I’m gonna soak up the sun
Gonna tell everyone
To lighten up
I’m gonna tell ’em that
I’ve got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I’m looking up
I’m gonna soak up the sun
These are my very favorite days of the year, when the air is still somewhat cool but the sun is deliciously warm on my bared shoulders. It feels new and luxurious, and the promise of an entire summer basking in the sunshine unfurls ahead of me.
Of course, we’re past the days where we could just bask. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, affecting one in five (one in three Caucasians). More than 90% of all skin cancers occur due to sun exposure.
Just five lifetime sunburns or one blistering burn doubles your chance of melanoma, and kids, with their tender skin and tendency to seek out the sunshine, are especially at risk.
Complicating things is the recent revelation that some sunscreens may actually CONTRIBUTE to your cancer risk, as they chemically change your skin, break down in sunlight and throw off free radicals.
It’s really important to make sure you and the kids are fully protected whenever you are outdoors for an extended period of time (which you should do a lot! Getting outside in the sunlight and MOVING is healthy in so many ways!).
Our favorite ways to get outside and soak up the sun:
- Soccer! Football! We’re on the fields 3 afternoons a week (sometimes 4) and alllllll day Saturday.
- Basketball. I love me some hoopin’.
- Playtime at the park. Cass and Mav hit the playground while Jake skateboards and I run, 3 times a week.
- Hiking to the creek and skipping stones.
- Break out the bikes!
- Backyard picnics
- The pool and the beach
- Frisbee (you know how I love my Frisbee baseball)
- Hanging out at the farmer’s market
- Outdoor concerts
- Just lying in the grass. And nothing-doing.
I’m veddy veddy picky about the sunscreens we use. It’s an ongoing struggle to find something that Cass can wear without burning, that won’t cause my hands to break out in hives or anger Jake’s eczema, is relatively sweatproof (we are sweaty people), doesn’t cost a small fortune and isn’t a huge pain in the arse to apply.
Not asking much, right?
I have a very short list of sunscreens that make the cut that maybe I’ll make into its own blog post, but today I’m talking about the latest one that made the grade: Beyond Coastal.
Beyond Coastal Sunscreens are:
- gluten free
- cruelty free
- fragrance free
- oxybenzone free
- nanoparticle free
- paraben free
- oil free
- reef safe and biodegradable
- full of moisturizers and antioxidants
- made with the outdoor athlete in mind
- manufactured in the USA with renewable energy
- top rated by the Environmental Working Guide and rated well for health on the Good Guide
And effective. Cass wore the Kids Natural sunscreen on the (shadeless and hot as hades on a cloudless day) athletic fields all day, through playing a sweaty 8:30am soccer game and watching her brother’s game in the midday sun, then running around with her toddler cousin in the yard, without a hint of pink on her fair skin.
With my sensitivity to fragrance and tendency to break out in hives, I was most concerned with those factors, and the Active sunscreen suited just fine. The scent is light and I kinda like it. No irritation, no hives, none of that really heavy sticky feel— I wore it running and I didn’t feel totally disgusting afterwards (well, no more so than usual).
Best feature from a mom standpoint, aside from the skin safety? Cass didn’t mind putting it on her face (usually a bitter battle). The deoderant-stick-tube made it easy for her to put it on herself, and she actually commented on how it didn’t hurt when she put it on her eyelids (good girl! I tend to forget eyelids, but she remembered because it’s her least favorite part).
We’ve got a Beyond Coastal prize pack to give to one reader, to help keep their family sun safe as they get outside. Just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget to enter: there are up to 12 possible entries, use as many as you like 🙂
Be sure to check out the Beyond Coastal website; they’re offering 25% off your order when you sign up for their newsletter, and free shipping for the month of May (it’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month). Keep up with future deals by “liking” the Beyond Coastal page on Facebook.
Disclosure: I received Beyond Coastal sunscreen products through Global Influence to try out for review purposes, and the company is providing another set for giveaway. I received no other compensation and as always, all opinions are entirely my own ramblings, based on thorough and repeated use.