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Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between

Summer is officially here! Spending time outdoors in the sunny weather is important to both your physical and mental health. But if you’re at the beach, by the pool, or just in your own yard, sun safety is an important part of enjoying the outdoors.

Here are a few of my go-to items to make fun in the sun as safe as possible!

 

Sport-Brella

We bought this umbrella when we first had a baby and toddler so we could safely enjoy trips to the beach. We chose the XL model which boasts an impressive 9 feet of coverage, multiple stakes to firmly keep it in the sand or soil, and an SPF of 50+. This has survived strong winds, the salt air, and a PCS across the world and back. I am still impressed with how well it’s held up after almost 10 years. 

UPF Clothing

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, clothing is one of the best and simplest ways to block damaging rays. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) refers to how much UV radiation (including UVB and UVA) reaches your skin through the fabric.

Did you know that a UPF of 50 blocks 98% of the sun’s rays?

Choosing UPF clothing has become much simpler in recent years with many manufacturers indicating the UPF on labels for consumers. You should also keep in mind a few things when purchasing this type of sun protection. You’re looking for dark colors, which absorb the most UV rays, and tightly woven fabric like denim or synthetic fibers. The garment should ideally be loose fitting so as not to stretch and allow more rays to reach your skin. 

Sunscreen

Having lived in the South as well as an island in the Pacific, I can safely say that sunscreen is your most important summer accessory. For ages 6 months and up, my favorite choice is thinkbaby. It has no harmful chemicals, is reef friendly, and has an SPF of 50+. It also smells like tropical fruit rather than the traditional, chemical smell. It is available in both a cream and a stick, which can safely be stashed in your purse or pool bag for quick touchups or impromptu playground dates. One of my other faves is the Babyganics SPF 50 Travel Sunscreen Stick that comes in a 2 pack to last you all summer long. 

SPF Lip Balm

Odds are you are more diligent about slathering on sunscreen all over your body than you are on your most vulnerable skin: your lips. SPF is crucial to protecting your thin lip skin, which doesn’t produce much melanin and is exposed year-round to harmful UV rays. When choosing an effective sunscreen lip balm, you want to select one with an SPF of at least 15, but the higher the better. If you choose one with zinc oxide or other physical sunscreens, be sure to reapply often as they come off easily with normal tasks like talking and drinking. 

Hair and Scalp Sunscreen

Much like your lips, it’s easy to forget to protect your scalp and hair from the damaging effects of the sun. How many times have you arrived home and realized your hairline part was beet red?

There are many sprays out there to protect your tresses and delicate scalp skin, and they have a variety of price points. I like this one from Sun Bum, but there are so many other options out there from organic faves like COOLA and Aveda to stylist go-to Bumble and Bumble. If you color treat your hair, it’s also a great way to protect your investment and ensure your hair doesn’t end up brittle and damaged by August. 

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