How to Protect Yourself From Sun Damage, Style File Friday

While I think that a lot of the world waits impatiently for spring and summer to arrive and to hopefully bring warm and sunny days to cheer us up, it can be easy to forget how much damage can be done by those sunny days. I think we are all fairly aware of what the sun can do to you but that slips our mind when we are packing up for a weekend out or taking a half hour walk at lunch. These are six specific and easy ways to fight against sun damage and reduce your chances of excess sun exposure!

A Style Guide to Sun Protection

1) Specific Sunscreen

I am a big fan of buying specific sunscreens- body sunscreens for the body, face sunscreens for the face. I find that regular all-purpose sunscreen is too thick for my face on a regular basis, especially if I am putting it on before I’ve put on make-up- it tends to lead to days of breakouts. I am currently using the Clinique Pep Start SPF 50, and I am loving it! The 50ml bottle is $25 CAD, but for how much I use, I think I should get at least 2 months of use out of it. It is barely tinted, so if I don’t want to use concealer or foundation, I don’t have to, but if I do want tot do a full face of make up, it doesn’t feel caked on. (It is also foundation free, which is important to a lot of people!) I wear sunscreen every single day, unless I know that it is either 1) raining all day, or 2) I will be inside for the entire day. (With walking Agnes, it’s typically on every day.) Don’t be afraid to do your research, and invest a little in your sunscreen- it usually doesn’t hurt to spend a little bit more than the $5 bottle at the drugstore!

Clinique Pep Start SPF 50

2) Loose Fitting Clothing

I don’t know what is popular with the kids nowadays but there always seems to be a great deal of summer clothing that is so tight you probably can’t breathe in it. Well, this is not the time for that- you are going to want loose fitting clothing made out of light weight materials that allow your skin (and body) to breathe. Not only can you end up with the very serious condition of heat stroke, you may also end up with heat rash- the rash of tiny red, itchy bumps when your skin gets overheated and sweaty and doesn’t have access to air. You may not be the most fashionable person ever, but if you can avoid getting physically sick from the sun, it will be worth it.

3) Sun Accessories

I know that people are very specific about what they wear- “I won’t wear hats because they give me hat hair”, and “I don’t like how big sunglasses look” are both things I hear all spring and summer. However, although you may not like those items on a style basis, they are integral to protecting yourself against sun damage. I don’t think that you need to spend a million dollars, but grab a large brimmed hat to wear outside and sunglasses for those bright days, as your scalp and eyes can suffer as much damage or more than your skin! I don’t know if you have ever had the distinctly uncomfortable experience of burning your scalp after a day in the sun, but if it happens to you once, you will make sure it never happens again. (You become oddly aware of your scalp from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, and it is AWFUL.) Worry less about style and worry more about protecting yourself!

SPF Sunglasses

4) UPF Clothing

UPF clothing is one of my favourite discoveries of the last year, all in thanks to Lilly Pulitzer! UPF clothing (ultraviolet protection factor) is specifically meant to provide protection against the sun’s UV rays, which regular fabric and clothing does not. (Yes, you can have sun damage through clothing.) Currently, most forms of UPF clothing is limited to athletic wear and swim wear, but it is slowly branching out more and more, and let’s be honest, a lot of the time we are in the sun, it’s either for casual outings or hitting the water. I like to buy UPF clothing that is long sleeved but has a white base to limit the heat that it holds- my two Lilly popovers are perfect for protecting my arms, decolletage, and neck without causing me to overheat. (This won’t hold true when it’s a million degrees out, but it also doesn’t have to be outrageously hot to have a high UV rating.) Do your skin a favour and make sure that you’ve got it covered with something that will protect it!

Lilly Pulitzer UPF 50 Pack Your Trunks Popover

5) Stay Inside

Now I know that this isn’t what people want to here, but when there is an incredibly high UV rating (above 6.0), it is best to limit your time outside. If you are heading out during high risk periods, make sure that you take breaks to come inside or get into the shade- taking a 15 or 20 minute break every hour and a half to two hours won’t ruin your sunny day by a long stretch but it could go a long way to ensuring that you aren’t overloading on UV exposure! I would highly recommending avoiding specifically laying out in the sun with oodles of exposed skin for hours, because it usually isn’t clear for hours or even days (or sometimes even years) what kind of damage has been done. Bring an umbrella to the beach or take a short break from gardening outside, and remember to give your skin a break!

Sun protection items

6) H2O

It’s time to give your skin, and the rest of your organs, what it really wants- moisture! Make sure that you are taking the time to use moisturisers as a part of your daily routine- ideally in the morning and at night- and stay hydrated. I know that it is really fun to drink your Starbucks iced coffee or frappacino for the Instagram shots, but they aren’t going to do much to keep you hydrated. It can be a difficult habit to remember in the beginning, but I would recommend drinking 1-2 cups of water while you are getting ready in the morning. (I have a pretty specific schedule where I am either walking or feeding Agnes, getting changed, or gathering things to leave, and none of those things are done by the water carafe in the kitchen…) Ditto for when you know you will be going out into the sun- don’t start the day off dehydrated, and give your body the water that it will need right off of the hop!

How do you protect yourself against the sun? 

Until tomorrow,
The Historian
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23 thoughts on “How to Protect Yourself From Sun Damage, Style File Friday

  1. ahotcuppalife June 1, 2018 / 4:29 am

    Great tips. Drinking water is really important. However, UPF clothing is new to me. Thanks!!


    • anhistorianabouttown June 1, 2018 / 7:30 am

      I’m really happy with my UPF clothing so far, and I’m really hoping we see more of it in different styles and fabrics!! *Come on, Science!*

      Liked by 1 person

      • ahotcuppalife June 1, 2018 / 7:52 am

        But then, I read somewhere that the increase in the Vitamin D deficiencies in people is due to the same measures we use to protect us from the harmful rays. I am seriously confused. I was advised sun exposure, without any sunscreen when i had the deficiency.


        • anhistorianabouttown June 1, 2018 / 7:58 am

          From all of the reading I’ve done, I think we are supposed to target our time outside for when the UV factor is lower (usually earlier or later in the day). I also think that doctors don’t really know, as we don’t know what the effects of the sun right now will be in 30 years!! I burn like a marshmallow, though, so I tend to be verrrrrry cautious

          Liked by 1 person

  2. gigglingfattie June 1, 2018 / 6:41 am

    My favourite thing to use in the summer is my sun umbrella. It’s not a full parasol, it looks just like an umbrella but its more of a soft fabric and it was pretty pictures of “Tokyo in the Spring” on it and its been treated with UVA and UVB stuff. I bought it in South Korea where it is normal for people to be seen using them and its taken a little bit of self-awkwardness to use it here but I love it!!


    • anhistorianabouttown June 1, 2018 / 7:31 am

      I have a few friends who do use parasols, and they love them!! I find parasols/umbrellas a little tough, only because I like to have both of my hands free, but I really wish they would make more of a comeback. Protection from the sun is just as important!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie June 1, 2018 / 8:43 am

        I’m the same. Having the umbrella does make it a little difficult to do things that require the use of your hands – trying to be all touristy and take pictures is a nightmare with it! haha! But I’m like 2 shades from albino so if I don’t really take an interest in my sun exposure then I’m going to die a burnt lobster lol


        • anhistorianabouttown June 1, 2018 / 8:46 am

          I’m quite pale, and can burn in 15 minutes or less on a regular day, but I typically go with clothing coverage! I also find that just umbrellas/parasols leave spots that inevitably aren’t covered and burned haha. But that is really down to my lack of coordination! 🤣

          Liked by 1 person

          • gigglingfattie June 1, 2018 / 8:57 am

            Oh me too on how quickly I burn. I will sunscreen my arms and use my umbrella haha. Or sunscreen my entire body and use it. Seriously, I just need a huge hot-tub sized vat of SPF 60. I’ll walk into it, get covered, and just walk out. OOOORRRR you know how they have those spray tan machines? One of those with sunscreen lol That’s the dream right there.


          • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:23 pm

            I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED WHY FULL COVERAGE SPRAY BOOTHS AREN’T A THING???? People can make themselves look like a dorito but they can’t try to prevent that?! WHAT IS THE WORLD???

            Liked by 1 person

          • gigglingfattie June 4, 2018 / 6:29 am

            Omg I sooooo agree! I have spray sunscreen now but its such a pain to put on cos you still have to rub it in. I did go out and buy a face one though. Shoppers had a huge sale on all their sunscreens so I got an amazing deal! Lol


          • anhistorianabouttown June 4, 2018 / 7:31 am

            I find it’s almost messier to rub in the spray sunscreen than the regular cream! And I bought my body sunscreen in that sale haha- I need those PC Optimum points 😂


  3. thehomeplaceweb June 1, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Is the Clinique sunscreen a mineral or chemical sunscreen? I have very sensitive skin and am forever looking for the perfect sunscreen, one that doesn’t irritate my skin and doesn’t feel too greasy after a few hours…..


    • anhistorianabouttown June 1, 2018 / 9:46 am

      It is a mineral sunscreen, and it doesn’t feel greasy at any point!! I usually put make up over top of it, and can’t tell it’s there after about a minute 😊


  4. TheLostBunny June 2, 2018 / 2:00 am

    I learnt something new today : Upf clothing, sounds like a good idea! And I totally agree with how we need different sunscreen for different body parts, there is a difference in texture between face sunscreen and body sunscreen. Good post!


    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you!! I’m shocked that UPF clothing is more well-known, given how much information about sun protection there is, but I think it may be because of the fabrics it’s limited to right now. And the other day I had to put regular sunscreen on my face, and it was AWFUL! (And I definitely could not put make up on over it.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hannah June 2, 2018 / 6:24 am

    I’ve been really good with my job now and putting sun cream on as I’m outside a lot of the day. Also drinking water is definitely important! I got a sunburnt scalp in South Africa. It was so windy to wear my hat but then my scalp burned 😦 they need to invent like a hair mist sun cream! I love your water bottle!


    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:26 pm

      Sun burnt scalps are the absolute worst. I am curious to know if a hair product like that exists- if it doesn’t, someone needs to jump on that and head to Dragon’s Den ASAP. And thank you, it’s Liberty London S’Well bottle- it makes me smile every time I look at it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lisa Orchard June 2, 2018 / 8:27 am

    I’ve never tried the UPF clothing. I’ve always wondered if just regular clothes would do the trick. I’m very fair and burn easily so I’ve always made sure I had sunscreen on all exposed areas especially my face. The only downside to that is that we get Vitamin D from the sun so I try to expose myself for at least fifteen minutes on sunny days so that I can get the Vitamin D I need. It can be challenging sometimes!


    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      I am usually sans sunscreen/UPF items for my first and last walks with Agnes, so I think that would be about 20-25 minutes of the day. What I find so difficult is that none of the research on the effects of sun damage are based on the sun/atmosphere now, so we still don’t really know. And I sadly have been burnt through regular clothing- those light t-shirts that seem to keep you cool don’t help in the long run ugh 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa Orchard June 4, 2018 / 6:35 am

        Wow. I’ve never been burned through clothing. I probably wasn’t out in the sun long enough. I hear you about the research, it can be so frustrating to not have all the information. I’ve never been burned through my clothes before. I probably wasn’t out in the sun long enough.


        • anhistorianabouttown June 4, 2018 / 6:37 am

          That was only once, but I always wonder how much damage is being done through our clothing without us knowing- Unless we are burned, we don’t typically know at the time. We need some sort of tester strip to use!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lisa Orchard June 4, 2018 / 6:56 am

            You are so right! That would be an incredible invention. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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