30 Day Challenge: Staying Sun Safe This Summer

This past month of better sleep has left us feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything. Now that 30 days (and nights!) have gone by, what sleep habits will you keep up before, during, or after bedtime? Tell us, what were the most helpful tips that helped you to sleep? Let us know in the comments below or share with us on Instagram using the hashtag #TEG30DayChallenge.

So now that it’s our favorite time of year, we’re embracing every patio, pool deck, beach, and bonfire outside. As we let our summer adventures unravel, it’s easy to get carried away with a spontaneous afternoon exploring or an entire day spent outside. So there’s one accessory we absolutely cannot leave the house without: sunscreen.

While almost everyone loves a summer skin glow, there’s a difference between sun-kissed and sunburned—but it really isn’t much! This month, we want you to temper the effects of the brightest star by using safe summer skin practices. Here are a few suggestions to help avoid looking like a lobster this summer:

Sunscreen. Don’t give us that look! Everyone (yes, even if you’re naturally dark) can benefit from sunscreen. And no, we don’t mean SPF 4. Every skin tone is susceptible to cancer, and that is the one thing we really want to protect ourselves against.

Reapply. Everyone loves a good one-hit-wonder (“Summer Girls” by LFO, anyone?) but that does not count for your sunscreen. If you’re sweating, in the water, or even if it’s cloudy, it’s important to apply suncreen about every two hours to maintain the most protection.

SPF. If you’re going to wear it, wear it right. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least SPF 30 because it can block up to 97% of the sun’s rays. But double check your label to ensure it protects against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet (UVB) rays. Over exposure to these can cause wrinkles, skin cancer, or even cataracts.

Cover up. It seems counterintuitive to put on more clothes when the temperatures rise, but even unintentional sun exposure can leave you burnt and increase your skin cancer risk. We’re not asking for a full body suit, but consider lighter layers when you’re out running errands or doing yard work.

Accessorize. Hats are on-trend (thank goodness) and a stylish pair of sunglasses never goes out of style—embrace them for being chic as well as being practical to protect your eyes and skin.

Chill out. A day in the sun keeps us in our happy place, but don’t forget to take a break and relax in the shade. When the sun’s rays are at it’s highest point (the most dangerous is when your shadow is shorter than you are) seek some temporary shelter. This is typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. so it’s a great time to go prepare a lunch or take an afternoon siesta!

It’s hard to resist the way a little vitamin D can make us feel and we want you to enjoy every minute of it without the misery of sunburn holding you back. Be smart about how you enjoy the outdoors and you’ll have a summer that’s both fun and safe!

What’s your favorite summer activity? How do you avoid being burned? What accessory can’t you live without during the season of sun? Let us know your tips in the comments below!