Sunburns aren’t just uncomfortable, they’re a health hazard. They happen when intense ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB) penetrate the skin, cause irritation, and damage your DNA. The damage might not be evident right away, but normally sunburns show up within 12 hours. While people with lower melanin (fair skin) suffer worse burns, too much sun exposure is dangerous for everyone.
It’s been discovered that suffering five bad sunburns while you’re young can increase your odds of developing melanoma (a type of skin cancer) by 80%. Since melanoma kills about 10,000 people each year, it’s something you don’t want to mess around with.
While these statistics are scary, sunscreen, SPF clothing, and practicing sun safety can help cut down on these risks. If you lead an active lifestyle in the sun, read about top protective sun gear and lotions you can buy to keep yourself and family safer.
You might not know it, but you can get a sunburn in as little as ten minutes—through direct exposure, glass, water, clothing, and clouds. SPF sunscreen with UVA, UVB, and broad spectrum protection can help.
When looking for a proper SPF, 45 is best. It protects you from 98% of the sun’s dangerous rays. Higher SPFs don’t protect you more and lower SPFs don’t protect as well. You should always reference the day’s UV index before heading outdoors and that’ll give you a clue as to how much sunscreen you’ll need and how much time you should spend in the sun.
Here are some of the safest and best sunscreens available for purchase:
Honest Mineral Sunscreen 50 SPF
This company is run by Jessica Alba and was founded to provide families with safe, responsible, and cruelty-free products. This mineral-based sunscreen is all of the above. It’s gentle enough to use on your baby and your own skin.
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen SPF 45
This is another mineral sunscreen that protects your skin without using harsh chemicals or animal testing. It’s water-resistant, gluten-free, and is made entirely of vegetarian ingredients. You won’t have to worry about parabens, phthalates, or unnatural fragrances in this sunscreen.
Kiss My Face Sunscreen SPF 50
This sunscreen is made specially for the face and neck. It doesn’t come with any parabens, dyes, fake scents, or other harmful chemicals. Instead, you’ll get a long-lasting sunscreen that will protect you from sun damage. You can feel good about it too because this company doesn’t use animal products or test on animals.
Nature’s Gate Kids Sunscreen SPF 50
Made specifically for kids, this is one gentle and safe sunscreen. Help them slather it on their exposed skin and trust in its chemical-free formula. Since it’s fragrance-free, it won’t attract bugs or irritate sensitive skin.
Ocean Potion Anti-Aging Sunscreen SPF 50
Sun damage causes wrinkles. This anti-aging, broad spectrum sunscreen protects against early signs of aging with a natural and gentle solution. We wouldn’t use this on kids since more tailored products are available for purchase, but it’s great for parents and other people who want to keep their skin looking young and healthy.
Babyganics Sunscreen SPF 50
Keep your baby’s skin baby-soft with this sunscreen made for little ones. It’s water-resistant up to 80 minutes, so your child can splash around in the pool without getting burned. Babyganics sunscreen is free of bad chemicals like parabens and isn’t tested on animals. It’s even pediatrician and dermatologist-approved.
Your clothes aren’t impenetrable by the sun. Unless they include SPF material, you can actually get a burn through some clothing. Here are some options to combat sunburn.
Coolibar® UV Swimwear
Coolibar is a cool company. It makes SPF swimwear for adults and babies. You can shop for rash guards, shorts, bathing suits, and more. Prices are what you’d expect—pretty up there—but for this much sun safety it’s worth splurging on a couple cover-ups.
Cabana SPF clothing is SPF 50 and protects against 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. Like Coolibar, you can choose from bath suits, tops, tees, shorts, and other accessories. Sizes are available for adult men and women to infants, so the whole family can shop here to stay sun safe. Cabana makes its own safe sunscreen you can use in addition to your SPF wardrobe.
Solartex clothing is SPF 50, so it blocks almost all of the sun’s harmful rays. Clothing is a tad cheaper than other brands, so you could start here if you’re on a budget for summer. You’ll be able to browse through outfits for men, women, and children.
Staying in the shade is a sure way to avoid becoming sunburned. Check out some of the most stylish and effective shade protectors below
Sport Brella Recliner
Relax, get comfy, and stay safe in the sun with this covered chair. It’s lightweight and portable, so you can bring it with you to your children’s’ sports events or do the beach. It also has three reclining positions and for drink holders so you can stay comfortable. The umbrella on this chair is coated in SPF 50 material, so you’re protected from the sun.
This is the ultimate beach umbrella. It anchors itself with a sand pocket and is sturdy against gusts up to 35 mph. You won’t need to screw it into the sand or deal with it blowing away. Just fill the bag and you’ll be good to go. It’s expensive, but worth it for the protection and ease it offers.
Getting a sunburn hurts, damages your skin, and can cause you to develop skin cancer down the road. With so many safe products out there, you can armor yourself against the sun’s harmful rays and still enjoy the outdoors. If you have any sun safety tips of favorite products, share them with us below in the comments section. It’s always helpful to hear first-hand how people like products and it can help our fellow readers stay safe.