Redheads and Sunscreen: Best Friends Forever

The weather is getting warmer, the sun is out longer, and we’re all itching for some fun outdoors. Yet, red hair and fair skin go together like a bad day and a glass of wine, so we need to be prepared.

Most gingers understand the gravity of SPF protection.

Those who ever chanced a sunscreen-free beach day learned a valuable lesson: lobster-red and blisters are not a good look.

Sunscreen is a lifesaver, literally. It protects our skin from more than temporary burns, but the long-term effects of sun damage and even cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, those with “fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond, red, or light brown hair” have a greater risk of developing skin cancer.

Read: Jesse Tyler Ferguson Reminds Redheads They’re At A Higher Melanoma Risk

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) estimates that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. Those are some scary numbers – without factoring in increased risk for the fair-skinned.

Here are some top sun care tips to stay extra protected this summer: 

1. The AAD recommends using sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection, SPF 30 or higher, and water resistance. Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen either – the minimum amount should be “one ounce – enough to fill a shot glass.”

2. Sunscreen needs to be applied to all areas exposed to the sun. So, think about those smaller, often overlooked zones that tend to burn: ears, neck, feet, and right by the hairline.

3. Protect hair too with a spray designed to defend strands and pack a nourishing balm for your lips. Apply everything at least 15 minutes before stepping into the sun. Throw in a hat to guard the scalp and preventing skin damage has never looked so good.

4. The AAD stresses reapplication every two hours, after a swim, or sweating in general. Look at the directions on the back of the bottle and if you feel like you’re burning, seek some shade.

Some question the health implications of using sunscreen. However, the AAD advises on that as well, “preventing skin cancer and sunburn outweigh any unproven claims of toxicity or human health hazard from ingredients in sunscreens.”

If you accidentally left the sunscreen at home or missed a spot, burns can happen. In that case, drink extra water, take some cool baths, don’t pop any blisters, and try some soothing aloe. If it’s bad and you feel sick, seek medical attention. Remember to keep any burns out of the sun until they heal.

When it comes to red-haired spring/summer life, who says we can’t enjoy a day at the beach, pool, or park? Pack up your umbrellas, hats, and cover-ups. Plan a day outside, enjoy the sun glittering off the water and sparkling in your hair – just don’t forget the sunscreen.

After all, being vibrant and red is your hair’s job, and it doesn’t want competition.

READ: 10 Best ‘Redhead Friendly’ Sunscreen Picks in 2016 

What’s in my arsenal? My top sunscreen picks: 

1. Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

I’m an avid supporter of Sun Bum for many reasons: they smell great, don’t make my skin break out, have a non-greasy finish, are cruelty-free and affordable.

2. Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish, SPF 50

Quick drying and water resistant, this pick is a great choice for days when swimming or sweating may be on the agenda. Not to mention, it’s paraben free and not tested on animals.

3. Alba Botanica Hawaiian, Coconut Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50

I like sprays for quick and easy application to larger areas, but not the face. This one happens to smell great and is eco-friendly. Side note: avoid using sprays in poorly ventilated areas.

4. MDSolarSciences Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 40

I love sunscreen sticks simply for convenience. They’re easy to throw in a bag and great for touch-ups. Plus, they’re perfect for small areas like ears, by the hairline, and anywhere fabric may be rubbing sunscreen off.

5. Sun Bum 3 in 1 Leave-In Hair Conditioning Treatment

Since the sun can wreak havoc on hair too, use this handy spray to condition, detangle and offer UV protection.

Rock it like a Redhead!