Staying Pale In Paradise

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I wasn't even home when a friendly man at the airport said, "if you just spent a holiday in Hawaii, where's your tan?" Because obviously the only marker of a good holiday is skin damage! I don't actually think about the fact that I'm pale much. I mean, it's sort of an obvious feature but when I'm occupied by insecurities--and honestly I don't spend a lot of time focusing on those!--it's not even on my list. While on holiday in Hawaii being pale didn't cross my mind much, other than acknowledging how prone to burning I am and the necessary measurements to avoid turning into a lobster. I wouldn't mind having a bit of a tan, but not at the expense of immediate discomfort and the potential of skin cancer later. Instead, here are my tips for taking care of your skin when you're somewhere sunny--even if you're pale enough to earn frequent Casper comparisons from friends and family!
Start with sunscreen: By this I don't just mean wear sunscreen, but literally, start your day by putting on sunscreen. Work it into your morning routine before you leave the house; I usually apply before I get dressed because your clothes are likely to shift/move throughout the day so if you apply it around a short sleeve blouse or knee length skirt, you could end up missing areas that will end up being exposed to the sun.
Apply early, apply often: I remember in my old computer class how my teacher's motto was "save early, save often." A similar expression can be applied to sunscreen--again start early (most burns happen between 10AM and 2PM) and to reapply throughout the day. Even if you're not swimming or doing something very active (and especially if you are swimming and being active!), one coat of sunscreen is not going to last you all day, no matter what the bottle says!
Know your SPF: I don't stick to one particular brand of sunscreen most of the time, but I do look for a minimum of 40 SPF. I do like a higher SPF rather than 15 or 30, but I don't go much higher than 40. Many experts advise not going over a SPF 50 because they're only marginally more effective and tend to lure people into a false sense of security. The truth is even if you're wearing a high SPF you should still try to avoid spending all day in the sun with a lot of exposed skin and still need to reapply reguarly.
Take a coverall to the beach: Even if your planned activity of the day is swimming at the beach or pool, take a coverall for whenever you're not in the water to protect your skin. I wore the breezy dress in this post so often while we were in Hawaii, because it was always in my tote when we went to the beach. It's just simple--the less skin exposed to the sun, the less skin that can be burned. Plus this dress is so cute and meant I could go straight from the beach to a meal if I wanted to.
Seek the Shade: This tags on nicely with the details about SPF--even if you're wearing sunscreen and a covering up a lot of skin, it's still wise to look for shady spots on the beach or wherever you are. I also brought a large hat with me to protect more of my skin for times when I was on a beach without shade, or walking through a very exposed area.
Find makeup with SPF: Most of the year I don't actually focus on sunscreen this much (I'm usually so covered up there's very little of my skin exposed to what sun Ireland might offer!), but one area where I always have a bit of SPF is on my face through my makeup. Finding makeup with SPF in it means I don't need to add an extra step to my morning routine and I'm still protecting my face from sun damage.
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yellow yellow dress tree-16P.S. This is a dead crab/empty shell we found on the beach, no living crabs were disturbed for our photographs. yellow dress tree-2


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