By: Guest Writer, Mary Beth Hunt

Summer has slowly come to an end and many redheads think they can stash away the sunscreen bottles until next summer. The fact is that sunscreen protection is essential year round.

I believe that the first step to taking care of your skin is accepting that you are a redhead and that you have pale skin that cannot tan. And if you have light green eyes, you probably have freckled skin, too. Back in the 70’s, we laid out all afternoon- slathered in baby oil. What a mistake. I wanted so much to be like my olive-skinned, dark-haired Italian friend, of the blonde-easily-tanned German heritage girls in my school. But I just end up sunburned, blistered and sick. When I finally accepted that I will not get tanned, I began to have better skin! Here are the steps you should take to take care of your sensitive, redhead skin:

1. I wear clothes that are lightweight, but cover your arms and legs. My favorites are longer, lightweight skirts and wide-leg linen pants.

2. I do research on sunscreens and choose one that is the best buy for my money. One with UVB and UVA protection. Consumer Reports says there are several, including Target’s Brand Up & Up Sport Continuous. If you can’t get Target’s sunscreen, try Walgreens Sport ContinuousBanana Boat Sport Performance Continous or Aveeno Continous Protection.

3. After sun exposure, apply a cooling lotion to keep your parched skin for hydration.

4. Wear hats and scarves because it not only keeps your skin safe, but helps protect my red hair from fading.

5. Never forget the tops of my feet! It hurts to sunburn these sensitive areas of the body, so make an extra effort to protect all areas of the body.

6. Your eyes need protection, too! Wear those sunglasses.

7. And start skin protection at a young age. Get full coverage swimsuits for children. Encourage shirts with longer sleeves and longer shorts. Start good habits from the beginning. Tell your redhead, fair-skinned, light eyed children or friends that they will likely NOT be able to tan.

Being a redhead is beautiful, inside and out. Love your skin. It is the only skin you get!

 

Photo Credit: Kara Kochalko, © How to be a Redhead