I’m going to be honest: I’m very intense when it comes to sun protection. I’m careful even in the winter, but in the summer, it’s a whole other level.
I apply not one, but two layers of sunscreen before I go outside. I put it on at least 15 minutes prior to leaving the house, so that the product has time to absorb and become effective, and I do my best to reapply it every two hours. I’ve been known to wear jackets and pants in the middle of a humid July day. I plan errands for either the early morning or at night whenever possible. If I’m outdoors for a long period of time, I camp out in the shade, armed with sunglasses and a hat. I own an anti-UV ray umbrella. When I lived in L.A., I wore driving gloves in the car (I judge me for that, too).
I get that these tactics are not fun, but they've become habit for me. I’ve been applying sunscreen everyday, rain or shine, since I was sixteen. Around that time, my fair-skinned grandpa was starting to get many biopsies at his dermatology appointments. Seeing what he was going through, I began to be more careful about sun protection.
Despite my vigilance now, I’ve had skin cancer biopsies myself. This is possibly because I got many sunburns as a kid. I used to (gasp) sit by the pool, trying to coax my pale complexion into becoming tanner. I also may have had skin cancer scares because though I was wearing sunscreen, I was not applying it properly.
For a long time, I was making the mistake of missing certain spots. These areas included: ears, eyelids, eyebrows, lips, hands, and feet. The middle of the back was where I had gotten especially lazy. Fast forward a couple of years, and I now have some biopsy scars to remind myself that it’s important to cover every part of the body.
Even if you’re not a person who burns easily, you can still benefit from sunscreen. Besides defending against cancer, it also helps slow signs of aging, like sunspots and wrinkles. The products that I use in the summer are:
I know this is a lot! I’ve found it's what works to keep me sunburn free, though. I’d love to hear your summer routines, too.