Healthy Living Strategies Kuel Category Expert: Diana Devi
It is finally summer: or close enough! That means fun in the sun and outdoor activities. We need ways to protect our skin from the sun.
The question become “ how do I enjoy the sun and not damage my skin, create wrinkles and brown spots?” After all, we all want to be a W.H.I.P. (a Woman, who is Hot, Intelligent and in her Prime at every age!) I am extremely sensitive to the sun so my choices are: I can avoid the sun and maintain my “other worldly pallor” or look like a lobster and end up with extremely wrinkly skin. Neither option is ideal.
But what if I could do something that kept my skin protected AND be out in the sun? With a little bit of planning you can have the best of both worlds: the sun and healthy skin!
Costuming is One of My Favorite Things To Do:
Meaning every time I dress it is a costuming opportunity, even in the summer! I play with my look and stay protected from the sun without looking dowdy or scary.
So let’s get started!
There are Three Main Ways to Protect Our Skin:
1) Avoid Exposure. Never Go Out. That is what I was talking about with “the other worldly pallor”. In the early 1900’s the beauty standard was to have a complexion as pale as possible. The extreme was such that 1902 Sears & Roebuck sold a popular product called Dr. Rose’s Arsenic Complexion Wafers, which was just that – “little white chalk wafers filled with arsenic for delicate nibbling.” to keep your complexion pale. Not a look we want today!
Tip: Avoid exposure to the sun from 10am to 4pm: during peak periods of sunshine. If you go out, use multiple layers of protection. For example, I use a hat, sunglasses, and a physical barrier sunscreen.
2) Use Sunscreens That Have a Chemical Barrier. I am cautious with these because the chemicals are absorbed through our skin. Unfortunately, we do not know the impact these chemical have on our bodies. Some chemicals show up in breast milk, blood and urine. I consult the Environmental Working Group sunscreen guide when choosing a sunscreen.
The Environmental Working Group is a non profit organization conducting and sharing research on common chemicals found in our food, cosmetics and personal care products and the potential effects on our bodies. The guide includes research on physical as well as chemical barriers.
Tip: Look for a sunscreen that contains a physical barrier not a chemical barrier.
3) Use a Physical Barrier. Here is where it gets to be fun! Examples of physical barriers include zinc oxide (not the nano type zinc oxide), titanium etc. – the stuff that looks white on your skin. Also included as a physical are hats, specialized clothing and sun glasses!
Three Ways to Protect Our Skin From the Sun in the Costuming World:
1) A Big Fun Hat. I have three very wide-brim hats. All are straw: one black and two tan. They are floppy and elegant and work in almost every situation. I wore a big hat while rambling though the ruins in Greece last year. I bought a travel hat that could be folded easily with out changing its shape. It was a life saver, and I received tons of compliments!
2) Over Sized Sunglasses: These are so much fun! It is important to have polarized sunglass or sunglasses that have UVA, UVB and UVC protection. Years of exposure takes a toll on our eyes – no cataract surgery for me ( hopefully).
3) A Sun Umbrella: (sunbrella for short) I love mine. Look for sunbrellas or parasols that have UVA,UVB and UVC blocking. I found some beautiful ones! Check out the Kuel Shop for parasols from Lily-Lark. She has so many fun colors and designs! I bought mine years ago and use if for rain or sun and still love it.
Tip: Buy hats, glasses etc that are fun and that you enjoy. You will wear them if you like them!
The Last Resource – A Sun Car Kit:
Yup, I have a sun kit in my car. It is convenient and easy …everything is there every time I need it. I do not have to remember to grab anything. Everything is in the car every time I go out. I am also prepared when I step out of the car because my hat is in my kit!
My sun car kit contains:
- A wicking sun blocking scarf* for driving to protect my neck
- A wide brim every day hat , for use when I am in and out of the car.
- A spare pair of sunglasses, for use ANYTIME I am outside
- A pair fingerless gloves * – for use while I am driving.
- A wicking light weight jacket * – for use if I am not going to use my sunbrella. For the quick dashes in and out of the car.
Who knew keeping your skin beautiful could be so much fun?
Tip: Buy clothing that has a sun block in the weave makes this so easy. This way I have a physical barrier when I need it without wearing a sunscreen over large parts of my body.
About the Author:
Diana is an empowerment coach for women over 50, building on her 30 years of experience as a clinical pharmacist and as an Argentine tango dancer. Diana’s goal is to help her clients become a W.H.I.P. “A Woman, who is Hot, Intelligent and in her Prime at EVERY age. When Diana is not working with clients or on the dance floor she is training her cats, CleoCatra ( an Egyptian Mau) and D’Artagnan (a Savannah) while patiently waiting for the day she can travel around the world to dance tango again. You can checkout Diana on her website: An Ageless Life.