Sunscreen - My One Absolute Essential

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It's the end of August, the sun is beating down upon us and way too many people I know do not put sunscreen on everyday. Not even on days where they know they will be outdoors all day. This fact leaves me totally baffled and not a little frustrated.

My grandmother is a skin cancer survivor. She has fair skin, but tanned with abandon in her teens and twenties because that's what people did and nobody knew that it might be hurting them. She has an excuse! We don't!

So do your skin and future health a favor, and slather on some sunscreen. Even if you never get skin cancer. Even if you've never had somebody you love go through it and you're too young and invincible to care about it, tanning damages your skin and causes wrinkles! Everybody gets wrinkles sooner or later, but I'm sure that nobody looks in the mirror and thinks, man, I wish I had more wrinkles! 

So! Now that we've got that PSA out of the way, here are a few tips on sunscreen application:

1. Slather it on! Studies have shown that most people only apply 1/2 to 1/4 the amount needed to provide the advertised SPF value. So don't skimp! 

2. A lot of women, myself included, are diligent about applying sunscreen on their faces, but they neglect their necks, chests and hands, which get just as much, if not more, exposure. And if you spend a lot of the time driving, make sure you put sunscreen on your left hand and arm. Also, as somebody who rarely wears tennis shoes, I'm always forgetting to sunscreen my poor feet! They are, unfortunately, the tannest part of my body.

3. Apply a half hour before you go out into the sun. That means that if you're going to the beach, you need to apply before you're out baking in the hot sun. 

4. Reapply! Reapply! Reapply! Every two hours if you're just hanging out, every hour if you're sweating a lot.

And now, if my fellow sunscreen lovers would like to recommend a few great bottles of goopy, sun-blocking goodness, I would ever so much appreciate it. I've been wanting to find a natural sunscreen void of icky chemicalness that I can feel good about putting on both my and my kids' skin. Suggestions?

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