Beach Explore Kid-Friendly Travel Tips

National Sunscreen Day and Why You May be Using Sunscreen Wrong

National Sunscreen Day |

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National Sunscreen Day is May 27th and is the perfect day to replenish your supply of sunscreen for the summer. Also known as “Don’t Fry Day”, this is a great day to take inventory of your sunscreen sprays, lotions and sticks and to remind your family of the right way to wear sun protection.

Since the first day of summer is June 20th this year, the sunny season will be upon us soon and your skincare arsenal needs to be ready. But are you using your sunscreen the wrong way?

This day is a good reminder that the sun’s harmful UV rays can do damage to our skin. The beautiful sun rays at the beach or on the boat can trigger serious skin issues, like skin cancer, and sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to protect against them.

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Sunscreen has an expiration date

The FDA requires all sunscreens to be marked with an expiration date, unless the product has been proven to last at least 3 years. So gather all of your sunscreen sprays, lotions and sticks and check their dates. Toss the ones that are expired.

If the sunscreen bottle is not stamped with a specific expiration date, you can assume it’s good for three years past its purchase date, the FDA says.

My family always has a variety of brands in our sunscreen stash, but my husband prefers the dry-touch version of Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer sunscreen. I always have it on hand or nearby, since my kids are fair-skinned and sunscreen is a must during the Summer.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 45

Keep it organized

There’s nothing worse than trying to find the sunscreen when you’re ready to walk out the door to the beach. Skip the frustration of checking every bathroom cabinet to find what you need, and organize your sunscreen sprays, lotions and sticks in a basket.

I repurposed my kids’ diaper basket from Pottery Barn Kids into our sunscreen, aloe and bug spray basket. The liner insert is removable and washable, with dividers making three sections. You can find similar divider basket versions on Amazon here.

KiddyCare Caddy Organizer Basket

I typically leave the basket at home, and grab just what sunscreen we need for the day to toss in my beach bag. My favorite beach bag is my Saltwater Canvas mesh tote bag because it’s super lightweight and has divided pockets for ALL the things. Perfect for the beach, boat or pool!

National Sunscreen Day |

Apply and reapply sunscreen often

When you’re at the beach or on the boat, you need sunscreen. But keep in mind that one application in the morning may not cover you all day. You swim, you sweat, you wipe it off with towels.

Don’t take the chance of getting sunburned on your vacation, just reapply your sunscreen every 90 minutes.

I get it. Once my kids set foot in the sand, they don’t want to stop. So we put on our sunscreen before we leave the house, and again every hour and a half. The breezes can be strong at the beach, so avoid getting sand stuck to you everywhere and get lathered up before you go.

My kids are active, in and out of the water, so I insist they wear sunscreen lotion on their bodies (because it’s thicker) and the stick on their face (so it doesn’t run into their eyes). We typically only use sunscreen spray when we’re doing non-water activities (because it’s thinner).

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National Sunscreen Day |

After-sun care is vital

If you’ve gotten too much sun for the day, aka sun-burned, then your skin needs vital moisture. Start with a cooling aloe, like Sun Bum Cool Down aloe gel, then follow up with a moisturizing aloe lotion, like Sun Bum Cool Down Aloe Vera Lotion or Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion. Reapply them every two hours to lessen the likelihood of blistering and peeling.

If you need more cooling relief, look for aloe with lidocaine to take the sting out of the burn quickly. One of the most popular brands is Solarcaine. If you notice water blisters forming, try not to pop them, and seek the advice of your doctor or dermatologist.

Beach in Port Aransas |

So take a moment today on National Sunscreen Day to get out those sunscreen bottles and sprays, because sun protection is hot topic today (and everyday) at the beach.

Check out some of my favorite sunscreen picks from top brands here.

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