Sunscreen is the most obvious way to save your skin from nasty burns. However, that simple single step is just not protective enough. In fact, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, we should be slathering on nothing less than SPF 100 all summer long. While very few will meet that requirement (being realistic here), we have some alternative forms of sun protection you might actually use—and enjoy.
There are many products we can use in addition to sunscreen. No single method can defend you perfectly, but a mix of some smart goods will do the job. We’ve rounded up 9 functional-yet-fun items to protect and pamper.
To Lounge Beneath
No matter where you go, this portable sun shade will make you feel like you’re lounging in your own personal cabana. The Skin Cancer Foundation encourages us to take shade whenever possible, but especially between 10 AM and 4 PM—the peak hours of sun intensity. This is the most compact, portable way to take a break from the summer heat. Made with your skin and the environment in mind, it’s ultra-lightweight design is composed of pure cotton and aluminum poles. A modern twist on the traditional parasol, this sun shade will make you feel like the trendiest (and safest) beach-goer around.
Designed by Australian Graphic Artist Holii Carmody, this Land & Sand Essentials Beach Umbrella is both a skin protector and a portable piece of art. Designed with sustainability, convenience and your skin in mind, the UPF 50+ fabric canopy is made from recycled plastic, complete with 100% cotton tassel fringing and vegan leather labels. It’s massive and has a three-way tilt for all-day shade. Plus, the added feature of hidden pockets can hold all of your other sun protection essentials. With a lightweight frame and matching carry bag, getting shade couldn’t be easier, or cuter.
To Wear Confidently
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, clothing can provide a great barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. This Coolibar Isla Convertible Wrap with UPF 50+ is dressy enough to rock at occasions and celebrations when UPF 50+ sun protection is as important as looking beautiful. The brand’s exclusive Aire fabric is the only luxury UPF 50+ fabric available, and it was specifically designed to not only protect, but also resist humidity on hot summer days. The feather-light fabric feels like silk, but offers breathability with built-in stretch. Even better, it can be worn multiple ways such as a tie-waist skirt, halter or strapless dress.
While we start our sunny days strong with a dose of SPF, it’s human nature to get distracted as the day goes on. Have no fear, the Rayminder UV Awareness Bracelet will keep you in check. As the rays of the sun get stronger, the UV sensitive beads change color, reminding you that it’s time to apply. While protecting you from sun damage, the beautifully-designed bracelet protects others too; one dollar from every unit sold is donated to IMPACT Melanoma, a national nonprofit working to prevent skin cancer through awareness and education.
Rayminder UV Awareness Bracelet, $27.50
Glamour and protection go hand in hand with a wide brim hat. Coolibar’s UPF 50+ Shapeable Poolside Hat is our personal favorite for more than one reason. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends three inches or more, but this accessory goes the extra mile. The generous 5 ¼” brim shades your face and neck, providing you with ultimate coverage. Plus, an internal drawstring allows you to adjust to the perfect fit. As if it couldn’t get any better, the COMPACT IN A SNAP!™ feature makes it incredibly easy to roll up, snap together, and take along on any summer trip.
To Apply Generously
The name Sun Silk Drops alone sounds like a spa treatment. The powerful yet traceless sunscreen features Coola’s plant-derived Full Spectrum 360° Complex to defend against indoor and outdoor daily aggressors. Its unique serum-like texture leaves skin soft and supple. It has so many other skin benefits, you’ll forget you’re applying sunscreen. Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and wrapped in recyclable packaging, it’s clearly the safest choice. This will add a whole new level of coolness to your routine, all while combating harmful rays.
Coola Sun Silk Drops, $46.00
Puckering those lips and smearing on the right product could protect you more than you know. Golden Rose’s Argan Oil Lipstick contains argan oil, vitamin E, and SPF 25 to brighten and hydrate your lips, and protect them from the sun all at once. The lightweight formula, available in a multitude of colors, glides on smoothly and has strong staying power. The best part…it’s dermatologically tested, paraben-free, and cruelty-free so you can be sure you’re applying the safe stuff.
Aside from skin and lips, the eyes and lids need just as much protection under the harmful sun. Luckily, cult suncare brand Supergoop has got that covered. The brand’s Shimmershade Eyeshadow Kit offers four cream eyeshadows that will keep your lids pretty and protected, thanks to a hybrid of mineral & clean chemical actives that protect them from UV rays. It’s finger-friendly, meaning you can swipe on anywhere you are–no brush needed. What about the part? The shadows come in their own personal pouch that says “But first, sunscreen!”, so you’ll truly never forget. SPF application should always be this fun.
While we protect our skin from the sun, there’s no reason we can’t rock a sunless, harmless glow. It’s the least we deserve. Supergoop’s Healthy Glow Sunless Tan Lotion will give you a natural-looking, buildable color. It’s infused with SPF 40 and a load of rich ingredients, so it will protect and moisturize skin on top of that. The magic product is even water resistant, making it an unmatched summer staple you’ll be reaching for again and again. A true tan is tempting, but a sunless one is just as satisfying. More importantly, a DIY tan offers more control of your desired color and the comfort in knowing you achieved it safely.
(photo credit: Shutterstock)