Your Sun-Safe Guide To Outdoor Adventuring

Your Sun-Safe Guide To Outdoor Adventuring

This summer, you’re likely on a mission to make the most out of every minute of daylight. Maybe you’re hitting the trails first thing for a hike and spending your evenings on the water in a kayak. Or, you’re filling weekend afternoons with scenic bike rides. And you know that—just like staying hydrated—sunscreen is a necessity for any outdoor activity. High SPF formulas that are budge-proof and easy to apply and reapply should be in your UV ray-fighting arsenal this season. Before you head out on your next adventure, check out our guide to safeguarding your skin. And find the right pick from Australian Gold—no matter how much sweat, surf, and sun (and how little shade) are involved.

Select an SPF formula that works for you and your active lifestyle.

Sunscreen falls into two main categories: mineral and chemical. “The main difference is the active ingredients and how those protect against UV rays,” explains Dr. Michele Green, M.D., a New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist. Mineral sunscreens are made of zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both. These minerals sit on the surface of the skin to physically block UV rays. Chemical sunscreens contain chemical filters such asoxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, homosalate, and octinoxate, which sink into your skin and absorb the rays like a sponge before they can harm skin. “Both types are efficient in protecting the skin from the sun,” Dr. Green says; the best kind for you is whichever you’re more likely to apply often—and may depend on the adventure you have planned.

Mineral formulations are known for being gentle–even around the eyes. They’re a smart move to avoid sunscreen stinging your eyes while running or swimming. Another plus for 100% mineral-based sunscreens—especially for those who enjoy snorkeling or surfing—is that they do not contain chemicals that can be harmful to coral reefs. (To swim with eco-confidence, look for sunscreens that meet Hawaii Reef Compliant Act 104, legislation meant to protect reefs.)

Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Mineral Lotion is an eco-conscious formula that is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It goes on smoothly without leaving a greasy residue. The formula is also good for your skin, with antioxidant-rich botanicals like red algae and kakadu plum that fight skin-damaging free radicals.

Mineral lotions are typically whiter and thicker than chemical formulas, which makes it easy to see that every inch of your skin is covered. Chemical sunscreens often come in spray form, which is convenient when you’re on the move and want to apply sunscreen quickly. Australian Gold SPF 30 Continuous Spray Sunscreen is great for fast mid-hike or -bike reapplication because it has a quick-dry, sweat- and water-resistant formula (up to 80 minutes). An added bonus? It contains plant-based oils and butters to moisturize skin and odor-fighting, antibacterial tea tree oil.

When shopping for sunscreen, keep in mind that, “the higher the SPF, the more UV radiation exposure your skin can handle before getting burned,” says Dr. Green. No matter what type of formula you choose, make sure it’s SPF 30 or higher.

Don’t forget to reapply.

Putting on sunscreen is not a one and done scenario. If you’re going to be out in the sun, you’ll need to reapply. Dr. Green recommends doing so every 90 minutes, or right after excessive sweating, swimming, or other water exposure (yes, even if you’re wearing a water-resistant formula). If your skin is wet, make sure to towel off before applying so that your sunscreen won’t bead up or slide off. Don’t skip delicate, yet often overlooked spots, like the scalp, eyelids, ears, hands, and tops of feet.

And since sunscreen isn’t always top of mind—it can be easy to forget to reapply when you’re caught up in an intense volleyball match—set an alarm on your phone before the fun starts to remind you to stop and slather.

Shop Our Sweat-Resistant Sunscreen Picks

Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

SPF 30 Continuous Spray Sunscreen

Australian Gold SPF 30 Continuous Spray Sunscreen

 Plant Based SPF 50 Face Lotion

Australian Gold Plant Based SPF 50 Face Lotion

Set a sun-smart schedule.

Whether you’re hitting the beach, lake, or trail, getting out there early in the day has several perks, namely fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, and weaker UV rays. Dr. Green points out that the sun is the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and suggests planning activities accordingly. “If you like hiking, swimming, or fishing, for example, try to do it early in the morning or later in the afternoon,” she says, pointing out that sunscreen should absolutely still be worn during off-peak hours.

Practice water safety.

UV rays bounce off of the water and can affect the skin more intensely, Dr. Green warns. That means you’ll need to double your defenses if water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding are your thing. Combine a wide-brim hat with a high SPF sunscreen like Australian Gold Plant Based SPF 50 Face Lotion which is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It comes in a small tube that’s easy to stash in a go-bag. And it contains natural ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil to keep dry and sensitive skin moisturized and soothed. The formula is also fragrance-free.

For maximum protection, Dr. Green suggests waiting 15 minutes after putting it on before you take the plunge.

Team SPF with UPF.

In addition to sunscreen, Dr. Green suggests wearing sun-protective clothing—especially if you’ll be out during peak sun hours or might not be able to reapply on schedule. Look for labels that list UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, which is the clothing equivalent of SPF. As with sunscreen, she says, “look for a rating of 30 or above for adequate protection.”

From moisture-wicking tops to rash guards and running shorts, there’s no shortage of functional UPF gear to add to your closet.

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