The Sun! Our friend. Our enemy. It brings many of us out to bask in its glory on beaches and campgrounds and hiking trails during these summer months, and it also sends many of us into hiding under hats and umbrellas on those same beaches. A little of it gives us humans Vitamin D. Too much of it and we know it can also give us skin cancer. We also know it is the catalyst for all life.
Every bite of food, from a tomato and quinoa salad to a grilled chicken breast, contains energy that can be traced back to the sun. Every species on Earth relies upon the sun for energy. Most of all, we know it is a force that should be respected and therefore we should be prepared to live with it in harmony.
See below for our recommendations to be properly equipped to have a satisfying and safe relationship with our favorite star, as well as a few fun things to make summer a little brighter and maybe last a little longer.
BEFORE YOU’RE IN THE SUN
Drink plenty of water. Lather yourself with at least a 30 SPF sunscreen (which protects you from 97% of the UVB rays) 15 minutes before you expose yourself to the sun or water so it can be absorbed thoroughly into your skin. Have a meal that contains protein, complex carbohydrates and greens or veggies, to get your nutrients and keep you energized through potential fatigue that is sometimes caused by the sun and its heat.
TIP: Apply sunscreen BEFORE putting on your suit!
Think of sunscreen application like you’re putting on a thorough layer of body moisturizer; get it into every nook and cranny, including your bikini edge. We don’t want you doing that awkward dance on the beach where you’re trying not to let your bits slip out while trying to apply under your bikini edges. If you put on your sundress or shorts in between your home and the place where your sunning will commence, make sure you reapply where your clothing has touched and allow that to set again before heading into water or any kind of physical activity where you might sweat.
Remember to always reapply your sunscreen if you’ve been laying down and had contact with any material that might have rubbed your protective layer off. An uneven suntan is one thing, but an uneven sunburn… That’s special. So make sure you keep track of your sunscreen application. It’s a bright and sunny world out there and it’s best to maximize it’s benefits.
DURING YOUR TIME IN THE SUN
Drink plenty of water. Re-up your sunscreen, especially if you’re sweating or in water. For our fairer friends, wear a hat, use an umbrella, and wear sleeves.
Eat snacks with a high water content like watermelon or grapes.
Try to avoid alcohol and too much caffeine while you’re in the sun, since both of these are diuretics and induce the exit of water from the body.
AFTER A DAY IN THE SUN
Drink plenty of water (yes, more water!). This is now the time to replenish your water levels internally and externally. When you shower after a day in the sun, use warm water and gentle soaps, both to avoid further drying, by further pulling out your body’s naturally producing oils. A gentle exfoliating loofah or body sponge will remove dead/dry skin, as well. (Just don’t do that right before or right after exposure to avoid irritation).
A great trick for maximum moisture is to apply jojoba, coconut or any other natural oil right as you get out of the shower, when you are still damp; as it will absorb and retain better than on dry skin (picture a dry sponge versus a wet one; the wet sponge absorbs more water, more quickly).
Just take care you don’t get oil on your floor and slip of course!
SUN AND SUMMER HELPERS
EGYPTIAN MAGIC // All of your summer activities will be helped by this brilliant concoction. Made from all natural ingredients like olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis. We put it on bug bites to immediately stop itching, on sunburns to soothe, on your lips to protect and moisturize.
SPF 30+++ COLORSCIENCE POWDER SUNSCREEN // With a built-in easy to apply brush, this sunscreen is perfect for home or on the go. Powdered sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts caused by lotion-based products. Friendly powder is great for everyday use and is excellent for physical activities. An added bonus is that it’s water and sweat proof!
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS 60 // This line is now widely available in the US – you can even find at your local drug store. If you prefer a liquid lotion sunscreen to powder, this one is lightweight and works well on sensitive skin.
SALUX JAPANESE BODY CLOTH // This wonder-cloth smoothes and exfoliates your skin better than any washcloth or loofah ever could. A total game-changer, you will never shower without it again.
EMINENCE FACIAL RECOVERY OIL // A drop goes a long way to relieve any dryness in your skin from the sun and water. A drop on each cheek after your shower will do wonders.
WATER BOTTLE!!! // Good old fashioned water, and lots of it. There are so many BPA-free choices out there. Pick one and drink up!
SUNGLASSES // Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays may cause eye damage, so find some cute sunnies and wear them!
HAT // Protect your delicate scalp with a stylish panama-style hat while you’re in the sun for any extended period of time. When you head into the water, try putting your hair back in a ponytail with the bulk of your hair covering your scalp.
QUIDDLER // A scrabble-like game in a deck of cards that’s enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Fast-paced and challenging, this light-weight game will help you pass the time as you take a break from the sun.
First thing in the morning (after your morning water), create a playlist that makes you want to move. Dance around your room like nobody’s watching. This will get your metabolism jumpstarted and put you in a mindset for a day of fun.Here are some tunes to add to your beach playlist:
Language and Perspective // BAD SUNS
The Eagles Greatest Hits Vol. 2 // THE EAGLES
Arabella // ARCTIC MONKEYS
Ways to Go // GROUPLOVE
A GOOD BOOK
Here are a few good books to dig into on the beach. Get lost in a good story, learn something new, and be sure to pass it on to a friend when you’ve finished.
THE THIRD PLATE // Dan Barber
MISSING MICROBES //Martin Blaser
WE ARE WATER // Wally Lamb
ONE PLUS ONE // Jojo Moyes
HARD CHOICES: A MEMOIR // Hillary Rodham Clinton
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT: THE SCIENCE OF LIFE SPAN AND AGING // Jonathan Silvertown
THE GOLDFINCH // Donna Tartt
What are the summer essentials in YOUR beach bag?
Share your pictures with us and tag them @TheBodyBook #LoveYourAmazingBody.
SUMMER TRAVEL TIPS FROM THE BODY BOOK