When I was a little girl, my grandparents use to wear BluBlockers® sunglasses. They insisted these glasses were the best on the market and everyone should wear them.
I never got “into” sunglasses. I’ve had a few pair, and while I would wear them primarily to “look cool” I never felt the urge to wear them otherwise. (Although, they have come in handy for not squinting in photos and while riding a Jet Ski® – to keep the water out of my eyes.)
Sun, for me, has always been a source of energy. I prefer warm climates where the sun shines more than it doesn’t. And if it’s not shining for long periods of time, I feel somewhat icky. I believe the sun is good for us, and our bodies need that light.
At the same time, receiving too much sun can cause us to be sick. I learned that quickly when I was 15 years young and thought since the sun was behind the clouds that I could not burn. Nope – I burned! And the first morning that followed I could not open my eyes because my lids were swollen shut. I had to use ice packs (and cucumber slices) for hours before I could open my eyes again.
So, some protection is important. At the same time, how do we be mindful when we’re on vacation? We’re escaping the cold to be in the heat and throw ourselves at the mercy of the sun to bake us and warm our insides, right? Or, we live in a warm climate, but work in freezing A/C-filled offices and escape to the beach during the weekend, only to find ourselves feeling the burn in our chairs come Monday morning! All too many of us have experienced a sunburn way too early on our holiday trips. And sunscreen products have been inducted into the hall of fear fame as ridiculous SPF protection numbers are at an all-time high and products have ingredients that we don’t understand, let alone can spell. So what’s a sun lover to do?
Here are five tips plus product insights to help you stay in sun balance, whether you’re having a stay-cation or traveling to a sun-filled island:
- Limit your sun-baking intake to maximum two hours a day. I generally only “bake” for one hour, but for sun-loving folks on the first day of vacation, one hour might be challenging. It’s helpful to get a chair with an umbrella so you can sit part of the time in the sun, and the rest under the shade of an umbrella. Just know that the umbrella doesn’t block the sun entirely. So wear a cover-up of some sort, especially if it’s between the hours of 12:00 and 2:30p.
- Early morning and late afternoon will help you build your tan. The sun is less intense, and I know you can feel it during the morning and late afternoon hours. Have a morning walk on the beach around 8:30a and then take an hour of sun. Or, go for a swim around 3:30-4:00p and relax during a cooler part of the day.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil has been used by islanders for many years and has a natural SPF of 4, or so they say. All I know is that I use coconut oil for many purposes; my hair, to moisturize my skin, and when I’m in the sun. But, it IS oil – slick and shiny and may actually attract the sun, like when you’re in the water. So, yes, it’s a decent alternative to toxic ingredient-filled products, yet still, go slowly on how many hours you’re in the sun. Everyone’s skin is different.
- Baiser Beauty’s No 5 Sun Tan Oil – Baiser Beauty is making 100% organic beauty products and I recently purchased their Sun Tan Oil which claims an SPF of 35+ and has ingredients I’ve heard of and can pronounce: Lavender Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Raw Virgin Coconut Oil and Vitamin E. I’ve used this all over my body for beach days, and as an insect repellant, and I like it. It smells nice too.
- Alba Botanica Lip Care SPF 25 – I’ve been using this product for more than a year and it’s not just for lips! I have body parts that need a little extra attention when I’m in the sun – lips, nose, the edges of my ears, my shoulders and knees – and this tiny little lip tube handles them all. And because the tube is so small, you can carry it with you every day. So if you happen to be out in the sun for any reason and feel that you need protection, just whip this baby out and apply where needed. FYI, it doesn’t taste good, so keep it on your skin, and don’t ingest it if possible.
When I’m traveling, I take the Alba Botanica Lip Care, a smaller bottle of Baiser Beauty’s Sun Tan Oil, and I buy coconut oil at my destination if I can. Then I’m covered. Also, a lot of 4- and 5-star hotels offer and supply sunscreen while you’re at their pool or beach. So, you might want to ask the hotel you’re staying in before you leave so that you don’t have to lug anything with you.
Until next time, thanks for reading and Happy Travels!