Friday, June 3, 2011

Sun Safe and Sheik (Not Chic) Hats

Sheik hat, sunglasses, suncreen, and hydrating in the shade!

Vacationing at the beach, swimming at the neighborhood pool, and working in the yard…these are activities that have thrust me well into sun-protection mode.  With being a little more aware this year, I have a few observations and tips to share:
·         Apply your sunscreen before going to the beach initially.  If you try to apply it at the beach and you prefer spray sunscreen, the ocean breeze will spread it more on the group 30 feet away than on you.  If you apply lotion, it will be fine, but expect to spread sand all over your body as well.  I neglected to apply beforehand the first time, so I used a combo of the two at the beach.  I make my beach neighbors glisten and my skin look like it was covered I textured paint.  (But I still wore it!)
·         Spray-type sunscreen is REAL easy to apply to kids, with less wriggling and tickling giggles.  But it seems that one can of spray lasts for only one application to a family of four.  At $8 to $10 per can, it was an expensive application.  In that regard, I’ve since learned that Target brand sunscreen was ranked very close to Banana Boat and Coppertone by Consumer Reports, and it’s nearly half the price!
·         Wear wrap-around sunglasses.  You know…the kind that David Duvall made famous?  (Does anyone remember David Duvall?)  They’re futuristic looking and they protect your eyes well.  Plus, when driving, I find there to be less glare when the sun’s at my side.  But beware, wrap-around shades does not mean that your wife can’t tell when you’re watching passing…um…patrons at the beach.  You’ll still have bruised ribs by the end of your visit.
·         Baseball/golf caps cause an increase of red necks.  No…I’m talking about real red-colored necks.  Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your neck, or better yet, wear a hat that provides protection to the entire neck.  I wear a wide-brimmed straw hat socially and at the beach while I don a hat that my kids say make me look like a sheik when I mow my lawn.  The latter is a bit hot to wear, but provides great protection.
·         Speaking of hats, visors do not protect the scalp.  And for those who are hair-challenged like me, this leads to embarrassing red monk head.
·         Wear a shirt when you work outside.  Trust me, when you’re man in your late 40’s, this is more of a fashion necessity than sun-safe advice.
·         One thing I read…a wet t-shirt offers almost no sun protection.  No wonder such contests are usually held indoors and at night.  Seriously though, my parents used to have me wear a shirt in the pool to protect from sunburn, and now I know why it never seemed to work.
·         Don’t forget your feet!  If there’s any part of my body that I burned more than others when I was younger, it was my feet or ankles.
·         Stay hydrated!  This means drink lots of good ol’ water.  Beer tastes great after mowing a lawn, but it actually dehydrates, as does all alcohol.  Refresh your body with water before refreshing your taste buds.
·         Seek shade whenever you can.  The best investment we made at the beach was one of the large rental umbrellas and chairs.  We paid $18 for half a day and sat in the shade the entire time.  Plus, we witnessed many folks chasing their personal umbrellas down the beach in the strong wind while ours stayed put the entire time.
·         Do the yard work after 4:00.  Between 10:00AM and 4:00OM is when the sun is at its peak, and your neighbors will thank you for not mowing the lawn at 7:00AM.
You can stay safe in the sun, but you can still have fun!

1 comment:

  1. I neglected to apply in advance for the first time and so I use the combo of the two on the beach. I shine my neighbour the beach and my skin look like it was covered with paint.

    Golf Hats