staying healthy when you're in the sun

Tanning Is Out

[trip style = sun]

{Editor's Note: In addition to the below tanning tips, also see my interview about playing it safe in the sun with The Canadian Cancer Society! What an honour to collaborate with such a worthy cause!}

I travel to a lot of sunny places {though there are still a bazillion destinations I'd like to see}, but I'm far from a bronzed miracle and proud of it. Here's an excerpt of questions I'm often asked when I come home from the tropics: Friend: Weren't you just in Hawaii? Me: Yes. Friend: Where's your tan? Me: It's muted, I wear A LOT of sunscreen.

The Canadian Cancer Society and I have been recently chatting about sun safety, and when I heard about the Tanning Is Out campaign, I wanted to support the plea to raise awareness about the dangers of sun exposure and tanning bed use, given my passion for sun protection and obsession with hats and sunscreen.

A Speech I remember doing a speech about sun safety in grade 4. Looking back, it is always something I've been interested in, but it wasn't until I was 25---and about to leave for my honeymoon in Jamaica---I started taking it really seriously. I cringe when I think about my early Trip Styling days in university, spending my 'reading breaks' in Honolulu. I would hit the tanning bed pre-trip, spend 8 hours of the day on the beach sans sunscreen, and rationalize that my almost florescent red burn would turn into a tan... My teenage and 20-something self should have taken my grade 4 self's basic instructions...

One Fine Day One event that forced me to get serious about sun protection was the discovery of Melasma on my face---a skin disorder where sun exposure causes symmetrical dark marks on the skin. Luckily, the larger, freckle-like splotches fade with creams, but the best way to manage it is with highly limited and strategic sun exposure {see more below}---a sometimes tricky task for an outdoor-loving and sun-seeking Trip Styler.

Opportunity & Responsibility With opportunity comes responsibility. Whether it's spending time outside enjoying The West Coast's glorious summer weather, jetting off to a sun-drenched island or even skiing at the top of Blackcomb {we can't forget about sun protection in winter}, I don't take the opportunity to be under nature's heat lamp lightly. I try to enjoy it responsibly using the following precautions:

  • Face - Apply broad spectrum protection 30spf in winter/70spf in summer, or anytime I'm in a literal hotspot.
  • Body - Apply a minimum of 30spf sunscreen before and at regular intervals during sun exposure.
  • Hat - I keep one with me at all times---in my purse, the car, and in my suitcases---and don it when I run, or am out and about. I just purchased a hat with an 8" brim to wear when I'm in the desert or tropics. It is very chic, aside from the fact that it's the size of a child's umbrella!
  • Time - Yes, I spend time in the sun, and LOVE relaxing by the pool or beach, or out on the water, but I do so wearing 30 - 50spf sunscreen and often spend the peak hours {11am - 4pm} sipping umbrella drinks in the shade.

I used to be embarrassed about my white face, but now it makes me happy knowing I'm following dermatologists and beauty experts' MOST IMPORTANT anti-aging rule: wear sunscreen daily {even if it's cloudy}. And if I'm feeling really pale, there's always bronzer, self-tanner, a spray tan or creams with a light shimmer to the rescue!

PS - if you like musicals, check out this entertaining 3-minute Tanning is out video. Also find more information on the Tanning is Out campaign on its website and Facebook group. {Including their logo, conceived by heather, our travel fashion contributor.}

{photo by @nate_fri, taken of 70 spf-adorned @tripstyler wearing a hat, cover-up and sunglasses on Wilson Island in Australia}