “Slather,” while not a scientific measurement, will be explained. But first, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Broad-spectrum because it protects against UVA and UVB rays (we don’t have to worry about UVC rays - they get absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer - phew!). Then, “slather” a blobby stripe of product on your pointer and middle fingers. That’s the amount needed for your face. And, don’t forget your ears and your neck. For the advanced class, take another blob and cover your hands. Do you want to have the face of a baby and the hands of the Crypt Keeper?
Protecting your skin from the sun is the perfect excuse to buy some new accessories. Show me a dermatologist who doesn’t have amazing hats and sunglasses for every occasion. No need to search - you won’t find one. Have you ever burned your scalp? It’s not fun. Not only is it harmful, but be prepared to have a nasty case of flaky scalp long after you leave the beach. And, as someone who has UV eye damage, I beg of you, splurge on those Celine sunglasses and actually wear them.
Lastly, stay hydrated. It’s just science - water out, water in. If you want to read what medical professionals say about dehydration, click here. Always carry water with you. Hate drinking water? Try adding electrolytes or infusing your water with mint, lemon, or cucumber.
Now, for the fun stuff. Here are some of our favorite sun protection thing-a-ma-bobs: