Staying “Skin Smart” in the Sun

By: Judy Freedman

I’m gearing up for summer. Bright sunshine is a welcome relief after the cold and winter. My boots are packed away and now it’s time for swimsuits and shorts. 

I love being outdoors, especially at the beach. I have fond memories of going to Long Beach, N.Y. My family rented a flat there each July and August. Who knew about SPF during the 60s? My mom used to slather greasy orange Ban d’Soleil over her body and my dad’s too. Sometimes my sister N. would sit with a metallic reflector near her face to catch more rays.

Sadly, later in life my mom ended up with melanoma and had to have surgery on her leg. That’s why I try to cover up when in the sun and wear sunscreen with SPF 50+, especially on my face. I also get regular checkups at the dermatologist. 

Sun Protective Clothing

Since I have to be extra careful when out in the sun, I was interested to learn about Coolibar sun protective clothing. Coolibar offers a wide variety of stylish activewear made with UPF 50+ fabrics that block 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation.

Being a 50+ fashionista, Coolibar sent along some complimentary samples.* I packed two of the items when I traveled to St. Thomas, V.I. for my niece’s wedding in May. I wore the cute Antigua Tunic over my bathing suit at the pool and the Basic Tank with my capris while walking around town. I plan to take the zip-up jacket with me this weekend when I go biking near my “condo on the corner” at the Jersey shore.

“Skin Smart” Tips For Summer

Coolibar partnered with The American Cancer Society to share simple tips on how to keep skin protected from UV exposure:

  • Use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours, especially after swimming and lots of sweating. (Have to remind my boyfriend L and my son D about the importance of sunscreen. They aren’t as faithful about applying as I am.)
  • T-shirts do not block UV rays! Wear clothing with a UV protection factor of 50. (You mean all those years my mom told me to “put on a t-shirt” when I was getting red at the beach — it really didn’t make a difference? Wish I could turn back the clock 50 years and reapply!)
  • Wear a hat! For every inch of brim, you reduce your risk of skin cancer 10%. (My son D and daughter A were making fun of my white floppy hat at the pool this weekend. They said I looked like I was wearing a baby’s hat. I’ll show them, I’m going to go get a bigger brimmed hat now that I know these risk-factors.)
  • Take regular breaks from the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. Set your phone alarm to remind you. (Ooh, ooh, ooh, this is a challenge. I usually go to the beach around 2:00 p.m. so I better take lots of sun protective gear. Hope my boyfriend, L – aka "Cabana Boy L" – can carry everything!)
  • Bring your own. Sunscreen prices peak at resorts and parks, and some don’t sell sunscreen. (Here are the best sunscreens via Consumer Reports)

Enjoy your summer and stay “skin smart” in the sun.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: Coolibar provided me with complimentary clothing. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. My opinions on the clothing are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments toward Coolibar or their clothing.

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Judy is known as JudiBoomergirl in the blogosphere. Widowed at 50, she's learning to reinvent herself in mind, body, and spirit. Her personal blog, A Baby Boomer Woman's Life After 50, was named by The Huffington Post as one of its "7 Favorite Blogs for Women Post 50," and was an official honoree in the 2013 Webby Awards. Judy retired from a 30+ year corporate career to pursue her blogging and communications consulting and is also studying to become a yoga instructor during her second act. Follow Judy on Facebook@Judi Boomer Girl, and on Twitter@judiboomergirl.