Tis the season for beach trips and long afternoons spent in the sun, so you know what I’m going to write about: sun safety.
Look, I am well aware that I’m in no position to tell you how to stay safe in the sun. I sunburn on a regular basis, don’t wear sunscreen or hats, and have the mindset that being tan is greater than protecting my skin. Although my choices haven’t been the smartest, I have definitely learned some things, and I want to share them with you so that you don’t have to go through what I did, and so you can bronze up for the next few summer months!
1. Wear the damn sunscreen. I know I’m not the only girl out there who loves being dark, but unless you want gross tanlies, tons of sun spots, and pigmentation problems, I highly recommend getting some SPF 30, and just keeping your skin soft rather than damaging it completely.
2. Time management is everything when it comes to being out in the sun. Try and remember how long you’ve been in the water so you know when to reapply sunscreen. Keep track of how long you’ve been laying on your stomach, so you know when to flip on your back. I suggest keeping your phone or a watch nearby so you can be on top of time!
3. Oil and water build a tan. This isn’t the most “safe” tip, but it is a tip, nonetheless, for the tanners out there. Basically, dry tanning will not give you the darkest tan, oil and water do. Don’t ask me the science. I only know this due to trial and error.
4. Fake it. If you’re craving a golden brown skin tone, but you are cautious of all the dangers of the rays, I vote for fake tanners. You can go to Sephora and try a higher end tanner like St. Tropez, or you can go to any drugstore and buy a gradual self-tanning lotion. This is the safest way to look like a golden goddess.
5. If you can’t be a good role model, be a great teacher. I am 20 and have plenty of younger boys and girls in my life who I can influence. I don’t want them to think that they can hang out in the sun for five hours without any protection, such as sunscreen or protective clothing. I already have melanoma on my shoulders and back, but I would hate to see my younger cousins with that issue. Even if I don’t practice what I preach, I lather up all my little ones in sunscreen every hour on the hour if we are spending time together outside. You can do the same. Teach those around you how to be safe in the sun.
Sun protection is almost common knowledge in this day and age, however not everyone is following those rules (I’m sure not). Casual reminder that your skin is your largest organ, and screwing it up is painful and dangerous! I burn myself on a regular basis, but I am starting to learn that my skin isn’t going to stay young and fresh forever. I definitely don’t want to become walking leather, so I am starting to try a little bit harder to take care of my skin when it’s in the sun, and I hope all of you do too.