Fun In the Sun
I grew up in the sun. As a kid we played outside constantly. We rode bikes, drank from the hose and rarely wore shoes; basically it was a big, fun adventure. My grandparents had a house on the lake that we would visit on weekends in the summer. I don’t know how many times we swam across the lake to the beach. Even now I dream of living on the water one day.
I always had the best sun tan, until I was 16 and got a job. After that my tan was limited to a couple of painful burns each year. I rarely wore sunscreen.
The C Word
In my 20’s I learned that my grandmother had several cancerous moles removed. I’ve always had a lot of moles and knew I needed to get them checked, but I waited. At my yearly check up my doctor mentioned that I should have my moles checked, this time I didn’t wait.
I found a dermatologist who came highly recommended. He conducted an inspection and found a lot of suspicious moles. He removed them and sent them to the lab. About a week later I heard back. They were all fine, except one.
I returned to the dermatologist for an outpatient procedure to remove the underlying tissue where the mole once was. I may have mentioned how squeamish I am. Before anything was done, anything, I threw up…then I passed out. They wanted to reschedule but I didn’t want to start all over so I begged them to proceed.
He removed the tissue, I got 8 stitches, and we waited for what seemed like forever for the results. A week or two later we learned that the underlying tissue was healthy. For 5 years I returned every 6 months to have my moles checked again. I’ve had a few more removed through the years but they have all been normal. Now I only get them checked once a year.
I have scars. Though they have faded through the years these scars remind me that I am vulnerable. They remind me that I must take care of my skin and protect it.
I want to share some very important tips to keep you and your family safe in the sun. I was so thankful to learn about these recently at Whole Foods Market Paradise Valley. I am very serious about keeping my kids safe, including their skin.
4 Easy Tips to Keep You Safe in the Sun
1. Cover Up!
I know you want to look cute and tan, me too but it is not worth getting a burn (in the short-term) or cancer (in the long run). We regularly dress our boys in long sleeves and hats in the summer.
2. Wear a Mineral Sunscreen
Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and sometimes titanium dioxide that stay on top of your skin to block the sun’s rays. They work immediately. Alternatively, chemical sunscreens are absorbed into your skin and must be applied before you go outside because it takes time to become effective. Avoid that by only wearing mineral sunscreen.
3. Use Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Broad Spectrum means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause sun damage including cancer while UVB rays cause sunburns.
Sunscreens need to be reapplied at least every 2 hours but more often if you are sweating or swimming. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your ears, the tops of your feet and the back of your legs. Often we only remember to apply to our face and shoulders.
I’m always very careful about what we put on our skin, especially my son’s. He has a lot of allergies and very sensitive skin. He often gets hives from exposure so I read and reread labels. I’m happy to have found a couple of options that I feel are safe for his skin. With any product you NEED to read the label to make sure it is safe for you if you have allergies or sensitivities.
Goddess Garden Organics are vegan and allergy-friendly. I use their continuous spray natural sunscreen. It sprays on in a nice even mist. I give it a quick rub to catch any areas I missed.
Badger Balm is another allergy-friendly company. Many of their products contain beeswax so they are not vegan but their new sunscreen lotions will be.
I use DeVita’s Protective Moisturizer daily. It’s SPF 30+ and goes on smooth and sheer. I often wear makeup over and it is never oily. They have a tinted version I plan to try next. DeVita Skin Care products are all vegan.
All three of these products can be found at your local Whole Foods Market. The staff in the Whole Body department is very knowledgeable and helpful.
The Whole Foods Market Paradise Valley is having a 4 Day Sun Care Promotion, May 23rd to May 26th. Suncare products will be 30% off. I recommend you buy some for the diaper bag, the pool bag, the car and the house.