19 Aug

Don’t you remember the days when you were young…back in the day…a Wednesday…it was summer, and beautiful, and the best thing you could think of to do was to play outside all day long? Whether it was at the pool, riding bikes with neighborhood friends, or just playing outside, I could stay outside for hours, no matter how hot it was. Of course, I would pay for it. I would get sunburned, but even back then it was worth it. As a child, I never cared about sunscreen or skin cancer or any of those adult things. Of course, my mother would remind me to put on sunscreen every hour and give me “the look” when I came home burnt. But it wouldn’t do any good. I would run outside and stay and suffer the consequences later.

As an adult I’ve gotten much better. I wear sunscreen and hats and sunglasses that have UV protection. I am very fair skinned, so I don’t have the advantage of actual tanning, the sun kisses my skin in spots that look much more like freckles than a beautiful beach baby tan.
I thought I had grown out of the phase of not caring about my skin. Well…I was wrong.


I can’t tell you how wrong I was. The other day, my husband and I went to the pool to relax. I had just taken one of my architecture tests (more about that later) and I wanted to swim laps to train for the triathlon I’m competing in in September (also, later). I swam laps about 30 minutes and once finished, got out to dry in the sun and read my book (The Reliable Wife, more on that later). We were out there for no more than 45 minutes and THIS is what happened.

I love shopping for sunscreen. After realizing that sunscreen goes bad in a year, I decided it was a waste to buy the super cheap gallon of sunscreen that wouldn’t work next year (unfortunately, I’ve had the experience of using it and ending up like I did the other day…like I hadn’t put on any sunscreen at all). So I get nice sunscreen. It’s biodegradable…good for me…good for the environment. Especially all the fishes in the ocean. I just didn’t put it on, like an idiot. And now, I’m suffering.

But that does bring me to this post, which is going to be about sunscreen. I know we all know how important sunscreen is, so I’m not going to lecture on that point. Something I have recently learned about some sunscreens is that they can protect our skin, but be dangerous to the rest of us.

Sunscreen can have chemicals that can affect all types of systems in our bodies, including our largest organ, our skin.

Check out the website for the Environmental Working Group. They have done serious testing and research, and do not seem to be sponsored by a particular brand. This website helped me weed through all the claims. Turns out, the FDA does not regulate sunscreen like a lot of other things we put on our skin! Hard to believe, but true. I ended up going with Caribbean Solutions.

You can find it here.

It’s a natural, biodegradable sunscreen that has very low occurrences of side effects. The best part about this site is that you can search the sunscreen you usually use and see how safe it is. Thanks Environmental Working Group. We appreciate your service!

Don’t worry, I didn’t get paid to say that. I actually really appreciate their website. And boy do I appreciate sunscreen.

There’s a line in a Portastatic song “Hey Salty” (which also happens to be our wedding song) that says,
“Your cheeks are burned / Don’t you ever learn?”

Nope. Of course, I’ll take heed for a while…until next summer.


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