Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. I am very pale. I’m the kind of person that is white all year long, gets a sunburn, and then immediately turns white again. Well, I guess I should say gets sunburns, plural. Because I burn very, very easily. Even with sunscreen! It’s sad.
Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea for me to get a job working outside eight hours a day, five days a week all summer. After three weeks, my arms have gone from bright red, to a hint darker than my normal pale, to bright red again, to a little bit darker than the previous pale with a highly attractive peel. The rest of me is still practically albino.
And when I’m not working, I’m trying to relax. Which this past weekend, when the temperature was 100 degrees, meant sitting outside on my porch in the sun, reading and drinking iced tea. Sounds like the life, right? Well, it was wonderful. But, no matter how much sunscreen I put on, I always seem to miss small parts, which immediately turn into bad sunburns.
I’ve been putting on 15 SPF, so this weekend I went out and bought 30. I may have to move up to 45. According to a study by the cosmetic safety database, 86 percent of sunscreens on the market are either ineffective against the sun or raise safety concerns because of their ingredients. Many contain microsized and nano-scale UVA filters with toxic properties, and some contain ingredients that absorb into the blood and may have toxic effects, acting as hormone disruptors, releasing free radicals into the skin, and causing allergic reactions. The Cosmetics Database gives detailed information about which sun blocks are safe and effective and which are not. The sunscreen that has worked for me is Alba Botanical’s SUN, and it is paraben-free.
If you still can’t stop that sunburn, treat it with aloe vera gel, but none of that nasty blue aloe! Instead, try Lily of the Desert’s Aloe Vera Gelly, which is 99 percent aloe and free of artificial color and fragrance. Believe me, it feels beyond amazing on a sunburn.
Note to self: Sunburns are no fun. Use sunscreen. Effective sunscreen. And chemical-free sunscreen.