Friday, July 27, 2012

The fair skin brigade.

The sun and I are not friends.

It likes to shine. My skin likes to burn.

Tragically, I live in super-sunny California where the sun shines brightly nearly all year long. (Okay, I know it's not entirely tragic... but if you're like me and wilt in the sun you wish you could live in Oregon or Washington where the sun never peeks out from behind the clouds!)

My two little sweeties seem to have inherited my fair skin, so you can imagine what packing for vacation looks like at my house. Picture me running around the house looking for hats, fretting about the size of the brims of said hats and worrying that the brand-new bottle of sunscreen I bought just for the trip won't protect our skin well enough. 

And every trip I have an angry freak-out moment when I realize that my strict sunscreen application regimen (every two hours) has failed and someone – namely me or one of the kids, since hubby doesn't burn as easily as we do – has turned a shade of pink. 

It's stressful. And it makes my vacation less relaxing.

This last trip, I was determined to beat the sun. First, I needed a new hat. My old sun hat was more of a fisherman's hat, which didn't have quite the coverage I needed. So I ran out and bought that lovely black hat you see in the photo above. Don't I look wildly out of place at Disneyland? I loved every minute of it! And so did my skin.

Sun hat purchased, I started shopping for a new sunscreen. My usual bottle of SPF 50 sunscreen wasn't cutting it, even though it contained 2.4% titanium dioxide (an awesome physical sunscreen ingredient, by the way). Clearly, though, it wasn't enough for this crew. Unfortunately, Target's selection of extreme sun repellants was sorely lacking so on a hunch I ventured over to Babies 'R Us. If you're like me, you've found that baby sunscreen is often better formulated than sunscreen designed for the rest of us. 

Finally, I hit pay dirt! BabyGanics Cover Up Baby SPF 50 sunscreen is AMAZING! It goes on thick, so you really have to rub it in thanks to the copious amounts of zinc oxide they cram in there (11.7%!). As an added bonus, there is no PABA, no parabens, no sulfates, no phthalates and it's hypoalergenic. Oh, and it's budget-friendly at less than $10 a bottle!

Of course, we still reapplied every 2.5 hours because that's how I roll. But for the first time in I don't know how many years no one got burned! And mama didn't undergo a tearful angry tirade in the hotel bathroom before bed on any single night of our trip. That, my friends, is priceless.

Let me add that no one is paying me to say this. I didn't receive a single sunscreen freebie. I just wanted to share a great sunscreen to help you and your little ones avoid burning on your summer outings. And if you know of other awesome sunscreens, I'd love to hear about them – I'm always in the market!

13 comments:

  1. i, too, am extremely fair and i a couple years ago i started using neutrogena's 100SPF. it's a bit expensive (around $10 a tube) but at least i don't burn...i keep one at the house, one in the car, and one in my purse.

    glad you have great no-burn vacation!

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    1. Holy moly! They make SPF 100 sunscreen??? I had no idea! I like the idea of keeping a bottle in your car. Does it get all melty and weird in the heat?

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  2. Love your hat! We don't live in super sunny California, just mildly sunny, which has caused a lot of unplanned exposure, not sunny enough to wear sunscreen, but still enough for sun damage. On our trip to Washington I picked up Kiss My Face Baby sunscreen in SPF 50, but it was remarkably cool and we never used it!

    Also, check the package of your sunscreen before leaving it in the car. Most of them say "do not expose to extreme temperatures" or something like that. I have a diaper bag that goes everywhere with us and I keep the sunscreen in there!

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    1. Hi Jennie! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who loves that hat. :) You're lucky to live in your part of California, although I agree it can be so tricky to know when to apply sunscreen when it's not all that sunny most days.

      I'll have to check the label on my sunscreen. I was definitely thinking that most sunscreens wouldn't survive an afternoon in my car on a 100+ degree summer day. We'll be back to using a diaper bag again soon, so I'll definitely be packing sunscreen in that too.

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  3. Good to know! And you're looking so cute with your bump! I'm sorry I'm behind on blogs. I logged on last night and read blogs for about an hour, which was bliss! Will email soon & glad you are all on the mend. xo

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    1. You are so sweet - thank you! :) I know that feeling of being behind very well. I love reading my blogs, but lately it's been hard to squeeze in the time!

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  4. I LOVE the hat! You're totally pulling it off and with those shades and your baby bump you look adorable (is it okay if I call you adorable?) I want to get a big sun hat like that, I'm going to be on the look out :) (PS I got burned for the first time in years when I took the kids swimming two weeks ago... it's not that I didn't put on sunscreen its just that I missed my shoulders!?! dumb. I was in a hurry and Trap rubbed it on my back and I got my face and missed my shoulders. ugh. I still itch)

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    1. Robyn, you are too sweet!! Thank you for your sweet compliments - I like the hat, but I seriously wondered if I was the only one (I picked it up at Kohl's on sale for 50% off by the way – Target's hats were too small for my head). :) I sat across from a lady on the shuttle bus from the Disneyland parking lot who also had fair skin, red hair, freckles and... a ginormous hat straw hat! She was rocking it, too. :)

      Your burn sounds awful! I can totally see something like that happening to me. I'd be miserable about it for weeks, worrying about skin cancer and such. I'm sorry to hear that you're still feeling the effects... did you use aloe vera at all afterward to help soothe it? :(

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  5. HOW CUTE ARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You look like Amy Adams in this picture! Love the glasses! Love the hat! Love your tiny bump!

    Your hat is sooooooooo much more attractive than the crazy gardening lady hats I wear around. I don't react well to sunscreens so I wear them only when in Hawaii or xtreme sun -- usually just rely on hats. Last time I went to Cali, I got more sun than usual and my skin got all rashy for 2 weeks afterwards...sigh.. J seems less reactive than me skinwise...:)

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    1. Melissa, you're going to give me a big head! LOL Thank you for your super sweet comment!!! :)

      So far I've loved all the hats I've seen you in on your blog. Then again, I have a thing for big hats, as you can see, so I guess I'm just biased! ;) I mentioned in my response to Robyn that I got mine at Kohl's on sale for 50% right before we left on our trip. It was a major score since none of Target's hats fit my big head and I was getting a little worried about finding anything at all. LOL

      I haven't had a bad burn in years, but I'm guessing that my skin would have a similar reaction if I did. Even the mild burns freak me out, though. It's funny that you should mention getting rashy. That's exactly what happens to me by the end of a trip to Disneyland. After wearing sunscreen all day, every day all over for several days my skin gets all itchy and rashy. The only exception is my face – maybe it's just used to a daily application of sunscreen and my arms and legs aren't? Who knows. Mostly, I just stay out of the sun at all times :)

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  6. I’m really like it! Very, very dgdeeac

    good!

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