Good ways to protect your children from the sun!

Dr. Irwin, My daughter recently took an internship that will place her outside in the Florida sun for a lot of the time during the day. She will not be in shorts and short-sleeved t-shirt most of the year until August. We do have in place sunscreen products and I'm trying to teach her how to layer them like I have learned on your site. Is there a specific brand you like for the entire body that is cost effective with maximum results that won't break down in the sun? Thank you, Caroline

I love that you’re trying to work with her and educate her on this. She’ll thank you later!! 🙂 My daughter wouldn’t always listen to me so I had her see another dermatologist. And my daughter would listen to her!  LOL

Here’s the good and the bad. On the good side, we have really effective sunscreens now that we didn’t have 20 years ago. On the bad side the high zinc ones which are the best tend to be expensive and/or really goopy and white.

My Sunscreen recommendations:

  • Protective rash guards, sun pants and hats provide much better coverage than sunscreens. See if you can online shop with her to find some super cute rash guards that she loves and would wear. Try Roxy, Athleta and TheSeea. Maybe a cute, light long sleeved shirt over a tank top?   The better rash guards are more expensive but they also feel great to wear (not stiff) and fit better (not too boxy).
  • Also consider that full body daily sunscreen is better than no sunscreen, but it’s still a lot of chemicals.  Some clothing options would be good.
  • For the body, try using the Costco huge Coppertone sport bottles that are decent and inexpensive and then layering an inexpensive, whitish zinc on the high risk areas like the neck, chest, tops of shoulders, forearms and hands, nose, tops of thighs if sitting a lot, etc.  Surfer shops, REI, and any outdoor focussed shop tend to have these. Look for 10-20% zinc. Blue Lizard (check the zinc content) can be less expensive.
  • Consider a few tubes of more expensive, NOT white, lightly tinted for her face like the Image tinted (good for drier skin) or the Colorscience powder (good for acne and oil)
  • Depending on what she’s doing, asking her employer to provide some portable umbrellas for employees could be an option.

Hope this helps,

Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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