Sun Protection… Head to Toe

In retrospect, I probably should have done this post before Memorial Day, but better late than never. (In fact, Garrett really could have used this… he’s a lobster right now.)
I have very fair skin and growing up in Florida with family members who are as tan as can be made me very prone to sunburns. Literally every vacation we take is somehow related to the sun and/or beach. I typically retreat to canopies, hiding under towels, or simply staying indoors. But even with the best intentions, a few sunburns have slipped through the cracks. Especially as a coxswain, I’ve always taken as many precautions as possible when it comes to the sun.
With summer and sunny activities here, I think it’s important to remind everybody to take the sun seriously and to protect your skin. (A bunch of my friends, and even my mom, have all had run-ins with melanoma and skin cancer issues. It’s not something to mess around with or think that you’re invincible!)
My philosophy about the sun is to do everything you can to prevent sunburns. It’s like washing your makeup off your face before bed… annoying and a tiny bit of a time commitment, but worth it even if you’re the most exhausted.
Even if you’re not heading to the beach or pool, sunscreen should be used daily! Also, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist (if you don’t already regularly see one) and check for existing “spots.” Sometimes there are spots that you can’t even see!

Sunscreen // Check expiration dates (!!!) and make sure you’re using a sunscreen that works for your skin and needs. Waterproof for the beach, for sure. I like sprays, but it’s easy to miss spots with it. (Seriously, just ask Garrett.)
Sunnies // Protect your eyes too! Did you know that you can get melanoma in your eyes?! Choose a pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Ray Bans are a cute and safe option!
Beach Perfume // It’s the beach in a bottle. Take a trip to the beach without any harmful rays. 😉
Straw Hat // Sun protection and look chic! Win/win. Hats are my go-to protection. Super easy and they really do wonders to protect my nose, which seems to take the grunt of the UV rays.
Clinique City Block // Cannot speak highly enough of this product. The best for everyday protection. It feels like you’re really lathering your face and neck up with sunscreen, but it doesn’t feel like you have sunscreen on after. Amazing. It’s the perfect thing to start with before applying your normal makeup. 
Surf Spray // Another “at the beach without being at the beach” product. Anyone else love the way your hair looks after a day at the beach? Something about that salt water! This spray will give your hair that perfect tousled look and texture.
Baseball Cap // Baseball caps are great for when you’re outside but not necessarily nearby the water. (Although they totally work at the pool or beach too!) If I’m going to be running errands in the city, I’ll braid my hair and pop on a hat. Just a great way to keep that nose safe!
Sun Shirt // SPF shirts can kind of look dorky, so it’s amazing that J. Crew has taken on the challenge. Hello cute sun protection. Mix and match with your existing swim suits and jump into the ocean knowing you’re doing your part to ward off sunburns. Great for girls who get sunburned shoulders easily!
Beach Pants // Don’t forget your pants. Protect those legs with a breezy pair of pants. The best of both worlds because you’ll stay cool without risking a burn.. perfect to throw on when you’re out of the water and drying off. Bonus? You can wear them around town after the beach.
Soludos // Anyone else get burned on the top of their feet. I love a good pair of sandals, but they don’t do much to keep the sun off my feet and toes. Soludos are comfortable enough for long walks and work on the beach with sand. Perfect summer shoe.
Bronzer // When in doubt, fake the tan. I do like the way I look tan… but I don’t actually want to have tanned skin. So bronzer to the rescue. A swipe here, and a swipe there, and it’s an instant sun-kissed look sans sun damage. 

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What are your sun safety tricks of the trade?

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Great post! As somebody who is fair skinned, I definitely feel your pain. Just a tip- make sure you use a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, which protects your skin from UVB and UVA rays instead of just UVB rays. It usually says it right on the bottle.

Good luck this summer Carly!

Tammy Tran

In pharmacy school, they told us that the place that most people forget is their feet. Ironically on spring break that's the part of me that was mostly burnt. Also if you know how long you can stay in the sun with no sunscreen before you start to get red and multiply that times the SPF you use then that gives you how many minutes of protection you get with that specific sunscreen. It's best to reapply every 2 hours though.


Being a redhead, I also have very fair skin. I used to lay out and try so hard to get a tan, but it just never happens for me. Now I'm all about protecting my skin. I'd rather be pale than have wrinkles and skin cancer when I'm older!

Audrey Lin

My hair is as straight as can be. Even when I braid it overnight, a few hours after I let it go, it loses all the waves. I'll definitely check out the Surf Spray! And boy do those beach pants look comfortable! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Playground Prepster

I found that I really prefer mineral based sunscreens instead of chemical. They are always on my must have summer list! Skin cancer is nothing to chance.

Alex B.

Thanks for this post on safe sun! My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma last year and is just finishing his year of chemotherapy. So many young women our age still worship the sun, so it's great to see someone with a strong voice advocating for safe sun practices! Thank you for spreading the word 🙂

Jenn Cramer

I absolutely love the Neutrogena sunscreen! And I know a skin doctor that swears by the stuff! It isn't oily and it works well!