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Surviving the Heat Wave: Serious & Silly Sun Safety Tips

July 7, 2010

It was so hot in DC today you probably could fry an egg on the sidewalk. I don’t eat eggs or like the smell of them frying or else perhaps it would be an interesting experiment. And of course–on the day that it is 101 degrees, and I am feeling some serious whiplash pain–my old school Mercedes decides that it’s the perfect time to run out of anti-freeze.  So this afternoon I drove home and then to the gas station sweating bullets in a very HOT car with leather interior. Not so fun. So my girl Kenzie  wrote a few serious  tips for keeping it cool in this almost dangerously hot weather which I have posted below. My slightly silly two-sense on the issue:

1) Stay inside especially at the peak of the afternoon heat and find modifications of outdoor sports–visualize a lot. Or play Nintendo Wii.  🙂

2) Drink a lot of water and eat a lot of watermelon. I love watermelon when its hot as heck! Lots of juice and liquids in general is always a plus!

3) Sun protection is imperative unless you want to end up looking or feeling like burnt toast. Who knew that Shea butter actually protects from UV rays… Probably not strong enough for this crazy heat. Use whatever you got and get down with it seriously.

4) Fashion tips: Do not wear synthetic fabrics. Or all black. I know, I love vintage too, but there’s a real reason polyester was a passing fad. This IS the time to be that annoying person who never removes their shades when they are speaking to you. Find your best paparazzi proof glasses and rock them.

5) Avoid getting trapped in any social situations that may lead you to hang outdoors midday. Divert the conversation and insert air-conditioned settings. For example someone asks: “Would you like to go for a walk?” And you respond: “I’d love to go for a walk, why don’t we stop by my gym, the treadmills are great!”

6) If you are trying to save some change and think a window fan is going to do you justice, please cut it out immediately! I had a roommate post-college in Brooklyn who didn’t want to pay for AC. I ignored her and installed a unit in my room, because that is just insanity. I know Suze Orman told you that you can’t afford it, but there are plenty of other ways to cut back when it’s over 100 degrees outside.

– XoXo Raw Girl

As the weather gets warmer and the sun gets stronger, it’s important to be knowledgeable about sun safety. The Environmental Working Group has been researching the Do’s and Don’ts of summertime fun and here’s what you need to know.

  1. Cover up. T-Shirts and Hats are important. Find shade or use umbrellas.
  2. Avoid being outside midday when the sun in strongest. Opt for outdoor activates in the early morning and late afternoon.
  3. Look for cream sunscreens with broad-spectrum protection, meaning they block UVA and UVB rays, that are water-resistant for sweat or pools.
  4. Reapply sunscreen every hour
  5. Use sunscreens with Zinc, Titanium dioxide, Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX in the ingredient list.
  6. Avoid sunscreens with Oxybenzone, Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), added insect repellent, and sunscreens that are sprays or powders.
  7. Use a sunscreen between SPF 30 and 50. Anything less wont give you the protection you need. SPF 50 or higher isn’t that much more protective and you may forget to reapply or think you have protection when you don’t.
  8. Wear sunglasses: Sunglasses protect eyes from UV radiation, which can cause cataracts.
  9. Boycott tanning salons: Tanning beds have 15 times the UV radiation of the sun and are increase cases of melanoma.
  10. Avoid burning. It increases your risk for skin cancer. If you do burn, treat with all-natural aloe vera gel from plant or bottle.

The importance of sun safety can be hard given the beautiful summer weather! I can be a big culprit myself, especially in my earlier years, but now I make sure I’m wearing the right SPF with the right ingredients and making other good decisions when I can.

Check out the Environmental Working Group’s list for the best sunscreens for 2010 and enjoy your summer in the know: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/

-Kenzie, signing in for Raw Girl

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