Hello Sunshine!

You guessed it! Today’s topic is none other than the sun streaming through your windows. Whew! We finally made it! Summer’s here! Although I love winter, I can’t say I’m sad to see it go. These days, it’s practically a sin to remain cooped up in doors. But before you slip out the door… let’s talk sun!

As we are all made aware of (plenty, may I add. Moms sure are good at reminding you about certain things, no?), the sun’s got the good, the bad and the ugly. In order to block out the sun’s real-bad-for-you UV rays, we need to cover ourselves in that nice white lotion commonly referred to  as sunscreen. That way we protect ourselves while taking in all that good vitamin D which is essential to good health. (My, isn’t that user-friendly?;))

Listen, hiding indoors won’t help you much — you need to get out. According to the pros, you need a minimum of 20 minutes a day outdoors. And that’s not me talking. Besides, cabin fever will get you out in no time. So sun protection is nonnegotiable.

Good. Now you’re all convinced. So let’s get down and practical. Cream time!

A good moisturizer should already be part of your morning routine. And if it’s not, it’s a great idea for you to try it out. I love my moisturizer! Why moisturizers all of a sudden? I’ll tell you: If you skim through your local pharmacy’s moisturizer aisle, you’ll probably notice that quite a bit of them have an SPF 30 sunscreen included. That should give you enough protection for a non-especially-outdoorsy day. So that’s 2 for the price of 1 and super worth it. Trust me.

For all you sports-inclined girls (And for those of you who aren’t, this is still a worthwhile read (look who’s talking… After all, do you really need to be sporty to enjoy a good day out in the heat?) , you’re going to be out a lot, playing in the sun. So you’ll need more protection when out and about. That means a lotion with SPF 30 (UVB) and a four-star rating (UVA)

There are all different types of sunscreens. Some give you instant protection (we’re talking zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens), while others are a bit lazier  (the chemical or organic kind) and take about 20 minutes before kicking into full gear and providing you with protection. But that’s not terrible. A little redness in the skin means that vitamin D is being made. So don’t fret if you’re stuck with the 20 minute kind. But don’t go running sun block-free: Protect yourself! It’s still every bit dangerous.

Apply your lotions evenly. Make sure not to forget about the tops of your ears, back of the neck or any exposed skin which might be left behind.

Ever wondered what in the world SPF means? And, really, is there a difference between SPF 15 or an SPF of 1? The answer, as you probably guessed, is yes. SPF is basically the amount of time it takes for your skin to turn red. An SPF of 1 is about 20 minutes while an SPF of 2 is 40 minutes and so on.(Your clothes don’t provide enough protection. Hats provide an SPF of 10 — max while T-shirts give you around SPF 5. If you’re interested, sun-protective clothing with higher SPFs are available. Check it out!)

So whip out your sunhats, sunscreens and water gear! Summer’s here!

Enjoy your summer!