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The GSS Ultimate Sun Protection Guide 
mother applying sunscreen to daughter's face at the pool


Summer is just a few short weeks away, and like many of you, I can’t wait to spend sunny days at the pool and beach with my family. This is the perfect time to make sure your beach bag is prepped with a few key items. These are the summer sun essentials to save you time and save your skin! 


SPF Stick for Kids’s Faces

My kids (ages 7 and 9) do not enjoy the sunscreen application process, particularly when I smear it near their eyes or lips. The SPF Sticks have saved us as they are easier to apply, and the kids can do it themselves (with quality control from parents of course!)   

  • What to look for: SPF 30 or higher, Mineral Based (Zinc and/or Titanium are the active ingredients), and Water Resistant up to 80 minutes 
  • Brands I love: Cetaphil Sheer Gentle Sunscreen Stick for Face and Body, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Mineral Face and Body Sunscreen Stick 


Water Resistant SPF for All Over the Body 

Whether swimming, running, or golfing, we need sunscreen that holds up to water and sweat.  Remember NOTHING is Waterproof or Sweatproof, only RESISTANT. Many of these formulations have a chemical ingredient as a stabilizer combined with Zinc as the main active ingredient.   

  • What to look for: SPF 30 or higher, Water Resistant for up to 80 minutes, Zinc as main active ingredient with or without a stabilizer like octycrylene 
  • Brands I love: Elta MD Sport SPF 50, Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion 
  • Remember to reapply every 2 hours or after toweling off! 


SPF for Lips!  

Lips can sunburn just like the rest of the skin. Skin cancers on the lips are also more aggressive and more likely to metastasize, making this a critical area to protect on the regular.  Sunburns can also provoke cold sores and add insult to injury, so keep them covered! 

  • Brands I love: Elta MD SPF, SunBum SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm 


Mineral Spray SPF for Quick but Effective Reapplications 

I never use a spray sunscreen as a first layer, but for catching kids between the pool and snack bar, a good mineral spray to reapply is better than nothing. Stick with mineral sprays as you can see them on the skin (they are white, not clear), so you feel confident about coverage. 

  • Brands I Love: Elta MD AOX Mist, SunBum Mineral APF 50 Sunscreen Spray 


Other Expert Tips 

If you have sunscreen left over from last year, make sure you check the expiration date and throw it away if it has expired.   

UPF Swim shirts are great for adults as well as kids! You’ll never find me in the pool without my long-sleeve UPF 50 swim shirt, which saves my skin from unreliable back applications from others! 

Brands I love:  Coolibar, IBKul, Columbia, Lands End 

Choose Wide brim hats for better protection over a baseball cap or visor. Ears are another area where skin cancers tend to be more aggressive, so a wide brim is definitely their friend. 


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