It’s full-on summer in the northern hemisphere (with apologies to any readers Down Under”> so it’s time to talk sun protection. No lectures this time; just top-to-toe tips and the best sunscreen products for the season!

Hair SPF 101

The sun can be damaging to your curls, so it’s important to use good healthy hair habits during the summer. For those of us who color our hair, sunlight can cause fast fading and unpleasant side effects like brassiness. Sunscreen for your hair isn’t as good as the products designed for face and body—it’s difficult to get enough SPF into the formulations. Hats and bandanas made of tightly woven fabrics are going to offer best sunscreen for your lovely locks.

While regular sunscreen can (and should”> be painted down a part in your hair, there are some products designed to shield your curls from the harmful rays. Phytologie makes a line designed to protect your hair from the sun, though it is pricey, and California Baby has two leave-in conditioners with some natural sunscreens in them.

If you’re putting your hair up (maybe in a “pineapple” through a crown-less hat”>, don’t forget to put sunscreen on the tips of your ears and the back of your neck. Your lips are thin and can burn easily, so make sure you protect them too. Lip balms offer the best sunscreen protection as long as you choose ones with a high SPF rating.

Wear Sunglasses!

As weird as this is going to sound, your eyes can actually get sunburned! Big dark glasses won’t only help you bring out your inner movie star, they’ll also help prevent crow’s feet around your eyes as time goes on.

Skin Basics

I carry extra sunscreen with me to reapply to my hands. With all the fear out there about germs these days, we wash out hands so often, this is where sunscreen disappears first. And the skin on our hands is so thin that this is where aging appears first.

If you’re wearing pants and flip flops, have you remembered to put sunscreen on your feet? There’s nothing more painful than a sunburn on your feet when you have to go to work wearing something more substantial than sandals!

Coppertone has mousse formulations of SPF 60 available this year, including their popular Water Babies line. They are very lightweight, absorb quickly and feel relatively non-greasy compared to heavy creams.

Most major sunscreen companies have improved their “water resistant” formulations to last longer, and Neutrogena has invented a product line called “Wet Skin” that can be sprayed right on after you get out of the pool or shower. (New FDA regulations now prohibit companies from marketing sunscreen as “waterproof.””>

If you’re looking for something more natural than chemical to protect yourself, Alba Botanica hoffers some of the best sunscreen products for adults and children that promise to be more soothing to your skin.

Finally, there is a newer line of mineral makeup designed by the founder of Bare Escentuals. Sold as “Colorescience Sunforgettable”, the SPF 50 powder foundation is supposed to offer more protection than all other mineral makeup on the market.

Final thoughts

Overall, no matter what you’re wearing and how you’re covering up, have a sun-safe summer!

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