Summer 2020. We remember that summer, right? The first summer of the pandemic, yes, but…

Do you remember how nice the weather was? Like Mother Nature said to us, “Okay, I know that it’s not easy for anyone right now, so I’ll at least give you good weather. Prepare your pools and your sunblock because it’s going to be nice and hot.”

So I, my husband, and my daughter spent the summer outdoors! Yes, because it was preferable to meet outside, but also because there was nowhere else we wanted to be with the temperature outside. We rediscovered camping, ate too much ice cream, chased splendid sunsets, made great use of the water refill stations, and got some color. But when that color was red…OUCH!

Like all mothers around the world, I don’t like to see my little girl’s skin red with sunburn. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel guilty like I haven’t done what I needed to do to protect her from the evil sun. The key to ending that uniquely maternal feeling is to simply do the right thing.

With the following 5 essentials, you will know how to best protect your children’s skin, and yours, from the sun, because with the way 2021 is going so far, I believe that mother nature will reward us with another great, sunny summer.

Use Sunblock

We all remember this advertising slogan by Nutella: “Spread the happy.” Just like Nutella, you want to spread on the sunblock generously, only you want the sunblock on your skin, not your toast! 😅

This is what you need to know to choose the right sunblock.

Sunscreen vs. Sunblock

Chemical sunscreen is the type we all know. The ingredients absorb UVA and UVB. Sunscreen is less favorable because these products are absorbed through the skin and then into the bloodstream. This is why more and more people opt for mineral sunblock (zinc oxide) that doesn’t cross the barrier of your skin and instead protects by reflecting the sun’s rays.

A good chemical sunblock will have an EWG VERIFIED ™ seal and be free of these products:

• oxybenzone

• octinoxate

• homosalate

• octisalate

• benzophenone-2 (BP-2)

• alcohol

• scents

• preservatives

Click here to see the 2020 list of the best sunblocks according to EWG!

Pssssst! Did you know that over 82,000 types of chemical ingredients found in personal care products end up in the oceans and that the biggest culprit behind this massive pollution is sunscreen? So avoid creams with the chemicals listed above and protect coral reefs and marine life.

• SPF 30

A sunscreen that is SPF 30 is more than enough, both for your children’s skin and for yours. Sunscreens with an SPF over 50 use more chemical ingredients, experts say, and are often less effective against UVA rays, which are more likely to cause skin cancer because they penetrate deeper than UVB rays. Additionally, the chemical filters found in some high SPF sunscreens can cause unpleasant skin reactions.

• UVA and UVB protection (broad spectrum)

Opt for a so-called broad spectrum sunblock that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

• Sunblock that is a cream rather than a spray

Creamy sunblocks trump sprays for two reasons: they are easier to apply in windy weather and limit your risk of inhaling chemicals. However, the application of a spray sunblock can be made more effective and safe by simply spraying the product in the hands and then applying it to the body.

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When to apply sunblock?

For optimal protection, put on sunblock:

  • Both on cloudy and sunny days. UVA and UVB rays can pass through the clouds.
  • 30 minutes before sun exposure for a chemical sunblock and just before going out for a mineral sunblock.
  • Every 2 hours while out.
  • After getting out of the water or if you have sweat a lot
  • From spring to autumn, as soon as the UV index reaches 3.

How much sunblock to apply?

0.5 to 1 oz is sufficient to cover your child’s body, but when in doubt, slather it on generously.

Spend time in the shade

Avoid overexposure to the sun, especially when the sun is at its strongest (between noon and 2pm) by spending time in the shade under a tree or umbrella. Be aware that, even in the shade, it’s still best to use sunblock.

Cover up well

Opaque, light, and covering clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. This is all it takes to properly cover your child’s fragile skin and pretty eyes.

Here’s an anti-UV hat for children that you can get from Decathlon and jerseys with UV protection from Clément.

With that, I wish you a summer full of fun and sunshine. However, if your kids are bored on a rainy day, why not give them my awesome world maps to color in? Fun and learning guaranteed!

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