My Favorite Sun Care Products
Growing up, I literally lived 10 minutes away from sandy white beaches and emerald waters. I was outside and in the sun every chance I could get. But along with that, I’ve had plenty of time to go through countless bottles, brands, and different forms of sunscreen. Let me be the first to tell you that not all sunscreen is created equal. With the beautiful hot summer months coming up and all the outside activities that come along with that, I think it’s the perfect time to share with you my favorite sun care products that will help protect you and maybe bring things to your attention that you’ve never thought of before.
We’ll start with the basics -- traditional sunscreen. My favorite is the No-Ad brand. I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy because it looks like the cheapest one they offer. I don’t know if it is or not, but I bought both of these bottles for around $8 each at Walmart. This brand was recommended to my grandpa by his skincare doctor because years ago it was the only one that protected against UVA and UVB rays. I don’t know if that’s still the case or if other brands have changed, but I’m dedicated to this brand. They’re more affordable because they don’t advertise, hence where their name came from. This also allows them to use better ingredients. Most other sunscreens, such as Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone, etc, you’re really just paying for the name. I usually call those the tourist brands.
I have mine in SPF 30 and 15 because I don’t typically burn very easily. I start out the summer using the 30 and work my way into the 15 the more my skin gets used to being in the sun. I know some people might be freaking out about those numbers, but I’m trying to get some color when I’m in the sun y’all! Don’t listen to the application directions on the back or you will get burned. Apply it every 30 minutes to an hour, depending on what you’re doing and you should be fine. And don’t forget your belly button, tip of the nose, hairline, or top of the ears. Speaking from experience, that’s pretty embarrassing. If you start to notice color on your skin while you’re still in the sun, it’s time to find shade. Suntans and sunburns set in more as the night goes on, so if you’re starting to see it when you’re still in the sun, you’ll be in pain by the end of the night.
I really recommend using a lotion version of sunscreen rather than a spray, stick, or any other form. This allows you to really get every inch of skin that’s being exposed to the sun so you’ll be completely covered. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people with those spray bottles, especially the aerosol ones, and almost died watching them try to get everything covered. Not to mention how much product it’s wasting! But make sure to rub it in completely, just slapping it on isn’t going to work. This particular sunscreen isn’t greasy or heavy at all and doesn’t have an obnoxious scent.
The more I’m out in the sun and the darker my tan starts to become, I also like to use a tanning oil on top of the No-Ad. This helps speed up the tanning process, but also adds just a little bit more SPF to the equation. The Banana Boat Deep Tanning Oil in SPF 4 is one of my favorites. It’s obviously an oil so it’s going to be more greasy and that can get annoying, but the tan is worth it. It smells like a delicious banana colada and definitely makes you feel like you’re on vacation. However, it’s very important to note that I use it on top of the No-Ad lotion. Don’t use this on it’s own! The SPF is way too low and you need something more protective than an oil.
The sun not only drains all the energy out of you, but also drains all the moisture out of your skin. So it’s just as important to hydrate your skin after you’ve been in the sun as it is to protect it when you’re outside. My favorite after-sun lotion that I’ve ever used is Hawaiian Tropic's Silk Hydration. It’s laced with ribbons of lotion and aloe, so it feels very refreshing. And it smells amazing! I wish they would make this scent into a body spray or a candle, it’s so good! It’s a little more pricey than other after-sun lotions, especially when you think about how much product you’re getting, but it’s definitely worth every penny.
If we’re talking about weird places to get sunburned, I have many to add to the list and my lips are definitely one of them! Just think for a moment what it feels like for your lips to be sunburned. It feels like they’ve been exfoliated raw and are on fire. No fun! So be sure you apply some type of lip balm with SPF in it. My absolute favorite is the Maybelline Baby Lips in Quenched. Baby Lips is one of my favorite lip balms anyway and I love the formula. I’m pretty sure Quenched is the only one they offer with an SPF 20. But since I can’t find the one I have, my next favorite is Sun Bum's Coconut Lip Balm with an SPF 30. It’s moisturizing and does the job. It smells delicious, but the flavor gets in your mouth even without licking your lips and is a little too powerful for me. You can definitely taste the chemicals, which is why I prefer Baby Lips instead.
Taking care of your skin is no joke, but at the same time I don’t want to have to give up my natural tan and love of relaxing in the sun. Which is why I’ve worked so hard at finding the absolute best products that keep me protected, while still giving me the best tan I can get. I really hope you found this post helpful, I tried to include as many tips and advice as I could to prevent you from making common mistakes. If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments below and I’d love to hear what great vacations you have planned for this summer! Have an amazing day! :)