Painful. Red. Scorched skin. Ouch! I've been there toooo many times.
Just ask my girlfriends. They'll tell you that I always burn on our beach trips. Like last year, when we went to Grand Cayman Island to celebrate my neighbor Shelley Tyler's 50th birthday (she's the baby in our group!).
One day walking Seven Mile Beach fried the tops of my feet so badly it hurt to wear shoes (bummer ... I had to give up the cutest sandals!). Before that, my ankles took the heat when I lingered on the beach in Seaside, FL. They puffed up like jellyfish, forcing me to abandon any pretense of style and wear socks to keep them covered. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)
Terri Jutras, Charlotte Hill, our birthday girl: Shelley Tyler and Debbie Williams on Seven Mile Beach, March 2010
This summer, I've vowed to take more notice of the sun's harmful rays. I'd rather not join the one in five Americans who get skin cancer (after all, I already have a breast cancer t-shirt).
So whether I'm walking the beach, working in my backyard or running around town, I'll be layering on products like these to keep burns at bay. Let's start with some things the whole family will find helpful before moving on to those that are just for us girls.
The Family Beach Bag:
Designed for use at the beach, by the pool or while you're active, this new, waterproof sun care collection works even when put on wet skin. Thanks to the inclusion of Natural Lotus Complex, the oil-free formula bonds to your body and repels moisture so it doesn't wear off when you get wet or perspire.
Although Aveeno Hydrosport comes in a one-touch spray bottle and a lotion, Bob (did I mention he's also burn-prone?) prefers the convenient spray-on version. But both these hypoallergenic choices provide super UVA/UVB protection (SPF 50 and SPF 85) and contain Aveeno Active Naturals ingredients to help ensure healthier-looking skin.
On the Shelf: $9.99 SPF 50 spray; $10.99 SPF 85 (spray or lotion) at food, drug and discount stores or Aveeno.com
Neova DNA Damage Control Sun Therapy
If you're a sunburn survivor like me, your skin has taken some abuse. Think it's too late to worry about that? The folks at Neova say think again. Their new DNA Damage Control treatments work to inhibit, guard against and reverse past, present and future insults. More than a sunblock, these advanced formulas safeguard skin from UVA/UVB rays while repairing DNA injuries at a cellular level.
These smart sunscreens include two DNA repair enzymes (Photolysomes and Endosomes) that enhance the skin's natural daily repair system to heal ongoing and previous sun damage, fortify against future problems and provide broad spectrum UV protection. They even speed recovery from burns and help reduce the appearance of peeling.
In addition, high-performance Zinc Oxide works invisibly to deliver sun protection, hydration and smoothness while antioxidant Vitamins A and C hinder the signs of skin damage and aging.
On the Shelf: $39 SPF 43 lotion; $46 SPF 45 lotion at NextDerm.com
Although we know we should, how many boomers don't reapply sunscreen when outdoors for long periods of time? Guilty!
But the Skin Cancer Foundation suggests "Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply every two hours." Following this advice is easier with Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock mists because they keep your hands clean. You just spray them on and go.
These new, waterproof formulas from the #1 dermatologist-recommended sun care brand call on Helioplex Technology to block the sun's harmful rays. Made to protect wet and dry skin from both UVA and UVB rays, the hypoallergenic sprays come in really handy when you're swimming, sweating or just suffering from hot, humid weather.
On the Shelf: $8.99 SPF 30 spray; $9.99 SPF 50 spray and $10.99 SPF 85 spray at food, drug and discount stores or Neutrogena.com
Smart Kids Who Play Solutions
If you're lucky enough to have little ones around (I keep hoping for a grandbaby but there needs to be a wedding first!), your beach bag must include kid friendly options like this healthy, new threesome from Smart Kids Who Play:
SPF 35+ Mineral Sunscreen for Face and Body - Safeguards skin without stinging your beach buddy's eyes. The water-resistant formula uses Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to create a protective barrier. Free of dangerous chemicals and sensitive-skin-wrecking synthetic ingredients, this ultra-kind lotion keeps on working even after 80 minutes of water activity and perspiration.
SPF 30+ Face Stick - Puts sunscreen benefits in a convenient stick so you can apply it quickly, without any mess, on the go. Handy! (For teens and others in the older set, we like Elemental Herbs' all-natural, SPF 30 Sun Stick.)
Perfect for ages 5 to 12, Smart Kids Who Play sunscreens block UVA and UVB rays while nourishing skin with Vitamin C, Aloe Vera and Kukui Nut oil.
I am living proof that sunburns can happen even when you try to protect yourself. So it's smart to have a treatment like Water-Jel's Unburn on-hand just in case. This water-based gel with 2.5% Lidocaine relieves sunburn pain quickly. Besides cooling and soothing the skin, the moisture-rich, Vitamin E formula with Aloe helps prevent peeling.
On the Shelf: $4.99 at Waterjel.com
More for Girls:
A true child of the 70s, I've spent many long hours baking in the sun, trying to obtain the perfect tan. But that was before I discovered self-tanners. Today, I find it's less painful and much easier (not to mention healthier) to block those harmful rays when outdoors. Then use a sunless product like Fake Bake to get that all-over glow.
Headed out for fun in the sun? Try this foursome from Fake Bake:
Sol Survivor - Made for use over an existing Fake Bake tan, this antioxidant-rich mist combines Green Tea with an SPF 30 sunscreen to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. The refreshing, non-greasy spray dries quickly so you don't have to wo
rry about setting out while your sunscreen sets in.
Mistifier - Ideal for counteracting the sun's drying effect, this oil-free spray moisturizes skin, leaving it soft and silky. Green Tea and Vitamin E help protect skin from harmful free radicals that can damage cells and accelerate aging. Meanwhile, Ginger Root and Aloe Vera Gel aid in soothing sensitive or irritated skin.
Tan Enhancing Lotion - Designed to lengthen the life of your tan while conditioning skin, this rich, moisturizing lotion improves the look at any tan. It includes "Gold Glisteners" that add shimmer just right for summer nights.
Fair - For anyone with a fair complexion or a fear of too much color, this moisturizing, self-tanner builds the bronze gradually so the effect is easy to control. It includes Fake Bake's signature, goof-proof guide so you can see exactly where the color is going as you apply it. Want more of a glow? Just use it again.
Guinot Paris Face-Savers
Large Écran UV Sunscreen SPF 30 - This triple-protection sunblock is ideal for your face as well as the sensitive skin on your ears, neck, chest and the back of your hands. Thanks to DNA and sun filters, this fresh-scented, non-greasy cream reflects and absorbs UVA/UVB rays before they do damage and helps prevent aging. Horse Chestnut and Vitamin E sooth and nourish the skin, neutralizing free radicals, while Hydrocyte Complex moisturizes. As a bonus, this lightweight face-saver absorbs quickly, leaving no trace of white on your skin.
Longue Vie Soleil - This comprehensive, after-sun moisturizer combines 56 biological active ingredients that help maintain your face's youthful appearance and prolong the radiance of your suntan. It contains DNA, Copper Gluconate and Vitamin E to regenerate and sooth sun-touched skin.
Together, this pair also makes a great mask to calm and desensitize sunburned skin.
Next, I plan to try Guinot's Auto Bronze Self-Tanner. What could be better than getting a rich, copper-colored tan with natural highlights out of a bottle?
On the Shelf: $34 SPF 30+ cream sunscreen; $75 after-sun moisturizer; $34 self-tanning lotion at Guinotusa.com
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Foundation
Like most boomer babes, I prefer makeup with sun protection. So naturally, I wanted to try Neutrogena's new Healthy Skin Compact Foundation with SPF 55, the highest level of broad spectrum UVA-UVB protection available in a foundation. Besides delivering Neutrogena's patented Helioplex sunblock, this little multi-tasker nourishes your face with a rich blend of antioxidants (Vitamin E, Chamomile and Soy) that improve skin's overall radiance, texture and moisture.
This light, creamy foundation goes on smooth and blends easily for a healthy, natural look. You don't even have to worry about shine because it's made to absorb excess sunscreen oils. Although Classic Ivory works for me, it comes in eight different shades.
On the Shelf: $12.99 SPF 55 cream foundation at food, drug and discount stores or Neutrogena.com
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Custom Glow Bronzer
Made with a triple antioxidant complex that promotes healthy skin over time, this dual-bronzer palette includes two coordinated shades that make it easy to customize your glow. The twosome comes in Sunrise Glow (great for lighter skintones like mine) and Sunset Glow.
On the Shelf: $12.99 at food, drug and discount stores or Neutrogena.com
Lavanila Healthy Lip Screen
Sun exposure can leave your lips parched, dry and downright un-kissable. To save the day (not to mention your evening,) shield them with a high-level protector like Lavanila's Healthy Lip Screen with SPF 30.
Unlike oily synthetic formulas that slide right off, this light, all-natural cream stays put. It combines Shea Butter, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to moisturize lips and prevent sun damage. Pretty and practical, this powerful hydrator features soothing vanilla and tingly peppermint for sun protection that marries beauty and safety.
On the Shelf: $16 SPF 30 cream at Lavanila.com and Sephora