The bright sun brings us happiness and light, but the UV rays it emits can be harsh and damaging to a redhead’s skin. I for one don’t mind going the extra mile to protect my redhead skin so that it stays healthy and because sunburnt skin has never flattered me much.

Here are 5 ways to protect yourself this summer at the beach:

1. Sunblock

This is something that you have probably been reminded to do since you could walk, but it bears repeating. In my 21 years as a fair skinned redhead, I have learned just how important this is. I’ve found that putting some quality ‘redhead friendly’ UV protecting sunblock on right when you get to the beach and after any swimming/physical activity is the best way to go. Although I found it annoying as a kid to keep slathering myself with lotion when I just wanted to play, I am always grateful when I wake up the next day and I’m not in a lot of pain and red as a lobster.

READ: 16 Best Sunscreen Picks for Redheads in 2017

2. Cover-Up

I usually bring two different cover-ups to the beach with me. I pack a loose, lightweight, light-colored t-shirt for when I plan on playing Frisbee with friends or going for a run. I also pack a cute sundress, one that covers my back (the forgotten and hard to reach place). It’s nice to have something to throw on when you’re lying on the blanket reading a magazine and something for when you plan on being active. And, you have the option of choosing UV Protective Clothing to keep you extra protected.

READ: Don’t Forget To Put Sunscreen on These 5 Areas

3. Big Umbrella

Last summer, a few of my girlfriends and I went to Newport, RI for a weekend getaway. One of them brought a large umbrella and let me tell you, it was the best idea! If you’ve covered up and reapplied sunblock and you just want to lie down without being bothered, hanging out under the cool shade of an umbrella is a great, protective way to go.

4. Hat

I like to run around on the beach and play different sports all day, so I usually bring a baseball hat with me. An alternative to that (and one that covers the back of the neck) is a floppy-brimmed sun hat. The nice thing about bringing a hat is that it protects both the sensitive skin on your face and scalp, and gives your eyes a break from squinting.

5. Sunglasses

Squinting brings me to my next tip: sunglasses! I recently invested in prescription sunglasses because I like to protect my baby blues as often as possible in the summer, but I also like to be able to see. I usually go for a pair with a fairly large lens, so that the sensitive skin around my eyes is protected from the sun, too.

READ: How to Choose Redhead-Friendly Glasses for Your Shape Face 

Rock it like a Redhead!