By Devon Scott
A healthy, bronze glow (like the one Leighton Meester is working on here) is often a desired goal of any sunbathing beauty. A splotchy, red, peeling sunburn is definitely not!
Dermatologists have long lauded the facts: too much sun exposure can lead to sun poisoning, heat stroke, severe dehydration, early skin aging, and skin cancer (melanoma).
A few simple products and tricks will keep you protected, while still achieving the aforementioned sun-kissed skin.
1. As the song says, use sunscreen! No matter the skin type, sunscreen is an essential for any outdoor outing in the sun. Even if it's cloudy, sunscreen is still recommended.
-If you're going to go skating on the boardwalk, take a stroll along the Thames, or getting into a beach volleyball tournament in Malibu, try Jack Black Performance Remedy Oil Free Sun Guard SPF 45 ($20 - Sephora). User reviews describe the product as not greasy, while providing protection even in sweat and water. This sunscreen also is vegan and organic-certified.
-For those who don't want the greasy feeling some sunblocks provide, try Murad oil-free sunblock SPF 30 ($31 - Ulta). Skin can go from moisture rich to flaky and dry in the right conditions (bright sun, humidity, sea water, and hot temperatures all are factors). This product boasts a mixture of antioxidants and moisture-enhancing chemicals, including Panthenol (same chemical used in Pantene hair care products to maintain moisture).
-While we can't stop from aging, we can slow down the process. Clarins UV Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 ($42 - Sephora) offers protection from both UVB and UVA rays, which can cause irrepairable damage to our faces. Clarins also protects against some harmful agents we don't always think of: free radicals, urban pollution, and electromagnetic waves.
2. Cover up! Sure, every beach bunny wants to show off the fabulous body made out of months at the gym during the winter. But, if you're not coated down in sunblock (including your nose bridge, your hands, feet, and the tops of your ears), you can still look chic.
-A wide-brimmed hat provides protection for your face and eyes. Rag&Bone gives their take on the wide-brimmed straw hat ($150 - Saks). The brim is slightly smaller than much of the standard sun-protection fair (4 inches), but offers plenty of shade.
-Sunglasses. Most come with a label baring the words, "UVA/UVB protection." Both can cause your eyes to weaken in strength.
-When lounging on a towel and reading something sensuous, try a cover-up. Top Shop USA taps into the ever-popular boho movement with this black tie-dyed cover up ($56). Made of lightweight material, this will keep your body protected.
-Lip Balm. Basic? Yes. Lips get dryer even faster than the skin, it often seems. Lip Balm of varying brands will also list its SPF level. A little dab on the lips will keep yours healthy and moisturized.
3. Hydration is crucial. Drink plenty of water.
4. Use common sense! If you think you missed a spot with your sunblock, put more on. Every mother has said to their daughter at least once, "an ounce of protection goes a long way." Skin cancer can be deadly and no bronze glow is worth that risk.
Let's hit the beach!