Spending some time in the Summer sun is a blast — until you start to burn. In honor of Don't Fry Day, the sun protection awareness day that takes place each Friday before Memorial Day, we've found a few apps to help keep your skin out of burn-and-peel territory. From local UV index forecasts to personalized product suggestions, these apps are sure to turn your beach days into smooth sailing. Hoping to avoid a postvacation sunburn nightmare? Download these apps to make smart sun protection a breeze.
While a Summer tan is nice, a sunburn? Not so much. Enter sun-protective UPF clothing. While you may have heard of it, most of us probably don't consider it a wardrobe staple. However, because not all clothing protects equally, UPF gear can make a huge difference, especially for people with sensitive skin. Before you bust out that bikini, let us explain the benefits behind sun-protective clothing; it could be the best addition to your Summer adventures!
- What's the difference between SPF and UPF? Found in sunscreen, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and takes into consideration the time it takes for your skin to redden in the sun. UPF is short for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and measures the amount of UV radiation that goes through a fabric to reach the skin.
- What makes UPF clothing different? While all clothing impacts the transmission of UV rays, some do a better job than others. Most fabrics will protect your skin at the same level as an SPF 30 sunscreen, but those looking for more of a barrier should consider UPF clothing. Compared to standard fabrics, UPF fabric is very dense with a tight weave, minimizing the amount of sun that can pass through. UPF clothing is also made with specific treatments, fibers, and dyes that boost the UPF rating. Lastly, these fabrics aren't prone to stretching, and you probably won't find them available in white; the darker the fabric, the better.
- What's all the talk about this rating system? Just like SPF, there is a rating system, meaning some fabrics protect more than others. Similar to sunscreen, the higher the number, the better. For example, clothing with a UPF range of 15-24 is good, while clothing with a rating of 50+ is excellent!
- Is UPF clothing for me? Wearing UPF clothing won't hurt you; it will only protect you. If you spend loads on time outdoors, then maybe a few UPF tees are right for you. If you have sensitive skin or are severely prone to sunburns, then UPF clothing is a smart choice. UV-protective clothing is great for children, too, especially for beach babes or those who don't like sunscreen. Remember, regularly applying sunscreen, wearing hats, and keeping track of your time in the sun will prevent painful sunburns, sun damage, and maybe even skin cancer, so don't substitute UPF for these important routines.
Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you can put away your sunscreen. Even though there are plenty of Winter layers to keep you warm (and covered), don't forget to keep your face, neck, and hands protected from the sun's harmful rays.
Snow and ice reflect UV rays. Sure, it might seem gray outside, but snow and ice reflect the sun's rays. This means you should keep your SPF routine up on a daily basis. Heading to the slopes? You'll definitely want a stronger sunscreen formula made for Winter sports — because windburn is most uncomfortable.
There's a thinner ozone layer. The colder seasons mean the ozone layer is thinning out. So, there is less ozone in our atmosphere to absorb the sun's UV radiation. Even though it feels colder outside, there's actually more of the sun's harmful rays hitting the earth's surface and, yes, your skin. Prevent getting a cold-weather burn by using a product with SPF 30 or more.
It seems like boating season unofficially begins on Memorial Day weekend with everyone headed to their lake houses, weekend river residences, or the beach. In different parts of the nation, boating accidents, injuries, and unfortunately fatalities are on the rise. Now that I've captured your attention, let's review a few tips on boating safety.
- Boater's fatigue is real, and it can wear you down. The US Coast Guard warns people about this condition, created by the combination of wind, noise, heat, and vibration of the boat. All these elements can mentally and physically fatigue boaters and subsequently impair their judgment.
- Personal flotation devices, otherwise known as life jackets, are vitally important for everyone on board the boat, be it a canoe or a speed boat. Some states even require children under a certain age to wear life jackets, so if the little ones complain about wearing the big orange life vest, tell them it's the law.
- Boating and alcohol don't mix. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body's ability to stay warm. Coupled with boater's fatigue, folks on a boat will feel the effects of alcohol faster than they would on land. Plus, driving a boat while intoxicated is illegal.
- The wind can keep you cool and make you forget you're in the sun, but don't forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours and always after swimming. Lube up even if it's overcast since UV rays can still damage your skin through clouds.
- Watch the weather to keep an eye on local weather conditions, and be prepared for electrical storms. Water conducts electricity, so you don't want to find yourself on the open water during a lightning storm.
- SPF: SPF stands for "Sun Protection Factor." According to WebMD, SPF is the ability of a sunscreen to block UVB rays, which cause sunburns, but not UVA rays, which can penetrate skin more deeply. The number, however, doesn't indicate how long a person can be outside in the sun before suffering from a burn. Some doctors argue that ditching your bottle of SPF 30 for a higher SPF may lead to a false sense of security about staying in the sun longer without reapplying. With the new regulations about labeling, the FDA has proposed a rule that would ban companies from labeling its sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher. Research suggests that there aren't any additional benefits once the SPF gets that high.
A child's skin isn't the only thing that needs protecting during the Summer. Their hair needs protection too! The sun, chlorine, and salt water can have a drying, damaging effect on hair (and the scalp) that will last long after those pool parties and family trips to the beach. Protect and nourish your lil swimmer's locks with a leave-in conditioner that adds moisture while reducing fly aways that come out with Summer's humidity.
From left to right:
- So Cozy Protective Conditioning Mist with Sunscreen ($14): A leave-in conditioner with sunscreen to protect hair and scalp from the harmful effects of the sun. This hair care product is specially formulated for children 1 to 12-years-old and has a cool coconut scent.
- Original Sprout Leave-In Conditioner ($11): Made with natural and organic ingredients, it helps protect against sun and environmental damage. It also strengthens and improves hair structure with vegetable proteins and polymers.
- Fairy Tales Coco Cabana Leave-In Sun Spray ($11): A rich conditioner in a spray pump to help keep hair conditioned and manageable. It's paraben free and contains coconut oil and jojoba.
- California Baby Swimmer's Defense Hair Conditioner ($12): This conditioner contains a botanical blend of herbs, rich emollients, and natural sunscreens that combine to re-balance, repair, and rehydrate hair, leaving it soft and shiny.
- Smart Girls Who Surf Care for Hair Leave-in Conditioner ($9): A leave-in conditioner and protein-infused detangler, specially formulated with vitamins and has SPF 7 sunscreen to protect the hair and scalp from the sun. It's paraben and oil free, and has a light kiwi scent.
Take cover! A significant percentage of our exposure to sun occurs by age 18, and with Summer in full swing, beaches, pools, and other outdoor activities rule the day. While avoiding the sun completely just isn't an option for most families, Mr. Golden Sun's dangerous UV rays can be avoided with the right accessories. Infants' thin skin and underdeveloped melanin can cause their skin to burn faster than older kids. To celebrate UV Safety Awareness Month, we're looking beyond sunscreen and the rash guard for the best products to protect even the littlest tots' precious skin now, and throughout the year.
Clockwise from top left: Speedo Hydrospex Kids Goggle ($10), Coolibar UPF 50+ Infant Chlorine Resistant Bucket Sun Hat ($19), i play Long Sleeve Rashguards ($12), Julbo Infant Looping Sunglasses, 0-18 months ($30),
Breakers UV Sun Protective Two Piece Swimsuit for Infant/Toddler Boys (UPF 50+) ($40), Coolibar UPF 50+ Child Swim Sun Sleeve ($40).
The main cause of skin cancer is overexposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. And according to Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Air and Radiation, "Many people still do not realize that unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and other health problems." Skin cancer affects more than two million Americans each year. That's more than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers combined, says the EPA.
To protect yourself from harmful UV rays, you should try to stay out of direct sunlight during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; cover up by wearing hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved-shirts; wear sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher; and stay in a shaded spot or take an umbrella with you to the beach. And if you do happen to get burned, in the latest issue of The Oprah Magazine, Dr. Oz says you can sponge your burn with cooled chamomile tea, since it contains great anti-inflammatory properties.
The quiz uses the Fitzpatrick skin sensitivity scale to determine your skin type. (Fitzpatrick isn't our preferred measure, because it doesn't offer as many options for deeper skin tones, but it's still the industry standard.) After you answer a few questions, it then tells you which stars have skin that resembles yours, along with info on what you should be doing to protect yourself from skin cancer risk. It only takes a few seconds to fill out, and who doesn't want to be told that she has something in common with Penelope Cruz?