So, the sunny weather is here! At least in my part of the world, it is already getting to the high 80’s on a daily basis.

And, we are stocking up on sunscreen for the kiddos. In fact, I find myself chasing the kids around with a bright yellow bottle of sunscreen on most days.

You see, my kids are competitive golfers and when they aren’t playing in a tournament—they are practicing for a tournament. Their season starts in January and goes through until the end of September each year. That’s a lot of sun!

Of course, that doesn’t even include trips to the beach, days at the lake, swimming at grandmother’s house, normal play time in the yard, or even just riding bikes around the neighborhood. There are a lot of days when we are out in the sun and it is easy to forget (or fail to take action) putting on your sunscreen.

But, it is so…so…so important.

When I was a kid, we had a sunscreen. But, we didn’t always wear it. I remember even putting on suntan oil and sun magnifier and then tanning on a reflective surface like a silver pool float. Trying to soak up those rays and get a nice, golden tan. Do you remember that?

What I didn’t know then (and what nobody seemed to talk about back then) was that I was practically inviting the sun to eat my skin up. Yep, now that I think about it, I’m so terrified of the damage I caused.

My husband recently had a skin cancer scare as did both my mother and my father. I fear that I could be next and it is truly something that I dread. So, when my kids fuss about being still for me to coat their face and bodies with the mega SPF in the bottle, I try to remind them that they’ll thank me one day.

Here are a few tips for protecting your skin this spring and summer:

1. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply the same amount after 2 hours or immediately after swimming and drying off. And, yes, you still need sunscreen on a cloudy day. “I’ve got sunscreen…on a cloudy day… My skin. My skin. My skin. Talkin’ bout my skin…” (Okay, you get the picture.)

2. Use make-up with an SPF rating. This certainly helps protect your face, but don’t forget to use it the same way you would sunscreen! Those eyelids need coverage too! Remember that your face is rarely covered with clothing or shade when you’re outdoors. And, your face is beautiful.

3. Choose your SPF carefully. SPF of 15 or higher is recommended. (I’m that maniac who uses SPF 70.) The percentage of UVB (harmful) rays and the amount of time that it works is what goes into that number. Since I’m super fair-skinned, I go big or go home. I mean that quite literally, I go home.

So, when those kids fuss about sunscreen, tell them they have to do it anyway. It is just too important. Chase them around the house. Threaten to take away their screen time. Whatever it takes. Protect that perfect little skin. And, they will thank you one day, even if they don’t realize it yet!

Don’t forget to get regular check-ups at the dermatologist. Your skin is the largest organ on/in your body. Treat it with respect and kindness. Then, have tons of fun!

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day! It’s not too late for a fun Mother’s Day challenge (with prizes, too) at http://www.MomLifeStuff.com

Kerri Nelson

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