Pale baby Sarah in the swim shirt of the 80s.
I am pale. VERY pale. Pale to the point of translucent. I would be an excellent heroin addict because my veins are laid out like a Google map. When I was little, I hated my skin because my mother was always pullng me away from the fun to slather me in sunscreen. When I was in high school, I hated my skin because all my friends were tan, tan, tan and my mother threatened to take away my car if I so much as looked at a tanning bed.
It wasn't until I was in college, surrounded by other pale girls, that I began to embrace my pale skin. Then came Nicole Kidman and Julianna Moore and Emma Stone and my paleness stopped seeming like a curse and started seeming more like a gift. Not to mention, avoiding the sun like the plague has left me looking years younger than some of my more sun-kissed classmates.
Still for all its beauty, pale skin is a HASSLE and years of dealing with it make one an expert on sun protection. May is National Skin Cancer Awareness month and UV Skinz (who is hosting our awesome giveaway this week!) is raising awareness by giving away a FREE BABY SWIM SHIRT with every order! Not to mention they are also donating swim shirts to hospital maternity wards and pediatrician offices across the country so that babies born in May will be covered from day one.
In the spirit of awareness, I thought I would share my tips for sun protectioin.
1. SWIM SHIRTS! I remember the first time I saw one of these. All the fights and squirming and crying over sunscreen as a child flashed before my eyes and it suddenly seemed so unnecessary. The truth is some ofnus are so pale no amount of sunscreen will really do the job unless we are re-applying every five seconds. I used to wear black long sleeve t-shirts when snorkeling because that was basically the only way I wouldn't end up burned. Thank God there are better options these days.
2. SUNSCREEN! That being said. I put on sunscreen every day and I've finally gotten in the habit of doing the same with my boys. I keep a bottle in their dressers next to the diapers/underwear and rub them down when I get them dressed. I also have a sunscreen stick in my purse at all time for a quick apply across the bridge of their nose.
3. Hats are your friend. I worry a lot less about sunscreen re-application when my boys are wearing hats and if you put them on them from birth, they eventually get used to it. Also, I've found if you let them pick out the hats themselves they are way more likely to wear it. (Hello, garrish Elmo hat!)
4. Seek shade. I pick pools and play areas based on how much shade there is. I am highly unlikely to spend time in a place with no shade. I might make it an hour in direct sun but it is unlikely. If there is no shade, it just isn't for us.
5. Avoid peek hours. Technically peak sun hours are 10am to 4pm but that's basically the entire day. Usually I avoid being ouside (especially if there is no shade!) from 11am to 1pm at the very least. It's an easy time to take a break and grab some lunch (or naps) anyway.
So, go out and enjoy the sunshine just think like a pale girl while you do it!
If you want to stock up on awesome sun protection gear from swim shirts to hats and sunscreen, UV Skinz is offering a 15% discount to Salt & Nectar readers! Use the code BLOGS15 and don't forget you'll also get a free swim shirt!
~ Sarah Stewart Holland